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Pen Your Pride

2nd Sample - "Duly Constituted Authority" - Now only $.99!

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     The “Tank” is actually a rather ordinary conference room in the Pentagon but it was named after an earlier chamber that resembled a large fuel tank on its side.  The service chiefs had been meeting in it for years and the name stuck.  On this day, the Tank had only the Chairman and the four service chiefs.  Other generals and staff members were shut out, left to wonder what was going on in this most unusual meeting.  The staff officers were particularly incensed since it meant they were not hearing what their bosses heard.  This did not sit well because they did not like surprises, not at all.  But the chairman had been adamant. Service chiefs only.

         The chiefs were as curious as the others were.  Wolf sat at the head of the table with Carr and Green on his right and Re and Ostfeld on his left.  The sign behind him over the display screen said “Top Secret.” 

Re spoke up first.  “Well, Arnie, what’s up?  Why the secrecy?”

         Wolf cleared his throat.  “Gentlemen, I originally called this meeting to discuss the potential effects of the new EMA and I had intended to include our colleagues and the staffs but something else has come up.  Let me start by telling you that, at least for the time being, what I am about to tell you does not leave this room.”

         They took turns eyeballing at one another.  Each flag officer either nodded or said “Of course.”

         “Last night, the DNI, Ben Carter, came to my quarters and told me an incredible story.  It seems that President Ramsey had a report weeks ago that had the story on the Golovkin/Nosenko partnership.”

         General Ostfeld said “Where did it come from?”

         Wolf replied “It was from CIA and was coordinated with DIA, NSA, and the services.”

         Air Force General Green spoke up.  “Why didn’t we see it?”

         Wolf paused.  “The president, with the collusion of Secretary Skomroch, ordered it, in the words of Ben Carter, to be ‘buried.’”

         General Carr’s jaw dropped.  “What?”

         “You heard me, George.  He buried it.  He told Carter to rescind it on the grounds of 'faulty analysis’ or some such.  Anyway, Generals Grayson and Reynolds and the other intel chiefs were ordered not to disseminate it further.”

         Ostfeld said “Hmmph.  You’d think one of them would have brought it to our attention.”

          “Are you kidding?” Re replied. “Nobody wants to bring a report that he thinks might be bogus to a four-star!”

         Wolf nodded.  “Right.  Probably, none of us would have done it under similar circumstances, not at least without some reason to smell a rat.”

         “And I smell a big one, maybe two,” said Green.  They all started talking at once. 

         Wolf held up his hand.  “Gentlemen, I think you see the sensitivity of what I told you about.  Other than Carter, and of course Ramsey and Skomroch, I don’t believe anybody besides us knows about this.  Now, what do we do about it, if anything?”

         Carr spoke up.  “What’s Carter going to do about it, besides tell you?  And does he know you’re telling us?”

         “He told me to keep it tight.  And he’s going to resign as DNI in a few days.”

         “Resign?  Then what?”

         “As far as he’s concerned, then nothing.  He’s going to come up with an excuse for quitting, a better offer from private industry or something.”

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