Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Clamping Down

"Look, the bottom line is that this Ming Dung plan is not working!" shouted Henry Samuelson.  "We need a new plan!"  It was an emergency lunchtime meeting of the Heurich Society at the Brewmaster's Castle:  the news that Venezuelan commu-crazy Hugo Chavez had visited Turkmenistan to urge President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to join Chavez in forming a gas-exporting cartel had raised several alarms in the group.  The chair of the Heurich Society countered that a crystalizing of forces like that could prove useful to the Heurich Society.  "You've never even BEEN to Central Asia!" exclaimed Samuelson, the CIA alumni.  "Your theories don't always add up!"  The chair glared at Samuelson, whose motivations seemed murkier every year.  "Things are getting crazier there every WEEK!  Americans are running around disguised in burqas, knocking Taliban and Al Queda men out with chloroform, then implanting them with estrogen patches.  More militants were killed by blowdarts last week than artillery strikes.  And it's NOT the CIA!"  (This, of course, was the most disturbing aspect, as far as Samuelson was concerned.)  "I know it's coming out of State!"

The voice of Condoleezza Rice suddenly emerged from the speaker phone.  "Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have the highest rates of childhood malnutrition in the world."  The members of the Heurich Society looked around at one another, mystified as to what this had to do with anything.  "I agree with Samuelson:  we need a new plan."  Rice was also alarmed at the secret initiative being run out of the State Department--or, rather, envious.  "We cannot afford any more instability in central Asia:  there is too much at stake.  The demographic data is indicating a number of ticking time bombs."  Now the eye-rolling began--not because the Heurich Society members ignored demographic time bombs, but because nothing was more painful to them than the increasingly academic egg-head lectures coming from Rice since her return to Stanford.  "This is what I propose...."

A couple miles north, Charles Wu grimaced at the words coming through his earpiece:  not only were they considering dismantling the Ming Dung plan he had carefully fed to them, Rice and Samuelson were gunning for Project R.O.D.H.A.M. because of their own petty jealousies.  Wu exhaled deeply, then spooned some more drunken noodles into his mouth, followed by a swallow of vermouth.  Well, he consoled himself, at least I'll earn a bundle passing some of this intel along to the British.  The fighting in Afghanistan had gotten bloodier than ever, and only a couple dozen people in the entire world knew this was because of Project R.O.D.H.A.M.--and some of them had only sketchy details about it.  He jotted down some coded notes, and chuckled to himself, remembering a time when he was simply a double agent for China and the U.K. in Hong Kong.  Things had gotten so complicated in D.C. that he had to keep copious notes reminding himself of what, exactly, he had told whom.  Now the question was, what to tell the Secretary of State...and when?

Over at the Justice Department, Atticus Hawk was reviewing memos recently declassified by the State Department on attempts between 2003 and 2006 to cripple international treaty negotiations for a ban on official "kidnappings" and secret sequestrations.  Despite Hawk's objections that he had never been a legal apologist for the CIA prisons, he could see (just as his boss had told him he would) that his own torture memos had been generously sampled in these writings.  I only did what my boss asked me to do!  For some time, he had been building up resentment at the tremendous sacrifices of time he had given to the cause of Protecting the Fatherland, but being asked to dismantle what he had painstakingly built up--without ever being rewarded politically or financially--was chafing at the purity and resolve of his long-standing ideological principles.  This is totally messed up!  The Obama Administration was actively considering reversing the Bush Administration's opposition to the treaty.  This cannot all have been for naught!  His thoughts turned to a recent invitation he had received to join a group of Bush heritage secret protectors within the federal government.  He looked up at the small (perfunctory) photo of Eric Holder he had hung on the wall and drummed his fingers on the desk.

A couple miles away, former Senator Evermore Breadman was in his Prince and Prowling office, visiting with the ninth federal bureaucrat he had seen in the past two weeks asking for his advice on the legality of joining a group of Bush heritage secret protectors within the federal government, and for the ninth time, his advice was adapt or die.  "Politicians come and go," he said.  "You will have your job as long as you want it."  You're just a paper-pusher, moron:  get over yourself.  "All that would do is imperil your own security.  You just need to lie low and channel your frustrations externally."  Or come out to the real world and get a real job.  "If you want to make a difference politically, a federal bureaucracy is not the place to do it."  Wake up and smell the cheap coffee.  "If you decide you want to look at the private sector, come back and see me."  Now get lost so I can work on more important things--like battling health care reform and gearing up for public hearings on EPA's decision to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.  (The former Senator limited these pro bono consultations to a five-minute maximum, but, even so, they added up to a lot of non-billable minutes.)  As the True Believer walked out, Chloe Cleavage walked in to deliver a soy latte and put a smile on Breadman's face.

A couple blocks away, Clio (the HIV-positive White House butler) was clamping down hard on a stubborn paper cut that would not stop bleeding, while Bo was doing his best to impress visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper by barking ferociously at the White House ghosts hovering in the corners.  An embarrassed President Obama tried to heel the earnest Portuguese Water Dog, which, like many Washingtonians, had found its courage at a most inopportune moment.

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