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Monday, September 10, 2012

Thinking About September 11

Can't help it. The events of September 11, 2001, and the aftermath marked me for life.

I have written previously about where I was on that day, and I don't want to repeat that. I wanted to tell a story that shows how seriously the Bush administration took the attack. It is a little episode in which I played a minor role. I won't go into too many details. I will keep it all very general, and deliberately mess up some of those details.

Note: If I am ever questioned by any lawyers on this, I made it all up. It never happened.

The main point is to underline that while I have serious doubts about many government workers, I dealt with some very hard-working, patriotic, smart, and gutsy folks in the aftermath of September 11. They deserve a lot of credit for putting themselves on the line to ensure our country got justice for the attack and remained secure from future ones.

A few months after the September 11 attack, I held a senior position at a certain embassy in an unnamed country. I was visited in my office by some folks from agencies that have no name. They described for me an operation they wanted to undertake in the country to grab a senior Al Qaeda terrorist who would be transiting. They wanted to take him as he exited his hotel and was heading for the airport. I had no problem with the operation, and told them I would be willing to run interference with the local government and take any diplomatic heat that might result if things went off the rails. They thanked me and then told me that they actually needed more than that; they needed my help to secure assistance from  the local service. They wanted the locals to provide some muscle and vehicles, and to protect the safe house where our guest would be until suitable transport arrived to remove him from our jurisdiction. I said, "OK, I will go see the Prime Minister. He's a good friend."

I called the PM and asked to see him right away on a matter of "great importance." He was at his home meeting his senior adviser on an economics speech he was to give the next day; he asked me to come by. My driver took me to the PM's residence, and over tea at 2 am, sitting out on the veranda and caressed by the balmy ocean breeze, I laid out the proposal to him and his advisor. The PM, a highly educated and pro-American gentleman, nodded slowly and looked at his advisor, also a highly educated and pro-US gent, who nodded back. The PM said, "I respect President Bush. If this is important to him, to the US, and to the war on terror then, OK. I will tell [the head of the local service] to provide you anything you need. If you tell me this a very bad man, I believe you. We don't want this type of person here. Take him." And take him we did in what was a very smoothly executed operation, with a considerable element of macabre humor (some day I hope to discuss that aspect.)

Bottom line:

1) Don't believe the nonsense peddled by the Dems that President Bush was some deranged cowboy. Senior people all over the world respected him as a man of his word, as a man not afraid to pull the trigger, and as man who would keep his mouth shut; and

2) We have some good folks on our side--and they are not represented by SEIU.

Again, for any lawyers out there, I made this whole thing up. Never happened. No sir, not at all. I was never there, and this never happened. Nope. Not at all.


  1. Thank you. For your efforts on our behalf. For doing the right thing. For sharing it with those of us who occasionally need to be reminded that there are good people doing good deeds on our behalf. And thank you for making the entire story up.

    1. Yep, all made up; anybody who says he was there when this happened--and you know who you are-- is lying as much as I am.

  2. Did you write something? I couldn't make out a hypothetical word. But thanks.

  3. Yes- Ha!

    Best. DiploMad. Post. Ever.


  4. It's the internet. The Diplomad is really a precocious 13 year old, blogging in her Badtz-Maru pajamas from Sarasota Florida.

  5. That is a really bad visual first thing on Monday morning.

  6. Nice story, heard one just like it in a bar somewhere...

  7. A shame we cannot tell some of the stories we have lived. If you ever really have burning need to tell them, go to work for the Obama White House. Then it's ok. F

  8. You're a good fiction writer; I was on the edge of my seat. ;)

    The part about W being able to keep secrets reminded of billboards that started appearing a couple of years ago with his picture on them and captioned "Miss me yet?"

    In many ways, I do,

  9. Thank you, it brings some (dare I say it?) hope to a tired world. That's the America that I would like to get back to.

    When the captchas get so bad that humans can't distinguish the letters, you know you have some nasty bots to contend with

  10. Press. Barry is going to have Amydinejad brought to US justice on the QT, we can only hope, and that's why he's dissing Netanyahu in such a ham-handed way.