Shoes… part 6

The following is a work of fiction.
Mostly fiction.
It’s sole purpose is give the reader a chance to try on another guy’s shoes.
Maybe see how a different opinion fits.
Or not.

18 September 2002
The Sabri Report flopped effortlessly from your hand to the coffee table. The officer who brought the report sat facing you, awaiting orders from his Commander In Chief. The fireplace to your left, alive with burning pine logs, was testiment to the approach of an early winter. You leaned back in the upholstered lounge chair and nervously stroked your chin. You stared straight into the fireplace for a moment before finally speaking.

“Who else has seen this?”
“Two others.”
“Which two?”
“The two men who gathered and translated the intell.”
“Nobody else?”
“French Intelligence.”
“Pfft. But our people, only those two guys?”
“Yes sir.”
“You trust them?”
“Yes sir.”

You stood and paced the short distance between your chair and the fireplace. If this intell was true you’d need to recall the troops already deployed, stop the deployment of any more and figure out a way to launch the biggest political apololgy since Nixon gave his it’s not my fault and I didn’t do it but I’ll resign so you can’t impeach me speech to the nation. This would make Clinton’s I didnt know a blow job was sex, honest! speech look almost believeable.

“What if this report is wrong. What if this Sabri guy’s just saying this to blow smoke up my ass so I’ll turn around and run home.”
“That’s highly unlikely sir.”
“Why is that unlikely? This has as much chance to be false as it has to be true.”
“Not really sir.”
“But why?”
“Because, sir, the French have been monitoring the Iraqi government for a very long time. They have impeccable sources. Their intell places the probability of this being accurate at more than 90%.”
“But it could be wrong.”
“Sir, due respect, but we’re the only ones saying they have these weapons and capabilities and desire to use them against the US.”

Dead silence.

“Bury this.”
“Bury this and anyone who’s seen it. The French are idiots. My intell is just as good as theirs and says the weapons of mass destruction are in fact in Iraqi hands. Maybe Hussein got away with this crap with my father but he’s not getting away with it with me.”

You pick up the Sabri report and hand it to the officer.”You take this back. You destroy the intell. Then reword this to back my plan and then share it with whatshisface, that English fella…”
“Prime Miniser Blair, sir”
“Yeah, him – and that Australian guy who was here on 9/11…”
“Prime Minister Howard”
“Yeah, Howard. You share the revised report with them like we’re letting them in on top-secret stuff and they’ll be so grateful we confided in them, we won’t be the only ones sayng Saddam has the weapons.”

There’s an uncomfortable pause. In a subdued voice the officer asks, “Is that an order sir?”

You deliberately lock your eyes onto his to let him know who’s boss. You’ve become rather accustomed to this alpha-male role you were handed two years ago and nobody was taking it from you now. Not now.

“Yes, that’s an order.That’s a direct order from your Commander In Chief.”
“Yes sir.”

The man stood up. Your eyes are still locked onto his. “I’m serious. Bury the report. Look at it this way – Hussein is a terrible man. The whole Middle East will be better off without him. And don’t worry, our troops will uncover enough horrors to show we had reason to go there. You’ll see.”
“Sir -”
“Sir, the French have similar intell and have based their reputation…”
“Fuck the French. I know what’s best for America. Not the French.”

The officer, pressing The Sabri Report tightly to his chest, walks across the room and pulls the door open. You call to him as he leaves, “Trust me. They’ll get over it.”


23 April 2006
Iraq Foreign Minister Naji Sabri’s original intelligence report along with corroborating French and American intell are made public on the American television show CBS 60 Minutes. The CIA officers privy to the actual account stood up and told the truth they’d been under orders not to divulge.

It remains a mystery to me, why, in light of confirmation of this report to have been delared true and my encounter with CIA Director, George Tenet on that September morning, four years ago, to be declared accurate, why I have not been impeached. Seriously. Either my father has stronger Washington ties than even I realized, or the Republican Party has come full circle to my rescue to save itself from total humiliation, or I don’t know what else..

But I do know that from here on out, if I just keep playing at being the class clown, do what dad says and stay away from making any big decisions on my own, I’ll get through the last 18 months of my Presidency with my balls intact. It’s been a helluva ride.

God Bless America.