Rapp could only make out every fifth word or so. It was a complete meltdown. He’d seen it before and knew there was no stopping it, short of smacking him, but that would be a mistake. The die had been cast five minutes earlier, and Rapp was now going to have to play the good cop. After a few minutes the sobs softened and the breathing stabilized. Eventually Adams looked up at him with pleading eyes and spoke.
It was a pretty open-ended question, so Rapp said nothing. He just stood there and stared back at Adams’s puffy, bloodshot eyes. The guy was a mess.
“I don’t understand,” Adams sniffled. “I’ve lived an honorable life. I don’t deserve this.”
Rapp wanted to refute the comment, but managed to stop himself. Playing good cop didn’t come easy to him. His instinct was to smack the fool across the head a few times and make it really clear if he didn’t do everything he was told, he’d get Hurley back in the room and have him finish the job. Instead, he sighed and said, “Glen, a lot of people have lost their bearings during this mess.”
“I know you think you’ve done the right thing,” Rapp said carefully, “but you haven’t. You’ve been suckered into this partisan game that everyone wants to play in Washington. Republican versus Democrat . . . liberal versus conservative . . . none of that matters. At Langley, the only thing we’re supposed to concern ourselves with is national security. That’s our mission, and the day the ACLU starts driving our national security policy is the day America is really fucked.”
“But you guys don’t see what you’re doing,” Adams pleaded. “We are becoming the very monsters we are trying to defeat.”
Rapp had heard this bullshit line too many times. “Give me one example.”
Adams held out his hands and looked around the room. “What would you call this?”
Rapp laughed and said, “If you worked for al Qaeda, and they caught you divulging their secrets to the media, they wouldn’t simply kill you, they’d kill your wife and kids and make you watch, and then if you were lucky they would put you out of your misery quickly, but they probably wouldn’t. They’d toy with you for months and use you as an example to anyone else who was less than resolute in his faith.”
“We’re not them. I was left with no other options. I couldn’t just sit there and watch you guys operate with such reckless disregard for the law.”
“Really.” Rapp looked at the door again. “Maybe I made a mistake.”
“You’re damn right you did. You should have never brought me here.” Adams grabbed the bottle of vodka.
“I’m talking about stopping him from blowing your head all over that wall.”
Adams looked up while he was pouring another drink. “I am not the enemy.”
“Actually you are, Glen, and if you can’t see that you’ve fucked up, there’s no hope of saving you. Stan would just as soon tear your head off and piss down your throat. He despises you. He sees you as the bright shining example of how the baby boomers have fucked up this country.”
“That’s a good one,” Adams sneered, “coming from the most racist, bigoted generation this country has ever seen.” He took another drink.
“You can bring it up with Stan.” Rapp checked his watch. “I have to get back to Langley for a
meeting.” He took a step toward the door and stopped. “I thought you might be worth saving, but I guess I was wrong.”
“Wait!” Adams said desperately. “You can’t leave me here with him.”
“Because he’ll kill me!” Adams yelled.
“And how would that affect me?”
“It would.” Adams’s eyes darted around the room as his brain tried to come up with something. “It would make you an accessory to murder.”
“You’re kidding, right? That’s the best you can come up with?”
“I have powerful allies,” Adams warned.
Rapp rubbed his forehead and decided to write off the man’s lame excuses to the vodka. “Glen, I don’t think you’re a bad person. I just think you’re confused. You’ve gotten yourself wrapped up in the legal aspect of this. You’re focused on 2 percent of the issue and you’re ignoring the other 98 percent. You’ve lost all sense of proportion, and if you can’t open your eyes to that, there is nothing I can do to help you.”
“I have done nothing wrong.”
“Last chance, Glen. I’m going to walk out this door and Stan’s going to come back in here and blow your head off. Then they’ll cut you up into six pieces and incinerate you limb by limb. By lunch the only sign that you ever existed will be a pile of ash that’ll fit into a coffee can. By dinner that ash will be spread far and wide. All evidence destroyed. The only thing the feds will have to go on is the fact that you left the country . . . that and the fact that you’re a drunk. They’ll look for a few weeks and then they’ll write your ass off.”