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“I’m not used to discussing classified information with civilians.”

“Ah . . . I see. You’re bothered that a man like me, who does not work for the federal government, and has no security clearance that you know of . . . ended up with the official FBI report of what happened at the National Counterterrorism Center last week.”

“That’s a pretty accurate assessment.”

Dickerson nodded in a thoughtful manner and said, “The president showed me the report this morning.”

Rapp looked at Kennedy, who appeared to be taking the news much better than he was. “And why would he do that?” Rapp asked Dickerson.

“He trusts me, Mr. Rapp.”

Rapp looked around the room. “I assume he’s not showing up?”

“That would be correct.”

Rapp looked to Kennedy.

The CIA director said, “It’s politics, Mitch.”

“What does this have to do with politics?” Rapp knew it was a stupid question the second it left his lips. The factions in D.C. could turn anything into a partisan issue. Much of it he ignored, but when it came to National Security it really got his blood boiling.

Kennedy said, “That FBI report that Gabe is referring to contained mention of an incident between you and Mr. Abad bin Baaz.”

“You’re talking about the Saudi terrorists that I apprehended the day of the attacks?”

“Yes,” Kennedy replied.


Dickerson answered, “He has dual citizenship.”

Rapp was afraid some Dudley Do-Right would make an issue of this. “He’s a Saudi terrorist who applied for dual citizenship so we couldn’t put the screws to him. If we had any common sense left in this town, you’d take his citizenship away and hand him over to me so I can finish interrogating him.”

“The president,” Dickerson sighed, “actually agrees with you, but there is a rather vocal group in his party that, to put it mildly, disagrees with him.”

“Don’t tell me they’re going to come after me for this?” Rapp asked Kennedy. “There is too much going on right now. Too many things that I need to take care of. I can’t be dealing with these idiots right now.”

Kennedy said, “Fortunately, it looks like they have run into an obstacle.”

“What kind of obstacle?”

Dickerson said, “A fellow senator who has vouched for you.”


“Yes. The FBI report has a section that outlines Mr. bin Baaz’s claim that you dislocated his shoulder and a doctor’s report that backs up his claim that the injury was caused by you while he was in your custody. Before he was turned over to the feds.”

Rapp knew it had been caused while in his custody. He remembered vividly dislocating the little pecker’s arm and twisting it to the point where he thought he might actually rip it off. “And Lonsdale?”

“She has filed an affidavit stating that Mr. bin Baaz was in perfectly good condition when she arrived at the National Counterterrorism Center and that he was hurt during the attack when he was thrown to the floor by none other than herself.”

Rapp concealed his surprise. The fact that the senator had lied for him was an interesting development, to say the least. Rapp kept a straight face and asked, “So what’s the problem?”

“Things in Washington are very rarely open and shut. This group of senators and representatives has retreated for the moment, but they have very powerful lobbying groups that give them piles of cash, and in return they expect them to take the fight to the enemy. Those groups will demand that they open a new front.”

With evident sarcasm Rapp said, “I thought we were all on the same team.”

“They despise you, Mr. Rapp.” Dickerson looked around the office. “They despise this entire Agency.”

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