Rebecca and the CIA
At 8:30 am on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, Rebecca stands in front of the gate to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Behind her stands Jontz Johnson, the man she appointed to head the CIA. Behind them are trucks carrying over 1,000 carefully selected, unarmed but uniformed members of the National Guard. In addition, several camera crews are filming, and the scene is already breaking into programming on most major networks.
Jefferson Davis: I’m sorry, President Whyte. I am not allowed to open these gates for anyone who does not have a pass.
Jontz steps forward.
R: Wait, Jontz, let’s see how deep this goes.
Turning to the young man she asks, “What’s your name?”
Davis: Jefferson Davis, Ma’am.
R: Jefferson, what exactly were you told that makes you feel you can’t open the door for me?
Davis: I was told not to open the door under any circumstances for anyone who does not have a pass.
R: Were you told to hold to this policy even if the person requesting entry could prove that he or she was a senator, a congressperson, the secretary of state or even the president?
Davis: Yes, I was told no one without a pass unless I receive direct orders from my superiors.
R: Jefferson, are you aware that the CIA was created to serve the president? It is part of the executive branch. Are you aware that your superiors are my inferiors and are expected to report to me and follow my orders?
Davis: I am not sure about all that. I am only aware of my orders, and I was told specifically, even if the president herself comes here, I am not to let her in without a pass. What I can do is contact my superior and ask what to do.
R: That won’t be necessary. Do you recognize this person? (She indicates Jontz.)
Davis: No, I do not.
R: This is Jontz Johnson, who I appointed last February to be head of the CIA. He is your DCI, the direct superior of your superiors. I appointed him, so I am his superior. And, he has a pass.
Davis: If he has a pass, I can let him in with as many as five guests. If he wants to bring in this large group, I will have to contact my superiors for permission.
R: Jefferson, I admire your courage and your loyalty to your orders, to procedure and to your superiors, however, I am the president of the United States. Mr. Johnson here is the head of your agency. He and I will decide how many guests we can bring into our headquarters. You will open this gate immediately and stand aside unless you are willing to deny entry to the president and the head of the CIA. Is that clear?
Jefferson is clearly troubled. He looks at Jontz’s pass, then opens the gate and takes out his phone.
R: Give me that phone! Now!! And come with me.
Reluctantly handing her his phone, Jefferson says, “I have to tell the guards at the next door that you’re coming.”
R: We’ll talk to them when we get there.
Entering the door, Rebecca and a large group of soldiers are stopped by the guards. The guards ask to see their passes and tell them they have to pass through the metal detectors.
R: As you know, I’m the president of the United States, and this is your DCI. Please stand down and let us in. I will take full responsiblity for whatever happens. I do not want any trouble with you, but unless you are willing to shoot the president of the United States in front of all these witnesses and television cameras, you will step aside now.
The guards hesitate briefly, then stand down. The National Guard soldiers file quickly into the hall and begin the search as planned. Rebecca and Jontz, followed by most of the TV crews and about 100 National Guard soldiers, head for vault 10. Again, they encounter resistance.
Robert Perle: I’m sorry, but I am not authorized to allow you into this room.
Jontz, presenting his pass: I am your DCI, the ultimate authority in this building, and I am hereby authorizing you to open this door.
Perle: If you’re our DCI, you should be able to open this door yourself.
Jontz: Precisely, and it’s because I have never been registered that I am here now with the President and all these soldiers. Please open this door now or I will ask him to open the door (indicating the soldier right behind him who is carrying a large, black bag). This man is an explosives expert, and this bag holds sufficient explosives to blow this door open. We will get in one way or the other, so let’s do it the easy way.
Perle: I guess I have no choice.
He opens the door and the soldiers pour in.
Outside, National Guard trucks are standing in front of CIA headquarters receiving box after box of files, papers, computers, and cell phones. For the first time since it was created in 1947, the CIA is being investigated thoroughly by persons in authority who are determined to learn as much as possible about what it has done, is doing, and plans to do. The raid is completed without incident.
The next day, Rebecca calls a press conference to explain what she did and why.
R: Thank you for being here today. I doubt I will ever hold a more important press conference. I hope you will listen carefully and report accurately what I am about to say.
As you know, I appointed Jontz Johnson last February to serve as head of the CIA. He took up his post on March 1 and began studying the organization that had recently become his responsibility. He received briefings from the heads of all departments, but when he began comparing those briefings to departmental budgets, it was obvious that he was not getting the whole story.
He began asking questions and requesting related documents. It seemed to him that he was not getting reasonable answers to his questions, and in many cases, he was given documents totally unrelated to the questions he was asking. He decided to investigate the situation for himself. He went from department to department looking through files, and many of those files referred to classified documents being held in various classified file rooms, in particular, vault 10.
At that point, he requested entry to vault 10 and was denied. He was told he needed to register his handprint and retinas in order to enter that room, and that a technician would soon visit him to do the necessary registration, after which he would be able to enter the room freely.
At this, he immediately came to me. He explained that he was being treated like an enemy in his own agency, and he feared that the most important files would be removed from vault 10 before he could gain entry. I immediately contacted a person I trust in the Virginia National Guard and requested assistance, which was forthcoming. My contact quickly recruited men and women he trusts, and three days later, we conducted the operation you saw yesterday.
Jontz’s fears were well founded. We have already confirmed that a significant number of files were removed from the vault by persons unknown and taken to some unknown place. We are investigating now and expect to be able to discover who has taken the files and where they have been taken. My goal is to gain access to everything the CIA knows. I hope you and the American people agree that the president of the United States and her duly appointed head of the CIA should not have to work this hard to find out what is going on in this or any agency of our government. The charter of the CIA states explicitly that its role is to assist me, the president. It is under the executive branch, but far from assisting me, it is obstructing me, and I want to know why.
I have just told you what we did and why. I am not going to take any questions today because our investigation has just begun. I have no idea what we will find and will not speculate. However, I assure you that we will publish a full report of our findings and at that time, I will spend the whole day answering your questions. Thank you.
Smiling at the reporters in front of her, Rebecca steps back and turns to her right. Before she can take a step, Max tackles her to the floor as two shots ring out from stage left. The shooter is captured and disarmed by secret service agents standing near him. Rebecca is unharmed, but Max is lying too heavy on her legs. She realizes that blood is gushing from his head. Shouting, “Help! Help us!” She presses hard on the wound. Almost instantly, a doctor is by their side and takes over trying to stop the bleeding. Hands grab Rebecca and pull her out from under Max. She jerks herself free and kneels by his side holding his hand. In minutes paramedics arrive and lift him onto a stretcher.
That night, Rebecca goes to see Max in the hospital.
R: Seems you have a hard head.
Max: Yeah, bullets just bounce off my skull. Wish I could say the same for my butt.
R: Thank you, Max. You saved me again.
Max: You saved my life, and now you’ve made me a hero. We’re still even.
R: Did you see the gun?
Max: Nope. I saw a guy struggling to get to the front of the group standing backstage. As soon as I saw him I knew what he was going to do. I ran for you before I even thought about it.
R: And that is why you are and will always be my number one bodyguard. Don’t you ever leave me!
Max: Where could I go that would be up from here?
Their eyes lock. They share an emotion until it gets too strong for Max. He turns away saying, “It’s not me, Rebecca. Someone much more powerful than the both of us is keeping you alive. I’m honored to be a pawn in this game.
Rebecca leans over and kisses the bandage on his head. “There, now it’s all better.”
Max: Yeah it is, but you are still in danger. You know that, right?
R: Yeah, I know. I have really irritated the tiger this time. I’ve jumped on its back and now have to find a way to get off. You get well and come help me as soon as you can, OK? I gotta go.
Squeezing his hand, she turns and walks out quickly.