Mood: vegas lucky
Topic: "A Patriotic Act"
Special Agent Frodo Baggins parked his motorcar on "K" Street so that he could maintain surveilance on the parties entering the Supper Club. SA Baggins noted in his memo book that several of the individuals carried, and were using, cellular telephones. The location was less than a quarter mile from the Syrian Embassy.
Approximately three hours later the gaggle of individuals emerged from the Supper Club and departed in different vehicles. Each one was being followed, surreptitiously, by one of the team of SA's working with Baggins on surveilance.
When the team assembled early the next morning to review their findings, it was noted that each of the individuals in question had visited an ATM while on their way home after departing the Supper Club. Surveilance cameras at each ATM were subpoenaed to verify the individual observations.
SA Baggins visited the Supper Club later that day with photographs of several of the individuals in question. He queried the Manager of the Supper Club as to the identities, and requested information regarding the payment of their bill from the previous evening. He obtained a photocopy of the Credit Card payment and the identifying information of the cardholder. The Manager of the Supper Club denied any knowledge of the identity of any of the subject individuals.
When he returned to his motorcar SA Baggins noted in his memo book that the Credit Card was issued by the Cedars of Lebanon National Bank.
The surveilance revealed on the following day that each of the individuals were at home the entire day, Sunday, and that none attended services at nearby houses of worship. Continuing surveilance throughout the week revealed that each of the individuals went to their respective places of employment daily, and that no effort was made by any to meet as a complete or partial group.
Frodo noted the well-groomed Hispanic gentleman passing by his cubicle on the way into the walled office of the Director of Agents, Frodo's boss. The door slammed shut, but the loudness of the voices inside, although indistinguishable, was easily overheard. Frodo knew that this did not bode well for his plans with his family during the upcoming weekend. When the visitor departed, Frodo was summarily ushered into the office by his boss.
Frodo completed the Warrant and took it to the FISA Judge for signature. The Judge asked Frodo a few procedural questions and signed the document. Frodo walked outside and dialed his office from his cellular telephone. Immediate communication to, and coordination with, SA's located at the residences of each of the individuals in question resulted in entry and search of each of the premises. No one was at home at any of the locations, and no notice was left at any location of the authorization for entry.
Police reports were filed from every location by the residents when they returned and found forcible entry into their property. No information was shared with the local authorities relative to the actions by the SA's.
That evening Frodo again found himself parked on "K" Street, across from the same Supper Club, as the group of subjects gathered once again. Approximately three hours later they again exited the Supper Club and headed in their respective motorcars toward their individual residences. Again, each one stopped at the same ATM on the way home, and each one was observed by one of the members of Frodo's team. Frodo, this time, went into the Supper Club immediately after the group departed and confronted the Manager about the activities of the individuals. The Manager was very ill at ease and admitted to Frodo that he was acquainted with the group of individuals, and that he knew the identity of each. He had lied, he explained, to protect "regular customers." He swore that he had neither warned nor done anything which might make the group aware of Frodo's interest in them.
Frodo's boss had the door open and was waiting for Frodo when he walked into the office. It was well after Midnight. Piled on the top of the desk of the Director of Agents were books, some paperback but mostly hardbacks. Frodo glanced at titles and opened the rear cover of several, revealing library stamps and card packets in each. The books, obviously, taken from the residences of the subject individuals,or garnered from the shelves of local public libraries when returned by one or more of the subjects. The titles included "The House of Saud," "Islam and American Foreign Policy," "Operation Desert Storm," and "The Ugly American."
It would be many years later when the true story of the "New Americans Friday Night Book and Supper Club" found its' way into files no longer encumbered from Freedom of Information Act requests. Special Agent Frodo and each of his comrades had gone on to productive careers, and most were retired. The Attorney General remained a public figure. The members of the club, however, never fully recovered their enthusiasm for the land which offered them such hope, but treated them with so little respect.
Special Agent Frodo felt like it would be a good idea to remind, dear reader, that fiction, like truth itself, offers a warning about how the best of intentions often cause the greatest harm.