was working late with a six-pack of cider for company when the email
came in. It took about half an hour to download so I knew there must
be a massive attachment. It turned out to be from Sergi, my contact
in St Petersburg.
here our President Putin is laughing lots but saying smooth sympathetic
things to Bush about this terrorist business.
know you might be interested in attached audio file of type MP3. I
got it from guy in Foreign Intelligence Service, which picked it up
on old KGB bug in US War Room a couple of days ago.
are the "dramatic persons" as I think you say. The one called
Chuck is CIA specialist in "black operations", as also is
one called Dave who is evidently older man. Man called Ronald is officer
of protocol who gets to decide names of military operation. The only
one who is full name known is this General Alfred V. Schlieffen who
is special liaison person for president.
put on my headphones and dragged the file onto the Audion.
[Sound of CNN Breaking News report].
Hey! let's watch that again. It's awesome the way that plane just kinda
disappears into the building. Jesus, man, what an op! What must it feel
like to pull off an op like that? Fucking beautiful concept.
Turn the goddam thing down Chuck. We've seen it about a thousand times.
[Sound like airlock door opening and closing].
Gentlemen I'd like you to meet the White House Crisis Liaison Officer,
General Alfred V. Schlieffen.
[Various greetings: "Hi Alf", etc].
Okay, we're gunna hit back at these A-rab bastards. Ah bin talking to
the President's Art Director an' th' White House Public Information
Architect. We need to show th' American People a response of Biblical
proportions and the President wants a snappy name for th' operation.
Something that's gonna reinforce th' righteousness of our crusade.
Well I agree General, but I'd stop right now with that word "crusade"
... we gotta cultural sensitivity problem with that. The towel-heads
don't like it. Reminds them of some stuff that happened in the Middle
Ages. If you keep sayin' it, Dubya sure as hell gonna pick it up and
use it in public."
This is no time for political correctness Dave. We need the God factor
here ... Biblical words thata got a kinda power. Ronald, as th' Operations
Nomenclature Officer, ah do believe you get to go first.
Okay, how about Operation God is Wonderful?
Sounds like it was dreamed up by a bunch of goddam Jesus freaks. We
need th' God of th' Old Testament here.
Operation God With Us. Simple, snappy, enlists the Almighty.
I gotta tell ya, Ron, it's been used before.
Well, goddam, we're not going to let copyright stand in the way. We'll
just throw money at it.
Not copyright. Problem is, General, the German army had that on their
belt buckles, you know, Hitler's people, and the Kaiser's troops in
the First War.
Operation God Never Forgives? Like it ... but might not get it past
the President's spiritual advisers.
What about Operation God Is Great? That's gotta kinda ring to it.
Unfortunately, the Moslems have gotta mortgage on that one.
Okay, let's do the word game: Need something that spells out it's going
on for a long, long time. Need something that's redolent of napalm,
dead, burned bodies, death from the sky. Dubya's built up a lotta expectation
here. How 'bout something Biblical: Eternity, infinity, Apocalypse,
say. Operation End of Days?
With respect General, we wanna reassure people. Can't go with eternity
or Apocalypse. Infinity I can just live with means "without end".
Just about how long this War on Terrorism will go if it's gonna be like
the War on Drugs.
Cain't just have Operation Infinity. Needs to be infinite something.
You know, like we talk 'bout th' infinite wisdom of the Lord ... still,
it cain't be wisdom ... need somethin' more powerful than wisdom ...
Retribution? retaliation? vengeance?
Operation Hoobris, Ah like it! Is that Arabic?
Greek actually. Means insolent or wanton violence stemming from excessive
pride. I meant it would be hubris for us to use words like that. We
gotta have something that sounds more noble. What about justice? Operation
Infinite Justice. Justice without end.
Oh yes! Justice without end. We'll go with that. We gonna strike down
evil-doers everywhere, each wun, root and branch. Gonna strike down
the guilty ... anyone who gave these goddam fundamentalists aid or comfort.
Just watch this footage again. This shot is from across the river. Second
plane's comin' in now ... and perfect hit! Right in the corner. Who
trained these guys?
We did, Chuck. It's the goddam lack of gratitude that gets ya. After
all the hardware and all the training we gave these mothers! Will
you turn that fucking thing off?
No need to get sensitive Dave.