On Any Given Day
Thomas Calabrese — Senator Roscoe Terwilliger was probably the most corrupt politician that ever served in the American government. That dubious distinction did not come without years of betrayal of the public trust. Roscoe parked his worthless carcass at the public trough and filled his pockets and off-shore bank accounts with the money of hard-working Americans. He’d steal from the old, weak, young, sick, homeless or the wealthy. He was an equal opportunity abuser and victimizer.
Roscoe did not know if he liked money or power more. It was definitely a neck and neck horse race and the finish line was still around the far turn. He was a moral degenerate and a depraved individual who lied and deceived his constituents with an expertise that rivaled the best con man’s sales pitch. Roscoe sold his vote to the highest bidder and never looked back with regret or remorse. He’d vote to cut the budget of starving children one day and the defense budget the next. Roscoe voted to de-fund the police department and slash the Veterans Administration funds for treating injured servicemen and women.
He pandered to the weakest, most uninformed and entitled population in the country and feasted upon their weaknesses like a vulture over road-kill. To look at the five-foot-eight scrawny politician with the thinning hair, blotchy complexion and unassuming demeanor walking down the street, you wouldn’t give him a second look, but if you did, Roscoe would not impress you. Place the career bureaucrat in front of a camera or a microphone and it was like flipping on a switch. Roscoe knew exactly what people wanted to hear and he gave them all they could handle. He promised light, but delivered darkness. Only wise and discerning patriots who truly loved this country could see through his façade because Roscoe cast a foreboding shadow over America.
Names like Ray Blanton, Budd Dwyer, Edwin Edwards, Huey Long, John Calhoun and James Traficant were just a few of the infamous public servants that were caught and exposed for their illegal behavior in our government institutions, but Roscoe had yet to face his reckoning. He was more despicable than all of them combined, but still riding high. Some naïve individuals preferred to think that it was just a coincidence that Roscoe’s enemies either disappeared or died under mysterious circumstances. Those in positions of power who thought about exposing him, changed their minds because Roscoe’s reputation for vindictiveness and revenge was well known.
Will Rogers once quipped. “The corruption in politics is like a floating iceberg; you only see the tip of it, but the real danger is beneath the surface.”
The Southern border was out of control and many anti-American bureaucrats liked it that way. Just like fortune favors the brave, chaos favors the unscrupulous. Drug and human trafficking were rampant and attacks against American citizens living in border towns had increased 200 per cent since the new administration had taken office and stopped construction of the border wall.
Roscoe was scheduled to travel to the border with some other politicians, not because he was interested in solving the problem, but because it gave him the opportunity to politicize the situation and blame his enemies for the surge in illegal immigration.
Roscoe had been on the payroll of the Ocasio Cartel for almost five years and that required him to vote against strengthening border security every time the issue came up for a vote. He usually came up with a variety of reasons including, it’s too expensive, but his favorite talking point was, we need to get to the root causes of why people want to leave their home county and come to America. I humbly volunteer to lead a fact finding committee to find out about these key issues. Using this excuse bought him years to evade the problem and still pretend to care for the underprivileged.
After several press conferences where questions were pre-screened and victims of border crime and frustrated law enforcement personnel were excluded, Roscoe was ready to get down to the serious business of drinking and partying. He crossed over the border into Juarez, Mexico and started doing tequila shots in the Arkansas Club within minutes of his arrival.
The Arkansas Club, or the World Famous Arkansas Bar and Grill, as it’s formally known, is the most famous of Juarez’s cantinas. The bar gained international notoriety in the 1920s when Al Capone stopped by for a drink. While Juarez the city never got much love in the way of international press, the Arkansas Club has been repeatedly covered by the media. The bar claims to be the birthplace of the margarita, and over time it has become the subject of many myths and rumors. Some of those stories included unsolved murders and kidnappings. Roscoe wasted little time boasting about who he was to the bartender and demanding special service. The bartender walked in the backroom and made a phone call. “Congressman Terwilliger is here right now and he’s drinking heavily.”
Dario Misusuga asked, “Is he alone?”
“He came in by himself and nobody has joined him.” The Bartender responded.
“My men will be there in 20 minutes.” Misusuga then instructed, “Give him free drinks and get some of the girls to pay attention to him. I don’t want him leaving…understood?”
The bartender called two hostesses over and gave them instructions. They walked over to Roscoe and one of them cooed, “Hey good lookin’, can I buy you a drink?”
Roscoe responded, “Absolutely! Hey Good Lookin’ what you got cookin.’”
The hostess called to the bartender, “I’m buying…keep ‘em coming.”
The bartender responded. “Yes Ma’am… first round is on the way.”
Two minutes later, the bartender walked over with a tray of three margaritas. The drinks for the hostesses contained no liquor in them, but the one for Roscoe had triple the recommended amount of tequila.
By the time Misusuga’s men arrived, Roscoe was thoroughly inebriated and offered no resistance as he was led out of the drinking establishment, He slurred his words, “Where are we going?”
One of the men smiled, “To a party.”
“I never met a party that I didn’t like,” Roscoe stammered and passed out.
The American Government received a ransom demand. It was standard policy not to deal with terrorists, but that rule was often broken when it suited a political agenda. President Carver had a massive six-trillion dollar spending plan coming up for a vote in the Senate and there was no room for error.
It was a terrible plan, full of waste and fraud and would plunge a struggling economy into a recession, The basic purpose of the bill was to reward Big Tech and Big Pharma and make a lot of politicians very rich. Terwilliger’s vote was essential in getting it passed.
The Drug Enforcement Agency was holding over 100 million dollars of Chinese fentanyl that it confiscated in a drug raid in Otay Mesa. Misusuga would trade Terwilliger for it.
President Carver and his administration quickly agreed to the offer. No money would have to be accounted for which meant no oversight and giving back the Cartel its own product was an easy enough thing to do. It was a drop in the bucket compared to what came across the border in just one month. Just an executive order and it was done. So what if thousands of Americans died once the potent drugs hit the streets… it was a small price to pay to maintain power.
The military could not be involved in the exchange, they hated Terwilliger too much and they couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths shut if there was ever an investigation. If Special Operators ever found out that the government was trading drugs for a corrupt politician, they probably would kill Terwilliger themselves.
This was a job for a civilian contractor. Logan Cole was offered the assignment and his fee was one million in crypto currency. Cole’s resume was unique. He graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He served in Force Reconnaissance Battalion for five years before transferring to Special Operations Command and also had assignments in Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company and Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team. On a mission that went sideways due to bad weather and high winds, Logan and his rescue team parachuted into the wrong drop zone. The Marines quickly realized the error and had no other choice but to hike two miles over rough mountainous terrain to the correct location. This delay proved fatal for the hostages who were killed by their abductors. The Marines intercepted the terrorists and killed them in a fierce firefight. Once the media found out about the botched rescue, they demanded accountability and a Congressional investigation.
Major General Royce Johnson was on the fast track to pick up his third star. Next step was Commandant and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the senior officer in charge of this operation and this failure would destroy those plans.
Logan volunteered, “This is on me, sir.”
“Not a chance. I was in charge and I take full responsibility.” Major General Johnson retorted.
Logan asked, “Permission to speak freely?”
Logan explained, “You’ve got a lot more to lose than I do. This is the right call, we both know it.”
General Johnson was an honorable man and he didn’t want to see Colonel Cole throw his career away for something that he had no control over.
Logan responded, “I’m taking responsibility regardless of what you do. I see no reason for both of us to fall on our swords.”
“I owe you,” General Johnson sighed in resignation.
Colonel Cole was reduced two ranks and discharged from the Marine Corps. General Johnson used his extensive connections to get his friend a job with Dillon Securities, an international contractor who specialized in providing protection for high profile targets and individuals.
After four years with Dillon, General Johnson suggested, “Why don’t you start your own service?”
“Why would I do that?”
General Johnson explained, “There are enough jobs out there for a man who possesses your unique skills. You can be an independent contractor, be your own boss and pick your own assignments. I’ll refer as much as I can your way…think about it.”
Logan thought about it and decided to give it a try. Over the next few years he built up a reputation as a man who always got the job done. He bought a small home on Sleeping Indian Road in North Oceanside. The property had a nice view of Camp Pendleton and it was a reminder to Logan of his history with the Corps. It was a connection that he deeply valued despite his less-than-distinguished separation from the military.
When Logan accepted the assignment to retrieve Terwilliger, he contacted several of his former Marines; Marlowe, Thornton, Simmons and Tully, to see if they were interested in picking up some extra cash. His offer was extremely generous, “Ten thousand dollars a day…two, maybe three days’ work. All I need is overwatch.” (An overwatch unit takes a position where it can observe the terrain ahead and provide cover.)
Logan and his former Marines picked up two large containers with the fentanyl on a dirt road in the Rio Grande Valley from DEA agents. From there, they drove twenty-five miles to a secluded valley and stopped 500 hundred yards from the exchange point. The former Marines got out with their sniper rifles and started up the steep incline. Logan instructed, “Let me know when you are in position.”
“Roger that, Colonel.” Marlowe responded.
Twenty minutes later, Tully called from a ridge that overlooked the exchange point. “We’re in position, got a visual….count 24 bogeys.”
“On my way.” Logan pulled a mask over his face and started driving until he reached his destination.
Two dozen armed men were strategically located around an open field. Logan was stopped by two of them. He was ordered to step out and was searched by one man while the other searched the truck. When they were satisfied they allowed Logan to proceed.
Misusuga exited his armored SUV and walked over to the truck and ordered, “Get out.”
Logan complied and Misusuga nodded to his men. “Check the containers.”
One man opened the lids and did a chemical test on the contents. “It’s good.”
“Where’s Terwilliger?” Logan asked.
Misusuga laughed. “You shouldn’t have come alone.”
“I was hired to do a job…if I don’t bring back the Congressman, I don’t get paid. I won’t like that. Fulfill your part of the deal and we can both walk away with what we came here for …otherwise.”
“Otherwise what?” Misusuga asked.
Logan explained, “Whenever I accept a mission, I have to make a decision if I am willing to die if things don’t go right. I am prepared for this to be my last day on earth, the question is…are you?”
Misusuga was confused, he didn’t know if he wasn’t being threatened or if this was a bluff. He looked around and didn’t see anything or anybody so he decided to push the issue. “Just what are you going to do? You’re outnumbered and you’re unarmed.”
Logan’s men were listening to the conversation through their earpieces so he gave them the signal, “Show him.”
Two series of five shots hit within five feet of the cartel leader. The shooters were so far away that Misusuga did not hear the gunshots. Logan warned, “My men have got you in their sights. It’s your call. I either get Terwilliger or I send you to hell.”
Misusuga gestured to his men and Terwilliger was pulled out of the SUV and dragged over to where Logan was standing and dropped at his feet. The Cartel leader smirked, “I was just joking…I never wanted him anyway.”
“You’re a funny guy…you almost died laughing.” Logan warned.
Terwilliger crawled through the dirt to the truck and pulled himself into the cab and demanded, “Get me out of here!”
Logan cast him a stern look, “Relax, we need to make one stop first then I’ll get you home.”
The truck stopped along the road and the former Marines jumped in back. When they got near Port Mansfield, the Marines got out and walked over to another vehicle. Logan said, “I’ll be in touch. I’ll have your money at that time.”
Simmons smiled, “No rush, we trust you.”
Roscoe asked, “Where are you taking me?”
Logan backhanded the Senator across the face, “No questions.”
Logan drove to a small house on the outskirts of Rio Hondo, Texas. An elderly man walked out to meet him, “Hey Logan…good to see you. Is this our patient?”
Roscoe exclaimed, “What do you mean patient?”
“This is him.” Logan grabbed Roscoe around the neck and the elderly man injected him in the arm with a powerful sedative. Roscoe struggled for a minute then succumbed to the drug.
Five hours later, Roscoe woke up on an operating table and found that he was strapped to it. He yelled out, “Help! Get me out of here!” and struggled to free himself.
When Logan entered, Roscoe demanded to know what happened as he felt the soreness in his chest. “What did you do to me?”
Logan responded, “A special pacemaker was implanted that can be controlled remotely.” then held up a small remote device that resembled a garage door opener, pressed the button and a sharp pain shot through Roscoe’s upper body.”
“Whoa…what the hell was that?” Roscoe grimaced.
“Your heart will run normally unless I decide otherwise. If you have any thoughts about removing it, put that thought out of your mind. It will alert me if it is tampered with. I can increase your heart rate to three or four hundred beats per minutes. Anything over 150 beats is supraventricular tachycardia. I can also slow it down to forty beats or less per minute. This condition is called bradycardia and it can also lead to cardiac arrest and death. Without getting too technical, I hold your life in my hands. Personally, I think you are a worthless piece of garbage and there is only one reason for me to keep you alive…and that is if you give me what I want. Maybe you’re ready to die and this is just a waste of my time. If it is, just say the word I’ll send you scurrying down the yellow brick road to your judgement day.”
Roscoe quickly objected, “No…no…no, don’t do that.”
President Carver was relieved that Senator Terwilliger was back in Washington. The vote could now take place and he was ready to take a victory lap. The White House staff was already planning a celebratory party with Congressional leaders.
It came as a complete surprise when Senator Terwilliger voted no. When interviewed by the press, Roscoe said, “Upon closer review of the massive spending bill, I have determined it is a waste of money. I could not in good conscience vote for it. The statements by President Carver concerning its benefits for the American people are misleading and blatantly false.”
This announcement destroyed the President’s ability to enact further legislation and his plans for re-election. It also alienated Roscoe from his fellow corrupt politicians so his days in Washington were also numbered.
Roscoe made a phone call, “I did what you asked. My career is destroyed…I hope you’re satisfied.”
Logan responded, “Not quite, but I’m getting there.”
After getting incriminating evidence from Roscoe about his cronies and various criminals affiliated with the government and exposing them, Logan came to the conclusion that Roscoe had served his purpose. They met at Mona’s, a small Italian restaurant in Carlsbad and Logan said, “You’re almost done…one more thing and you can be on your way.”
Roscoe grumbled, “What is it now?”
“How much money do you have put away?”
Roscoe hesitated, “I don’t know.”
“Of course you know and I know…I just want to see if you’re going to tell me the truth,” Logan didn’t know, he was just bluffing.
“Thirty-five million in various assets,” Roscoe mumbled.
Logan offered, “I’ll let you keep two million, the rest will be donated to veterans and animal rescue organizations. After that I’ll help you disappear to a place where your enemies will never find you.”
Roscoe was a defeated man and didn’t have the heart to argue. Two weeks later after the donations were made, Logan and Roscoe were at the Carlsbad Airport. Logan handed Roscoe a fake passport with the name Frank Stevens on it. “The plane will take you to Costa Rica. I bought you a place in Tamarindo. Make the best out of the rest of your life.”
Roscoe walked to the waiting jet and Logan called to him as he held up the remote device, “Don’t make me come to Costa Rica for unfinished business.”
Roscoe flipped off Logan and boarded the aircraft.
Logan and his former Marines breeched the security of Dario Misusuga’s palatial mansion. They killed a dozen of his personal bodyguards and Logan said to the ruthless cartel leader. “I just couldn’t get it out my head that I gave you a 100 million dollars in drugs. That thought would haunt me for the rest of my life if I didn’t do something about it.” Logan shot Misusuga in the forehead and turned to his men, “I feel better now.”
Like General Royce Johnson told Logan when asked to compare Special Operators from various services and countries; Just remember that nobody is the best all the time; Some are just better on any given day, so hope it’s your day.”
– Work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance
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