|The George Residence|
4 October 1993
I arrived at Clair George's house, around the corner from my own, shortly before our guests from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were due to arrive.
The Howard case belonged to the FBI, not the CIA; more specifically, it belonged to the Bureau's Albuquerque, New Mexico field office.
Enter Nicholas W, a Section Chief from FCI (Foreign Counter Intelligence).
With him, Allyson G, a Supervisory Special Agent.
Both were from Headquarters in DC.
Nicholas and Allyson proffered calling cards and displayed much deference to the former CIA spymaster, who opened the meeting.
"I met Eringer around the time I retired from government," Clair explained. "He moved into my neighborhood and we became close personal friends."
"Oh." This stumped Nick. "We hadn't even thought of that."
(The reason I could be such a smart-ass was because Clair had already introduced me to his friend Howard Safir, former chief of the U.S. Marshal Service, and Safir had told me about the Curved Frisbee Doctrine, a phrase he'd coined himself after masterminding the international apprehension, known as an extraordinary rendition, of CIA renegade Edwin Wilson in the Dominican Republic.)
"It's nice of you to offer to do this," said Nick, "take trips, incur expenses..."
"No," I said. "This operation would be on your nickel. I'm not planning to pursue this opportunity unless you folks sign on, cover my expenses, and hire me as a contract agent."
"Typical feebies," he said, both amused and bemused. "They only think in terms of collecting more incriminating information on Howard. As if they didn't have enough! I can't believe it didn't occur to them before they got here that we’re talking about catching Howard." He shook his head. "That's government today. No imagination, no creativity." He paused. "It'll sound too complicated, too dangerous. Anyone with any clout in government is just a few years away from a pension. They never want to risk that."
Meantime, Edward Howard phoned Joel Joseph from Moscow and pressed him for a commitment to his book.
You spend your life getting smacked around like the silver ball inside a pinball machine.
Hit this base, bang!
Whacked over to another post, boing!
Boomeranged someplace else, ba-da-bing!
Until, after a good battering, tired and worn out, you drop into a black hole.