This is one of those unfathomable, boring, for-the-record cryptic posts that only a few people will understand, which is fine by me.
It’s taken six and a half years, but the penny finally dropped. The phone call which I imagine from an Admiral high up in the U.S. DoD, to my ecclesiastical superior at the time, at the very beginning of January 2011, went, I surmise, something like this: ♬ring♬ This is Admiral […] George’s safety isn’t guaranteed. It’s your fault if he dies. Stop him. *click*
This Admiral, a good friend (we taught and lived at the same place and had plenty of mentoring conversations) was actually the one who, in the first place, had arranged my mission in the Holy Land with Israeli intelligence services. In those years, this would be the only way to go about this since the Israeli diplomatic corps whom I would have gone through was on strike for some 18 months already. No one was getting a visa, which is a problem when foreigners (Catholic priests and nuns) are about the only ones to run schools and orphanages and medical clinics for remote populations; to stay they have to get their visas renewed on a continual basis. They are denied.
The Admiral had the idea to have me to help out at the Holy Sepulcher and to have me teach Sacred Scripture at the doctoral level (for the SSD) at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of the Custody of the Holy Land, both of which are in the Old City of Jerusalem. Then he had the idea of having the Custos of “The Custody” personally take me across the Jordan river to Jordan, so as to install me in one of the more sensitive areas in the Middle East. Great, thought I.
After speaking with my superior and getting permission for all this, and then speaking to the Custos himself, I then, as instructed by that Admiral, went to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. (impossible at any other embassy), and was surprised to see my Mossad friend, the same guy I had met up with over the years in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, wherever I happened to be. I was packed and all was ready with hours to the flight. And then my superior rushed up to me and breathlessly told me:
“Tell the Custos you’re cancelling your flight; you’re not going. You may well get killed and people will say it’s my fault.”
I was stunned by this sudden and last second reversal. “You tell him, since you’re the one reneging at the last second” I responded.
“It’s something to do with you, not me,” he said as he then quickly disappeared in the corridors of the monastery, flustered, but not before mentioning Egypt. That was when there was a bit of unrest in lower Egypt, you know, because of usage of Twitter accounts. Ooooo. Twitter unrest. As if there had never been unrest, Twittered or not, anywhere near the Near East, Middle East or any other East. What unrestful Twittering had to do with my going or not to the Holy Land I have no idea, but that was the excuse my superior had given me (coming up with that, it seems, on the spot) while he retreated into the shadows.”Just, wow,” thought I. So, I had to call the Custos.
The Custos – because of Saint Francis before him – is revered a thousand times more in the Holy Land than any Pope of Rome (and that’s the honest truth of it). He was really very upset with me, but understood and supported me in my predicament of religious obedience and appreciated that I agreed with him that the reason given by my superior about Twittered unrest seemed more than just a little strange. That couldn’t be the reason. Period. Indeed. For all these years since then I’ve remained flummoxed as to why my superior did this.
There was no reasoning with my superior. Telling him that this sudden change in plans would traumatically disrupt the lives of priests in France, Germany and Austria (as the Custos told me), not to mention in the Holy Land (Yikes!), did not phase him one bit, but only appeared to put him under unbearable pressure. My insisting that a disrupted schedule (they had already changed this in my favor) could result in catastrophic changes to the status quo left him unmoved (though that could have brought far reaching ecumenical and civil-political disturbances with no good result). My superior, obviously fearful of something, appeared to want to tell me something but would not or could not. I reckon the phone call to him that I’m imagining — ♬ring♬ This is Admiral […] George’s safety isn’t guaranteed. It’s your fault if he dies. Stop him. *click* — was still ringing in his ears.
Finally, just recently, the penny dropped. I think I now understand what really happened. As time drew very near to get on the plane, the flight manifest was finally being given a very thorough going over as happens with flights, especially into Israel, particularly flying with ElאלALעל. They now noticed the code attached to my SSN/Passport. That code was promised to be there in perpetuity as a “hit” from the State Department. A phone number was given to me at the time to call in case I ever needed help. That phone number goes to the director of the Political/Military Foreign Security Assistance Non-Defensive[!] Ops directorate at Main State of the Department of State. [I like that: “non-defensive” = black ops.] Background as to why a perpetual protection order had been put in place for me decades ago might well be unknown today except perhaps to all but the director of the CIA with one or two others, also, perhaps, at Main State (as I’m told by many who would know how this perpetual protection order works as this is what they do). Yet, the connection of names I have with the one I call my “Shadow” (who took over my identity as if I were as good as dead way back in the 1970s unbenounced to me for some 14 years) is quite possibly shareable information via unmasking when there is a security request from the IC of friendly countries. I’m guessing that the Israelis saw a logistical conflict, called up our mutual close friend, the Admiral, and asked him to stop me, since, after all, this was the Admiral’s project. The Admiral, regretting the circumstance, called my superior and that was the end of that.
As it is, “Grey”[!] as he may be, my “Shadow”, in fact, likes to mess around in all things political and violent in the Near and Middle East. If, say, he was in Jerusalem at the time or if he was dealing with anyone that knew anything about Jerusalem at the time, even from a distance, it just wouldn’t do to have his “identity” (me) in Jerusalem and Jordan in a couple of highly scrutinized offices just happening to look like him and the same age as him with the same name and everything else as him, even talking directly with the terrorist crowd (those on “the list”) for recreation as I was wont to do, and I must say, had a talent for so doing.
That isn’t to protect me as if I were someone important. No, no. The point is that I’m so incredibly unimportant and expendable that basically I’ve already been killed off by my “Shadow” anyway inasmuch as he’s taken over my identity. If there were to be any logistical conflict, I would be the one to bite the dust. I’m just nothing, of no consequence, to be ignored, Styrofoam, or perhaps “Grey”[!]. No, not “Grey”[!]. My shadow, conversely, has become so important while being entrenched under my identity (the perfect “Grey”[!] experience), that, while my remaining alive helps him in his effort to be “Grey”[!] and for him to be protected at all costs as “Grey”[!], it would be better if I just weren’t in the same place at the same time as him.
What got me thinking about this is a number of recent phone calls and text messages my “Shadow” and I have had in the last week or so. Some points:
- He was stunned when I put him off from sending me money ($100 monthly). I told him it was to no purpose, looking as it did like extortion against him or him bribing me. I simply don’t need his money. He was speechless. Didn’t say a word. Nothing.
- He put new pressure on me to have his property signed over to me, but not that I could sell it and keep the money. Nor was this any kind of trust. No. He wanted to continue to use the property, just under my name, further giving the appearance to all and sundry that he and I are the same person.
- I told him that I didn’t know what he was up to and that I felt myself to be in danger either from his disgruntled “clients” on the one hand or from low level LEOs trying to be heroes on the other hand, the latter thinking they are capturing him even while they are cuffing me. As he told me once, with quite a bit of impatience, going to jail or prison is just part of the work and that I should just get over it. Feds bait people, a lot, and they can look like pretty bad criminals. I asked him to provide me with some jacked up Main State docs so that I could have the guarantee of being free of that harassment (immunity and inviolability). His response was that he wasn’t that sophisticated, which could either mean that of all the IDs he does manufacture[!], one from the State Department was presently beyond his abilities, or that he simply wasn’t far enough up the food chain to ask for such a thing (or conversely, so far up the food chain that he simply couldn’t be known as such even from within). Nothing is as it seems.
- When I responded to his refusal by saying that I would just contact the Security Assistance director myself so as to put in such a request… well… oh my… the reaction from him was… well… oh my…
Anyway, I have the director of that office at Main State on speed dial…
The last time I went to Main State and accessed the bio of the director of the Security office, his bio was immediately removed from the internet. When I mentioned that on this blog, a note went up on the DoS that his bio was removed because they were, you know, renovating their web site. Well, they’ve done that, for a long time now. It’s the only bio that has not gone up. Here it is in full:
[He] is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Plans, Programs, and Operations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He is responsible for managing approximately $6 billion in U.S. security assistance annually; providing State Department input for Department of Defense planning and posture; managing a Presidential initiative to expand worldwide peacekeeping capacity; overseeing conventional weapons destruction efforts; handling State-DoD coordination on significant military exercises and operational issues; and managing State-Defense personnel exchange matters.
Before joining the Department of State in September 2006, [he] worked as a relationship manager for […] Homeland Security, where he planned and coordinated the development of technology solutions for several U.S. government clients utilizing a wide spectrum of scientific and technical capabilities resident in […].
Prior to joining […], [he] served 26 years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps where he commanded infantry units ranging in size from a 40-man rifle platoon to a 1,200-man Battalion Landing Team. He was also designated a China Foreign Area Officer. In his final assignment on active duty, […] served in the Pentagon for four years as Head of the International Issues Branch at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, the senior uniformed foreign policy advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps staff, with principal responsibility for formulating and coordinating policy dealing with all political-military / international issues for the Marine Corps.