This 44-part series began running in WCT Nov. 8. Readers can read all the installments to date at www.windycitymediagroup.com .
From the journal of John 'Jack' Quincy Adams, Chief Secret Service Special Agent in Charge, The White House. Code Name: One.
Part 23. A Dark Night in Dover
Jack Adams, the Secret Service agent charged with assassinating President George W. Bush and being held for psychiatric evaluation, is telling about a surprise call he got one night from the First Lady. He found himself accompanying her to the airfield in Delaware where the coffins from Iraq were unloaded. ( Note: Diadem= the Oval Office. )
The First Lady's limo sat unobtrusively off to the side while a military honor guard brought the coffins off the C5 cargo transport one at a time. I counted twelve coffins. We watched in silence as they were placed in twelve hearses. The base commandant was there and he approached the relatives one by one, took a mother's or wife's hand, said something to her and then moved on to the next.
As the families headed toward waiting cars, Laura opened the glass partition and slipped her Secret Service Agent piece of notepaper. He opened his door and walked toward the dispersing families.
In a few minutes her agent returned with a gray-haired woman on his arm. He opened the door and she gasped and put her hand to her throat. 'Oh, my Lord! Mrs. Bush…' And then she began to weep.
Laura took her hand and pulled her inside while I flipped up the jump seat and moved to face them. Laura put her arm around the woman and whispered small comforts in her ear. After a while the woman thanked her for coming and patted her hand. As she moved to leave, Laura said, 'Mrs. Lovejoy, when you get back to Midland I'd rather you not mention this to anyone. If word got out that I had come here and spoken to you, I would have to speak to everyone or no one at all, and that would pain me.'
'Excuse me, ma'am, but maybe you should come every time. Maybe that would help.'
'I do, Mrs. Lovejoy. I come every single time. But I can't speak to everyone.'
'Why not, if you don't mind my asking? I don't mean to show no disrespect, but, well, you know…why not? I know it would mean the world to people. It certainly does to me.'
'Because, Mrs. Lovejoy, it would break my heart.'
The woman nodded, patted Laura on the cheek, and then stepped out of the car and went with the agent.
'Every time?' I said.
'Jack, if I have a job at all, this is it. He can't do it so I do it.'
The driver started the car and pulled out.
'What you mean is he won't do it,' I said.
'Won't, can't, it's all the same.'
'Damn it, Jack, you see what goes on around there. You see the bind he's in.'
There was something about the moment, about the scene, here in the dark of the limo with the growing tension between us that emboldened me. It was becoming painfully clear that she and I were not going to run off to a South Sea island and spend the rest of our days in a hammock, and given the distance she had been keeping from me for the past few months, I didn't know if I would have an opportunity for another conversation. What was most in my mind those days were my kids. And my grandchildren. What was going to happen to them if the Marriage Protection Act was sent to the states for ratification?
I said, 'What I see is a bunch of men acting like little boys with their daddy's rifles.'
'And who do you think is going to step in and play 'mom' to the leader of those little boys?'
Did Laura really think Trailblazer was the leader of that pack? Could she possibly think he was calling the shots for the RNC, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, and the administration in general? Did she think, for example that John Roberts had been his idea for a replacement for O'Connor on the court? On the other hand, no one but he would have come up with Harriet Miers. I could tell her the truth about who was really running the show and nearly every other right-wing strategy that came out of Diadem, but what good would that do?
I said, 'I'm not sure even they know who's in control any more. I think they've created a monster and the monster is running away with them. Running away with the country.'
I knew her well enough to believe she would see the truth of what I was saying. Laura may have been many things—including the devoted wife—but she wasn't stupid. 'Well, it's the only chance we have,' she said. 'And there's another thing, Jack. Something you don't seem to comprehend.'
'And that is?'
'I'm his wife, Jack. I'm his wife, for God's sake.'
'But the real question is, Do you love him?'