“. . . even under the best forms (of government) those
entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into
tyranny.” –Thomas Jefferson 1779
Fairfax, Virginia –Almost Three Years Later
It was one of those blustery, wet autumn days, the
late October kind that portends future grief from gusting cold winds, freezing
sleet rains and shiny black ice roads; the kind that make women more heat
conscious than fashion styling as they hunch over, holding long, bright knit
scarves to their faces, bucking the wind as they walk the last few blocks to
and from work or the metro stop.
The four by six inch padded manila envelope that
appeared in Lynn Koons mailbox on a late Friday
afternoon was a local piece of mail. It bore the post mark of the Fairfax, Virginia
postal station, one of the major suburban mail centers just outside of the Washington D.C.
beltway. The recipient, Lynn Koons, was a product of
the not so rural Amish countryside of central Pennsylvania.
Unknown to her neighbors and her friends, the quiet
woman next door, Lynn Bertha Ann Bernice Koons, was a
spy. She was a success story -- a woman who had broken through the glass
ceiling and held an important intelligence position in the federal government.
In fact she was more than just a pretend intelligence analyst, to be more
precise she was a director of clandestine operations for the United States of America.
Lynn was the
Director of the Anti-Terror Operations Division of the Central Intelligence
Agency. It was a position she had now
held for a little over three years.
her third story condo the US
secret agent CIA ringmaster turned on the foyer light, levered off her low
heel, leather half boot shoes, and absently sorted through the few bills and
mostly junk mail she retrieved from her slotted mailbox. She walked bare footed
into the galley kitchen, dropped her keys onto the island granite counter top,
and shrugged out of her fashionable ‘Jones of New York’ leather jacket. She hung
it neatly over the back of one of the three bar stools facing the kitchen bar.
was impersonality in the ambience of her residence, an almost deliberately
planned sterility. It portrayed and accepted a resignation to loneliness, to
incompleteness. The abode was an everything-in-its-place, no clutter home, void
of a lived-in look -- a permanently temporary, transient place which lacked a
discriminating, central character. The apartment was neat and orderly,
neo-contemporary in design, comfortable and in fashion, but lacked a warmth or
appeal of a place to relax or unwind. The rooms exhibited cool gray shades and
earthen tones but lacked that splash of vivid color to give them life and
focus. The furnishings were much like Lynn’s
current life– unexciting, abstract and bland, lacking a spark, any flash of
charisma. The few paintings which decorated the walls were contemporary
abstracts -- interesting but muted. No family pictures or personal snapshots
were displayed on walls, end tables or shelves. The refrigerator door held only
a small magnetic tablet on which grocery requirements were listed. There were no iconic Hallmark verses nor
eye-catching adages, or sage wit humor visible in either the bathrooms,
bedrooms or in the converted bedroom office. As Lynn herself, the rooms lacked
a defining focus, an identification to the individual.
They were bland, neutral. The atmosphere was an accurate reflection of Lynn’s current life and
accurately reflected the artfully constructed facade of her person. Still they
somehow managed to reflect a repressed ember of personality -- subliminal,
unfocused, transcendent…perhaps even purposefully hidden from sight.
Pennsylvanian native was an attractive woman.
typified a small town, down home, well scrubbed girl, fashionable but clearly
not an iconic follower of haute chic fads. Neither was she, for that matter, an
overly social person. Carolyn – or Lynn as she preferred -- wore only a touch
of makeup to highlight her high, well boned cheeks. She kept her auburn hair cut short in a more
business-like fashion because it was easier to manage and it suited her
practiced self image as a “neat and tidy” person. While eye-catching, she was
not a particularly head turning beauty nor, for that matter, stunning in her figure. Her weight, which, at times, she allowed to
blossom to eight or ten pounds over the suggested norm, fit well on her five
foot six inch height. She had no delusions and critically scored herself a
solid seven, maybe a seven and a half or a squeaky eight
and a quarter on a good day on the universal man scale of one to ten.
Still not too bad for an old broad, she would sometimes approvingly think.
Lynn had come to the CIA via the Department of Defense and
the National Security Agency through the behind the scenes efforts on the then
Director of the CIA, Rufus Brandt. In those days Brandt could exercise his
ubiquitous if not clandestine influence by insuring a select few, which he
personally chose, were given an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. The
Director of the CIA, in earlier days, had a wider access to personnel within
the nation’s intelligence community and indulged in a proclivity for mentoring
rising talent. For the most part, Brandt’s selectees were bright newcomers.
Collectively, they all fitted a unique mold -- principled zealots, as a group
reflective of Brandt’s values and ways of doing business. Matt Gannon and TJ
Jackson had once been charter members of the group. Each of them represented a
dedication and loyalty to a set of values greater than any personal ambition.
But that was then. Lynn
was one of Brandt’s fair haired children” – and one whom he envisioned would be
a part of future intelligence community leadership. On occasion he would
exercise his position and influence to insure his agency “godchildren” were
given an opportunity to further demonstrate their abilities. If his charges
proved themselves, they were rewarded and challenged by positions of growing
responsibility and authority within the intelligence community.
was only much later, almost upon the occasion of Brandt’s forced retirement, Lynn Koons learned she
had been personally picked by Rufus Brandt. As far as she had earlier known it
was Ed Jouver, who had worked the bureaucratic
federal personnel system to advance Lynn
in the agency’s ranks and, in time, secure her promotion as one of his
subordinates and peers had burdened her with the nickname of “Lucy van
Pelt.”–partly because of her strong personality, partly because she did not
tolerate fools well, but mostly because she was seldom wrong. Adversaries and
friends alike knew that “Lucy” side of her personality would tolerate no bull
shit. She didn’t like “fluff” briefings by talking heads or superficial subject
experts. Routinely she did the homework
and knew as much on any subject as did the briefer. At times and in
frustration, her incisive and clipped comments were tactlessly focused and, in
exacerbation, she was less than polite in dismissing not well thought out
presentations, alternatives or opinions.
Lynn was one of
the few remaining of the Director’s “god children.” Both Brandt and Jouver had been forced into a premature retirement. Most, but not all, of the group who had
stayed on after the changing of the guard shunted to dead end positions or
removed via reduction in force initiatives. Lynn, however, had been an exception. The
underlying premise of her good fortune, however, was that as a woman she could
be more easily controlled. That presupposition proved to be a gross miscalculation.
current and successor Director of the CIA, also known as the Director in Charge
or DIC, was an intimate friend of the President and a bigot. He was not of the professional intelligence community
and was appointed to the position, as so very many appointees, as a political
payback. Martin Caspary
viewed Lynn as
a temporary but necessary evil. Lynn
recognized that the new administration of the CIA viewed her as a risk, a
slight one, but nonetheless a risk. She also knew that to retain her in the
agency was a smart political move -- good political mileage for the
CIA and the White House tolerance of Carolyn Bertha Ann Koons
did, however, have a limit. Since the advent of the new administration, some
three and a half plus years now, Lynn
had discretely and circumspectly made noise. Pakistan and Afghanistan
fell within her realm of responsibility and a series of recurring crisis gave
her ample opportunity to untie knotty problems. Smoothing the ruffled feathers
of often cross purposed national interests and self aggrandizing often corrupt
customers had challenged senior politically appointed CIA leadership and often
resulted in hasty and conflicting directions was an almost daily distraction.
Still, her political lapses were considered minor waves and, controlled, were
benign. Indeed, they were often internally vetted and often spun into a CIA
tactical political advantage to undercut criticism of the administration from
the more radical feminists. Title notwithstanding, Lynn was denied serious decision making
authority or clout which could seriously endanger the boat of political
correctness. That being said, if an action or operation suddenly went south, Lynn knew she was flawlessly
positioned to be the perfect scape goat.
farm girl knew that her rapid upward climb was at an end – well, at least in
this administration –and reluctantly accepted her fate reasoning that better
days would inevitably come. She knew the ax would fall. It was only a question
of time. What she did not realize,
however, was how that small manila envelop would
hasten that ax or how much her life was about to change.