“These tapes, that doctored voice clip—”
“Are you familiar with the term
She looked genuinely puzzled.
“No. It’s obviously German, but—”
“It’s an OSE code for NATO. It was on the original order authorizing a surveillance operation to be started as soon as I got to the top of the Schottentor trolley station in Vienna. Ray Fyke talked to a source in Prague, ex-Stasi, who confirmed that although the
tag stood for NATO, the actual request came from Langley. From your office in Langley, to be specific.”
“I did . . . no such thing. I made no such call. The phone log—it must have been . . . doctored . . . to make me look like a traitor! And I am accused by some anonymous ex-Stasi criminal. I didn’t make that call. Why would I?”
“Great question. I have another one. My BlackBerry codes got broken by Piotr Kirikoff. Because he had the codes, he could read my GPS. He sent people to Veronika Miklas’s flat to kill her and lay it on me. This was part of a general plot to set me up, to set America up, for an attack on a mosque in Casablanca. It almost worked. If it had, my history in the NATO operation in Podujevo where my mistakes cost the lives of innocent Muslims would have been . . . leaked . . . to support the idea that I was some sort of Christian terrorist on a crusade against Muslims. If it had worked, and it could have, it would have made the Danish cartoons thing look like a fistfight at a Legion Hall. My question, how did Kirikoff get the keys to break my BlackBerry?”
“I don’t know. How
“Maybe he got them from you?”
“What . . . ? I would communicate secret code to a Russian agent? Codes I have no access to in the first place—”
“Would you like to hear my read on it? How it looks?”
“I don’t know. Actually, probably not.”
“Some recent history. You knew Colin Dale. You fought our investigation of Dale every step of the way. He got exposed as a long-time mole anyway. Even then, you refused to allow charges to go forward—”
“Colin Dale is dead. He committed suicide in Florida—”
“Since then, you’ve done everything you could do to break Clandestine Services. You’ve succeeded in crippling our HumInt operations, and you’ve got half the field agents in Clandestine lawyering up and hiding under their desks. We’re losing allies, the Russians are making moves all over the world, the Iranians think we’re a farce, and in the meantime you’re busy burning down our own intelligence services. That’s what moles do.”
“You . . . You think
Dalton sat back, stubbed his cigarette out.
“No,” he said after some thought. “You’re not a mole. You could be. You
be. Hell, if you look at all the damage you’re doing, you might as well be. But no, I don’t believe you’re a mole. I do believe you’re a danger to yourself and others, and that something has to be done about you. You need to be stopped. You don’t belong in the CIA. You should be running a Band B in Rockport, or maybe an earnest little NGO for the United Nations.”
“But . . . But I’m
. I’m not a . . . mole! I . . . You know this. You agree, then? I’m being framed. Someone is working to ruin me. We need to find out. You can help me. It must be someone inside the—”
“Don’t tell me. Inside the Agency. Isn’t that what happened to me, Mariah? I said so, and nobody believed me. Why should anyone believe you?”
Dalton got up, drained his glass, picked up a cell phone and dialed a number, hit SEND, and looked at the screen.
ON THE WAY
“Anyway, I think I can make a good enough case,” he said, ending the call.
“What? A case where? With who?”
“That you’re a mole. With whoever will listen.”
“But that’s not what you actually believe?”
“Nope. Actually, I think we both have a pretty good idea who gave Kirikoff my BlackBerry codes.
is the phrase. No, I don’t think it really was you, but I’m going to work real hard at selling the idea anyway, because if I can, then you’ll be gone—out of the game entirely—and the CIA will be a better place . . .”
“You’ll . . . You’ll
me. The allegation is enough. The press
covers a retraction the way it features an
. Even if I can
my innocence, it would take months, years. In the meantime, I’ll never get another responsible position . . . I’ll be out of the Agency, out of public service. Out of public life. My family name . . .”
She looked around the house, at the solid political power and the family forces that had built it up and held it all together for over a hundred years, the connections it represented, the money and influence and prestige. “Dalton . . . Micah. Please. You can’t do this.”
“Why the hell not? Only fair. You did everything you could to drive me out. Now it’s your turn. That Audit report you put together, that . . .
Skorpion directive . . .
it was meant to get me killed. Didn’t work, but no thanks to you. You did that to
, so why shouldn’t I return the favor?”
“Because . . . Because I’m
. I did not do the things you’re accusing me of doing. I am not a traitor, Micah. I’m a
The sound of a boat, muttering in the dark, coming closer.
“Yeah?” he asked, tossing his cigarette into the fire. “So was I.”
The Executive Committee, after reviewing the files and consulting with POTUS and DNI confirms that Commander Clay Pearson will take over the office of Inspector General, with all related duties and responsibilities, effective immediately.
Commander Pearson expressed his deep sadness at the passing of Mariah Vale, who was tragically drowned in a boating accident last month while vacationing at her family home in Upstate New York. Commander Pearson’s duties at Clandestine will be taken over by Deacon Cather, who, in spite of health concerns, has reluctantly consented to resume his old role as the steady hand on the tiller of the National Clandestine Service.
The Director and his staff wish to express their deep appreciation of the efforts of both Commander Clay Pearson and Mr. Cather to assist the Agency in the difficult period after the tragic passing of Mariah Vale, whose unceasing work at the Audit Committee, the Secretariat, and later at the Inspector General’s Office, did so much to make the Central Intelligence Agency what it is today.
Debra Black, Chief of Human Resources
Central Intelligence Agency