“An attorney from the ACLU is here to meet with our ‘guest of honor’ and monitor his living accommodations. Frankly I don’t know how they found someone to represent that terrorist piece of shit but apparently some one has to. For weeks, no one would even touch his case with a ten foot pole because of all the negative publicity associated with his crimes. Then this mystery guy comes along and agrees to represent him in legal matters out of some misguided principle.”
“If they didn’t find anyone to represent him in the upcoming trial, wouldn’t that just delay Justice?”; The Captain’s secretary theorized.
“It’s a damn farce anyway. We all know he’s guilty as sin. He admits he was the mastermind behind all of those suicide attacks and bombings. Having a trial for the most wanted terrorist in history is just a waste of American taxpayer’s money. How could anyone so obviously guilty expect a fair trial anyway? It’s Impossible to find a location where jurors would be unfamiliar with his organization or their violent crimes.”
lieutenant Kohl suggested in not-so-subtle terms that the world would be better off if ‘someone’ just went into his cell and gave him a fatal case of ‘lead poisoning’. The other two men looked at each other nervously from the vigilante suggestion.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that, lieutenant Kohl. Statements like that could get you demoted, discharged, or serious time in the brig. Every man at this institution understands those patriotic feelings; and while we might agree in theory, legally we have to remain objective. We just have the do our jobs. Keep those undisciplined thoughts to yourself. Is that understood? Anyway, I’ve already verified Mr. Albani’s credentials and searched him. He’s definitely the guy the authorities sent to check on ‘the pious one’s’ welfare. His prints and retina scan matches those on file. I’m going to escort him down to ‘the bunker’ to meet with his client. I’ll need you and lieutenant Banks to stand guard at the checkpoint until I get back. Lockdown protocol is in effect in the event of an emergency.”
Banks and Kohl stood at attention in front of the guard shack while Captain Durant escorted the lawyer to meet with ‘the Pious one’. Kohl and Banks exchanged looks related to the captain’s verbal reprimand. There wasn’t a huge difference between Lieutenant Kohl’s sarcastic ‘lead poisoning’ remark and Captain Durant’s rant about the trial being a farce and a waste of tax payers money. Regardless, they both knew that different rules applied to those with more stripes.
Walking down the vacant corridor toward ‘the presidential suite’, the Captain reminded Mr. Albani not to pass any physical objects to the prisoner; and to shout for help if there was a problem. Legally, Durant had to remain within earshot of the cell in case he was needed. He was also required to stand far enough away to afford them full privacy. It was a balancing act.
The defense lawyer replied that he understood the rules of engagement and Captain Durant began the complex process of opening the cell. It had a number of powerful safeguards to prevent tampering and escape. Each of which had to be overcome to open the heavy door.
The prisoner shielded his eyes until he adjusted to the hallway light. The captain confirmed that he was still secured to his ankle shackle and reminded the attorney of the safety precautions. The prisoner seemed confused about who the visitor was and why he was there. In his part of the world, criminal combatants and enemies of the state were summarily executed without delay. Mr. Albani explained that it was his job to interview him and confirm that there were no human rights violations while he awaited trial. Durant left the ACLU official alone with the prisoner to conduct his official inquiry.
No sooner than he was out of casual earshot, a loud metallic noise echoed in the chamber. Captain Durant raced back to the cell but was horrified to see that the door was completely closed and the locking mechanism was engaged. Infinitely worse, it appeared to be deliberately jammed from inside and refused to open. Durant radioed Kohl and Banks to bring the emergency override key on the double.
In the span of five agonizing minutes of violent uncertainty, anything can happen. Only the two men in the closed room knew for certain what was going on behind the door. Lieutenant Banks fumbled with the override key. About the only thing they expected to see when the door was opened again was the dead body of the human rights lawyer. Terrorists on death row have no compunction about adding one more victim to their murder total.
Much to their amazement, both men in the cramped cell was still very much alive and uninjured. As a matter of fact, both the prisoner and his visitor appeared unharmed at all. It was as if the wind had merely blown grandma’s screen door shut and no one rose to open it back up. The two men made no effort to even acknowledge that the cell door had closed behind them.
In displaced anger and emotional overreaction, Durant grabbed Mr. Albani and dragged him out of the cell. “What the hell just happened back there?”; He snarled. “Did you close his cell door and jam it, or did he do that? I’m going to have to fill out an incident report with my superiors and I need to know everything. EVERY THING! Do you hear me? Did he say or do anything while you were locked in there?”
Albani feigned total ignorance. He insisted that nothing happened during the lockdown and that he couldn’t offer any explanation for why the door closed. The Captain phoned the IT department to have the cell surveillance tapes pulled. Upon review, the camera system was conveniently out of operation during the five minute ordeal. The special operations interrogator was also unable to ‘coax’ any information out of the prisoner or Albani. Durant ordered a background check on Mr. Albani and was amazed to uncover that his mother was killed in one of the prisoner’s terrorist attacks.
“How the hell does something like that not get ‘red flagged’ by our intelligence?”; He yelled. “If I could discover that with modest digging then it should have been a ‘day in the park’ for them to recognize he was a threat! They have ten times the resources that we have! Albani should have never been cleared to get within a hundred miles of this place! He clearly has a massive conflict of interest in meeting with Bashir al Salaam. It’s a miracle we still have a prisoner left to build a federal case against. If Salaam killed my mother, you can bet that he would be in pieces before those five minutes were up. What would any of us do if we were civilians alone with that evil bastard? The fact that he was out of reach for five minutes and still unharmed is pretty solid proof that they are in collusion.”
“But why would the lawyer be in collusion with someone who killed his own mother? That doesn’t make any sense.”; Durant’s secretary wondered.
“How should I know? Maybe the story about his mother’s death is fake. Maybe she was an ‘infidel’ and it was an ‘honor killing’. How should I know? I don’t understand the mindset of most people in that part of that world.”