Chapter One of The Erroneous Talibani by Richard Asner

                                                  One

     Hamid Khalifa is the head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA. Born in 1971, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hafez Khalifa who immigrated from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. in 1965. At 18 he attends HarvardUniversity and is there the required time to earn a B.A. and then an MBA in business. After graduation, he joins the U.S. State Department and spends seven years with them before accepting a position as assistant to the head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA. Two years later, he is offered and accepts the job as head of the division.

    It is now February 3, 2007 and Hamid makes a call to long-time friend Larry Lamont, the envoy to the deputy U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.

    “Good morning, Larry, Hamid Khalifa!”

    “Oh yes, Hamid. How have you been? Haven’t seen you since you left the State Department. How has the CIA been treating you?”

    “I haven’t had a moment to call my own since I left there four years ago. It’s a real rat race, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

    “Well, as you may remember, this place can get rather hectic at times too. So what can I do for you today, Hamid?”

    “I was wondering if I could meet with you in your office sometime soon to discuss an item of some importance.”

    “Of course, Hamid, would you care to give me some idea of the subject matter?”

    “I’m sorry, Larry. It’s something I’d rather not discuss over the phone.”

    “I understand. Why don’t we meet here tomorrow at eleven o’clock and perhaps we could have lunch together afterward. Would that fit your schedule?”

    “That sounds great, Larry. See you at eleven.”

 

    It is eleven A.M., February 4 and Hamid approaches Larry’s secretary. “Hamid KHalifa to see Mr. Lamont.”

    “Oh, yes, Mr. Khalifa. Mr. Lamont is expecting you. Go right in.”

    “Hamid, you’re a sight for sore eyes. You look great. Have you been working out?”

    “Working in, would be more like it, Larry. Working out is not part of my life right now. I wish I had the time.”

    “Well if you’re that pressed for time, this meeting really must be important. I hope you’ll have time for lunch.”

    “Of course! I always have time to visit with old friends.”

    “Well, let’s get to the point. What’s on your mind?”

    “I have recently learned of the negotiations that have taken place between the U.S. and India as well as the U.S. and Pakistan. As the CIA is responsible for the securing and safeguard of all intelligence that is needed in times of crisis, the information you have regarding the safeguards used by the Pakistani government to secure their nuclear weapons is information that should be available to and guarded by the Central Intelligence Agency. This information should be readily available for our agents to act on a moment’s notice. I strongly feel, as head of the Mid-East Division of the CIA, this is information the Agency should have.”

    “I heartily agree with you, Hamid. However, I’m sure you understand I must clear this with the ambassador.”

    Final agreement is reached and the requested information is released to the CIA on February 27.

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