Matt Miller and Ashley Wilson met in a creative writing course and frequently got together after class to discuss items of interest, as students commonly do. They were friends, because they liked each other. After completing their university studies, Matt became an established mathematician and a prize-winning golfer. Ashley was seeking celebratory status as an actress. Matt’s grandfather, Les Miller, was a retired general in the U.S. Air Force, and subsequently the founder of an influential political polling company. He was referred to as “the General,” because of his collection of major accomplishments. The General was wealthy and liked to help people. This led to several interesting adventures for Matt, the General, and Ashley.
But, we’re getting away from the story. Matt and the General were getting tired of the golf course at the Country Club and decided to give Hilton Head Island in South Carolina a try. They had heard that many foursomes drove straight down and got a couple of good rounds of golf and some nice dinners in a long weekend. Matt flew the General’s private plane to Hilton Head, and a promising weekend was in store. After checking in, Matt and the General went down to look at the golfing facilities and especially the course. Something unexpected occurred. They ran into General Mark Clark, a four-star general, who had retired from the Army as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Our General and General Clark were former associates, but their relationship was professional and their interface was through the President of the United States. In the military, a general is appointed for life.
General Clark was concerned about a crucial project that he had volunteered to undertake but for which he needed help to resolve. As the President stated it, we have intelligence concerning an attack by aircraft on a vulnerable target in the States. It was what the President had learned from the President’s Daily Brief. After the country’s success in eliminating Osama bin Laden after the 911 attack, bin Laden’s brother indicated he was obligated to respond with a another terrorism attack of a significant magnitude on the United States. In a subsequent government intercept, it was determined that Hilton Head Island was to be the center of the operation. Surveillance determined a location, the person, the date, and a team of terrorists that were engaged in the attack. It was also indicated that the sophistication level of the planned operation was exceedingly high. The participants involved with the terrorist threat were permanent residents of the United States, and held U.S. passports, driver’s licenses, university diplomas, and actual wives and children. They were transparent to the American authorities.
Matt, the General, and Ashley show how a keen intellect and impressive planning can defeat an enemy, regardless of its level of sophistication.