Dramatis Personae – President Trump (PT); Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis (JM)
Scene 1 – Monday 8am White House West Wing – Oval Office – President Trump behind his desk in a private meeting with James Mattis
PT – Mad Dog, I need your help with a personnel problem. I have to find a replacement for Jeff Sessions. He’s scared of what he has to do to clean out the Justice Department.
JM – Mr. President, do you think I’m the right man to help you fill that job?
PT – You’ll have to be. The new AG can’t be another political hack. The man I’m looking for has to be a cross between Machiavelli and Attila the Hun. In fact I wish I had the time to do the job myself but I’ve got a bunch of golf scheduled for the fall and winter months so I’ve got to delegate.
JM – Machiavelli and Attila the Hun? That’s a tough one. I’ll have to do some digging. When are you looking for an answer?
PT – No rush, how about 10 am?
JM – Ayyy…sure. Let me get going and I’ll be back at ten.
Scene 2 – 10 am same day, same location, same people
PT – Alright Mad Dog, what have you got?
JM – It’s a short list but the candidates are all highly qualified. First up we have Colonel Joshua Stebbins. He was an FOB commander in Iraq. He lead his men into battle and on patrol for three years. He was wounded severely three times but always returned to action and never failed to inspire his men by taking the point on all hazardous assignments. So much so that when he was injured his unit typically risked life and limb to rescue him and get him to medical attention. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for single-handedly saving a school full of Iraqi children by knocking over a suicide bomber and holding him down until his vest went off. Luckily most of the shrapnel was absorbed by bomber’s torso and the ground.
PT – Sounds kind of sentimental. Not tough enough. Pass. Who’s next?
JM – Wow! Okay, the next one is definitely tougher but less disciplined. Sergeant Russell Burdens was a Special Forces operator in Afghanistan for five years. He was finally discharged due to court martial conviction for excessive brutality while interrogating high level Taliban personnel during his operations behind enemy lines in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He always achieved his mission objectives but the details of his reports horrified even the most callous Special Forces personnel that he worked with. The final nail in the coffin was the discovery of his ear collection.
PT – Sounds like a pretty good fit but I’m not a big fan of ear collections. Very unsanitary. Put him in the maybe pile. What else have you got?
JM – Maybe pile. Okay, I’ve got one more candidate. He’s a highly unsavory character and mentally unstable to say the least. Hannibal Lector.
PT – You mean the Silence of the Lambs guy? But he’s a fictional character.
JM – I thought so too. But it turns out he’s real. Apparently Harris based the book on the actual Lector and toned the events down in order to make it more believable. The real Lector is much more dangerous than the fictional character.
PT – More dangerous than The Silence of the Lambs guy. Sounds about right. When can we get him in for an interview?
JM – He’s currently in a Maryland insane asylum. He’s in a strait jacket, muzzle, leg shackles and on a thorazine drip just to make him safe enough to work around.
PT – Well that’s not very convenient. Can we arrange a Skype?
JM – I’ll get right on it.
PT – Yeah, see if we can make it happen for noon. I have a half round scheduled this afternoon with the Prime Minister of Japan and I don’t want to keep him waiting.
JM – ……, Yes, Mr. President.