March 28, 1993. I'm finally back in the swing of things now. Over the weekend Katherine answered many questions for me and gave me the details, especially about local developments, which I failed to get from Henry Friday.
While I was locked up the work on our communications equipment had to go on, of course, and now there are two other well-qualified people in the area handling that task. But there's still plenty of technical work left for me. Bill is a fine mechanical craftsman and gunsmith, but he can't handle the ordnance jobs that require chemical or electronic techniques. He gave me a long list of requests for special devices which came into our unit while I was in prison and which he had been obliged to put aside.
We went over the list carefully last night and decided which items are most important for the current needs of the Organization. I then made up my own list of supplies and equipment needed to begin work.
The top-priority items on Bill's list of requests are radio-controlled detonators and time-delay detonators and igniters. The Organization has been improvising in the latter category-and getting too high a percentage of misfires. We want a time-delay device which is adjustable from a few minutes to a day or more and which is 100 per cent certain.
Another category of items requested is disguised bombs and incendiary devices. It is now just about impossible to get into any government or media facility without walking through a metal-detector, and all packages and mail are routinely scanned by x-ray. This will require some cleverness, but I already have a few ideas.
And then there is Bill's own project, on which he needs some technical assistance: counterfeiting! The Organization is already successfully printing money on a fairly large scale on the West Coast, Bill said, and they want him to begin doing the same thing here.
I understand now why the economic status of the Organization seems to have improved so much in the last year! Actually, since we switched to large-scale actions we've begun tapping some new sources of contributions-mostly fat cats buying "insurance," I suspect-but we are apparently still finding it useful to print some of our own money.
Whatever genius is running our West Coast counterfeiting operation made up a very thorough set of instructions, which Bill showed me. The guy must have worked for the Secret Service or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He really seems to know his business. (Note to the reader: The "Bureau of Engraving and Printing" was the government agency which produced paper money in the United States, and the "Secret Service" was a police agency which combatted counterfeiting, among other things. As we know, counterfeiting was later used by the Organization not only to supply its units with funds but also to disrupt the general economy. In the last days of the Great Revolution, the Organization was dumping such huge quantities of counterfeit money that the government, in desperation, outlawed all paper money, requiring all monetary transactions to take place either in coin or by check. This move played havoc with public morale and was one of the factors leading to the final success of the Revolution.)
Bill has already finished setting up nearly everything; he has a really fine shop for precision printing. He just needs help with the fluorescence problem. The instructions tell him what chemical additives to put in his ink, but not where to get them. And he is not sure about how to make and use an ultraviolet inspection unit for checking the finished product. That won't be hard.
Our new working and living arrangement is radically different from the one we had before. Instead of sneaking around "underground," we are right out in the open now. There's a neon sign in the window of the printing shop, and it's listed in the Yellow Pages. During the day the shop is "open for business," with Carol behind the counter, but Bill keeps his prices so high that just enough work to maintain appearances comes in. His real work takes place after hours, usually in the basement, where the armory is.
The four of us live above the shop, like we did over the old place, but we don't have to keep the windows blacked out. And Bill's pickup truck stays parked right on the street in front. So far as the world is concerned, we are just two young couples in the printing business together.
The trick, of course, was in establishing false identities that would stand up to System scrutiny, but the Organization has developed an admirable degree of expertise along that line. We all have Social Security cards, and two of us have driver's licenses. The cards and licenses are genuine (I have heard some unpleasant stories about how the Organization obtained them), so we can open bank accounts, pay taxes, and do other things like anyone else.
I just have to remember that my new name is-ugh!- "David J. Bloom." I am really being ribbed about that. Fortunately, the photograph on the driver's license is indistinct enough to pass for me, as long as I keep my hair dyed.
The Organization had no choice about establishing new identities for all of us who are underground. A person without a documented identity simply can't function in this society any longer. One can't buy groceries or even ride a bus without showing either a driver's license or one of the new identity cards the government has begun issuing.
It's still possible to get by with a fake in most cases, but the computerized system will be completed in another few months, and then fakes will automatically be detected. So the Organization decided to do it right and give us "genuine" credentials, even though that's a slow and difficult job. A few special units handle that task with cold-blooded ruthlessness, but the demand for new credentials still far exceeds the supply.
It also appears that the System has become even more ruthless in its campaign against us. A number of our people-perhaps as many as fifty for the whole country-have been murdered by professional killers in the last four months. It's hard to fix the exact total, because some we suspect have been killed have just disappeared, and no body has been found.
When our people first began to disappear or to be found floating in the river with their hands tied behind their backs and six or seven bullet holes in their heads, there was a widespread assumption among the Organization rank and file that these killings were internal disciplinary actions by the Organization itself. In fact, there was a period last fall when we were losing more members because of disciplinary executions than anything else. That was a time when morale was very low, and it was necessary to use extreme methods to convince waverers to remain steadfast in their obligations to the Organization.
But it was immediately apparent to Revolutionary Command - and it soon became apparent to everyone else-that a new element had entered the picture. From our contacts inside one of the Federal police agencies we learned that our people are being killed by two groups: a special Israeli assassination squad and an assortment of Mafia "hit men" under contract to the government of Israel. Where both these groups are concerned, U.S. police have been given a "hands off" order by the FBI. (Note to the reader: The "Mafia" was a criminal confederation, composed primarily of Italians and Sicilians but usually masterminded by Jews, which flourished in the United States in the eight decades prior to the Great Revolution. There were several half-hearted governmental efforts to stamp out the Mafia during this period, but the unrestricted capitalism then flourishing provided ideal conditions for large-scale, organized crime and its concomitant political corruption. The Mafia remained in existence until virtually all its members-more than 8,000 men-were rounded up and executed in a single, massive operation by the Organization during the mopping-up period which followed the Revolution.)
All the victims so far have been among our "legals." Apparently someone in the FBI gives the names of persons suspected of being members of the Organization but not yet under arrest to someone in the Israeli embassy, and they take it from there.
We have made some reprisals-in New Orleans, for example. After two of our "legals," one a prominent attorney there, were murdered Mafia-style about six weeks ago, we mined the nightclub which served as the local Mafia hangout. When the bombs went off and the place burst into flames during a birthday celebration for one of their "underbosses," the fleeing patrons were met with merciless hails of machine-gun fire from our people, who were stationed on rooftops across from the only two exits. More than 400 persons lost their lives there that night, including approximately 60 members of the Mafia.
But this new threat still remains very much with us, and it has severely damaged the morale of those of our members and partisans who are exposed to it-namely those who, by retaining their status as law-abiding citizens and operating under their own identities, do not enjoy the anonymity of us in the underground. It is clear that we will soon have to move against the source of the threat.
April 2. Supply problem solved-at least temporarily. It required another one of those stickup operations which I really detest. I wasn't as nervous this time as when Henry and I pulled our first one-that seems half a lifetime ago-but I still didn't like it.
Bill and I broke our list of needed items up into three categories, according to their source. About two-thirds of the chemical items we needed were not readily available on the general-consumer market and would have to come from a chemical supply house. Then, I wanted at least 100 wristwatches for timing devices, and they would cost us too much if we simply purchased them. Finally, there were a number of electronic and electrical components, some items of general hardware, and a few readily available chemicals, all of which could be purchased without difficulty and within the resources of our budget.
I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday gathering up the items in the last category.
The chemical problem was also solved Wednesday. That had been a worry, because suppliers of laboratory and industrial chemicals are now required to check out all new customers with the political police, just as are suppliers of explosives. I'd just as soon avoid that sort of scrutiny. But I checked with WFC and a found that one of our "legals" in Silver Spring has a small electroplating shop and could order what I need from his regular supplier. I'll pick the stuff up from him Monday.
But the watches! I knew exactly what I wanted for our timers, and I wanted enough of the same style so that the timers could be standardized, both for efficiency in building them and precisely known behavior in operation. So Katherine and I robbed a warehouse in northeast D.C. yesterday and got 200 of them.
It took two days of telephoning just to find the watches I was looking for. Then they had to be sent down to the Washington warehouse from Philadelphia. I told the man in Washington I was in a big hurry for them and would send someone out right away with a certified check for $12,000 to pick them up. He said they would be waiting for me in the front office. And they were.
I wanted Bill to go with me, but he has been tied down with work at the shop all week. And Katherine really wanted to go. The girl has a wild streak in her that someone who doesn't know her well would never suspect.
First, one of Katherine's makeup jobs, to protect my "David Bloom" identity and her own. Identity under identity under identity-I've almost forgotten who Earl Turner is or what he actually looks like!
Then we had to swipe a vehicle. That only took a few minutes, and we followed the usual procedure: Park the pickup in a big shopping center, walk to the other side of the parking lot, find a car which is unlocked, and get in. I used a small bolt-cutter to cut the armored cable to the ignition switch under the dashboard, and then it was a matter of only a few seconds to find the right wires in the cable and attach clip leads.
I had hoped there would be no violence at the warehouse, but my wish was not to be granted. We presented ourselves to the manager and asked for our package. He asked for the certified l check. "I have it," I said, "and I'll give it to you as soon as I check to see that the watches are the ones I ordered."
My plan was to take the watches and just walk out the door, leaving the manager yelling for his check. But when the man came back with our package, two husky warehouse workers came with him, and one took up a position between us and the door. They were taking no chances.
I opened the package, checked the contents, and drew my pistol. Katherine also drew her gun, and she waved the man near the door away. But then the door would not open when she tried it!
She turned her gun on the worker and he quickly explained: "They have to push the buzzer in the office to unlock the door."
I whirled back toward the manager and snarled at him, "Get this door open now, or I'll pay you for these watches with hot lead!" But he nimbly ducked out another doorway, from the office into the storage area, and slammed a heavy metal door behind him before I could react.
I then ordered the female clerk at the desk to push the buzzer for the door. She, however, continued to sit as rigidly as a statue, her mouth wide open in an expression of horror.
Beginning to feel desperate, I decided to shoot the lock off the door. It took four shots to do it, partly because my nervous haste spoiled my aim.
We ran to the car, but the warehouse manager was already there. The bastard was letting the air out of our tires!
I slammed the barrel of my revolver down on his head and sent him sprawling in the gravel. Fortunately, he had only partially deflated one tire, and the car could still be driven. Katherine and I wasted no more time getting away from there.
What a life!
It wasn't until this afternoon, when I had finished assembling and testing the first timer, that I was convinced that the fancy watches I wanted were worth the hassle it took to get them. The new timer works perfectly; it makes a positive, low-resistance contact every time, and I am sure it will reduce our percentage of misfires to practically zero.
I also got Bill's UV inspection unit working for him, and he will be ready to print his first greenbacks as soon as I pick up his ink additives Monday. His product won't be perfect, but it should be close enough. In particular, it should pass all the standard tests used in banks to spot counterfeit bills. They'll have to take it to a lab to tell it's phony.
And I finished designing three different bomb mechanisms that should pass an X-ray examination without arousing suspicion. One of them fits into an umbrella handle-batteries, timer, and all. The main shaft of the umbrella can be filled with thermite if one wants an incendiary device, or the handle can be detached and used as a detonator. Another timer-detonator combination will be built into a pocket transistor radio (that one can also be fired by a tone-coded radio signal), and the third will be an electric wristwatch, with the detonator and booster molded into the wrist band and fired by the watch's built-in battery. In each case, of course, the bulk explosives must be brought into an area separately, but they can be disguised in many different ways-cast like plaster, for example, into the shape of any familiar object, even painted the right color.