By now, we all know how the war started. North Korean extremists, masterminded by the son of a public official, set off a nuclear device in downtown Los Angeles. America sent in the big boys with the big guns, but they fucked up and got caught. North Korea attacked Inchon Air Base with Chinese Air support. Complacency to war in about a month and a half. Nice and neat, wasn't it?
Except this -- where was the evidence against the North Korean terror cell? You ever see any? Or did you just do like every other American I know, and start blaming 'em as soon as President Crozier said "It was the North Koreans."
And this -- why'd the Chinese get involved? Sure, they're Communist, and North Korea's Communist, but why'd that Chinese fighter wing help destroy Inchon and overrun South Korea? What did they have to gain from that?
I know I'm not the only one to have these kinds of questions. I think a lot of Americans do. Unlike a lot of Americans, though, I have several of the answers.
This is the point where I tell you my name, right, and explain everything to you? Yeah. About that. . .
Name. Don't really have one of those, not anymore. I could tell you the name my momma gave me, the name I was born under -- and if you searched it, you'd find an 83-year-old Vietnam War vet in Coral Gables, Florida (not me) and a race car driver in Canada (also not me). I wasn't born in the U.S., but I was born an American citizen. I say "was" because I don't really consider myself a citizen of anywhere anymore.
It's really easy to "accidentally" misfile a birth certificate if you're the government. Still, I suppose you have to call me something. My radio code if I'm in a hot zone and need bailing out is X-Ray Alpha 661. The letters and the numbers don't mean anything, but if the military enters them, they get a hit for a covert foreign operative in the CIA (also not me). I guess X-Ray Alpha 661 is as good a name as any.
Explanation. I do have those, plenty of 'em, but I can't give them directly to you. I joined the Army at 19. By 22, I was working for an organization that didn't -- and still doesn't -- even have a name. I'm not with the organization now -- at least, I don't think I am -- but though I'm off the grid, I'm sure they can find me, so I'll have to be a little vague with the info I give out. Sorry about that, but you're a smart bunch. You'll figure it out.
So, let's go back in time a bit -- a big bit, actually. 1997. I'd been working for my employer for just over a year, and was posted to Hong Kong. Myself and another worker -- a Navy SEAL named Morrow -- were there to extract a Chinese national with intelligence data after Hong Kong went back into Chinese hands. Morrow was a big white guy, and I'm black, so we didn't exactly pass for locals, but we didn't have to -- there were plenty of tourists and expatriate Brits around. I was there because I knew the intelligence asset, and Morrow was there in case anything went pear-shaped -- he was a Death Dealer, and as a bonus, he spoke perfect Chinese. He told me his wife was from Hong Kong, and he'd learned it while they were dating.
"You ever been to Hong Kong before, man?" Morrow asked. We were sitting at an outdoor cafe having tea.
"Nope," I lied. I'd been there four times before the changeover and once since.
"We wrap this shit up early, I know a place with good German beer and passable barbecue," Morrow said, sipping his tea.
"Love to, man. But I'm on a direct flight after the job."
"Shit. They got me flying commercial, then space-A back to Los Angeles. Pays to work for the shadow people, I guess."
The job went pear-shaped -- badly so. The Chinese found out who the defector was, grabbed him and pulled him out of Hong Kong. We went after him -- I don't want to say "we killed our way through mainland China," but me not wanting to say it doesn't mean it's not accurate. We racked up four bodies, but we got the asset and both Morrow and I went home. Never saw him again -- hear of his kid from time to time.
That was strike one against China. I wish I could say it was the only one, but in my career, let's just say I struck out several innings. They had plenty of reason to be pissed at us, not just the trillion or so dollars we borrowed and never gave back. That should shed some light on one of the questions I asked earlier.
Now, the other one, the North Korean thing. I'm sure you remember the incident a couple of years back at the American Embassy in South Korea. You know, the one where North Korean snipers opened fire? And the Marine, Master Sergeant what's-her-name, cute chick who got thrown in jail because of it? After Iraq and Afghanistan, they issued a lot of the Marines nonlethal weapons, but she broke into the old-school stuff in the embassy basement -- M-16s and M-79 grenade launchers. I agree with her call, there -- not like the snipers were using nonlethal ammo. Anyway, the government likes to point to that as the flashpoint for the North Korean terrorist movement.
What if I told you it was all bullshit? That MSgt Chica wasn't arrested for pulling out the real guns?
See, that's what they fed the public, and you guys all bought it. Hell, if I didn't know any better -- if I hadn't been there -- I would've bought it too. It made sense. She disobeyed a direct order and got court-martialed. Seven years in Leavenworth and a dishonorable discharge.
A year later, you wouldn't find her at Leavenworth, and it's not because of the convict conscript act. . . but I digress. She got grabbed and locked down because she and her right-hand man went out and found the snipers' bodies, and they were about as Asian as I am. One of 'em was from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and drew a paycheck from your taxes. He hadn't gone rogue, either.
Then we get to the bomb in Los Angeles. That was, originally, a terrorist plot -- that my agency stopped. Couple of guys from Montana managed to put a bomb together, they had some effed-up white-power agenda. Stupid. Their bomb probably wouldn't have even detonated, but someone who also pulled his paychecks from taxpayer cash fixed it right up. Enough evidence was left around for the LAPD, FBI, and DHS to suspect a North Korean splinter group, and boom -- SEALs, Delta, and Rangers roll into North Korea and start a war that was 20-some years in the making.
So why frame up North Korea? Sorry, that's one I can't tell you. I've said too much already -- my lifespan is probably measurable in hours now, anyway. But there's a point where you see what's happened -- a lot of it because of your own actions -- and you just have to set the record straight. You realize you've spent the bulk of your career making the American public look one way while you did some nasty shit in the other direction, and it sickens you. So much that you move to an unstable Central African nation and start typing up your thoughts to send to a reporter at the New York Times Network you met ten years ago. I'm at that point now, I guess.
Time to burn this computer, start moving, and try to confuse the shadow people one more time. If I get a chance, I'll contact you again.
Want me to really break your brain? Next time, I'll tell you how the Russians got convinced to tear their country apart.
[Note: Received by New York Times Editor Jacen Gray on 27 December 2022. No substantiation found -- filed away as conspiracy theory -- never published.]