In Memory of John J. “Jack” Cloherty, Jr.

My former FBI colleague Jack Cloherty passed away September 13,2013. Yesterday his very loving family, friends, neighbors, and fellow FBI agents participated in his funeral Mass. It was a beautiful, meaningful service that Jack would have loved. I owe Jack a particular debt of thanks. Over a period of time Jack helped me understand the full meaning of the Serenity Prayer. It begins;  ” God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference.”

At the end of chapter 46, Mark Patrick has just appeared in federal court where AUSA Harvey Bottom is seeking a contempt order to force Patrick to identify his source of information and, failing that, to put Patrick in jail. Patrick is frustrated as this process will only help the terrorists. By innuendo Bottom suggests in off the record comments to a reporter, that when made public, will suggest Patrick is doing something illegal. The FBI makes no public comment and their efforts behind the scene are weak and ineffective.

When I wrote the end of this chapter, as set forth below,  I was totally inspired by Jack and the discussions we had over the years. To Jack, honor is due.

“By the time Liz got home, Patrick was all talked out. She was angry that his name was on the news associated with an adverse court action. She was afraid that was the only thing the public would remember. However, she did admit that her view as a lawyer was entirely different.

Patrick explained what people had said to him that afternoon. She reflected on the comments and they both decided the matter was eating up too much of their life. They would drop it for the time being. CONTINUE

The phone rang a few minutes later. It was Vincent Baker calling. “Sorry you had to spend another day in court. I can’t say the matter is straightened out, but the judge doesn’t seem inclined to rush anything.”

“I know what went on. I was there. Are you calling to tell me the FBI is picking up the tab for my legal fees? It will be about $10,000 after Welby files the next response to Bottom’s motions.”

“Did you talk with Charlie Ward today?”

“Yes I did.”

“All the ex-agents know what is going on.”

“Oh, will that be on the front page of The New York Times in the morning?  Are you and Carter Simms going to issue a press release to the world saying I’ve done the right thing and others are endangering the public, since I probably lost the source after today in court? We won’t learn anymore now. But who cares? Look at the load grabbed in Sicily. Lots of credit to go around, is it? Is everyone happy?”

Patrick did not give Baker a chance to speak. He just continued. “The Engineer is still out there. He probably has some nuclear material with him for a dirty bomb. He can replace what was seized in Sicily. We can only hope he doesn’t connect the loss in Sicily to an exposure of his plot.”

Baker continued his silence, forced by Patrick’s continuing monologue. “You know, I don’t work for you anymore. I don’t have all the great intelligence data you guys have from around the world. But I’m sure that our united anti-terrorism effort must have something in mind to replace Vespa, or you collectively wouldn’t have blown it the way you have. Good luck.”

“I can see you’re really disturbed, so I’m sorry I bothered you.”

“I’m not disturbed. I’m angry that there is such a vacuum of leadership. Good night.” Patrick hung up.

Liz just looked at him. Then she turned her head back to the book she was reading without offering any comment. She was uncharacteristically quiet.

“Anything special on your mind?” asked Patrick.

“No. I can see you are all cranked up and that call didn’t help. I guess I just want to remain calm so I might have a calming influence on you. We’ll leave for Southport tomorrow afternoon and a change of scenery will do us good.”

Patrick normally had no problem sleeping. He was now awake. It was 3:00 am. He had this feeling of unease. He could not name it or define it. It was just there. For some reason he was reminded of what a friend told him during an earlier, difficult period in the friend’s life.

His friend found success for his problem. He learned that he could not solve nor be responsible for all the problems around him. He could not always be the pillar of emotional support that his family and friends needed. In the end, he didn’t always try to figure out the answer to the problem at hand. Instead he learned to give it up to a ‘higher power”. He guessed that was to make the non-believers feel comfortable. However, his friend did believe in God and discussed how, when he could not sleep at night, he turned the problem over to God. He asked for His help with a solution, and the courage and energy to carry it out.

Patrick remembered his friend and tonight put this concept into action. He gave it all up and then went to sleep with no problem.”

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