Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird by Linda Baletsa

Book: Operation Mockingbird by Linda Baletsa Read Free Book Online
Authors: Linda Baletsa
hours. Because of his prior experience with other conflicts, he knew the difference in the coverage between this conflict and earlier ones.”
    “And ...”
    “And we just talked.”
    “So, what happened?”
    “Nothing.” Alex shrugged her shoulders. “I didn’t hear from Bob for about two weeks and then I heard about the accident … uh ... fire, whatever it was.”
    She paused for a moment. “I still find it hard to believe that his death could have been anything other than an accident. I can’t imagine anyone would want to kill Bob.”
    Matt resumed his eating as he absorbed everything Alex had told him.
    “I guess you like this place,” Matt said eyeing the empty plate in front of her. “Either that, or you just haven’t eaten in some time.”
    Alex gave him a thumbs-up as she washed down the last of the meal with a swallow of water.
    “Listen, Matt,” Alex finally said. “I can’t believe that Bob was murdered. But even if he was, I can’t imagine that anything Bob and I talked about contributed to his death. Really. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree with me.”
    “But I do thank you for the meal,” she said, smiling brightly as the waitress put the check down in front of him.
    “You’re welcome,” Matt said as he pulled out his wallet.
    “But, wait,” Alex said. “What about my interview? I have a lot of questions about your experiences in Afghanistan.”
    Matt tossed bills on top of the check.
    “I know. But now is not a good time.”
    “Wait, Matt. I just need –”
    He started to rise. “Sorry, Alex, I have to go.”
    “Matt, at least take my cell phone number. Call me. Anytime. Please, I have so many questions.”
    “Alright, Alex,” Matt said as he pulled out his cell phone. “Give it to me.”
    As she recited the numbers, Matt inputted them into his cell phone. While Matt still wasn’t sold on the interview idea, he felt good about having gotten her telephone number.

    THE DOWNTOWN MIAMI Public Library was unlike most government buildings. It was sunny and cheerful, with a central plaza where people met, read and ate. Beginning in college and even while he was working for
The Chronicle
, Matt preferred doing his research and writing here, usually in the back sitting at his favorite cubicle.
    Although he had access to most information through his computer and
The Chronicle
archives, libraries had librarians. They bore a comforting resemblance to elementary school teachers, and were always eager to help. Each visitor was a pupil to be educated on the secrets the library held within its walls and each query a challenge to their investigative skills. It was like having a team of free research assistants at your fingertips, assistants that smelled like his mom and offered the occasional figurative pat on the head.
    Matt had stayed up late into the night poring over the journal again. He felt compelled to find some basis for the theory advanced by Marie or at least to know he had exhausted every possible avenue exploring the idea. Without doing that, he felt he was letting Marie down. Ifthere was ever a person who shouldn’t be let down especially right now, it was Marie.
    He had a good grasp of the points Bob was working on and wanted to do some additional research to see if there was anything there. Bob’s observations on the Middle East were interesting but not timely. The stories had been told before. To quote the words of Dave Kagan, these stories were “old news.” The notes regarding politicians merely identified a few of the schemes that our public servants, once having achieved office, used to pilfer from the government coffers for their own personal enrichment. The notes bemoaned the fact that every boon a municipality conferred upon its citizens was at once exploited by these same politicians or lobbyists. The so-called tax cuts for the working class which largely benefitted those in the upper income brackets were just one example. Another was the

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