Saturday, December 6, 2014
Who Killed Chuck Hagel?
It was just another typical summer Friday in the life of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. He would arrive at his Pentagon office at 8 am and sit at his desk. The in-box was empty as always. He had no phone messages. He had sent requests to the White House asking for increased funding and appealing the latest round of troop cuts, but there was no response. After having a cup of coffee, he set off walking the corridors of the Pentagon as he did every day. It was his goal to cover the entire miles-long multiple corridors every day.
There just wasn't much else to do unless he wanted to fly off to Afghanistan for another symbolic visit to the troops. But they knew he wasn't the real power in the Defense Department. That power resided in the White House.
And he knew they knew.
Suddenly, an idea came to his mind. Why not take in a ball game? The Nationals were in town playing a day game against the Atlanta Braves. Besides, it was Friday. "Sure! If I get there early enough, I can watch batting practice and maybe catch a couple of balls."
As he walked out of the office, he said to his secretary, "If anyone calls, I'm in Afghanistan. I'll see you Monday."
"Who's gonna call?" replied his bored secretary. Hagel didn't answer. He walked to his car, jumped in and drove to Nationals Park.
After buying a bleacher ticket, Hagel took up his position and waited for a batting practice ball to fly his way. Alas, nothing came in his direction.
"This is like waiting for a call from the President," he muttered under his breath.
Eventually, the bleachers filled up with fans and the game began. Nobody recognized Hagel. To the fans sitting around him, Hagel was just another guy rooting for the Nats. Needless to say, no home run balls landed in his lap either.
Hours later, the game ended and the fans emptied out of the stadium as the maintenance workers set about their job of cleaning the place up and removing all the empty beer cups and discarded hot dog wrappers.
One of the workers noticed a middle-aged man still sitting in the bleachers seemingly unaware that the game was over.
"Hey, Buddy! The game's over. Ya gotta leave."
The man didn't answer.
Walking over to the man, the worker repeated, "Hey Buddy. Time to go," as he shook the man's shoulder.
The man slumped over. There was an arrow through his head.
Chuck Hagel was dead.
Security was called, and in turn, the DC police were notified. Even before they could arrive, a tall man in a suit arrived, flanked by two other men in suits.
It was Dick Holder of the US Justice Department.
Dick Holder shooed away the stadium workers and security. Just then the DC police arrived with their note pads.
"What do we got here?" one of them asked Dick Holder.
One of Dick Holder's assistants said with a smile and a wink, "Maybe one of the opposing players shot him with a bow and arrow. They were playing the Braves you know. "
"Nah. Nothing to see here," Dick Holder replied. "If you guys got a body bag, we can send him to the morgue."
"What do you mean?" asked one of the DC homicide detectives. "We got to preserve the scene."
"Nothing to preserve. This is a federal case, and it's obviously a case of suicide", retorted Dick Holder.
"Suicide?" asked one of the dicks incredulously. "How did he get that friggin' arrow through his head?"
"Oh, it's been there for a long time. If you check the stadium security cameras, you'll see it was there when he entered," Dick Holder explained.
"Oh," replied one of the detectives. "Say, isn't that Chuck Hagel, the ah, whatchamacallit, Secretary of Defense?"
"Yep," Dick Holder replied.
"Gee," said the detective. "Somebody better notify the Pentagon."
Dick Holder chuckled under his breath. "That's already been taken care of."
As Hagel was placed in a body bag, the detective asked, "Now somebody needs to find a new secretary of defense."
Dick Holder shook his head knowingly. "Nope. That's already taken taken care of too. Boys, put him in the trunk of my car and let's get out of here."