For many years, I have spent time writing on matters of politics, on matters of defense, on decisions of The Court, and on some occasions, matters of military and political intrigue. Since I began writing in 2001, I have done my best to be sure that I am able to provide answers to questions rather than just spending time posing questions that are unable to be answered.
However, in the last 72 hours, an event has occurred in Phoenix that leaves me asking far more questions than I have the answers for.
On Monday, June 27, 2016, the United States Attorney General flew to Phoenix for a planned event. The Attorney General has been visiting various police forces across the United States as well as the training academies for these organizations. This visit to Phoenix was planned far in advance.
Former President Bill Clinton was also visiting Phoenix this week. I have no information on when his trip was planned, or what his itinerary was.
However, the media has been reporting a meeting took place between former President Clinton and Attorney General Lynch right here in Phoenix.
Now a visit between a former President and an Attorney General ordinarily would not be a matter that would interest anyone. It is after all an election year, and both the Attorney General and the former President are members of the same political party. "Politicians talk Politics; Dog Bites Man..."
However, what is rather unusual and makes this meeting one to note, is that this Attorney General, or at least the Federal Bureau of Investigation which is a part of the Department of Justice run by the Attorney General has been investigating a presumptive Presidential nominee. That presumptive nominee, is of course former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of the former President.
So, we have the spouse of a person under FBI investigation meeting with the Attorney General of United States. This may not be something that is unusual. As a parent of a stepchild who was once in trouble with the law, I met with the prosecuting attorney on my stepchild's case. However, we met in the office and notes were taken and counsel was present.
This meeting, between the spouse of a person under investigation by the FBI and the US Attorney General did not occur in the office. In fact it did not occur in any building of any kind. The meeting occurred on board an aircraft sitting on the tarmac of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport- and the aircraft where the meeting occurred was a government aircraft, or at least an aircraft chartered by the government to assist the Attorney General in performing official duties- and therefore was paid for by our tax dollars.
This raises the question: Why did they meet on board an aircraft?
The aircraft in question was on the west end of the airport, placing it near Cutter Aviation, a fixed base operator located at Sky Harbor. Cutter Aviation has many private conference and meeting rooms. Former President Clinton, because he is a former President, has a Secret Service detail for protection. Certainly one cannot say they couldn't find a room that was safe in a building on the air field.
Close to Cutter Aviation is the Arizona Air National Guard. The National Guard facility also has rooms used for meetings and secure briefings. Certainly the wing commander would be able to find a secure room for a former President and the current Attorney General.
The high temperature in Phoenix on the day of the meeting was 116°, with the low about 90°. Both Cutter Aviation and the Air National Guard have air-conditioning available in their buildings. The high temperature was of course recorded in the shade so it was much much hotter out on the tarmac. Yet instead of meeting inside an air-conditioned building, the spouse of a person under investigation by the FBI and the current Attorney General of the United States chose to meet in an aircraft parked on the tarmac in Phoenix Arizona in the middle of the summer.
In order for the meeting to take place in a comfortable environment (or at least one with an air temperature less than 120° or higher), the aircraft needed to have its auxiliary power unit (APU) running- at minimum. The APU is a smaller jet turbine engine in the tail of many aircraft used to power electronics, other systems and air conditioning prior to starting the main engines.
Depending on the type of aircraft that the meeting took place on, one of the main engines may have needed to be running for the air conditioning to work. Because the plane was sitting on the tarmac with at least it's APU running, this also would indicate that at least one or more of the pilots was aboard the aircraft during the meeting.
The meeting lasted 30 minutes according to media reports. This means 30 minutes of jet fuel was consumed by the APU, or by at least one engine of the aircraft (assuming the engine was required to run the air conditioning unit). This also means the consumption of an additional 30 minutes of flight crew time.
I will admit, this type of meeting is not altogether unheard-of. In fact, I actually read about one-- during WWII. Apparently the first meeting between General Leslie Groves and Dr. Robert Oppenheimer took place on board an aircraft. That meeting was in the cockpit of a B-24 Liberator. Two of the aircraft engines were running throughout the entire meeting. This was seen as a necessary security precaution as the two men were discussing the Manhattan project- and wanted to be sure they could never be overheard.
Since tarmac meetings of this type are so rare, the media did ask the Attorney General what the meeting was about. According to the Attorney General the discussion revolved around former President Clinton's golf game here in Phoenix and pictures and discussion of "the grandkids". Perhaps, President Clinton felt the need for the extreme security and privacy of a tarmac meeting because he was admitting he was playing golf in Phoenix in June when the temperatures was between 90 and 116°F in the shade. Now one would think that a former United States President would be able to get a tee-time in the winter in Phoenix when it's much cooler or that at least the Secret Service- who is sworn to protect him- would have advised the former President to avoid golfing in Phoenix during the summer months, as outdoor strenuous exercise has been known to kill here.
All kidding aside, this meeting certainly leaves many open questions- too many.
And yet, his meeting could be exactly what the Attorney General said it was- a social visit between a former President of United States and a sitting Attorney General--where they actually talked about golf and the grandkids- and in the process wasted 30 minutes of jet fuel, the cost of the flight crew (both paid for by tax dollars) and left enough open questions that conspiracy theorists will be busy for years- so to help out and do my part to see that we don't give more fuel to the conspiracy fires in the future, I am publicly posting this letter:
To: The Honorable Former President Clinton and Madame Attorney General Lynch
Thank you for your recent visit to Phoenix. We hope you had a plesent visit. It is unfortunate that you were unable to stay longer as this evening Phoenix enjoyed our first thunderstorms of the Monsoon season, and rain in the Sonora Desert is something to behold.
With regard to your visits, perhaps the next time you want to have a meeting in Phoenix, to show each other pictures of the grandkids and talk about golf games in Phoenix in June, may I humbly suggest that instead of burning jet fuel on the tarmac, you might try having the Secret Service or the FBI clear a room at Macayo's or Garcias. They both have pretty good Mexican food and the margaritas aren't bad either.
Again I hope your trip was pleasant,
PS- President Clinton, I understand that the golf courses here are much cooler between November and February than they are on June. I know that the courses can get booked up early, but one of my brothers had a summer job at one of the golf courses here when he was in High School- you can probably use his name when you call for a reservation and that might help you get to play when it is a lot cooler here... I'll check with him and let you know. I heard your personal/home email server is down, so feel free to call or text if you need to.
This article was dictated using Dragpn Dictation