0800 local Mogadishu, Somalia.

The pipe-hitters are all jammed into a small masonry room in the airport terminal building ready to sort of hear the morning intel report from New York Sam. NY Sam was born in Lebanon, and raised in one of the Burroughs of NYC, though I am loath to admit I don’t recall which.

NY Sam was as Arab-looking as they come, and ripped like crazy as physiques go for intel weenies. I’ll venture to say that NY Sam got rudimentary respect just for that reason from the pipe-hitters. That and the fact that he was smart as hell and didn’t take crap at any level. And then there was his thicker-than-thick New York accent that served to intimidate somewhat.

The intel briefs were really such a wash; the noise was so, so, so overwhelming. Just outside on the tarmac were American C5A heavy transports aircraft, Russian Antonov heavy transports, C-130 Combat Talons, and AC-130 Spectre gunships. None of them ever shut down their engines; they just screamed nonstop like banshees ALL THE TIME!