Ack! I screwed up and posted this episode out of sequence.  Please read PoB-Discovery: More Context and Cloak and Dagger first.

255... Christiane sat there for a long moment considering the possibilities:  If Shin Bet had the capability to remotely monitor her laptop and telephone from anywhere in Jerusalem except the second and third floors of this building, why shouldn’t the US Consulate have the same capabilities, especially in their own building.  Perhaps she should take her new laptop out into the countryside to open Ari’s un-redacted file… cloak and dagger… “Pffft,” she hissed and opened the laptop.  There she found a neatly typed note in 12 point Times New Roman.  It read:

This computer has been modified to maximize security:

1. Hardware and software modifications - The hard drive has been removed and the operating system has been loaded onto a flash drive labeled “Opsys” along with software compatible with MS Office 2003, Adobe Acrobat and other commonly used commercial software.  The wireless modem has also been removed as well as the Ethernet connector so any network connections are physically inoperable and any internet connection inaccessible. 

2. Starting the computer - By inserting the flash drive into the USB port and pressing the power button, the computer will boot and operate just the same as any normal laptop; however, the operating system will prompt you for your password.

3. Password protection - Your assigned password is 1963CSA1103TH.  It is important that you enter your password exactly as written.  Any error in password entry will allow only one more prompt to correctly enter the password. 

4. File Open & Save - All file open and save functions are directed to the DVD/RW drive or to exterior devices connected through the USB ports.

5. “Kill Disk” - For maximum security a program called “Kill Disk” has been loaded along with the other software.  “Kill Disk” program defaults have been set so that launching the program will permanently delete all files on all devices connected to the computer, including the “Opsys” flash drive.

6. Technical Assistance: Any questions or requirements for assistance may be directed to EdRG technical support at 1-888-41-58-819-81-71.”

Christiane found the flash drive neatly labeled “Opsys”, inserted it into the port and pressed the power switch.  A user friendly Linux window immediately appeared with no prolonged wait for the program to load from the hard drive.  The prompt for her password appeared and she smiled as she carefully entered the year in which she was born - 1963, her initials - CSA, the month, day and day of the week of her eldest daughter’s birth.  Certainly Ariane had something to do with the assignment of her password.

Icons for all the programs were neatly arranged on the left hand side of the screen while in the lower right hand corner she saw the small GIF icon of an @ on a skull and crossbones pirate flag labeled “Kill Disk!!”  She giggled and decided that she liked how quickly this Linux operating system loaded from a flash drive, so much quicker that waiting around for Windows XP.  She liked this new computer.  Next she inserted the flash drive with the red label and opened the program with the encryption key.  Carefully removing that drive, she inserted the drive with the un-redacted report and that file quickly opened in Adobe Acrobat.

She then scanned the first page and completely understood Ari Weiner and Meir Olmert’s “cloak and dagger” subterfuge:

I. Forward

On August 14, 2006 a cut stone cistern was exposed at the perimeter of a bomb crater on a farm southwest of the village of Majdel Zoun in southern Lebanon.  The family who own the farm removed a rough hewn wooden cylindrical container from the cistern.  They opened it to find 20 sheets of inscribed brass separated by similarly inscribed sheets of papyrus.  Maronite Christians, they reported their find to their parish priest who contacted the office of the Patriarch of the Maronite Church in Beruit.  Because of the political turmoil in Lebanon and because the location was dominated by Hamas paramilitary the Office of the Patriarch contacted parties at the Albright Institute through their church in Jerusalem and made arrangements to have a non Israeli archeologist evaluate the artifacts, advise them as to their authenticity and make recommendations for excavation of the site.

This preliminary survey, on behalf of the Maronite Diocese in Beirut and the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, was performed by Michael Jerrod, who together with the land owner and his sons, mapped the site and excavated a second cylindrical container from the cistern.  Jerrod properly recorded, packaged and sealed the unopened artifact along with soil samples from the cistern.  When it was determined that the inscriptions were written in Hebrew rather than Phoenician, Michael Jerrod made further arrangements to  transport these samples, along with the original artifacts, to Jerusalem for further analysis, translation and authentication at the Israeli Antiquities Authority conservation laboratories at the Rockefeller Museum.  This was done in violation of the protocols of the 1970 UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Property without the knowledge or consent of the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities.

The site and artifact documentation, on file in the Israel Antiquities Authority archive (Israel Survey folders), includes the site name and number, its geographic location and geographic coordinates, dating, a general description and details of the finds and remains discovered, as well as drawings, illustrations and photographs.

The present publication presents information about the Majdel Zoun region and includes the following data:

1. An introduction describing the region, its ecologic, topographic and geologic features.

2. Previous archaeological research carried out there.

3. The site surveyed, its characteristics and descriptions constitute the essence of this publication.  The site mapped in the survey is identified in following ways:

Site name: each site that was mapped during the course of the survey was given a name according to a nearby topographic or hydrologic feature.

Field number: the survey map is divided into one hundred squares of 1 sq m.  Each square is numbered consecutively from south to north and west to east and that number appears to the left of the slash mark in the site’s field number.

4. Photographs and drawings of the site excavation, artifacts and samples.

5. Material analysis of the artifacts including carbon dating and biological analysis of organic samples, metallurgical and qualitative chemical analysis, electron and mass spectrometry analysis and other scientific analysis used to date and authenticate samples from the artifacts.

6. Bibliography.

The People of the Book - The Discovery

The People of the Book - Discovery Part Two

The People of the Book - Discovery Part Three

PoB-Discovery: Thanksgiving and Ari Weiner

PoB-Discovery - Plans for Erev Rosh Hashanah and The Fundraiser

PoB Discovery: The Scrolls and Context

PoB-Discovery: More Context and Cloak and Dagger

Views: 73

Comment by M. C. Sears on January 23, 2017 at 12:37pm

R&L :)

Comment by JMac1949 Today on January 23, 2017 at 12:39pm

Thanks Mary.

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 23, 2017 at 1:04pm

Excellent.  Love the cloak and dagger computer stuff.  "kill disc" reminded me of an unsuccessful effort of a coworker to copy the institutions Excel program for his home computer.  The action erased the disc.  A phone call to Excel's "service desk" informed him that they knew what he had done, that they would reload it once and any further attempts would result in a permanent deletion.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on January 23, 2017 at 1:13pm

Thanks Doc but I screwed up and posted this episode out of sequence.  Please read PoB-Discovery: More Context and Cloak and Dagger first.

Comment by koshersalaami on January 23, 2017 at 2:28pm

Read in order

Comment by JMac1949 Today on January 23, 2017 at 3:47pm

Tanks Kosh

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 23, 2017 at 4:17pm

I need to go back and start at the beginning.  It will take awhile.

Comment by John Manchester on January 23, 2017 at 5:49pm

This is a novel? What I've read is nice - you're barking up another branch of the same tree as I am (mine's psychological suspense.)

Comment by JMac1949 Today on January 24, 2017 at 7:07am

Thanks Rodney, this post is out of sequence.

John, This is a fiction based on the reality that Israeli IDF took a bunch of antiquities out of Lebanon in 2006.  The scrolls are based on early inscriptions on silver found in Jerusalem.

I finished the Scrolls and this is the account of their discovery.  Now all I need is a good editor and publisher: "Game of Thrones meets The Da Vinci Code in 1000 BCE.

Comment by John Manchester on January 24, 2017 at 8:22am

Good luck! A good editor you can hire (if you have the scratch.) A publisher...I'm stacking up rejections about one a week.


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