Get your Special Autographed Edition of Without Warning by Joel C. Rosenberg HERE. While supplies last!
We peeled out, fishtailing in the slush.
Art Harris was in the front passenger seat, on his phone and already briefing someone back at the bureau on the nightmare unfolding around us. Matt was sitting to my right, staring out the window as round after round of mortars smashed into the roof and the walls of the north wing of the Capitol, the part of the sprawling complex where the House Chamber was located. I had my phone out now. I was speed-dialing Allen MacDonald over and over again but kept being directed to voice mail.
Suddenly the driver stomped on the brakes and turned hard. We found ourselves twisting, turning, sliding twenty or thirty yards across the ice- and snow-covered pavement, barely coming to a halt in front of a Capitol Police cruiser. Our driver, a fifteen-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, put his window down and demanded to be let through.
But he was told this exit on the north side—leading to Constitution Avenue and from there to Pennsylvania Avenue—had been sealed off until the president’s motorcade made it safely back to the White House. Harris flashed his badge and explained we urgently needed to get back to FBI headquarters, but the officer told us there was nothing he could do. The orders had come from the top. The only way out, he said, was on the opposite side of the Capitol grounds.
Infuriated, Harris ordered the driver to backtrack. He did, slamming the sedan into reverse, spinning the car around, and racing for the southeast gate, swerving to avoid the craters caused by errant mortar rounds. Again I tried to call Allen—several times, in fact—but didn’t get through.
As we spilled to Independence Avenue and headed west, lights flashing and siren blaring, I looked back at the Capitol. The scene was surreal, like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster. The entire north wing—the House side—was ablaze.
Through the blowing, swirling snow, I could see additional mortar rounds arcing in from multiple directions. Several smashed into the great dome, which was soon engulfed in flames as well. Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and HAZMAT teams were racing to the scene from all directions, even as we raced away at ever-increasing speed…
To read the entire story, click HERE.