An Intervention

Karla Faye Tucker was the first woman to be executed in Texas since 1863. She was convicted of murder in Texas in 1984 and put to death fourteen years later by then-Governor George W. Bush. Because of her gender and widely publicized conversion to Christianity, she inspired an unusually large national and international movement advocating the commutation of her sentence to life imprisonment, a movement that included a few foreign government officials.

An Intervention

In a den at Camp David, George, with a non-alcoholic beer in hand, gets an apparition. It's a pretty brown-eyed woman with tight curly hair and a large smile - she's not the blue-eyed, blonde figure the stained glass windows in churches and Fox news have mythologized. It's fuzzy, this apparition, like a lot of things of late, so he doesn't panic - and even though he's not imbibing anymore...and he's not - he's really's the kind of blurred vision he remembers from his distant past, before the big decision to give up Johnny Walker for Laura. As the vision comes into focus he wonders if he's in a Shakespeare play with the ghost of Christmas...oh that's Dickens -but they're both British, so he feels he's in the right ballpark. He calls out for Laura but she's listening to a tape of American poets on a headset so she can't hear. He can't take his eyes off of this creature as she comes into focus. He knows now who this is - his mouth goes dry - his palms sweat - he is speechless. All he can say is...

George: Karla?

Karla: Yes - George - it is I.

George: Karla-Faye?

Karla: The same.

George: How did you find me?

Karla: I had help.

George: Tenet?

Karla: No - a little better than that.

George: Well- what do you want? What are you doing here?

Karla: I've been assigned to you.

George: What? That's like Iraq being on the UN commission for disarmament.

Karla: Actually - He thinks I'm like Iraq. He said that everyone, even the Pope, tried to have you show clemency to me and you declined, which you kind of did in His name - He wasn't thrilled by that, but He let it slide. This time He's thinking He has to act more preemptively. You understand that George. He's thinking this time maybe you should do something decent in His name.

George: But I talk about Him all the time - when I go to the military I tell them to love someone as they themselves would like to be loved.

Karla: Yes George - but give that tape a rest - it really annoys most of us here.

George: Karla-Faye - a little respect - I am the president, God knows.

Karla: Actually, He doesn't know that. He still thinks you're governor of Texas. But He does know how many weapons come out of Texas so He assumes a lot of this tension He's feeling has to do with you. So He sent me to ask you, like Billy Graham and the Pope, and Pat Robertson - he's going to be fine, by the way - the way all those religious leaders asked you to spare me, He wants me to ask you to spare Iraq, which I think He thinks is another death row inmate.

George: But He has to know how bad that guy is - someone has to tell Him that Iraq is not a person - it's just a couple of rivers and some oil...

Karla: We start with that and then we have to get into the cradle of civilization and He'll start asking about "blood for oil" and "collateral damage" - He does hear things now and then and if He finds out too much it won't be good for Texas or you. He loves the twins, by the way.

George: We love the Iraqi people.

Karla: That kind of talk gets us very nervous, George.

George: How do I know you're not being sent from the devil?

Karla: Do I look like I'm in hell?

George: You have that same smile that you plastered all over every magazine and news channel but that doesn't mean....

Karla: ...that I've changed?

George: I think people pretty much stay the same - they don't change all that much.

Karla: And that would include Saddam Hussein.

George: Especially him. Why aren't you talking to him instead of me?

Karla: Someone is on that.

George: I hope so. He only gets worse and I'm trying to save the world from him. (Karla Faye stares at him) I am - that's what I'm doing - I'm trying to save the world and protect innocent life. (She continues to look at him) Cut it out - why are you staring at me like that?

Karla: Is that why you made sure I was eliminated? You thought I was going to take innocent lives?

George: No - but you had to be punished -

Karla: Eye for an eye etc.

George: That's not Texas justice that's the Old Testament.

Karla: Is that what Iraq is going to get? Old Testament justice?

George: Iraq is going to be liberated and free -Iraqi youth will be able to audition for American idol - they'll have fair and free elections like we had...have. (She looks at him.) Will you stop looking at me like that. My brother didn't do anything wrong there. Black people just don't know how to vote - that's not racist, it's just...(She continues to look at him) Stop it. (He cracks) I just do what I'm told!

Karla: By whom?

George: (He breaks down) I don't even know anymore. The voices started outside of me but now they're more internal.

Karla: An implant? A radio filling?

George: I do sleep pretty soundly. I suppose they could have done something....No - they wouldn't...but there was that pretzel incident. I wonder if they did it then.

Karla: That would mean Laura would be in on it.

George: I wonder. I never know why she smiles as much as she does. She smiles more than you do - and you're in heaven - I think. And I wondered why Karl had that gold plated set of scalpels. He said he got it on e-bay, but maybe....

Karla: George - I have to get back now - that Harris woman needs me - Texas justice with a German car - a killer combination. But she's very upset - and if you keep listening to those voices, you and everyone else in the world will be feeling pretty much the way she feels right now. But what I got to tell you George before I go is that Jesus - who's a little more with-it than the Other One, does not like being used as your mascot. He is big on redemption - he still says, love your enemy. Some people think he is not a pacifist - but he is - he wanted me to remind you about, live by the sword, die by the sword - well you know all this - but he gave me an earful on my way here.

George: This is too much - Rove, Perle, Hughes, Rumsfeld - and now this. I just don't know who to listen to anymore. And the protests - what do I do about those? Those signs and those puppets - making me look like I'm a vampire sucking blood out of the earth. What do I do about that?

Karla: Until I get back to you I would say just turn the television off and pick up a good book. Weren't you reading that book on Joe Dimaggio?

George: Yeah - I guess I could try to finish that now.

Karla: I'll get back as soon as I can.

George: Hurry.

Karla: And George - whatever you do - as much as you're tempted to - do not have a drink.

George: I won't. I've changed.

(She looks at him)

Karla: I know - that can happen.

(Karla disappears. George looks to his Scottish terrier)

George: Did you see that?

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