Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 21, 2010

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the leaders.”

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on January 21, 2010

A few days ago Associated Press reported the discovery of what appears to be a fragment from an early draft of William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2

You may recall Act IV, Scene II of the play includes the famous line about “Let’s kill all the lawyers.”

While the new manuscript fragment has yet to be authenticated, it looks like Shakespeare — well known for his horrendous handwriting — actually wrote “leaders,” and not “lawyers.”  So the line should have been “… let’s kill all the leaders.”

All those lawyer jokes … in vain.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the manuscript.  But first, to set the stage, a brief reminder of the story so far.

Off the Atlantic Coast, America is under attack.  Several of the insurgent ships hold dozens of Americans as prisoners, to be ransomed for booty, or worse.

A decent gentleman — a former FBI agent, and current assistant chief of homeland security and intelligence with the Huge City World Airports police department is one of the prisoners.  He’s in disguise.

The Captain of one of the ships divides his gentlemen prisoners among the master, the mate, and Walter Witless.  Witless gets the Assistant Chief.

Each gentleman asks what his ransom shall be, and offers to send for the money.

The Assistant Chief does a double-take when he hears his captor’s name is Witless. Once an astrologer had foretold his death would come at the hands of a witless man.

The Assistant Chief reveals his identity and declares that his honorable blood must not be shed by someone so lowly as Witless or the insurgents. Such men are only fit to serve such nobles as himself, he declares.

The insurgent Captain, annoyed, orders the Assistant Chief to be taken away and beheaded.

The Captain scorns the former FBI agent for his behavior, for having made a mistake 20 years ago, for failing to accurately complete official paperwork, and for daring to think he was sufficiently qualified to protect his country from those who love death more than life.

The other gentlemen urge the Assistant Chief to beg for his life, but he says he is unused to begging, and he would rather stoop to have his head chopped off than bow to any except the American people.

He is a real noble and, thus, exempt from fear, he says.

Witless leads him off and returns with his head.  Sometimes great men die at the hands of low men.

As we rejoin the play, insurgents have reached the shore.  They are discussing Ophagy Scat’s plans for the kingdom. (Scat is a boss insurgent.)

People who actually know something will not be in favor once the new regime takes over, they agree, and only American Idol watchers and people who forward amusing pictures of cats over the Internet will be honored.

Then, Scat enters with Jim the Butcher and Mike the John. Scat makes a speech, announcing his alleged lineage to royalty through the Mortimer and Plantagenet family. After each point, the Butcher mocks him to the insurgents, saying Scat is as far from nobility as one can get.


Drum roll. Enter SCAT,  JIM the Butcher,  MIKE the John and enough people to make it look like a crowd of insurgents.

We are Ophagy Scat, so named by our father —

[Aside] Or rather, named after the Youtube video no one can watch without gagging.


For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the spirit of putting down kings and princes.

Jim the Butcher, command silence.


Be brave. For we, your captain, are brave, and we vow reformation. There shall be in this Land seven Cokes sold for a penny; three extra NFL games each season, and I will make it felony to drink lite beer: all the realm shall be in common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass: and when I am king, as king I will be,–

God save your majesty!

I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; you shall eat and drink on my invisible hand; and I will apparel you all in the Mall of America, that you may agree like brothers and sisters to worship me, your lord.

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the leaders.

Aye, that I mean to do.

Enter some more people, bringing forward a leader.

‘Tis a Leader of Angels: he can write and read and cast accompt.

O monstrous!

We captured him as he was thinking about how to balance liberty and security in the Transportation Policy Space.

Here’s a villain!

He has a book in his pocket with red letters in’t.

Nay, then, he is a conjurer.

Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.

I am sorry for’t: the man is a proper man, of mine honor; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.

Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee: what is thy name?


Be wary of the man! He has thoughts and ideas and experiences.  He has competence.  He can lead.

Let me alone. Dost thou know how to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest plain-dealing following-type man?

Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can write my name.  And with good people around me, I can lead.

He hath confessed: away with him! he’s a villain and a traitor.

Away with him, I say! hang him with his badges and honors and ideas about his neck.

Exit one with the Leader

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Comment by Mark Chubb

January 21, 2010 @ 9:37 am

What, no iambic pentameter?

Lawyers for leaders … an understandable error. They themselves make it all the time.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

January 21, 2010 @ 10:17 am

The Henry VI trilogy culminates in Richard III. Along the way many leaders — good and bad, wise and ignorant — appear and depart usually with flowing of blood.

I perceive in Chris’ wit a dire warning, which I hope is heard better than Queen Margaret’s charge against Richard. I envy his humor, it helps us hear.

I will add an earnest bit: Toward the end of Richard III opposing armies meet at Bosworth Field, Richmond (later Henry VII) leading those opposed to the tyrant addresses his soldiers:

Then, if you fight against God’s enemy,
God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country’s foes,
Your country’s fat shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children’s children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth’s cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!

Leadership involves recognizing, honoring, and galvanizing a wide range of motivations. Richard’s unhappy rule depended on dividing, but — after much death and hardship — Richmond was successful in unifying.

Comment by Desert Dweller

January 21, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

It’s interesting that lawyers and leaders are not synonymous for Shakespeare. Spare a lawyer because they cannot lead. Imagine if that were reality today. Many of our government “leaders” would just be sheeple.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 21, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

IMO the death toll if all the leaders were to be killed would be very very low. Clearly the words political leadership are in fact the ultimate oxymoron. Power to the people.FRom my reading of Shakespear and promise to myself to do the collected works before I am done, I did learn that Shakespeare firmly believed power is never given nor shared but taken. What that means I do not know for the future of the American polity but it does look as though REPUBLICANS and DEMS should fear the wrath of the independent voter over the next few elections. Again my belief that long term realignments underway and difficult to see the end point while in the “Malestrom.” The Massachusetts result should create a disturbance of the force of those who think incumbency will protect them.

Comment by Claire B. Rubin

January 21, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

With all the major issues going on, please stick to business and provide fewer literary references.

Comment by christopher tingus

January 23, 2010 @ 9:40 am

In a meeting over five years ago with Chinese officials and businessmen here in Scott Brown country, Beantown – the bluest of Blue – or at least what the Democrats up at the State House truly believe as Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi and the Massachusetts State Senators think better of themselves than those who have entrusted them to serve as public servants, well the Chinese told me – Chris, our offcials are scientists and engineers, your leadership are lawyers, now, Chris, “Who do you think will do better in leading the world – your politicians, or we, who have existed far many more years than the new born USA!”

The Europeans must take AQ and Taliban seriously and keep a close eye on anyone and anything suspicious…the next attack will happen on European soil as the German led EU/Vatican will go head to head with the terrorists –

Here in the US, you bet we sent a message of clarity to the national and state-wide void in leadership – we’re disgusted – we’re disgusted with the MA/DOR and its indifference to the taxpayer and citizen who has rights, State and US Constitutional Rights – taking folk’s driver’s license for an income tax issue, a license unrelated to income tax issues, a necessity to family especially if one truly owes monies to the DOR determined by the court, not the MA/DOR and its politics – a license which enables people to function, to buy groceries, get meds – liens to property, levy of bank accounts and all this only after a court hearing where the individual may have content to appeal, the court can garnish wages if so determined monies owed to the Commonwealth –

I bring this into conversation for the depiction of what has happened to government bypassing Rights of the individual, State Senators ignoring people’s, taxpayer rights – here in the Beantown and folks like Pelosi and Frank, it seems that they truly believe that they know better – they know far less than they claim including you, Mr. President, – stop the politicizing and making Teddy Kennedy some icon – give us a brake Mr. Pres – creat jobs, jobs, jobs – most of us out here are satisfied with insurance, yes, some tweaks, however you misspent the tax dollars – we need monies to go into mass transit, renovating, rebuilding, making train service somehow compariable to the Europeans – creating jobs and you Mr. President, the Federal Reserve, the good ‘ol boys of Wall Street who know how to write out bonus checks, but cannot find for me $1billion+ in check writing to fund – profitable – waste water and water purification projects which I lead with a collaborative effort of US and Canadian companies to help Africa, so many projects, so many $50million $250 million projects – I reiterate – profitable and no one can find the time or interest in writing a check for humanitarian projects where the monies would be well spent giving kids a “clean glass of water” and there is a return on the money – but heck, who cares about Afria – when we don’t give a damn about our own wonderful and most charitable people and Republic – hope for so many dwindling as the dollar becomes devalued and we, bankrupt, continue Mr. President to politic when in fact, stop the politics, take the smirk off Nancy Pelosi’s face, realize the healthcare legislation is dead and we didn’t want it, we want you to create jobs, not talk about it, telling us you are going to “fight for us” -do the job…get the job done – fix the transit system – there’s plenty of jobs to create there and we should have a much better system –

Homeland Security – as I have said to AQ and the Taliban in writing numerous articles – the Europeans are your real adversaries and it is the German-led EU which you should talk to and resolve some of your issues, if not, the EU seeking to become the dominant player in the Middle East, will soon begin to knock on your door in a resounding way, not anything like WE, the Americans who truly care about people as it is we who have always been the beacon of hope against the despair you offer –

God Bless America!

God Bless you Mr. President, for your administration principal task, jobs, jobs, and more jobs, if not, our bankrupt state of the union will plave all in much peril and a depression….

It is all about jobs, not healthcare!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA 02645 USA

*As far as Haiti, the logistics folks are doing a good job, however leading a collaborative effort of US and Canadian companies having portable water purification systems, the ability to transport 200 sq. ft. homes for shelter, etc., from my conversations w/White House/State etc, too much bureaucracy – let’s get in there and never mind what the world thinks as the US military knows how to get the job done as we know we are not trying to take over Haiti, WE are there to offer our compassion, our heartfelt hope and kindness, our valued skills and one day, we will leave and wish the Haitians as all other people our clasp in hand – our friendship!

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