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October 26, 2008

Charles Fried and William Weld come under fire

The Scene: Colombia, 50 miles outside Bogota

Charles Fried and William Weld share the rear seat of a black Mercedes belonging to the American Embassy. Their driver, a grizzled vet who works for the Embassy, explains the rules of the road.

Driver: This next 15 mile stretch we call "Death Alley." Coupl'a villages owned by FARC. Owned. You know why we call 'em FARC, don'tcha? 'Cause if you come unprepared, you get farked. Get it? Dangerous s*** here. But I came prepared. See that weapon on the seat?

Fried: Quite impressive.

Driver: 'Bout 20 rounds a second. Got some protection behind me, too. Four guys in the car, all armed to the teeth.

Weld: So then . . .?

Driver: You gentlemen just listen up here. This car's armored, but if there's shooting, I'm gonna yell, and you're gonna hafta get your asses on the floor quick. No -- more than quick.

Fried: The floor's dirty.

Driver: Holy s***, mac. We're talkin' f***in' killer terrorist FARCers. When I yell, you drop.

Weld: This is a $1,200 suit.

Driver: You want a $1,200 casket? Go ahead, don't listen to me.

Fried: I'm a law professor at Harvard.

Driver: S***, I don't care where you're from, and FARC don't care, either.

Weld: I care. I studied at Harvard, too, undergrad and law school.

Driver: What the f*** is wrong with you? I live with FARC every day. I know this s***.

Fried: Where did you go to college?

Driver: College? I didn't go to college. Got drafted, four years in 'Nam. Saw six buddies get their heads blown off. You're my age. You serve?

Weld: I was deferred.

Driver: He was deferred. I fought for you, then. And when I got home, I took business classes at community college at night, doing security work during the day.

Weld: Charles, I don't trust him. I hardly even know anyone who didn't go to Harvard.

Fried: I agree, Bill. I had a student who was president of the law review a few years ago, went into the foreign service. I'll call him right now. He'll have a far more sophisticated and nuanced approach.

(Loud gunfire is heard. Two jeeps cross an open field toward the cars.)

Driver: Jesus, it's FARC! Get the f*** down on the floor!

(He grabs the weapon next to him.)

Fried: Hold on, I'm making a phone call.

Weld: If he's not there, call Barack. That's a no-brainer. We could use his calm and intellect here.

(More gunfire. The car screeches off.)

Story here and here.