Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner


I heard a knock and watched as an envelope slipped through the crack under my office door. Rushing to the door, I picked up the naked, brown manila envelope, ripped it open and started to read:

U.S. Naval Headquarters, 1000 Navy Pentagon, Washington D.C. March 22, 2021

Transcript of Meeting Concerning Timothy Hale-Cusanelli — U.S. Capitol Insurrectionist

Counsel: Sir, we’re here to discuss disciplining naval contractor Cusanelli. He is presently, a  contract employee at the Naval Weapons Station Earle. Cusanelli has been barred from the base.

Admiral: You may proceed.

Counsel: On January 6, 2021, Cusanelli participated in the attack on the Capitol Building. He has now been arrested and jailed. The media has learned that he works for us and has secret-level clearance. It should be noted: Cusanelli has not yet been discharged from the Army reserves. We are now being asked:

Why was he allowed to be a Navy contractor?

How and why did he receive secret-level security clearance?

The media is saying we knew or should have known that Cusanelli was a white supremacist, Hitler-loving fanatic.

Admiral: Didn’t he receive some honors while he was in the Army reserves?

Counsel: Yes Sir, he received four: the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Admiral: Okay, now let’s hear what the media got on our guy.

Investigator: As I read each of the charges against Cusanelli, I nodded my head and uttered one word: Dayenu. And as if I were in the temple, I started with a whisper and then I progressively raised my voice to a shout.

Counsel: Cusanelli:

Sports a Hitler mustache. — Dayenu;

Combs his hair like the Führer did. — Dayenu;

Likes to impersonate Adolf in front of his fellow employees. — Dayenu;

Poses for photos as if he is Adolf. — Dayenu;

Loves baiting Jews and Blacks. — Dayenu;

Makes veiled threats that he was going to show up at Jewish houses on the Sabbath. — Dayenu;

Refers to Jews as “locust.” — Dayenu;

Claims, “The Jews were behind 9/11.” — Dayenu;

Has a long history of arrests, including obstructing law enforcement and civil disorder at the Capitol. — Dayenu;

Shot frozen corn at homes with a “potato gun” which was inscribed with the words, “WHITE IS RIGHT” and bore a Confederate flag. — Dayenu.

States, “If I were a Nazi, I’d kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and he wouldn’t need to season them because the salt from their tears would make it flavorful enough.” — DAYENU;

Admiral: Anything else officer?

Counsel: No sir.

Admiral: That’s all they got. If only the idiot hadn’t gone to the Capitol. If only there was no military code of conduct. (long pause) I’m not taking any action at this time. We’re not going to discharge Cusanelli from employment. Let’s table this matter for three weeks. This story will blow over. You’ll see. Tell the media, “We’re investigating and we’ll get back with them when we’re finished.” You’re dismissed.

I slammed the transcript on my desk, thinking, “If only the U.S. military took racism more seriously. — Dayenu”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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