#275: The Previous Administration

January 29th, 2014

The woman in the “Free the NATO 3″ T-shirt served the drinks in the empty barroom.

“She was gorgeous,” the bartender said, gesturing at her own face in what I guess was a mime for pretty. “I know for a fact one of my friends had a crush on her.”

The NATO 3, in case you didn’t know, are dumbasses. They’re dumbasses who were trapped, conned and coerced into a half-assed stab at terrorism by a Chicago Police Department frantic to justify the millions it spent on security for the 2012 NATO summit.

The undercover officer was gorgeous. She flirted and spoke of “beer and bitches.” She teased and mocked them for not having “a legit plan.” She claimed under oath that she thought another undercover officer meant going to the bathroom when he berated the men for not making a terrorist to-do list before they “hit the bowl.”

Because a cop wouldn’t do that.

A cop wouldn’t talk drunk guys into making Molotov cocktails.

A cop wouldn’t scope hippie bars and record stores looking for likely types they could con into action.

A cop wouldn’t coerce and flirt and prod dumbasses into crime.

“Seeing her on the stand, lying like that, it … aghhh,” the bartender said.

The Previous Administration is a politically themed bar. Instead of sports, the TVs show Al Jazeera America. A free speech wall is topped with a calligraphy “We the People” and bottomed with whatever attendees wanted to write.

It would be a great place for the Chicago Police Department to scope for terrorists. It would be a great place for the CPD to make some.

There weren’t any cops in the place right then. It was empty but for me, the bartender and a barback who only came out once to ask the woman to break a 20.

The bartender and I talked for a long time while I waited for my friend. We talked about power and control and what Michelle Obama would be wearing at the State of the Union that night. She hadn’t ever read the lyrics to “Born in the USA” and got new respect for The Boss when she did. She just got her acupuncture certification. She liked the job although another bartender called in sick and then posted pictures of her vacation on Facebook.

And we talked about the NATO 3.

“You hear about this stuff happening somewhere else — or way back when — but not here,” she said, wiping the bar with a rag. “Not here.”

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