Remember that crazy-sounding testimony from NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's domestic assault protective order hearing that stated that ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is a trained assassin? Busch and several others backed up that story this week in court, with Kurt referencing specific "missions" where he claimed Driscoll came back bloodied and bruised.
As Driscoll seeks a protective order against Busch, the driver and his legal team have been maintaining their side of the story that Driscoll is a rejected ex-girlfriend out for revenge, not a victim of abuse. Busch again denied all of Driscoll's allegations that he grabbed her face and slammed her head three times against the wall of his motor home.
The hearing periodically took a bizarre turn back to Driscoll's work outside the Armed Forces Foundation charity, which USA Today summarized for our amusement:
Driscoll's alleged background as a trained assassin who had experience killing drug lords via long-range sniper rifles and close combat tactics – including the use of knives and poison – became a major talking point during the latter stages of the hearing.
On both Monday and Tuesday, Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion known as ''The Outlaw',' said he still believes Driscoll is a trained assassin, despite some of his doubts and questioning by friends.
"Everyone on the outside can tell me I'm crazy, but I lived it on the inside...," Busch testified. "Sorry I'm the last one to the party."
Busch offered up specific examples of her returning from missions, sometimes with bruises.
Once, he said, they were in El Paso, Texas, where Driscoll had left that night in camouflage and boots. She returned later to the hotel at which he was staying wearing a trench coat. Under it she was wearing an evening gown splattered with blood and other matter, Busch testified.
Neither Driscoll nor her attorney refuted the claims during the hearing.
On Monday, Busch testified that Driscoll claimed that she and other women working in defense and counterintelligence were the inspiration for Jessica Chastain's character in Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden. He also claimed that Driscoll could overpower him.
Between this and Busch's prior testimony about having a deeply emotional man-cry in his trailer at Dover International Speedway from watching Seven Years in Tibet before Driscoll saw fit to (sans invitation, if you ask Busch) check up on him, I get the feeling that Busch is quite the film buff. Hey, I'd be impressed by a pretty lady who claimed she was the inspiration for a movie character, too.
"I knew she could take me down at any moment," Busch explained to USA Today. "Because she is a badass."
Busch wasn't the only one with odd courtroom tales of Driscoll's badassery.
A music minister who works with NASCAR, Richard Sniffen, was called by Driscoll on the night of the attack. He was told by Driscoll that it was an assault, although he never heard Driscoll mention that she was afraid of Busch in their conversation. She did, however, say "I will destroy him," in their phone conversation per USA Today's report on the day's testimony.
The idea of Driscoll as a trained assassin isn't that far-flung after all. Driscoll's LinkedIn has been wiped clean, free of her work with and ownership of the Frontline Defense Systems defense contracting company. However, the website for Frontline Defense Systems still goes into specifics (emphasis ours):
Frontline Defense Systems describes their services as such:
Frontline Defense Systems LLC, is a customized services company specifically designed to support the U.S. Govt. and commercial companies engaged in the Global War on Terror. We specialize in customizing "best of breed" off the shelf, hardware and software components to solve specific problems in the intelligence collection and operational support arenas. Due to our vast network of associates, we also have the ability to "bring on" the specific consulting expertise needed for each individual project. This combination of "just the right" people and products makes us one of the most dynamic, and capable companies engaged in the GWOT. FDS represents more than 20 businesses and their services and products.
The "a"-word is never dropped, but things like that are rarely explicitly said in the highly political and oh-so-euphemized world of defense. Rather, government contractors "solve specific problems" with a "vast network of associates" who provide "operational support."
We can't say for certain that they assassinate anyone based on what's public about the company and what they do, but these descriptions are so vague that they don't really rule anything out, either. What's known is that they're definitely working with intelligence.
Driscoll herself listed off the company's services in a congressional hearing about small businesses and Department of Homeland Security contracts:
The company works with government agencies to develop and implement security programs and solutions for the borders, ports and federal facilities. FDS provides a complete package of unique security solutions and services. We do threat assessment and penetration of armed facilities, policy, planning and procedures, security development planning, hard and software.
We are some of the best in sensors, biometric solutions, infrared cameras, multi-spectral thermal imagers, wireless devices, network security solutions, X-ray and gamma ray high density cargo inspection, chemical and biological sniffing devices, license plate recognition systems, facility access control, signals, intelligence and temporary facilities. We also deal in integration, management training, systems support and operational and maintenance support of our equipment.
Dude, that's some high-tech Q Branch stuff in there. Also, "intelligence," just on its own. You know, as a thing that Driscoll's company does.
Frontline Defense Systems' government contracts are mostly for equipment and equipment repair, according to PublicContractors.com. While this seems to contradict Busch's tale of Driscoll coming back covered back in blood from an altercation near the U.S.-Mexico border, the fact that their largest contract came from the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs & Border Protection makes at least the location in Busch's story sound plausible.
Driscoll's public image also backs up the idea of her doing at least something sneaky for the government.
There is a video called Pocket Commando that is making the rounds at the moment. The mini-documentary about Driscoll's life was reportedly going to be entered as evidence in the hearing itself:
"There's a lot of sensitive things that I work on. Most of them you're never going to see," explains Driscoll in the short.
It's not like any of this "I do top-secret things with the government!" grandstanding was hidden from the NASCAR community, either. In addition to what Kurt Busch and his bus driver had to say in court, here is the photo Driscoll herself supplied to her "Wednesday WAG of the Week" profile for Fox Sports' Shake and Bake blog:
Another profile on the female-centric NASCAR blog Skirts and Scuffs highlighted the root of Patricia's fascination with spies and, oh, uh, some things she can't elaborate on:
Beginning her career as a government employee, Patricia shared that she always had a huge interest in the technology aspect of intelligence and homeland security, especially growing up near the Mexican border. "Obviously a big concern of ours was drug trafficking, stolen cars and people trafficking. It was something of big interest to me." Her father was employed with U.S. Customs, Aviation and she found it to be intriguing because of the missions and fighting illegal drug activities.
Additionally, her maternal grandfather was a spy and Army Air Corps aviator who fought battles in conflicts from World War II through Vietnam. "He did all kinds of missions throughout the world and disappeared a lot. He was a really neat guy, always fascinating stories and I think that growing up as a kid it was something that very much interested me so I started my defense company which has provided a lot of solutions to the government on different aspects that I can't talk about."
I don't know why you wouldn't want to keep it on the downlow that you've worked in intelligence (and possibly killed some people, if Busch is telling the truth), but if that's the case, Driscoll seems to be terrible at keeping that tidbit under wraps.
Going back to everyone's love of a good movie, Driscoll denies all the allegations of her being an assassin. She had this to say in a phone interview with The Associated Press, as published by ESPN:
These statements made about being a trained assassin, hired killer, are ludicrous and without basis and are an attempt to destroy my credibility. Not even [Busch's lawyer] Rusty Hardin believes this.
I find it interesting that some of the outlandish claims come straight from a fictional movie script I've been working on for eight years.
Everyone in this thing is a film buff. Everyone.
The police investigation over the domestic assault allegations has come to a close as well. According to USA Today:
Dover Police Detective James Wood, who investigated the complaint, said Tuesday that during the police interview Busch had said that he cupped his hands around her face, as if they were going to kiss, and told her to leave. As he did that, her head tapped the wall, Wood said on the stand.
While the part of Driscoll's claim about there being head-to-wall contact was proven, the police investigation certainly didn't back up her whole story. The findings have been forwarded on to the Delaware Attorney General's Office for review, and they have yet to file any charges against Busch.
Another testimony this week backed up Busch's side of the story, as recounted by Wood. NASCAR chaplain Nick Terry said that he spoke with Driscoll in person after the alleged assault, but neither he nor his wife could not find any marks on her head or neck. He also claimed that Driscoll only mentioned being pushed against the wall at the time, not that her head had been slammed against the wall three times.
The hearing underway this week is for a protective order, filed by Driscoll. Driscoll claimed that she feared for her safety around Busch, yet Busch's defense team is hammering on her extremely public, often bragged-about tough-girl image to disprove that idea.
Problem is, she's been really, really bad about keeping that tough-girl image under wraps.
Is she an assassin, though? That's a difficult call to make at this point. Clearly, Driscoll wants us to know that she can't fill us in on the details.
Photo credit: Patricia Driscoll via Fox Sports, Getty Images