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Dept of the Obvious

Reported by Nancy - August 22, 2004 -

The following is from a very funny parody/satire website called The Spoof

This particular piece was written by Walter Bloom:

Al-Qaeda hates America, plans attacks, says US Dept. of Obvious
New evidence suggests group may be terror organization that targets large buildings, government installations & populous cities

Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda hates the US & plans to attack the nation physically, officials from the US Department of the Obvious revealed Tuesday. Attorney Obvious John Ashcroft & Federal Bureau of Obviousness director Robert Mueller made the announcement in a press conference as evidence began to mount that some terrorist organizations hold negative views of Western culture.

"Director Mueller & I want to announce developments in the war on terror," Ashcroft began, pulling out yellowed newspaper clippings. "Some may not be aware of this, but there have been members of Al-Qaeda within our borders for more than 2 years, plotting to take out tall & important buildings, perhaps as early as Sept 11, 2001, a date I have chosen as a frame of reference for no particular reason. New, disturbing intelligence indicates that Al-Qaeda's specific intention to hit the US hard, perhaps by hijacking planes & using them as missiles. After the recent attack in Madrid, it became clear that there are people in the world who like to kill other people for political & religious reasons."

"Several locations may suggest especially attractive targets for such an al Qaeda attack," Mueller added, "including the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, & an open field in the middle of Pennsylvania. We also ask citizens to be aware of their surroundings. If you see suspicious activity, report it to your local police department or sheriff's office or to the FBI," leaving everyone living in large, crime-ridden cities frozen with the stress of having to report everything suspicious to the authorities.

"Our intelligence confirms that Al-Qaeda attracts Muslim extremists," Ashcroft resumed. "This took years to figure out, & the arrival at this conclusion shows what happens when obvious information is properly collected & shared between government agencies."

"Unfortunately, what form a future threat may take is not obvious," Mueller said, "& that is why it is so important that we locate the 7 individuals shown here so that we may confirm further that Al-Qaeda is obviously some sort of terror organization bent on our destruction."

In response to one reporter's question about specific cities, referring to upcoming political conventions in New York & Boston, Mueller said "I think it's fair to say that we do not have obvious intelligence that leads us to a particular location in regard to a specific threat this summer & fall, & so it is of little interest to us."

When asked by another reporter if Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge's absence at the conference regarding homeland security indicated that the 3 might not be "on the same page" in terms of interpreting this recent intelligence, Ashcroft responded "We met with Secretary Ridge this morning, as we do every morning, regarding the threats. If Mr Ridge disagreed, he did not make it obvious enough."

At the end of conference, Ashcroft dismissed claims that the conference was an obvious ploy to distract political attention from the Bush administration's complete lack of intellectual cohesion & respect for human rights in the US & abroad. "We plan to make announcements whenever they would be in the national interest to make announcements," Ashcroft said. "We make these announcements because the American people can help us reduce the risk of a landslide -- I mean, attacks, by participating in an aggressive approach to distraction ... I mean, er, disruption. So we do not have a specific schedule; we don't have any next planned announcement at any time, except to say that whenever we feel it's necessary -- be it in August, or Monday, November 1 -- whenever it becomes in our interest -- er, that is, the nation's interest, to make an announcement."