Personal Protection for Al Qaeda Boss
According to unnamed sources, Osama Bin Laden has signed a deal with US-based LethalResponse Inc to provide personal protection services, secure transportation and "ad hoc operational capability".
One Syrian-based source said: "We believe he looked at using Blackwater at first, but wasn't impressed by the negative publicity they seem to be getting. Image is important for a terrorist leader and he thought any association with Blackwater might tarnish his reputation."
It's thought that Bin Laden has taken this step because of the increasing lawlessness and violence in some areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. "In Bora Bora and the desolate border areas, not even the Al Qaeda top brass feel safe anymore," said one local tribesman. "It's like the Wild West out here."
Little is known about LethalResponse. Defense experts have claimed that it maintains links with members of the current US cabinet, some of whom may be silent board members. And they say it recruits mercenaries from ex-members of the US Marine Corps, LAPD, university campus guards and visitors to gun shows.
Some members of Congress have already raised concerns about this new deal. Like Blackwater and many other private security companies, LethalResponse has a number of contracts in Iraq. For example, it is responsible for protecting convoys delivering the large amounts of cash needed to pay private security contractors. "They don't call them soldiers of fortune for nothing," said Senator Ignatius 'Piggy' Barrell (Republican).
He added: "This does suggest a certain conflict of interest. However, I think we can leave this to market forces. It's not our place to intervene in what are essentially matters of private enterprise."
Fog of War
The next time America goes to war, it won't be according to plans drawn up in the Pentagon. Instead, it'll be a movie director calling 'action', and generals are likely to hand out Oscars instead of medals.
The Government is calling on the talents of the movie world to improve the image of war. It also hopes to exploit the organisational skills of Hollywood producers to ensure that future conflicts will come in on-time and on-budget.
The scheme was hatched after Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer was given unprecedented access to troops in Afghanistan — access denied to journalists — to make a 'documentary' about 'American bravery'.
"Bruckheimer is Bush's Leni Riefenstahl," said one proud White House aide. "And that's what gave us the idea. Next time we go into some godforsaken shithole, let's make sure we at least have a good script."
Inside sources say that the Administration is tired of military campaigns starting well but fizzling out.
"You see it time and again," said Buck Trouserful, martial image consultant to the President. "At first, it's real exciting. Lots of explosions, hardcore hardware, great shots of missiles being launched and those really cool videos of precision bombs taking out bridges an' stuff. But then it all gets kinda talky-talky and before you know it, no-one can work out what the goddamn plot is. We lose people's attention and have to start another war to get it back again."
A special committee, convened by the Cabinet in secret, has been meeting with leading Hollywood screenwriters, producers and directors to discuss what one pundit has called "Washington's third act problem".
US military forces also hope to leverage the skills of movie set designers, make-up artists and special effects specialists to give wars a slicker, more marketable appeal.
"You don't see images of war in the glossy magazines, like Glamor or Vogue," said Trouserful. "That's untapped marketing potential. So we're looking into having the Marines' uniforms redesigned, get 'em into some designer labels. They already drive cool cars — I drive a Hummer myself — but green? Puhleeze!"
Santa Claus has been classified as an 'enemy insurgent' by the Department of Homeland Defense (DHS) and the Pentagon. If the jolly fat man shows his ruddy face in US airspace, he is liable to be shot down or captured and sent to Guantanamo Bay, said a spokesman for the DHS.
"Someone who goes around distributing high-value gifts for free is a clear and present danger to our way of life, founded as it is on the principles of capitalism. We have evidence that these so-called 'gifts' include Playstations, mobile phones and iPods. No-one gives stuff like that away for nothing. There has to be something behind this. At the very least the guy's a commie, but more likely he's a terrorist determined to undermine our society."
The spokesman pointed to the legend that such gifts are given only to 'boys and girls'. "This is a direct attack on the most vulnerable section of our community. We have an obligation to put a stop to this — you know, for the children."
He also emphasised that the only children who were promised such gifts were those who had been 'good'.
"What this means is children who are passive or timid," he explained. "That directly undermines the warriorlike ethos we have striven so hard to inculcate in our youngsters, through movies, video games, military academies and the general militarisation of our society. If this so-called Santa had his way, our children would grow up a nation of namby-pamby, peace-loving liberals. Then where would we be?"
Supported by a highly trained cadre of reindeer, Santa always works under the cover of darkness and repeatedly enters private homes by unconventional means, according to a Pentagon briefing. However, the traditional story that he breaks into every home in the world in one night is clearly impossible and points to the existence of a shadowy organisation, perhaps supporting a worldwide network of Santas who use the big white beard and red uniform to disguise their identities.
"What we want to know is, who's funding him and what's their agenda?" said a CIA agent who wished to remain anonymous. "But don't for a second doubt that their intention is malicious. Just one look at the horns on those reindeer will tell you that they mean business."
A major operation by the DHS has revealed a network of what it calls 'pseudo-Santas' or 'Santa sympathizers', working undercover in department stores across the country. A leaked memo describes the function of these fake fatties as "unclear" but says "they may represent a potential fifth column designed to spread propaganda and build support, or they may even be 'sleeper' cells awaiting the command to take action, which will probably be encoded in so-called 'carols'."
The DHS says it intends to take firm action against this new threat "as soon as our guys get back from the holidays".
Dismayed by the inability of US armed forces to impose peace on Iraq, US President George W Bush and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have opted to outsource the war to a private consortium.
Headed by a private firm, LethalResponse Inc — established by ex-Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld just minutes after losing his cabinet post — the consortium also includes Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root and a number of leading US defence companies.
"It just makes sense," said a smiling Rumsfeld. "This war is costing billions, and there's no sense in that money going to waste in Iraq. It might as well go into American pockets."
It's understood that the consortium will sub-contract the war back to the US Army, though this may involve troops having to accept pay cuts and loss of what Rumsfeld described as 'frivolous fringe benefits', such as body armor and ammunition.
Sources close to the Pentagon say that the fee charged by the consortium will undercut the current price of the war by up to 3 percent. In return, the consortium will be allocated an undisclosed share of Iraq's oil revenues and will assume all contracts for supplying, transporting and maintaining US armed forces in Iraq.
"This is a great opportunity for America," said Rumsfeld from his company's headquarters in the Cayman Isles. "At least, it's a great opportunity for Americans who are shareholders in our company. Which means me and George. The war in Iraq is going from bad to worse, which means lots of business for our consortium. The guys who make the weapons and rockets and things are very happy. We've just contracted with a private airline to bring back the bodies and stuff, so they're happy. Everybody's happy!"
It is believed that President Bush will become a director of LethalResponse when his current term as President ends.
President George W Bush has returned to Washington in triumph after completing his tour of duty in Iraq. The President led a highly successful mission that also marked the completion of his military service.
"We're all relieved," said a White House aide. "Frankly, it was getting embarrassing. I mean, he started his military service in the 1960s. But this tour in Iraq really puts paid to those liberal wieners who say that this President is a deserter or a coward. He's shown his willingness to go do the job himself."
The details of the President's mission are still classified, but it's believed that he briefed the Prime Minister of Iraq, whatever his name is, both before and after the mission.
There are unconfirmed rumours that the President flew some kind of bombing mission. "We're a bit worried he thought he was bombing Vietnam," said a source close to the President. "But it's probably best not to say anything. I mean, he always felt bad about those other boys going to Vietnam and getting killed while he was playing golf with his Daddy's political backers. But hell, he was doing a job for the country too."
Many US service personnel are now on their third or fourth tours in Iraq. According to the Whitehouse press office, the President is now proud to be numbered among the veterans of this conflict.
"The several hours he spent in the country — actually in Baghdad, one of the most dangerous places — shows that this is a true War President," said a hastly issued press release. "It proves that the President is not prepared to send the boys and girls of America to do a job he's not prepared to do himself."