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World

CIA to Begin Underwater-Only Interrogations

Washington – CIA Director Leon E. Panetta announced today that the agency will begin underwater-only interrogations of suspected terrorists in U.S. custody, in the hope of “gleaning information we would not be able to obtain if the suspect were above sea level.”

The announcement is certain to spark controversy, as it comes on the heels of the release of several Justice Department memos detailing harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA on detainees at several secret prisons.

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World

In Lab Tests, Anthrax Spores Die When Exposed to Cheney

Washington – In secret tests conducted in an underground laboratory, the mere presence of Vice President Dick Cheney rendered anthrax spores incapable of sustaining life. More tests are to be run later in the week as a way of determining whether the vice president’s aura or presence can be somehow distilled and put into a new vaccine to protect against infection.

“He just happened to be down there, below ground,” said Michael W. Bannister, one of the scientists from the National Institutes of Health who is administering the tests. “I’m not sure why, exactly. But we thought we saw him moving around in the shadows. And then he just came in the lab and asked if he could observe the testing. And suddenly these spores just started going crazy, and then abruptly died. We looked at each other and didn’t really know if we should believe it at first. But it was obvious: it was because the vice president was standing there.”

An aide to Mr. Cheney, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed with the assessment of Mr. Cheney’s power. “Well, see, now people might understand a little better that there’s no one else who can do what he can do,” the aide said. “You know how he shot his friend in the face that time when he was hunting? Well, that was because he was so inexperienced with the gun. Because he doesn’t have to use it. He doesn’t need a gun to kill deer, or ducks, or whatever it is. That’s what people didn’t understand about that whole thing. All he has to do is get close enough to them where they sense or feel his presence, and they just keel over and die. It’s amazing. And it doesn’t matter what kind of animal. Bears, lions, you name it. I mean, birds just dropping out of the sky. So I’m not surprised by the spore thing at all.”

The testing came about due to increased interest in anthrax infection and its effects, following the suicide last week of Bruce E. Ivins, a scientist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, whom the FBI claim they were on the verge of indicting in the 2001 anthrax letters case. Senior members of the Bush administration ordered the tests Monday, to try to get a better handle on the science behind anthrax infections.

President Bush tried Tuesday to explain the testing, and why it was kept secret until being reported on by several news agencies. “Our number one goal is to protect the American people,” Mr. Bush said. “And we know now that these spores are dangerous. They’re very dangerous. They might look like they can’t do any harm. They’re just chocolate and marshmallows and graham crackers. They’re a tasty treat. How could that be dangerous? Well, I’m telling you now: don’t be fooled by the tastiness. They’re very, very dangerous, and they’re not to be toyed with.”

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Opinion World

Al Qaeda Would Love Your E-mails to Remain Private

By Michael B. Mukasey

We’ve all heard a lot about privacy over the last several years. Since I’ve taken over as Attorney General, the question I’ve gotten more than any other is, will my privacy be sacrificed to fight the War on Terror? The short answer is, yes. And the reason is because Al Qaeda loves your privacy. They thrive on it. In fact, Osama Bin Laden and the other leaders of that fanatical terrorist group would love nothing more than for your e-mails and telephone calls to remain private. Trust me, I know. I’m the Attorney General. I’m privy to information that allows me some substantial insight into the workings of the mind of the radical jihadist. And if there’s one thing they love more than blowing themselves up, it’s Americans having their privacy.

But let’s talk about this much-vaunted “privacy.” Specifically, let’s look at privacy in relation to the emails you send and receive. So, why should your emails be read by the government? Is there a good reason? Well, let’s see. If we can’t read your e-mails, there is a very real risk that we will miss a key piece of information that could help us prevent a terrorist attack. In fact, it is quite possible, in fact probable, that if we don’t read the emails you send and receive, you will die. You will die in a fiery, horrific bombing or other attack of that sort. It will not be pretty, and it will not “feel good.” So I turn the question to you. Is there a good reason for us to read your emails? I think the answer is obvious.

And why wouldn’t you want us to read them? Why wouldn’t you want to allow the good people that work on your behalf to protect and defend you to look into the simple globs of text you send over the internet to your friends, co-workers, family and others? Are your emails so precious, after all? Are you a modern day internet Shakespeare? What, I ask you, is so very special about your emails that they should not be read by people trying to prevent this country from being attacked? Is it because you have something to hide? Something related to the War on Terror? And if so, isn’t it your responsibility to let us know about it, so we can better fight that war? Again, I think the answer is as plain as the beard on a jihadist’s face. For when you weigh the two, your precious “privacy” vs. being blown into several thousand tiny pieces by a dirty bomb, I think any reasonable person knows which one carries more weight.

Believe me, I say this for you, not for me. After all, I’ll probably be all right. In the event of an attack, I’ll likely be rushed off to some secure bunker or shelter somewhere. As I said, I’m the Attorney General. But you? I doubt your house or apartment has bomb-proof walls. I just don’t think it’s likely.