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Weapons of Mass Redaction

This correspondence from the Office of the Vice President to the ***** ****** ambassador to the U.S. was redacted by the Office of the Vice President for national and electoral security reasons:
Dear Prince ***** bin ******,

Thank you, my friend, for the falcon. It survived the trip on your Gulfstream. It is now eating small endangered woodland creatures at my Jackson Hole ranch.

We are pumped about the double rubout of the Hussein boys. We really needed that win. It could be a game-changer for us. The stock market killed on the killings. And the timing will help cover your royal ***, too.

When the 9/11 commission report comes out tomorrow, I think you will be well satisfied with our efforts to keep you guys out of it.

We have almost as much experience as you at keeping private matters veiled. It's not good to overburden the American people with too much complicated information.

We didn't let a thing slip on our private energy meetings where we took care of our mutual friends in the *** industry; we kept the bidding closed on the Halliburton contracts to rebuild Iraq, and we set up our own C.I.A. within the Pentagon to produce the intelligence we wanted to link Al Qaeda to Saddam rather than to your country.

We've classified the entire section of the 9/11 report that deals with the ***** family's support of charitable groups that benefit terrorists, including mentions of your wife's checks inexplicably winding up in the bank accounts of two of the hijackers. (Lynn says to tell Princess ***** we have four tickets for the ***** ballet at the Kennedy Center.)

We're not even letting Bob Graham mention the name of your country. We threatened to throw him in the federal slammer if he calls ***** ****** anything but "a foreign government."

Not to worry that the report will shed any light on the ties between the hijackers and your government agent **** al-******* .

I know you're worried that the whiny widows of 9/11 will throw another hissy-fit when they see all the blacked-out material, like they did when you whisked Osama's family out of the U.S. on a private jet right after the attacks. But we didn't go this far down the road of pushing aside incriminating evidence about you guys and blaming 9/11 on Saddam to turn back now because a few thousand families can't get their darn closure.

Buddy, we go back a long way. You've been a great host to the Bushes and you've been generous with rides on your Airbus and Gulfstream and with invites to your beautiful estates in ****** and ***** and *******.

But now you have to throw us a bone. Al Qaeda cells are crawling all over your kingdom, planning attacks around the world. They've gotten even stronger since the May bombing of Western compounds in ******. We need a little more than lip service about quelling anti-American fervor over there and cracking down on phony charities. You've got to at least give the F.B.I. something to work with. Don't worry. They'll screw it up anyway.

Rest assured that the F.B.I.'s taking the heat for 9/11 in the report tomorrow, not you.

I hear you want to behead that ex-spook Robert Baer, who's been all over TV talking about the way you lavish money to influence U.S. politics, donating millions to presidential libraries and the like. But after all, every million spent on a congressman's favorite charity is one less million for a terrorist's fake charity.

Here in the ***** House, we've mastered the art of moving beyond what people once thought was important to look for. First, we switched from looking for Osama to looking for Saddam. Then we switched from looking for "weapons" to looking for "weapons programs." Now Wolfie has informed the public that we need to worry less about finding weapons in Iraq than building democracy.

The trick is to keep moving. Just yesterday, we shifted the blame for the uranium debacle in the president's State of the ***** speech from George Tenet at the C.I.A. to Stephen Hadley at the N.S.C.

I'd like to return your many acts of generosity. Why not come to dinner at my Secret Undisclosed Location? Here's the address: *** ********* ** in ********.

All the best, Dick.
silly question 23.Jul.2003 17:27


what's redaction? did you read the actual newspaper itself? and did you find the article in the editorial section?