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[casi] Presidential advice/Bush clarifies funeral protocols

      For Immediate Release  - Office of the Press Secretary  - October 24,
2003  - 2:22 P.M. (EST)


      "Truth is if you close your eyes and pretend extra hard, it's like
nobody done gone and died in Iraq at all!"

      Statement by the President
       THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Please be seated. It's a real pleasure
to be home from the Orient. Me and Laura had a great time - even more than
last year. I mean, how could we not? Pickles had this great idea to say the
Secret Service insisted we can only stay in those stinkhole countries for a
couple hours each [...]

      But on to business. It seems that in my absence, the news media has
grown some peach fuzz on their gonads and decided to bellyache about my
seven month-old ban on photographing all those coffins filled with dead
grunts coming home from Iraq. This, in turn, has led to a temporary surge in
misguided public interest in the matter. That's why today, lest anyone go
thinking that I would ever go hiding anything - especially in a coffin - I
wanted to take a minute to explain not just the photography ban, but all
three major elements of the revised military funeral protocols.

      In keeping with the logic and nomenclature of our "Clear Skies" and
"Healthy Forests" programs, I like to call this the "Respected Heroes
Initiative." Here's how it works:

            ** Effective 03.17.03 - George W. Bush, Commander in Chief - As
Dictated by Karl Rove **
            TRANSPORTATION: In light of recent British intelligence
confirming that Al Qaeda is aggressively developing computer technology
capable of downloading top-secret memories from GI corpse brains, the
transportation of military casualties shall henceforth be conducted with the
utmost secrecy. Failure to do so will result in the evil-doers thwarting our
nation's defenses and systematically exterminating every white Christian
child from sea to shining sea. As such, the liberal news media has been
expressly forbidden to continue its longstanding practice of using photos to
aid and abet America-haters by affirming the existence of bodies compatible
with this nefarious new terror technology. All news outlets revealed to be
in violation of this policy will find their White House correspondents
upgraded to appropriate press conference seating - across the street in
Lafayette Park.
            In addition, reporters are forthwith prohibited from trespassing
within a two-mile radius of any Airborne Express hangar. In times of war, it
may be necessary to send a hero back to mother in a Hefty® Cinch Sak. It is
the President's desire that these parcels not be photographed at least until
such time as they have had Old Glory air-brushed onto them.

            CEREMONY: In departure with over 200 years of tradition, the
return of coffins to American soil shall not be marked with any public
ceremonies or honors whatsoever. The Bush Administration believes that all
such events serve to undermine the significance of the deceased's
achievements. Sure, most kids may only sign up for the military because
expanding U.S. socioeconomic disparity renders going to college a mere pipe
dream otherwise, but when they're blown to pieces guarding a Halliburton
desert oil pipeline - or playing rent-a-cop in a hostile camel jockey
ghetto - rest assured their final thoughts are sheer joy, knowing they're
giving their all for FREEDOM®! As such, they would never want some showy
ceremony to welcome their charred, shrapnel-ridden bodies home. Besides,
inasmuch as preserving FREEDOM® is our primary objective, it would be wrong
to deny the voting public even one moment of blissfully enjoying its own
FREEDOM® by imposing acknowledgement of the unpleasant reality of death.
            INTERMENT: Families remain welcome to bury or cremate their dead
FREEDOM® Defender in whatever manner they feel is appropriate, so long as it
is not done in a public place. Suggested sites include back yards or remote
areas, ideally near a family vacation home in the mountains. If, for
religious reasons, a family insists on holding a ceremony, National Security
mandates that said event be a "quiet gathering for burial" between the hours
of 3:00am and 4:00am. To show reverence for the deceased, no words will be
deemed adequate to express any grief, allowing the entire procedure to be
quickly conducted in discrete silence and respectfully illuminated by a
solitary citronella votive not visible from the nearest roadway - lest any
late-night drunks be distracted from high-speed lane changes.
            All families should note, however, that President Bush will not
stoop to emulate his forty-two inferior predecessors by appearing at even
one token funeral for the many hundreds he will send to their gloriously
premature FREEDOM® Deaths. Indeed, beyond the fact that such services are
rarely equipped with the state-of-the-art teleprompting hardware required to
deliver a convincing facsimile of sympathy, the President is concerned that
any such appearances might be misconstrued by voters as a tacit
acknowledgement that all Americans are equally worthy of respect - or worse,
health care.

            PLEASE NOTE: Inasmuch as Arlington Cemetery is a national park
that is open to the public, interments of Iraq casualties shall be
prohibited for the duration of the War on Terror. Families desiring a hero's
burial should be directed to the temporary plywood group sarcophagus
established in the gated stockade adjacent the Wal-Mart Supercenter Store on
Wards Road in Lynchburg, Virginia - until such time as their exhumation and
relocation to Arlington will not attract undue (and dangerous) media

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