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Cheney vs. the Asteroid

Bruce Reed of "Sadly, No!" has the story:

Sadly, No! » Dick vs. the Asteroid: Peter “The Mustache of Enhanced Interrogation” Kirsanow tells us all how super cool Dick Cheney’s torture defense was yesterday:

Cheney: Adult Peter Kirsanow: A serious, important speech. Politicians and the media seem unduly impressed by favorability polls, often drawing unwarranted conclusions from them. Since Cheney has relatively high unfavorables, it’s assumed that the public dismisses his statements. It would be interesting to see the results of a more finely calibrated poll, one that compares how well-respected, competent, and effective the subject is perceived to be relative to similarly situated individuals. As a friend succinctly puts it, “When that big asteroid finally heads toward Earth, who’s the person you’d most want to be in charge?” I suspect Cheney would score at or near the top....

Here at Sadly, No! Research Laboratories, we recently detonated a hydrogen bomb near a massive pocket of electromagnetic energy, thus creating a parallel timeline.... Read on, if you dare, to see how this counterfactual history played itself out...

[A] small asteroid crashed into a rural area of Wyoming, killing 2,000 people in a small town and leaving a massive crater 60 miles wide in the ground. President Richard Cheney, who was just awakening from a nap in his underground White House lair, was informed of the crash by Chief of Staff Alberto Gonzales, who the day before had handed him a memo from NASA with the headline “Asteroid hurtling toward the United States.” “That damned space rock has just assaulted my home state!” Cheney snarled. “Nobody could have predicted this would happen!” Cheney called a press conference later in the day and urged Americans to show strength and resolve in the face of this unprecedented assault on the Heartland. “Asteroids are evil rocks,” said the president. “We do not negotiate with evil rocks; we defeat them.”...

An enraged Cheney was determined to never let another asteroid crash into the United States again and had decided to use any means necessary in order to achieve that end. Cheney reasoned that it was not enough to merely respond to asteroids after they crashed. For America to be truly secure, the government needed to attack asteroids long before they reached orbit. To this end, he decided that the United States needed to set an example to other asteroids in the galaxy by launching a preemptive strike on the large asteroid that was menacingly hovering over the Earth: namely, the moon. In order to build his case for war against the moon, Cheney worked to strong-arm NASA into proclaiming that the moon could come unhinged from its orbit to the Earth at any moment and that the military needed to destroy the sinister heavenly body in order to safeguard the homeland. When NASA officials balked at his request, Cheney hired George C. Deutsch, a disgraced former NASA press aide, to go through the agency and make lists of all scientists who displayed signs of disloyalty. Once the list had been completed, the scientists were then rendered to Cheney’s underground White House lair for interrogation. The following transcript was taken from a video of an interrogation session under the White House...

[An unknown NASA scientist is tied down to a waterboard in President Cheney's underground lair. Cheney and NASA Grand Inquisitor George C. Deutsch enter the chamber to start the interrogation.]

DEUTSCH: My liege! I have brought forth the Unbeliever to receive your judgment!

CHENEY: Fine work, my young apprentice. And what are his crimes?

DEUTSCH: My liege! He refused to sign a loyalty oath proclaiming that our solar system has been scientifically proven to have been created by an Intelligent Designer!

CHENEY: Bah! The heretic will rue the day he defied my will! Tell me, heretic, do you not regret your lack of faith?

[Cheney pours water over the scientist's head, causing him to gasp and writhe in pain.]

SCIENTIST: GLAAAAAAAAARBB!!! ACK! Please, yes! I repent! Just stop it with the water!

CHENEY: You are wise to confess, heretic! You may achieve penance for your actions by doing one simple task: signing your name to this official policy document that proclaims the moon to be a mortal danger to the security of the United States that must be eliminated!

SCIENTIST: Buh, buh, but sir? You’re talking about destroying the moon? Thu, thu, that would be extremely unwise because…

[Cheney pours more water on the scientist.]

SCIENTIST: GLARRRRRRB!!! OK, OK, I’ll sign it! I’ll sign it, I’ll sign it!

CHENEY: That’s good. Now here’s the pen. Let’s…

[A knock at the door interrupts Cheney. Deutsch opens the door and a hunched-over Alberto Gonzales shuffles in carry a basket of dead rabbits.]

GONZALES: Master, I have brought you your daily basket of fresh uncooked bunny rabbits to devour!

CHENEY: That is excellent, Alberto! Bring them to me!...

After obtaining all the necessary intelligence from NASA officials, Cheney went on the Sunday morning talk shows and began to build his case for war. In addition to the signed statements of top NASA officials attesting to the moon’s nefarious intentions, Cheney produced an alleged picture of terrorist mastermind Mohammed Atta walking on the moon just days before the asteroid struck Wyoming. Cheney called this the smoking gun that proved that the moon posed a threat too grave to ignore.

Although McClatchy later reported that the supposed picture of Atta that Cheney showed on Meet the Press was actually a photograph of Neil Armstrong, the media in general did not question the premises of the president’s claims. The British tabloids in particular ran wild with the claim that the moon could crash into Earth a mere 45 minutes after being knocked out of its orbit. On May 21, 2010, Cheney went on national television and said that he was giving the moon 48 hours to surrender before he would launch a nuclear strike to destroy it. Senate Democrats, alarmed that the president would declare war on the moon without their consultation, tried to draft a nonbinding resolution telling the president that they might be displeased if he were to launch his preemptive lunar assault. The measure was scuttled, however, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that they wouldn’t have the 95 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.

Two days after his ultimatum to the moon was met with eerie silence, Cheney ordered to sinister rock destroyed...