Thursday, September 15, 2011




By : David Petraeus, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Last week, our Nation marked a significant milestone with the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We can be grateful that we escaped the event without incident. Thanks to the tireless efforts of State and Federal law enforcement, America foiled any attempt to mar the memorial ceremony with violence.

As a Nation, we have come closer this year to defeating terror than at any time since 9/11. We have killed Osama bin Laden. We have al-Qaeda on the run. And we have created a culture of security that keeps Americans safe from terror.

Despite these encouraging developments, we cannot let our guard down. While the Central Intelligence Agency understands that Americans simply want to live without fear, we cannot yet afford to quell the alarm.

In fact, we regret to inform the public that al-Qaeda has unleashed a frightening new weapon: Ghosts.

Generally, we here at the Central Intelligence Agency do not speak directly to the American people. Circumstances, however, mandate that we reveal critical new information that impacts all Americans. Public safety is acutely in danger, and we must advise appropriate measures to cope with the risk.

Today's threat is elusive. It does not involve bombs, guns or gas. It does not involve suicide attackers. It does not even involve living human beings. No, it involves something much more frightening: The vengeful spirits of slain al-Qaeda leaders returned from the grave.

This is not a hoax. Our agents have credible, reliable and confirmed reports that al-Qaeda intends to make supernatural war against New York City, especially the Ground Zero site. According to top agents, it appears that the angry ghosts of al-Qaeda leaders are currently on their way from the spirit world to wreak havoc on Lower Manhattan. Agents also inform us that these spirits have recruited ghouls, goblins, wraiths, specters, poltergeists and even zombies to spread fear in New York.

Understandably, we are taking these threats extremely seriously. Supernatural warfare cannot be taken lightly. We have already received initial reports that al-Qaeda ghosts are both extremely scary and difficult to pinpoint. And most disturbingly, intelligence indicates that conventional weaponry is useless against ghosts. Bullets, bombs and airstrikes simply cannot harm these terrifying spirits. After all, ghosts are already dead: Killing them again is no easy matter.

It is not entirely clear how al-Qaeda ghosts will operate. Some experts believe that terror ghosts can manipulate electronics. This poses a devastating threat to the national economy. Ghosts could ostensibly haunt iPads, iPhones, NASDAQ and the internet. Communication and commerce would break down, imperiling a fragile economic recovery.

Just imagine what would happen if an angry al-Qaeda spirit corrupted the Nation's computers? Web browsing, timekeeping, online bill paying, social networking and E-Harmony would collapse. Chaos would follow. It is a horrifying thought.

Worse, intelligence also indicates that ghosts can change cable channels without warning, take over flight controls, scare away workers and terrify small children. Finally, ghosts represent a very real danger to seniors and persons with cardiac difficulty: Seeing a ghost can easily cause heart failure.

In short, we face a serious crisis.

But it is essential to maintain calm. While we acknowledge that al-Qaeda ghosts are certainly scary, we are already taking action against them. In our battles with al-Qaeda, we have learned how to cope with terror. We know how to foil attacks, and supernatural attacks are no different. Put simply, we can defeat anything al-Qaeda throws at us, including ghosts.

Together with military and law enforcement authorities, the CIA is hard at work securing Lower Manhattan against the expected spectral onslaught. Thanks to improved interrogation methods, we have confirmed that the ghosts of Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Mustafa al-Yazid intend to float into the area around Ground Zero within the next 48 hours. We will be ready for them.

Authorities will lock down Lower Manhattan to quarantine the ghosts as soon as they land. Regrettably, these measures will entail some inconvenience for New Yorkers. All citizens will be subject to search and detainment to verify that they have not been haunted by al-Qaeda. And all citizens may be required to surrender their personal property--including their clothing and underwear--for inspection to determine whether a spirit has not hidden within it. After all, we are talking about ghosts. They can easily hide in backpacks, socks, panties, boxer shorts, water bottles and even cell phones.

While we appreciate citizens' concerns for their liberty, dignity and privacy in these matters, we reiterate that security against terrorist ghosts requires strong action. Comprehensive security is the only way to successfully defeat ghosts.

We recognize that New Yorkers simply want to get back to normal after 10 years of terror. But we cannot afford to give up now. We face perhaps the most frightening battle we have yet faced in the War on Terror. We are all afraid of ghosts; but al-Qaeda ghosts are especially bad. Worse, this is no ghost story. This is a specific, credible and confirmed threat.

Still, Americans do not back down. We can defeat terrorist ghosts just as well as living terrorists. We all must refuse to give in to fear. Go to work. Go on vacation. Go to a movie. Go buy a car. Go buy a home. Go about your business as you would any other day. If a ghoul accosts you, tell him you're an American and you are not afraid. Sure, he might haunt you or even steal your handbag, but that is no reason to bend to terror.

We here at the CIA will do our part to keep the public informed as we obtain new reports. Until that time, we advise full cooperation with law enforcement. If you are detained, remember that your sacrifice is absolutely necessary to prevent al-Qaeda from haunting America. You will be released as soon as competent authorities determine that an al-Qaeda ghost has not hidden somewhere in your clothing or on your body.

In this age of heightened security concerns, we all must be prepared to make the occasional sacrifice. If we do not, the ghosts win.


Timoteo said...

Wow--just discovered that you are back. Such delightfully acerbic wit I can find no where else. Will be dropping by more often!

Balthazar Oesterhoudt said...

Nice to see you back, Timoteo! I certainly won't be able to post with the same frequency as past years, but you can expect a steady stream of commentary (both serious and satirical) from me these days.

There is just too much absurdity for me to ignore!

Once again, thanks for reading, and be sure to check back soon.