“By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners, and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us.” —Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on the release of files documenting alleged torture and killings by U.S.and Iraqi soldiers
Thank you. I’d like to open up the floor to a few questions now. Yes, you there in the front. No, I’m sorry, I can’t comment on the truth of the torture allegations. Why not? Well, you know, people just don’t want to hear about that sort of thing. There could be kids watching. What parent wants to have to explain to his seven-year-old daughter what “sodomized with a hose” means? If we actually admitted to this stuff—not that we did it, but if we did do it and admitted to it—that little girl would be confused when she got to the “liberty and justice for all” part of the Pledge of Allegiance. I mean, she’s way too young to understand that arbitrarily-named “enemy combatants” aren’t covered by the not-getting-sodomized-with-a-hose clause in the Geneva Conventions. Heck, they don’t even get covered by the anti-sodomizing-with-a-water-bottle law. If we let kids know about all this stuff that we may or may not be doing, they’re going to be way less cute during their presentations on American history, and we just can’t have that. Next question, please.
OK, you got me. Remember when we, the humble civil servants in the U.S. government, said that we didn’t keep track of civilian deaths in Iraq? I’m not saying we lied to you guys, but if we did, the total death toll would come to about 109,000. How many civilians? You mean hypothetically? Well, if these casualties actually happened, it would probably be about 66,081 innocent deaths. But hey, we’ve killed 23,984 folks classified as “enemies.” That’s a darn good ratio, if you ask me. If your police department had a record of killing three of your neighbors for each bad guy, I’d personally give each of those officers a medal.
You reporters should really thank me for keeping the files that potentially include descriptions of American and Iraqi war crimes a secret. Not that the allegations are true, because I’m definitely officially ambiguous about that, but if they were true, you wouldn’t even want to hear it. They’d probably break the story on the news around dinnertime. Do you have any idea what listening to an account of six children whose parents were killed because they were driving too close to a checkpoint would do to your appetite? Showing that kind of gory story when hard-working Americans just want to relax with a meal would be just plain rude. That’s why whenever these allegations of American complicity in torture and murder reach the media, we can’t discuss the accusations themselves. The best we can do is chastise the disseminators of such information for risking American lives. I’d tell you more, but, conveniently, I just can’t. Next question.
Oh, no, we most certainly did the right thing in invading Iraq in the first place. So what if we never found weapons of mass destruction, just as U.N. inspectors had told us would happen? There were still links between…okay, there actually weren’t links between Al Qaeda and Saddam’s secular Ba’ath autocracy. See, our strategy was more proactive: invading Iraq allowed Al Qaeda to move in and recruit new members, which then created opportunities for our brave men and women to kill more terrorists. It’s all perfectly logical—just leave this policy stuff to us career…er, experienced politicians. Last question.
Will we ever apologize? Look, if we’ve even done anything worth apologizing for, it’s not gonna happen for a while. It took until Bill Clinton’s presidency to apologize for the coup d’état in Hawaii in the 1890s. But, hey, we’re getting better. It only took us 70 years to apologize for infecting unwitting Guatemalan citizens with syphilis to test the effectiveness of penicillin. My guess is that if anything unethical happened in Iraq, you’ll get an apology in about half a century. Besides, I’ve got to save at least a couple bombshells for the controversial, whistleblower memoir I’m writing. If you haven’t died of old age by the time it gets published, you all should really buy my book—you wouldn’t believe the crazy s—t going on right about now. Sorry folks, we’re out of time. I hope I cleared up any lingering confusion. God bless America.
Facts and statistics in this article are taken from the web sites of the Al Jazeera and BBC news networks.