I posted this over at Big Peace but since it is an ongoing series here I wanted a copy on our servers. I think some of the hype over whether this compromises classified information may have been overblown. That said, I don't think it really added anything to the debate and put too much of our secret business out in public.
The media are gathered in the White House press room expecting another session kicking the crap out of feckless Robert Gibbs. The lights dim and several disco balls descend from the ceiling while tendrils of smoke snake across the front of the room. Suddenly the pounding beats and dulcet tones of Kid Rock’s “Cowboy” echo. Through the lights and fog strides a man diametrically dissimilar to their usual target as BLACKFIVE’s Uncle Jimbo takes the stage.
UJ: Greetings Jackals, It’s been too long since we played together and Gibby really needed a break. He pulled a muscle trying to lie about the NASA administrator making up that garbage about his job being to pump sunshine up the collective butts of Muslims and their contributions to the space program. So you get me and a much-needed lesson about what classified and covert mean. But first let me introduce my good friend and co-lecturer Chuck D from the seminal rap ensemble Public Enemy.
Chuck struts on stage followed by Professor Griff and the S1Ws, a phalanx of hard-looking dudes vaguely reminiscent of the New Black Panthers but in urban camouflage not black.
Chuck: Right on Uncle J. People we have a problem, too many of you think you got some kinda right to bust our state secrets out in public. That ain’t right. I mean what part of secret don’t you fools understand? Y’all have been screwing up all kinds of programs designed to keep your pampered asses and everybody else’s safe for too long so we gotta make another example. Hey James Risen, Yo’ NY Times you remember when we jacked you up over fronting out that NSA program where we were listening to what the damn terrorists were talking about?
A visibly cowed James Risen tries to answer, but can only stammer.
JR: Uhh..Ummm….y-y-yes Mr. duh-duh-duh D.
Risen sinks lower in his chair and begins shivering uncontrollably.
Chuck: Hey Milbank, you Simpsons sounding punk, help Risen out there. He looks like he’s gonna wet himself.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post leans over and puts an arm around Risen and whispers reassurances softly in his ear.
Chuck: You don’t look so good yourself son, you having a flashback to wearing that orange vest and messin’ with Cheney about shooting folks in the face? But let’s get back to you clowns telling our tales in public. Today’s contestant is Dana Priest of the Washington Post talking smack about which contractors are helping us find the bad guys, come on down!
Dana Priest shifts uncomfortably in her chair.
Chuck: Yeah you. You are a serial offender heading towards your three strikes and out.
Ms. Priest looks around for support and finds her fellow jackals shrinking away as they recall what happens to the unfortunate souls chosen as object lessons.
DP: Ahh I believe that my work falls clearly within
the protections of the First Amendment.
Chuck waves dismissively.
Chuck: I ain’t disagreeing with you lady, but now you gotta find out the practical consequences of abusing that freedom.
Uncle Jimbo steps back to the mic and fixes Ms. Priest with an icy glare.
UJ: Chuck’s right ma’am. You see my friends are
still out in the fray and they need the best intel possible to stay
alive and continue their noble work of creating dead tangos and peace.
When you and your friends expose classified programs, that gets much
more difficult. So the way I see it you owe them and payback is a
medevac. For your sake let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. But you are
gonna put your own ass on the line for once. Chuck tell her what she’s
Professor Griff and the S1Ws march in precision formation to Ms. Priest’s seat and delicately escort her to the stage.
Chuck: Since you don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about what kind of damage you do to the intel programs that keep our troops alive, then you are gonna go get some intel yourself. In homage to that intrepid hero who headed into the mountains all by his damn self to capture bin Laden, you are off to the Hindu Kush to find us some al Qaeda.
In beautifully choreographed motion the S1Ws swath her in a burqa, drape a samurai sword in a scabbard across her back and hand her a satellite phone.
Chuck: Holler when you got targets for some Hellfire and Damnation. Put her on the Rendition Express fellas.
The S1Ws and Griff spirit Ms. Priest off on her new mission. Chuck steps aside with a wickedly satisfied look on his face and UJ retakes the podium.
UJ: Well there you have it jackals, feel free to take full advantage of your press freedom. Just always know that Freedom isn’t free, there’s a hefty fee and if you are gonna make it tougher for our operators then it’s time you lot started paying your share.