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Rumsfeld Announces Discovery of Spears of Mass Destruction
July 12, 2003
Satire by David Albrecht

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced today at a Pentagon press conference that coalition forces had discovered a huge cache of spears, arrows and similar projectile weapon systems, believed to be of Iraqi origin, buried deep in an archaeological site high on the slopes of Turkey's Mount Ararat.

"Our weapons analysis teams have confirmed a large number of both spears and arrows, which showed substantial traces of biological toxins on their points and edges, at the site in question", he said. Pentagon insiders, speaking off the record, noted that although the spears and arrows were fairly primitive by 21st Century standards, the addition of modern propulsion technology could have rendered them far more dangerous to US and other coalition troops. The toxins, possibly derived from animal dung or other natural substance, could have posed "a serious threat of infection and irritation to soldiers in the field", according to Secretary Rumsfeld.

That the Iraqi weapons cache was discovered high on a mountain in Turkey has led many military experts and Middle East policy specialists to conclude that an arrangement existed at some point between the Turkish government and that of Saddam Hussein. However, in the absence of any comment from Turkish authorities, and without confirmatory records in Baghdad, the nature of this alliance remains a topic of speculation and rumor.

The site in question, according to Rumsfeld, lies within the hold of an "unusually large naval asset", described by weapons researchers in foreign press reports as being "hundreds of feet" in length. Some local residents, who have worked as laborers during the excavation of the cache, have painted a picture of an enormous vessel, mired tens of meters deep in glacial ice, with the weapons stored in special compartments low in the bow and stern sections. How the enormous Iraqi ship came to be located buried in a glacier high atop a Turkish mountain remains unknown. However, Rumsfeld said that the location of the weapons site shows that "we were wise not to underestimate the power and determination of Hussein's regime to hide these dangerous implements."

Further evidence of the nature of the site has surfaced in the form of bones - thousands of them. Zoologists have identified dozens of species not native to Turkey, including elephants, rhinos, gorillas, spider monkeys (a New World species) and kangaroos. General Tommy Franks, who recently retired as head of US Central Command, stated on Fox News that the bones show that Saddam "left no stone unturned in his search for simple, effective and possibly devastating dung-based, iron-tipped bio-weapons. This was a long-term and thoroughly researched program." Officials in the office of Paul Bremer, Iraq's civilian administrator, are now poring over zoo records in search of evidence of animal purchases and transfers. In addition, large mounds of hay, grain and other animal foodstuffs, preserved by the glacial deep-freeze, gave evidence that this was a long-term operation for test animal upkeep.

A final link between the ship and Iraq came in the form of documents discovered on board. These parchments and clay tablets, written in an early style of cuneiform common in the Baghdad region thousands of years ago, may well be treasures from Iraq's rich archeological past, hidden for safekeeping. Document analysis teams are working 24-hour shifts to recover the information they contain. Among their findings so far: a description of the ship itself, which oddly sketches the vessel's length, height and beam using the obsolete measure of the cubit; and veterinary records. These records, which describe the acquisition of breeding pairs of almost every animal species known, "show", in Rumsfeld's words, "that Saddam Hussein was engaged in a very long-term plan to improve his weapons systems. This was a clear threat, and President Bush made the right decision when he chose to stop it."

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