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For Immediate Release - Office of the Press Secretary - October 24, 2003 - 2:22 P.M. (EST)

PRESIDENT BUSH CLARIFIES FUNERAL PROTOCOLS FOR PROTECTING IRAQ COMBAT FATALITIES FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS, TACKY MILITARY CEREMONIES, AND CANNED PRESIDENTIAL EULOGIES
Statement by the President

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Today I am dismayed to observe that in recent weeks, the domestic news media seems to have grown some peach fuzz around its circumsized little Jewish wiener and decided to bellyache about my longstanding ban on photographing all those coffins filled with dead grunts coming home from Iraq. This, in turn, has led to a temporary surge in misguided public interest in the matter. That's why today, lest anyone go thinking that I would ever go hiding anything – especially in a coffin – I wanted to take a minute to explain not just the photography ban, but all three major elements of the revised military funeral protocols.

In keeping with the logic and nomenclature of our "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests" programs, I like to call this the "Respected Heroes Initiative." Here's how it works:

ADDENDUM: ARMED FORCES IRAQ CASUALTY FUNERAL PROTOCOLS
** Effective 03.17.03 - George W. Bush, Commander in Chief - As Dictated by Karl Rove **
TRANSPORTATION: In light of recent "slam-dunk" CIA and FBI intelligence confirming that Al Qaeda is aggressively developing computer technology capable of downloading top-secret memories from GI corpse brains, the transportation of military casualties shall henceforth be conducted with the utmost secrecy. Failure to do so will result in the evil-doers thwarting our nation's defenses and systematically exterminating every white Christian child from sea to shining sea. As such, the liberal news media has been expressly forbidden to continue its longstanding practice of using photos to aid and abet America-haters by affirming the existence of bodies compatible with this nefarious new terror technology. All news outlets revealed to be in violation of this policy will find their White House correspondents upgraded to appropriate press conference seating – across the street in Lafayette Park.

In addition, reporters are forthwith prohibited from trespassing within a two-mile radius of any Airborne Express hangar. In times of war, it may be necessary to send a hero back to mother in a Hefty® Cinch Sak. It is the President's desire that these parcels not be photographed at least until such time as they have had Old Glory air-brushed onto them.

CEREMONY: In departure with over 200 years of tradition, the return of coffins to American soil shall not be marked with any public ceremonies or honors whatsoever. The Bush Administration believes that all such events serve to undermine the significance of the deceased's achievements. Sure, most kids may only sign up for the military because expanding U.S. socioeconomic disparity renders going to college a mere pipe dream otherwise, but when they're blown to pieces guarding a Halliburton desert oil pipeline – or playing rent-a-cop in a hostile camel jockey ghetto – rest assured their final thoughts are sheer joy, knowing they're giving their all for FREEDOM®! As such, they would never want some showy ceremony to welcome their charred, shrapnel-ridden bodies home. Besides, inasmuch as preserving FREEDOM® is our primary objective, it would be wrong to deny the voting public even one moment of blissfully enjoying its own FREEDOM® by imposing acknowledgement of the unpleasant reality of death.
INTERMENT: Families remain welcome to bury or cremate their dead FREEDOM® Defender in whatever manner they feel is appropriate, so long as it is not done in a public place. Suggested sites include back yards or remote areas, ideally near a family vacation home in the mountains. If, for religious reasons, a family insists on holding a ceremony, National Security mandates that said event be a "quiet gathering for burial" between the hours of 3:00am and 4:00am. To show reverence for the deceased, no words will be deemed adequate to express any grief, allowing the entire procedure to be quickly conducted in discrete silence and respectfully illuminated by a solitary citronella votive not visible from the nearest roadway – lest any late-night drunks be distracted from high-speed lane changes.

All families should note, however, that President Bush will not stoop to emulate his forty-two inferior predecessors by appearing at even one token funeral for the many hundreds he will send to their gloriously premature FREEDOM® Deaths. Indeed, beyond the fact that such services are rarely equipped with the state-of-the-art teleprompting hardware required to deliver a convincing facsimile of sympathy, the President is concerned that any such appearances might be misconstrued by voters as a tacit acknowledgement that all Americans are equally worthy of respect – or worse, health care.

PLEASE NOTE: Inasmuch as Arlington Cemetery is a national park that is open to the public, interments of Iraq casualties shall be prohibited for the duration of the War on Terror. Families desiring a hero's burial should be directed to the temporary plywood group sarcophagus established in the gated stockade adjacent the Wal-Mart Supercenter Store on Wards Road in Lynchburg, Virginia – until such time as their exhumation and relocation to Arlington will not attract undue (and dangerous) media attention.



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