The New Mesopotamia Times

Pentagon admits: Rumsfeld is a machine
Washington DC .Following the admission yesterday by the Pentagon that a machine was used to sign letters of condolence from US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to relatives of more than 1,000 US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States was today rocked by a further revelation that Rumsfeld himself is not a human being at all but a machine. 

"Yes, the letters were signed by a machine - and that machine was Mr Rumsfeld himself," said Pentagon spokesman Ollie South. "He is indeed a cold, lifeless, unfeeling and completely artificial robot."

Rumsfeld had been known in Pentagon circles by his codename 'Mr Data'. "His body was constructed using the latest robotics technology from left-over scraps from Hollywood sets for C3P0 and R2D2 in the Star Wars movies and the electronic 'brain' was programmed from code developed for video computer wargames." South said.

"We had already produced a talking head by the time of the invasion of Iraq in February 2003," South revealed. "The talking head chaired numerous Presidential War Briefings, made executive decisions on the prosecution of the war and even gave quite a few press conferences for the Washington media - and no one seemed to have noticed the missing body."

The only point at which the robot Rumsfeld was known to have malfunctioned was during the famous Department of Defense press briefing when he told reporters that "we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."

The human Rumsfeld greets Saddam Hussein in 1984
"We believe that the robot's speech program algorithm circuits may have been a little fried by an external electronic source at that time," South explained. "We later learned that the President was in the next room at that exact time, microwaving a plate of pretzels."

When asked if there had ever been a real, human Donald Rumsfeld, South indicated that the last public appearance of the human Donald Rumsfeld had been in March 24, 1984, when he was a Special Envoy of the Reagan Administration and had paid a visit to Saddam Hussein to congratulate him on Iraq's successful use of chemical weapons in its war with Iran.  
"For obvious reasons, the human Mr Rumsfeld is not particularly keen to show himself in public now since our recent 'disagreement' with Mr Hussein," South explained.

South said that the Pentagon were in the process of producing other robots in addition to Mr Rumsfeld. "At current production rates, we can have models ready to replace President Bush's full Cabinet line-up by the end of this year," he revealed.

When asked if there would be any policy concerns about replacing all of Bush's Cabinet with robots, South said: "Haven't you been reading the news about Iraq lately? Could anyone or anything else possibly do a worst job?"
South also talked of the possibility of mass-marketing do-it-yourself kits for sale to the private sector. "Just put a few screws, nuts and bolts together and - hey, presto! - you have your very own Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State ready to do your every bidding," South said. "We have already received advance orders from Haliburton and various oil companies."

The Pentagon has also been working on developing a robot replacement for President George W Bush as well. However, South revealed that this particular model has been fraught with design problems. "The main challenge in replicating a completely identical Mr Bush has been in the design of the artificial brain," South revealed. "Even when we used the microchip from a common household washing machine, the resulting robot proved more intelligent than the real George Bush and fooled no one."

In a related development, the British government today revealed a similar research program in Britain - this time using advanced DNA technology to genetically-engineer clones of Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet. "We have already analysed DNA samples from all his Cabinet Ministers and have found a close DNA match with tissue samples taken from domesticated sheep," a Downing Street spokesman revealed.

The common household washing machine proved more intelligent than George W Bush

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A dispatch by our Embedded Satirist in Cambridge, Sabri Zain. For the real story on the Rumsfeld machine, click here. To read about the real Rumsfeld's courtesy visit to Saddam Husssein, click here.