Buoyed by the successful creation of a secret Defense Department intelligence agency, DoD Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has created a secret legislature as well. Just as the secret Defense intelligence organization supercedes the CIA, the new so-called Defense Congress replaces the original US Congress, which sits on Capitol Hill. Defense officials claim the Defense Congress is "much more efficient, reliable, and compliant" than the existing Congress.
The Defense Congress is structured in a similar way to the real Congress, with two chambers and representation by states and districts. All members, however, are selected personally by Rumsfeld and report directly to him. "By dispensing with campaigns and elections, we are saving the American people a tremendous amount of time and money," said one official. Russian President Putin reportedly provided numerous helpful tips on how the Defense Congress should be managed.
The duties of the Defense Congress include "correcting the mistakes and oversights" of the current Congress. Mr. Rumsfeld will set the new Congressional agenda and his office will write the bills that the Congress will consider. Votes, which are done in secret, will be tabulated by Rumsfeld using a $400,000 custom calculator built by Halliburton. The Congress meets in a secret location, on a secret schedule, and has a top-secret budget.
Members of the Defense Congress bristle at criticism of the institution's democratic legitimacy. "We're really almost identical to that other congress," said an anonymous representative from Kansas. "We drink too much, sleep with staff members, and go on expensive junkets sponsored by defense contractors." An Indiana senator said that "Americans are sick of bipartisan squabbling, and we sure don't have that here. The biggest debate so far has been well, it's a secret."
The Defense Congress does not have political parties, a leadership structure, or an agenda. "We're too busy fighting the war on terrorism to bother with those namby-pamby details," said one insider.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is not concerned about competition from the new body at DoD. "They have their purpose, which is to give Don Rumsfeld whatever he wants," he said. "And we have our purpose, which is to review study, debate, compromise, and ultimately give Don Rumsfeld whatever he wants."