Washington DC - (Associated Mess): Pentagon lawyers opposing a Supreme Court ruling authorising wiccan veterans to use spiritual symbols such as the pentacle on tombstones at military cemetaries have sent in the big guns to testify as expert witnesses.
And the opening salvo has come from the British Museum's legal department which has acknowledged that the bastions of British culture and archaeological heritage were built on grave-robbing foundations made possible by the tell-tale signs and supernatural sigils carved on the external walls of mausolea of the great warriors of olden days of yore.
This expert testimony is expected to add weight to the Pentagon's contention that any inclusion of wiccan-style symbols could lead in the future to tomb violations and abuse by archaeological treasure-trove hunters looking to steal museum-quality prey.
The legal argument could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for wiccan veterans who are demanding parody with other religious groups' use of their respective supernatural symbols.
And although the Pentagon was unable to give precise details of just how many attempts have ever been made to rob tombs at national burial sites such as Arlington Cemetary, their concerns were nevertheless grave enough to justify the grim Brits' warning - given the number of potentially opportunistic holidaying bounty-hunters from Old Blighty who visit the United States each year.
"British grave-robbery has been an integral party of the national heritage", said the BM spokesman, "and without it national repositories such as the British Museum would be stuffed with disintegrating, moth-eaten useless relics of little long-term value as exhibits.
"The true quality bits have all come from graves that professional treasure-trove hunters have acquired by raiding forays in far-flung foreign regions.
"The grave-robbing careers of some of the country's most illustrious archaeologists have been ennobled with countless peerages in the House of Lords in recognition of achievements to the national heritage.
"Where would we be today if it wasn't for the likes of Howard Carter?
"Most of his booty was found after a trail of tell-tale signs was discovered carved into the exteriors of the raided tombs. It could be the same with pentacles in US military graveyards in centuries to come."
The Pentagon has now rested its case but asked for projected figures for the next twenty years of potential British grave-robbing tourists to be set out before the Court before a final adjudication can be made.