WASHINGTON - The White House announced a new program today in the fight against terror: smoking. The government says that smoking can help to eliminate terror targets and drive terrorists from the US's borders.
Virginia Senator Pat Clarendon was named by the White House to head a new agency, the Tobacco Anti-Terror Agency. At a press conference he said, "There is clear and compelling scientific evidence that smoking can combat terror in the US. Careless smoking results in thousands of fires every year. If one of those fires burns down the kind of target that draws terrorists, then by definition we've reduced their scope of action. And if someone dies of a smoking-related illness, then that person obviously cannot be a victim of terror."
Clarendon said he will look for advice and guidance in the direction of the new agency from a special coalition of groups called Americans United Against Terror. Sponsors include a range of tobacco companies, lobbying groups, faith-based advocacy groups, and tobacco lobbying faith-based advocational limited liability sponsorship entities, all of them subsidiaries of Halliburton Corporation.
"Nobody knows better than America's tobacco companies what kind of damage smoking can do," Clarendon said. "I will draw on their knowledge and expertise to spearhead a number of initiatives. The first and foremost is to promote smoking in countries like Iraq where terrorists operate under the al Qaeda umbrella. If we had promoted smoking in Iraq during the first Gulf War, all of the al Qaeda operatives would be dead by now, and 9-11 never would have happened."
The agency has been appropriated $274.3 billion for the remainder of 2004 in a special funding bill passed by Congress. Although technically no vote was taken on the measure, the White House says that the bill was signed into law anyway under a heretofore-secret provision of the Patriot Act.
The agency's motto in a coming media campaign will be "Light Up to Fight Terror."