Washington DC (Riotous) - Aides of Vice President Dick Cheney have issued a hasty statement on behalf of the beleagured ex-Halliburton CEO amid new CIA reports naming Iran as the transit point of Al Qaeda 9/11 operatives:
"Mr Cheney now admits he and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may have got the geography wrong in sending US troops to Iraq instead of Iran. The original intelligence came from the Colonel Oliver North Wing of the Pentagon and was unfortunately partly shredded through clerical error before it could be decoded properly.
"The words 'terrorists' and 'IRA' were clear on the communique from the UK's MI6 contacts at Mossad HQ in Las Vegas detailing the post-9/11 threat to the US.
"The Defense Department was pretty sure that the IRA - that is the Irish Liberation Army - could not be involved because UK Premier Tony Blair 's close aides Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell said so. The Vice President therefore advised that the missing letter after the "a" must be a "q" and not an "n" because Saddam was a bad boy with more oil than sense and with an election due later in 2004, American voters had a need to know that their gas tanks could be filled up at around $1 a gallon in the forseeable future."
Meanwhile Defense Department chiefs reacted with disbelief at the reports that the 101st Airborne Division might need to be sent to Iran to spearhead an advance party investigating relatives of the late Shah of Persia's relatives who are believed to be operating the country's first covert nuclear-powered smallpox microbe production factory, in conjunction with a sophisticated recycling center that has so far refurbished up to 500 Patriot missiles left over from Iraq overshoots during the US's 1990 liberation of Kuwait when Saddam's forces were successfully routed back to Baghdad.
"This may be a novel way of planning Sharia-law-approved mass immunization of neighbouring states, of course," said the spokesman, "but we have no definite data on the matter.
"Similar attempts at vaccinating whole nations were once tried during the cold war when the Soviet Union toyed with the idea of using rocket-fuel propelled giant syringes filled with live cholera serum to immunize large areas of Eastern Europe that lagged behind in modern health care.
"In the end an administrative decision was taken which showed that it would be a cheaper and far more health-effective option to simply send in tanks into the streets of Czechoslovakia.
"Naturally, we are studying such options."