Washington DC - State secrets. Espionage. Deception, hypocrisy. Threats, counter threats.
Like a sick, sick novel, created by an impossible and bizarre collaboration between George Orwell, John le Carré, and Hunter Thompson, the Wikileaks saga continued to unfold today.
In a major development, several low-level US federal employees have reportedly been whisked away, taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security after viewing secret State Department cables on the internet.
Some say they are being tortured.
A US Postal Service letter-carrier from Ft. Wayne Indiana, along with her 10 year old daughter, are among those who have been taken. Neighbors say Lisa Johnson and her daughter Tara, were taken away by just after dark last night. The husband and father, Harold Johnson, who works as a department manager at a local Home Depot, was in tears when we spoke with him.
"I was at work, but my neighbor said these guys in black suits, they said the NSA sent them because someone was able to get onto the Wikileaks site from our PC." The distraught man said. "My wife was crying, trying to tell them it was an accident, that our daughter was just clicking on some links on the internet, and got to that site by accident...please, I just want my family back. We don't care about that crap, we don't even vote"
At a press conference in Washington, an official who would only identify himself as "An agent currently representing both the State Department and The Department of Homeland Security" spoke to reporters. I was present.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate" He began with a sneer. "Pay attention, because I'm not going to repeat myself. Yes, we have taken some federal employees into custody for viewing classified information online without the proper security clearance. That guy-whose name I shall not mention-that Wikileaks guy, he's angered us, and you all are going to have to pay."
"What about the letter-carrier from Indiana and her 10 year old daughter" I shouted out. "Are they at Guantanamo Bay? Are they being tortured?"
"I don't have to answer that." The official replied. "But I will. "Yes, Mrs. Johnson is undergoing enhanced interrogation. We like to call it the old 'Dick Cheney treatment'. From what I understand, the child, Tara, probably won't require that level of questioning. It seems that after agents forced her to view her mother being water-boarded, and then threatened to cut the heads of her barbie dolls, the kid agreed to cooperate fully."
"What about the cyber-attacks against the Wikileaks site." Shouted another reporter. "Is The US Government behind it? Is it ethical to hijack private citizens' computers and use them to attack another private computer network?
"Whoa, whoa, I don't think your getting the picture here, sparky!" The perturbed official shouted. "New rules. You don't just ask any question you please. We're going to turn the clock back to the good old days of the 40s and 50s, when the media was the government lap-dog. This has been embarrassing.
All those cables, information about our friends and allies, how nasty Putin is, how corrupt our Afghan allies are, how greedy and devious our friends in the Royal Saudi Monarchy are, it's embarrassing."
"What's embarrassing? The actual information about how corrupt and hypocritical they are, or the fact that they are our friends and allies?" Called out a Washington Post reporter.
With a frown, the official snapped his fingers and pointed at her. Two burly security guards dragged her away, muffling her screams with beefy hands as they did so.
"I can see you guys don't get it." He concluded. "Look, this guy-I won't say his name-but he crossed the line! When he got those secret cables, he should have come to us with an extortion demand! We would have paid him millions, and everyone would have been happy!
What kind of freak doesn't understand simple extortion? What is he, on some kind of crusade for free speech, for freedom of the press? It's insane! Now get out there and write a story about how execution is too good for that traitorous bastard!"