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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nuclear Warheads in the Mail


Last week a mystery was cleared up for me. It was revealed that the Defense Department had sent two nuclear bomb detonation devices through the mail to Taiwan even though Taiwan had only purchased battery-related devices for some US made helicopters. When the Taiwanese realized what they'd received, they notified our Defense Department. "Whoa! We just want to spy on and straif our dissidents. We don't want to nuke their whole home town!"

You've got to figure when a department the size of our Defense Department is fulfilling the number of weapons-related orders that it handles every year, mistakes are bound to happen. Even though I've yet to get some book other than the one I've ordered through Amazon, book titles are no doubt a lot easier to keep straight than all the different kinds of missiles, tanks, and helicopter gunships that we sell, let alone all their parts.

That clears up the confusion I felt when I received a box about a month back, from our Defense Department. I'd filed a freedom of information request about titanium tipped warheads and was expecting some thick files. Imagine my surprise when I cut through the packing tape and found a warhead itself! I can just picture that humongous warehouse with shelves just full of every which kind of cluster bomb, landmine, and waterboarding apparatus. It's probably as big as five Walmarts and probably underground somewhere in Idaho, with sub par florescent lighting. I can just see how some overworked federal employee grabbed a little warhead when he meant to grab the operation manual that was probably sitting right next to it.

At the time, my neighbor thought it might have nothing at all to do with my FOIA request, but instead was in lieu of the $600 stimulus package I'm due to get. He surmised that what with the bailout of the banking system a few weeks back when Bear Sterns went belly up, dollars are in short supply. He said it made sense that some of us might receive in-kind goods rather than cash. I told him I'd have been happy with an iPhone. That would be a lot easier to sell on Craigslist than a nuclear weapon.

Boy was I wrong about that. Within a half hour of posting it on Craigslist, I'd received a dozen emails from all over the place. And folks were offering more than my $600 asking price!

Now I recognize that the whole thing was just a bureaucratic mistake. Wish I had thought of that before I sold it to the guy with those mirrored sunglasses.

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