Ridge Reveals Undeclared Government Activities

(Independence Day Newswire -- Washington)

A key organizer of the shadow government, was caught off guard this week, after apparently having missed a pivotal policy statement while in hiding. Returning from an extended period of exhile, Homeland Security director Tom Ridge made statements which directly contradicted earlier claims that plans to form an Office of Strategic Disinformation had been dropped.

In his news conference Wednesday, the Homeland Security director unwittingly revealed that he was unaware of the switch in policy. Ridge, who had been at a secret location with other key members of the Bush administration's shadow government, said he had been working closely with the organizers of the Office of Strategic Disinformation as late as last week. This contradicts Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's earlier announcement that plans to form an Office of Strategic Disinformation would be dropped because negative publicity had created conditions under which the Office could not function effectively.

Pressed to reveal the nature of the Office's recent activities, Ridge deflected most questions due to concerns over national security. But he did make clear that the government had retained the services of the Rendon Group, a marketing and PR firm.

Whitehouse spokesman Ari Fleischer was quick to point out that there was a potential threat of terrorist activity that the public should be more worried about, and that a series of new summer movies had been released, and that a long holiday weekend was coming up, and that Ridge, who made the slip, was new to national government and should be pardoned for his error in the name compassionate conservatism.

But critics allege that Ridge's comments are proof that the Office of Strategic Disinformation continues to operate in secret.

Further investigation at the headquarters of the Washington-based Rendon revealed a cache of badly printed questionnaires that appeared to be related to its Strategic Disinformation activities. The documents, dated July 2nd, 2002, were left on the curb for recycling, and were translated into six foreign languages.

One questionnaire included a list of new names that could potentially supplant the title "Enduring Freedom" to describe US military activities in Afghanistan. Respondents were asked to select their preferred choice from among the following,

Operation Errant Destruction
Operation Super Offensive
Operation Surgical Firebomb
Operation Infinitessimal Justice
Operation Nuptial Siege
Operation Suspicious Procession
It is not clear whether the questionnaire was intended to sound out the extent of international disapproval over the recent bombing of an Afghan wedding party, or whether the administration is considering renaming the campaign again. "Enduring Freedom" was chosen as the second name for the mission by the Department of Defense. Although no official explanation was given, it is believed that it was changed due to embarrassment that the initial title, "Infinite Justice", had been used previously by Nazis.

Administration officials would not comment on the leaked documents, saying only that President was unaware of any wrong-doing and that he intended to celebrate Independence Day by enduring all the freedoms still afforded to Americans.