The first memo was from an eager, lower-level employee in the Planning Department, submitting a brainstorm to the Vice-President of the Terrorists-R-Us Operations Department. The second was the VP's response, explaining the facts of life to the over-enthusiastic youngster.
On consideration, though, I've decided to dump the first part. The "brainstorm" was a bit too good. (Not that I'm particularly worried about some terrorist surfing the Internet, stumbling across this blog, and exclaiming, "Wow! What a neat idea!" But if the US government has, as rumor opines, web-crawling software that flags phrases like "trck bmbs" and "ngrtn" appearing close together. . . well, I'd rather skip the FBI interrogation, thanks.)
But the second part, the VP's response, still merits posting:
From: J.W. Booth, VP, Operations Department, Terrorists-R-Us
To: A. Berkmann, Planning Department, Terrorists-R-Us
Thank you for your memo. But there's a reason your own department
head passed the idea over.
I can tell you're young, and eager, and want to make a mark in this
business. However, you need to realize that killing innocent
people is not part of our job.
They got most of the publicity, and virtually all of the outrage. But
the thousands killed in the attacks on the WTC on 9/11 were irrelevant. They were collateral damage, pure and simple.
Our goal, what we've been hired for, is to destroy and cripple the
US economically. The goal of the WTC attacks was, for a
relatively small cost on our part, to cost the US hundreds of billions of
dollars in primary and secondary costs from the attacks. It's worked,
spectacularly, and is still working.
We've even gotten free assistance toward our goals from the US
government, which seems totally oblivious that this is economic warfare, not
military. We couldn't do better even if we were running an inside
Your plan is spectacular and outrageous. But we're not looking
for outrage; we're looking for cost-effective.
We want ideas that will make Americans afraid to use their own national
infrastructure. Not for the sake of terror itself, but because their reaction to that fear will cost them money and cripple their businesses.
We've already managed to make air travel even more hassle-prone and bothersome than before, and put most airlines into deep and continuing financial straits. In the next few years, we want to conduct operations that will make Americans afraid to drive on their own highways, afraid to ship anything by rail, and afraid to trust their own water or electrical supplies.
If you have any brainstorms along those lines, submit them to your
department head. If they're promising, they'll reach my desk
(And don't go over his head to me again. You'll be fired. Out
of a cannon.)
Sincerely, J.W. Booth
Disclaimer: Just in case there might be a "J.W. Booth" or "A. Berkmann" somewhere out in the blogosphere who might take umbrage at their names appearing as employees of "Terrorists-R-Us", be it noted that I've used the names of John Wilkes Booth and Alexander Berkmann, well-known 19th-century assassin and attempted-assassin. No resemblance to living persons is intended, blah blah blah. . . .