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Judge: Who were?
Witness: When after all, it was you and me.
Judge: As you know, the president has to hurry with this hearing because he's on his way to Russia to talk nukes with Vladimir Putin. Do you have any experience with the Russkies?
Witness: Oh, yes. I've visited often, and I stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was time for a change.
Judge: You mean when the Soviet Evil Empire crumbled?
Witness: Oh, heavens no. That was actually a rather somber occasion for me. No, I was there when they killed the czar and his ministers. And, touchingly, Anastasia cried in vain.
Judge: Any more recent experience?
Witness: Oh, a little. I helped the president here draft his treaty with Putin that claims the U.S. is reducing nuclear arms while actually spending $30 billion more on them, not including who knows how many billions or even trillions on a revitalized Star Wars. Pretty slick, if I do say so myself. Of course, I was the demon ... uh, man ... who coined that adorable term, Mutually Assured Destruction.
President: Why, suh, what can you tell us about my Middle East policy?
Witness: (Chuckles.) What policy?
President: You sneering at me, pal? We can add you to The List of Those Suspected of Loving the Evil Axis, you know.
Witness: No offense meant. In fact, from where I sit, no policy on the Middle East is just dandy. In ensures the status quo, and as a "conservative," you always favor the status quo, right?
President: Uh, I guess. But how did you gain experience in the Middle East?
Witness: I once knew a man in Jerusalem whose policies were much like yours. In fact, I made damn sure my friend -- his name was Pilate -- washed his hands and sealed his fate.
President: Sorta sounds familiar.
Witness: Don't let it trouble you.
President: You have any other experience with the Middle East?
Witness: I'm a ranking adviser.
President: Yeah? Who to?
Witness: Both Ariel and Yassir. Fine gentlemen who have long heeded my counsel, as have you, Mr. President.
Judge: And what is that advice?
Witness: Oh, little things, like "war is peace." And, with the War on Terrorism, which will never end, my recommendation has been to go full tilt on behalf of friends -- the guys in the boardrooms, the companies that make the bombs and guns and gasses, the friendly despots.
Judge: Then you approve of America being the world's policeman?
Witness: Of course, because as we know, every cop is a criminal.
Judge: And you'd swear that we're always right, even when we undermine international justice, gut treaties to save the world's ecology, support brutal dictatorships, aid those who would overthrow democracy in places such as Venezuela, allow our corporations to terrorize workers in the Third World, strip mine our own nation's economy for the elite few, let thieves such as Enron's Kenny Boy Lay firmly grip the levers of national policy, etcetera, etcetera?
Witness: Certainly. All the sinners are saints -- if you can just spin it right.
President: What do you think about Osama and Saddam and Fidel?
Witness: Some of my finest associates.
President: Associates! I thought you were on our side?
Witness: Oh, I am. You might just say that I was the first advocate of globalization. Without those boys, think how hard your global job would be.
President: Yeah, it would be pretty hard to fool, I mean, convince people that Dick and I wear the white hats.
Witness: In my book, black is white. And I commend you on your successes.
President: Thanks, cowpoke. Which one in particular?
Witness: For a start, you're such a role model. Just look at what the bosses are doing in India and Pakistan. We may soon see fissions galore -- all because they're following your fine example.
Defense: Objection. There's some big news being reported here. Why haven't I read about it in the newspapers?
Witness: Because the press knows that I've laid traps for troubadours who get killed before they reach Bombay.
Defense: I'm not sure I understand that rather florid allusion.
Witness: It's easy. Even Dan Rather admitted he was pulling punches. Who needs truth when you can have ratings?
Judge: I'm calling a halt to this testimony until we find out who the witness is. He could be a phony.
Witness: Please, have some courtesy. Have some sympathy for me. And some taste.
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