26, 11:33 AM ET
pundits William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, and Paul Wolfowitz today
confirmed what a handful of people have long suspected: The President
of the United States is a humanoid construct cobbled together in
“You must admit,
he’s a pretty convincing piece of work,” Wolfowitz said, playfully
patting his drone on the shoulder at a press conference this morning
at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology.
The achievement –
fooling not only most of America but most of the world, for years –
has drawn a round of hearty admiration from most roboticists, although
a few eminent experts are less impressed by the accomplishment.
I must admit that this….thing… is a remarkably convincing simulation
of an actual person. But in designing it they seem to have forgotten
what the ‘I’ in ‘A.I.’ stands for,” objected one computer scientist.
“I must say, though, that if nothing else, at least this revelation
allows me to renew my faith in human beings.”
did not dampen the mood of the three techno-wizards as they regaled
reporters with the story of their amazing creation. The Bush robot –
affectionately dubbed, “The Decidenator” – is the culmination of
work done during a neoconservative research conference on “Selenoid
Operating Controls for Promoting Unconditionally Pretaliatory-Interventionist
Technology.” In layman’s terms, the goal of “pretaliatory-interventionist
technology” is to usher in a new era of American greatness, to make
the Land of the Free into a beacon of hope for the world.
Yet in truth
the Project for A New American S.O.C.P.U.P.I.T. itself began much
more humbly, like so many world-changing ideas – with a group of
really smart think-tank employees having an enlightened conversation
while insulated from the meaningless inconveniences of reality.
“We were chatting
over cappuccino in the Decaf-Despot Coffeehouse about how well we
could rule the planet, and then Kristol brought up the never-ending
obstacle, ‘Yeah, but what kind of ding-a-ling would give clout to
a trio of Jacobin keyboard-commandos with Napoleonic complexes?’
” reminisced Ledeen.
– no man is that irresponsible,’ I conceded at the time. ‘Come
to think of it, no woman, either.'”
And so a light
bulb came on, as Kristol explains: “It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Talk about inspiration. I realized we could build a ding-a-ling.
Our own ding-a-ling, a superior, electronic ding-a-ling
with none of the vulnerability to common-sense that might handicap
a human ding-a-ling of flesh-and-blood.”
But being only
amateur roboticists with limited resources, they were compelled
to improvise with some good-old Yankee-Doodle know-how.
we got around to assembling the brain we had pretty much run out
of parts and taxpayers’ money,” Wolfowitz said. “So we used the
guts from one of those 1980’s Asteroids arcade games, and
some stuffing from a beat-up old sofa that Mike was gonna toss.”
“And a half-eaten
bacon-cheeseburger from White Castle that I couldn’t finish,” put
in Kristol, admitting: “So strictly speaking, it’s not a ‘robot’
but a cyborg – for it does have organic components.”
The three acknowledge
that this fly-by-night approach has led to some glitches, along
with some anxious moments.
to the 2000 presidential debate it froze up, and wouldn’t do anything
except shoot smoke out the ears and hiss, ‘Free-dom,’ in a voice
like Darth Vader.” said Ledeen. “We made it do shots of battery-acid
to unfreeze its CPU. Luckily the debate was with Gore anyway, who
would make a garage-door opener look like Cicero.”
shared some war-stories about the challenges of running a robotic
presidency: “For the first month after September 11th it paced the
corridors of the White House every night repeating the phrase, ‘Danger,
Will Robinson!! Danger!!’ over and over again. And no matter what
we tried, dogs still put their tails between their legs and snarled
whenever it came into a room. I really think some of the Secret
Service agents nearly caught on to us.”
when they caught you and Kristol in the Oval Office, tormenting
the poor thing by playing Keep-Away with its head,” interjected
Ledeen, light-heartedly rebuking his comrades.
objected that having US foreign policy dictated by an intellect
derived from decaying circuitboards and leftover sandwiches may
have some bearing on current problems in the Middle East. Others
go even further, questioning whether neoconservatives themselves
might bear some measure of responsibility for the quagmire in Iraq –
charges which the pundits easily refute, by denying them.
“And I suppose
if I had told Truman we needed to drop an atom-bomb on Japan, you’d
hold me accountable for birth defects in Hiroshima,” snorted Kristol
more generous, if more melancholy. “Some people are just player-haters,”
And as Ledeen
noted: “We commanded the Decidenator to conquer and dominate, sure;
but we didn’t command it to conquer and dominate badly.”
by a reporter for its own opinion regarding neoconservatives distancing
themselves from difficulties in Iraq, the unit merely turned to
its creators and queried submissively: “Merrrp. Masters? Urrrk.
With. Us? Or. Grzzztt! Against-Us?”
The three hurriedly
assured the mandroid that the reporter fell into the “Us” category,
thus sparing the journalist from being on the receiving end of the
“hunter-killer” subroutine of the machine’s democracy program.
Kristol, Walt Disney Corporation is interested in purchasing the
device for inclusion in “The American Adventure," a popular
animatronic-show at Epcot Center.
“Bringing the glorious light of progress to your pathetically-backward
little corner of the Hegemony."
Former US Navy officer Jerry Salyer [send
him mail] has been deployed to the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean
Sea, and Pacific & Indian Oceans. He is currently at work on a comic
novel, tentatively-titled Patriotic Chore.”