“We Must Ask Nebraskans, Not Just Middle Easterners, What They Know”

Washington, D.C. ( – Sensitive to accusations of profiling specific groups, the Justice Department today announced that the American Civil Liberties Union has taken over the lead role in terrorism investigations, a shift in strategy that frees up the government to conduct a less prejudicial, more inclusive probe that should take, roughly, forever.

ACLU Investigative Arm

“Instead of un-Constitutionally targeting specific groups, our investigation will expand the pool of interviews by more fairly including people of every ethnicity, every religion, every gender, and every sexual persuasion,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Right now, we are interviewing Caucasian farmers in Iowa, legally blind Wal-Mart employees in California, and gay Latino package store customers in Florida to see if they had contact with, or were involved with, those from the Middle East who carried out any attacks.”

“For some reason, we haven’t learned a thing so far,” Romero conceded. “But I should note that we have yet to speak to Chinese-American loggers in the Northwest.”

Using the new approach, the ACLU estimated the investigation will cost $2 trillion and take 750 years to complete.

And now, on to the dreaded…


ACLU: Well, Mr. X – we call you Mr. X. to protect your identity.

Suspect: But my name is…

ACLU: Shhh… shhhh… none of that. We don’t need to know. You are not a suspect. Now, Mr. X., what brings you here? And feel free not to tell me.

Suspect: I want to confess.

ACLU: Confess? Why? Have you been coerced into giving this confession by any government agency or official? Have you been threatened by any individual or entity with imprisonment, deportation, extradition, or the abrogation of your rights to freely participate in commerce?

Suspect: No, it’s just that…

ACLU: Wait, did I coerce you into this? For the love of the First Amendment, say it wasn’t me!

Suspect: It wasn’t you.

ACLU: Ah, but you wouldn’t tell me, would you? Classic trapped-suspect syndrome. You feel caged. You’re afraid I’ll rough you up and no one will hear. Mr. X, I’m sorry, but I must recuse myself from this interview and turn myself in to the authorities. You’re free to go.

Suspect: But I don’t want to go!

ACLU: Stop, you’re torturing me!

(First interrogator exits, second ACLU interrogator enters)

ACLU: So, Mr. X, I understand you came here to confess to something.

Suspect: Yes. I wanted to say…

ACLU: Not so fast. First, I would like you to read this pamphlet we’ve prepared on your rights during an interview. It explains the kinds of tactics interrogators are likely to use to coerce you into confessing or divulging information. It explains your rights, particularly your right to remain silent.

Suspect: But I don’t want to remain silent.

ACLU: Damn, my predecessor really worked you over, didn’t he?

Suspect: No no. Listen, you don’t understand where I’m coming from…

ACLU: Oh no you don’t! We don’t care where you come from. You are not here because of your background or who you know or what you believe. Those are private, Constitutionally protected matters.

Suspect: Look, I came here to tell you that I am one of them!

ACLU: One of who?

Suspect: The terrorists.

ACLU: Please don’t use that term. It’s wholly a matter of perspective. Wait, let me turn this powerful lamp on. There.

Suspect: You’re shining it in your face. Aren’t you supposed to shine it in my face?

ACLU: Either we are all subject to the harsh glare of accusation, or none of us are, Mr. X. Now continue. Or leave. Totally up to you.

Suspect: Well, I think what I did was wrong.

ACLU: That’s really a matter for the courts to decide. Is there any admissible evidence of your alleged guilt? Wait, I move to strike that from the record! It’s a leading question.

Suspect: But I do have proof. I have tapes, and printouts of emails, and photographs of all of us at our al Qaeda graduation, and at a strip club in Boca Raton. That’s me with under the table there, with the g-string on my head.

ACLU: Attending a strip club performance is protected under freedom of expression.

Suspect: But there’s more. I can also tell you the identities and whereabouts of many more of the conspirators. Here, I have written their names on this piece of paper.

ACLU: Really Mr. X, I don’t know who you think you’re dealing with, but you cannot seriously expect us to act on this information.

Suspect: Why not?

ACLU: This list is completely devoid of diversity. I see no Rogers, no Carmelas, no Mary Jane Jablowskis.

Suspect: That’s because there were none.

ACLU: Unless you provide us with a more heterogeneous list, there’s nothing we can do.

Suspect: So, what, you’re not going to arrest me?

ACLU: Arrest you? All right, that’s enough! Who sent you here?

Suspect: What?

ACLU: Oh you’re good. You’re damn good. Who sent you to check on us? Human Rights Watch? Greenpeace? Well, you can tell your tree-hugging superiors that we’ll be interviewing Antarctic whales, too! And the Japanese fishing fleet!

Suspect: But I came here because I’m guilty.

ACLU: Wrong, you are innocent until proven otherwise. Now get out of here! Or stay where you are and exercise your right to freely assemble!

Suspect: You’re nuttier than the FBI.

ACLU: I know. We’re trying to get that added to the Bill of Rights.

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