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photos by Lara Shipley

Keystone Terrorists for Keystone Cops

June 10th, 2002 · No Comments

Keystone Terrorists for Keystone Cops

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about this article on ABC News. Ok, that’s not quite right: I laughed, then felt vaguely guilty about it. Y’see, it appears that Mohammed Atta and some of his compatriots had, despite their savage hatred for things like “Western civilization,” been infected to a certain extent by its ironic sensibility: they tried to get government loans to finance their horrific plots. They were denied, ultimately, but this interview with the federal employee who spoke with Atta about his loan application makes morbidly comic reading. Apparently, the application interview went roughly like this — and I’m really not making any of this up:

Bryant: Good morning, sir. Can you tell me a bit about the nature of your loan request?>

Atta: Yes, I wish to purchase a small plane, rip out everything but the pilot’s seat, and install my own special chemical tank in the back.

Bryant: Hmm, well, normally we only finance projects that are more directly connected with agriculture…

Atta: A pox on your name! You are a mere woman, what is to stop me from slitting your throat and taking the money in your wall safe?

Bryant: Oh, we don’t actually have cash on hand. And I’m trained in karate.

Atta: Karate, you say? Where can a clean-cut young mujahad… sorry, “citizen” like myself recieve martial arts training?

Bryant: Well, there are a number of local…

Atta: AH! What a lovely photograph of Washington, D.C. on your wall! I must buy it! (begins pulling out wads of cash)

Bryant: Err… I’m sorry, the photo isn’t for sale, but I can tell you where to get a…

Atta: WENCH! How would you like it if someone destroyed all your monuments? One day, you will kneel and lick the boot of Osama bin Laden as his Al Qaeda network sweeps the planet slaying American infidels like the dogs they are!

Bryant: Sir, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to…

Atta: Ha, ha! Little joke, yes? You Americans have no sense of humor. Now, what can you tell me about security at the World Trade Center?

Bryant: Oh, Mr. Atta, you are a kidder! I think I have the architectural plans for the towers here somewhere, just a second… (rustle rustle)

Next time someone asks you, rhetorically, “How could anyone in government have predicted the events of 9/11?” — you have a fairly snappy answer: “It probably would’ve been impossible. If they hadn’t told us.”

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