We Have New Intelligence Regarding The Identity Of The Counter-Spy Within The Department

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John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

NSA: ‘Can Somebody Good At Computers Help Us?’

FORT MEADE, MD—Explaining that things weren’t working right and he didn’t know why, visibly frustrated National Security Agency director Michael S. Rogers called a press conference Thursday afternoon to ask if somebody good at computers could help out the intelligence organization.

Secretary Of Interior Unveils Plans For New High-Speed Creek

WASHINGTON—Calling the $650 million project the “future of America’s pastoral waterways,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell unveiled the agency’s plans for a new high-speed creek Thursday that would reportedly connect Weybridge, VT with the adjacent town of Addison.

The Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court upheld a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action program Thursday, reigniting debate over the merits of policies that favor members of groups frequently targeted by discrimination. Here are the pros and cons of affirmative action

47 Weak-Willed Senators Bend To Interests Of Powerful American People

WASHINGTON—Saying the closely watched Senate vote clearly demonstrated where the elected officials’ loyalties lay, political observers confirmed that 47 weak-willed lawmakers bent to the interests of the powerful American public Monday by voting in favor of measures that would bar anyone on government terror watchlists from purchasing firearms.

John Kerry Jettisons Russian Henchmen From International Space Station Airlock

LOW EARTH ORBIT—Having stowed away aboard a Soyuz resupply rocket and silently slipped into the International Space Station as part of a high-level fact-finding mission, Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly found himself forced to jettison two Russian henchmen from an airlock Monday after being set upon by the thugs in an ambush that resulted in a violent zero-gravity struggle to the death.

CDC Horrified After Discovering Existence Of Thousands Of Public Pools

WASHINGTON—Calling the finding an imminent threat to public health nationwide, horrified officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened an emergency press conference Wednesday to announce they had discovered the existence of thousands of public pools throughout the country.

Obama Discovers Telepathic Connection With Military Drone In Afghanistan

‘Our Minds Have Become One,’ Shaken President Says

WASHINGTON—Appearing frightened and confused by his unexplained new powers, President Barack Obama reportedly pulled members of the White House staff aside Wednesday to inform them of his recently discovered telepathic connection with an Afghanistan-based military drone.

The TSA’s Plans For Improvement

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EPA Urges Flint Residents To Stop Dumping Tap Water Down Drain

FLINT, MI—Citing the significant health and safety risks that it poses to public infrastructure and the local ecosystem, the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement Thursday urging residents of Flint to discontinue dumping tap water down their drains.

Upcoming Changes To U.S. Currency

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Head Of IRS Has Personal Filing System To Keep Track Of Nation’s Tax Returns

Commissioner’s Office Cluttered With 100 Million Folders

WASHINGTON—Pointing out the towering stacks of manila folders cluttering his desk and stepping carefully around the millions of forms laid out on his office floor, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen showed reporters Thursday his own personal filing system for keeping track of everyone in the nation’s tax returns.

Pentagon Holds Gala To Celebrate 25 Years Of Bombing Iraq

WASHINGTON—Bringing together the many civilian leaders and military strategists who helped them reach such a historic milestone, Pentagon officials held a lavish black-tie gala Sunday at which, sources said, they commemorated 25 years of the United States bombing Iraq.

How Firearm Background Checks Work

With gun violence in the United States rising to unprecedented levels, many lawmakers have pushed to expand federal background checks for the purchase of firearms. Here’s how background checks are currently conducted

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

City Adds Some Big Concrete Stairs

They’re For Sitting On Or Running Up Or Something

CHICAGO—Noting the structure’s considerable size and prominent location in a busy public park, local residents confirmed Tuesday that the city had installed some big concrete stairs that were probably for sitting on or running up or something like that.

How To Reform The Nation’s Prison System

With pressing issues such as overcrowding, overuse of solitary confinement, and the long-term incarceration of nonviolent offenders, many critics of the nation’s prison system are calling for sweeping reforms. Here are some of the proposals to improve the prison system:

NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding

WASHINGTON—Calling the program “the most crucial in the agency’s history,” researchers at NASA announced Wednesday they have successfully deployed a Special Exploratory Rover to Congress as part of an open-ended mission to seek out any possible trace of funding on Capitol Hill.

Is The Nation Ready For The Next Katrina?

Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and many commentators have argued that not enough has been done over the past decade to address infrastructure and emergency response issues that could put coastal cities nationwide, including New Orleans, at risk of a catastrophe on a similar scale. Is the nation prepared for another Katrina?

Biden Offers Government Post To Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark

WASHINGTON—Calling the late-night horror film host well-suited for the job “and then some,” Vice President Joe Biden offered Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, an entry-level position within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, White House sources confirmed Thursday.

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

Resolute Congress Passes Second Amendment Again

WASHINGTON—Easily securing the requisite two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, a resolute United States Congress responded to the ongoing national debate on gun rights Tuesday by passing the Second Amendment again.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Nation’s Homophobic Bigots Pack It In

‘Rules Are Rules,’ Say Those With Deeply Ingrained Prejudices

WASHINGTON—Following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, the nation’s homophobic bigots reportedly conceded today that “rules are rules” and announced that they were going to pack it in.

Report Finds Drug Tunnels Most Intact Transport Infrastructure In U.S.

ARLINGTON, VA—Touting the extensive safety precautions, routine maintenance, and limited congestion, a report published Friday by the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that drug tunnels are now the most intact and reliable form of transport infrastructure in the United States.

Vilsack Stays Up All Night With Sick Corn Plant

WASHINGTON—Gently applying a cool cloth to the plant’s kernels as he cradled its frail stalk in his arms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stayed up all night caring for a sick corn plant, sources close to the former Iowa governor confirmed Tuesday.
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We Have New Intelligence Regarding The Identity Of The Counter-Spy Within The Department

Welcome, gentlemen. Please, make yourselves comfortable. I'm afraid Mei-Ling is picking out china patterns or planning a bridal shower or some such matrimonial matter this evening. Please feel free to avail yourself of coffee, cigars, cognac.

We have unusually unpleasant business to discuss, and I don't think a drop or two would be amiss. I'm pleased to say that everyone here can hold their liquor as well as they can their secrets.

I know these past few weeks have been difficult, dealing with this Johannesburg situation while Internal Security dogged our every move, but every one of you has been cleared. Spare me the looks, people, you heard me. Forbish is not the security leak inside the Department.

Pierre! Pierre, man. I know your history with Forbish, but if you do not take that knife away from Forbish's throat, I swear to God I will have you shot! And if you don't think I'd condone the killing of a man in a wheelchair, then you must have forgotten the many times I ordered you to do so!

Good man, Pierre. Good man. Give him some brandy, someone. And don't you start back in on him, Forbish. If he's willing to slit your throat, it simply means you've done a brilliant job as a decoy and magnet for suspicion.

I'm sorry I had to ask you to do that.

But hear me, gentlemen: Everyone here can be trusted. And we all must work together for the next few days, and work feverishly, if we are to prevent any further damage to the Department. All other assignments are now tertiary to what we're about to undertake. For the news is worse than I could have believed.

Gentlemen, we must operate under the assumption that Mei-Ling's beloved fiancé is in fact our adversary—my estranged and devious half brother, the infamous Paladiev.

For God's sake, someone say something. You are all mooning like poleaxed calves.

How do you think I feel? My avuncular fondness for her is no great secret, and for the first time, I saw her happy. Not merely content in her duty, or experiencing professional satisfaction, but happy. The man checked out instantly. Which, perhaps, should have made me suspicious but, well, you saw how she was.

Last year, Zurich's top man in clandestine cosmetic DNA–reassignment surgery was found decapitated in an Amsterdam whorehouse. Thanks to luck and the best scent-hounds in Europe, the Department found his head and was able to perform quasi-revivification for long enough to extract information from his mostly intact braincase. We discovered that the surgeon had recently performed a total facial reconstruction and genome transfer on a man who fits, within one decimal point, the exact genetic code of my brilliant semi-kin.

Two weeks later, Mei-Ling met the man we then knew only as "Seth."

My God, men, she's been this department's right hand since I found her on the streets of Shenzhen in 1992, at the age of 11! I thought she deserved whatever support we could give her. I can only blame myself for relaxing our strict policy of having the romantic partners of Departmental staffers liquidated after six months.

Which is why Mr. Bisson is here. Some of you know Mr. Bisson, and I'm sorry you have to see him again. His specialty has become less common since the heady 1970s, but his services are still quite useful to us.

We have three weeks until the wedding. In that time, we will support Bisson's effort to carry out a calculated, whirlwind seduction-and-assassination assignment. Of course, this is why the Department's in-house chef and pheromone expert are both here. They both owe me many favors. But no one outside this room is to know. Least of all Mei-Ling herself.

Bisson, you have your assignment. I have faith in your, shall I say, unorthodox skills and experience. It's said that the Japanese and Brazilian artists who trained you in the craft of physical love retired after you completed your tutelage, and that the Russians who schooled you in the methodology of murder fear no one but yourself.

But exercise caution when bedding Paladiev. You may be the world's most seductive catamite assassin, but I daresay his guard is never down at any moment. Not for one moment whatsoever.

And I warn you, Mr. Bisson: If Mei-Ling is hurt, hurt in any manner or fashion.... I'm glad we understand each other.

Now, gentlemen, to work! We have a wedding of sorts to plan.

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