In a shrewd and startling move at a press conference yesterday, President George W. Bush declared former Vice President Al Gore, his opponent in the 2000 presidential elections, an Enemy Combatant.
"He [Gore], with his criticisms of the current 'Holy War on Terror,' is a clear and present threat to all that we as Americans hold dear, and an out-and-out Evildoer of the first degree" declared the President from the Whitehouse steps late Sunday evening. "However," Bush continued, "since Gore has done nothing technically illegal, I am forced to use the powers granted to me by me during this dire time of not-legally-declared war to declare him an 'Enemy Combatant,' so that I can have him locked up in a military prison until our all-important War Against the Evildoers ends, or forever, whichever comes first."
When asked what prompted this startling, unprecedented move, the President seemed very comfortable and casual. "I've got nothing against Al personally," President Bush replied, "but he's been speaking out a lot lately about this and that, and questioning my politics in an ex ... extre ... very not-patriotic manner. Then, yesterday morning I was on the phone with Dad and uncle Ron and we were talking about how we had to crack down on and wipe out all of the Godless Communists - I mean, Saddam's factions - I mean, Anti-American Evildoers, and that anyone who opposed our Holy Crusade must be silenced. And then I thought, 'that Gore guy has been saying the stuff I do is bad. I'll start with him.'"
The President also volunteered more information about other possible "enemy combatants." "Sometimes I stay up late on Saturdays, and on that Saturday Night Live show, they sometimes make fun of me and of our Great Crusade," the President offered. "So, watch out, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey. There's a windowless cell in an undisclosed military installation with your name on it." The president then added, "But that Jimmy Fallon can rest easy. He's just too damn cute to incarcerate indefinitely under inhumane conditions without benefit of legal counsel or even formal charges."
When pressed for more, President Bush politely declined to comment, saying he had to get back to the business of distracting the media from the desperately floundering US economy, continuing revelations over underhanded corporate accounting, his own administration's allegedly shady history of business dealings, a desperate Afghan interim government (and revelations of ongoing excessive US force in that region), by announcing plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and, "if that don't do the job, possibly France. They're a royal pain in the rear."
Al Gore was unable to comment on the surprise action, as he is being held by the US Armed Forces, possibly in an undisclosed military prison, and is not being allowed any contact with friends, family, lawyers, or the media. Military officials assured us, however, that he would be released as soon as the War on Terror was over. Probably.
Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey were similarly indisposed in a secluded lower east-side holding cell, where Lorne Michaels reportedly keeps the SNL cast locked away during the summer hiatus. Will Ferrell, having recently escaped from such a facility, was still too bewildered to give an interview.