"Tomorrow I'm going to sign a bill that says as clearly as we can possibly say it ... that if you're a CEO and you think you can fudge the books in order to make yourself look better, we're going to find you, we're going to arrest you, and we're going to hold you to account."
-- President Bush, Monday, July 29
U.S. and allied Special Forces parachuted into leafy suburbs in New Jersey and Connecticut yesterday, searching health spas and mansions for signs of the notorious criminal network that President Bush says has tried to strike a blow at the heart of America and its economic way of life.
Three U.S. soldiers were injured in the attack. One almost drowned in a Jacuzzi, one was impaled on a Brancusi sculpture, and a third was crushed by an avalanche of bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape that tumbled over in one of the caves of the evildoers. Two soldiers from allied Canadian forces were left stunned and immobilized on the expansive lawn of one 37-room residence. "The opulence, the opulence," one mumbled.
Members of the al-Executive network are believed to have fled in yachts, Porsches and Lear jets. Some, while initially caught off-guard, are thought to be regrouping at the Round Hill Country Club, re-arming themselves with cell phones, laptops and corporate credit cards and preparing to strike again, just as soon as they finish playing the back nine.
Bush vowed that he would not shrink from the battle at hand, promising that he would send Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the 18th hole if necessary. "This country, in order to protect America, is going to hunt them down one person at a time, no matter how long it takes -- one person at a time," he said, displaying the toughness that has been his trademark since 9/11.
A video showing the al-Executive leader -- posed, Palm Pilot in hand, in front of a Japanese rock garden -- has been delivered to CNBC. The network is in discussions with the White House about whether airing the tape of the trim, tanned leader in his Armani shoes and Turnbull & Asser shirt might serve as propaganda for the enemy.
A U.N. official, offering to mediate between the allies and al-Executive, wondered whether Bush had mixed up the texts of speeches on terrorism and on corporate crime. But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer insisted that the president really meant it when he said he would either bring the executive evildoers to justice or bring justice to the executives.
"I can't imagine what went through the mind of the enemy when they attacked us. They must have thought America and Americans were shallow people, so materialistic that when it came to defending something we hold dear we'd just kind of file a lawsuit or, you know, wring our hands, be afraid of our shadows," Bush said.
Despite the Special Forces' success in destroying many of the hideouts, only one of the top 40 al-Executive leaders has been captured so far. Others are now feared to be trying to flee the country in order to seek refuge in St. Barts among sympathizers who share their cutthroat economic philosophy.
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