The Provisional Peoples'
Democratic Republic of Diego Garcia
Ministry of Propaganda Proudly Presents:
UNITED STATES ATTACKED BY TERRORISTS.
2000 hrs., September 11, 2001, local time, Diego Garcia.
First word of the cruel terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in the World Trade Center arrives at the Ministry of Propaganda. Word is rushed to the island residents, and the military population prepares to repel boarders. Action plans are implemented, the leaders of the British and American guest forces were informed, and a few short hours, the island was fully prepared. The Americans and British were immediately offered use of the Republic's facilities in the War Against Terrorism, and the Cabinet of the PPDRDG is proud to be the very first to offer such basing rights.
Naturally, as with any plan, "adjustments" had to be made over the next few weeks...
SECURE COMMUNICATIONS DECLARED CRITICAL TO
0900 hrs., September 12, 2001.
Communications is ALL IMPORTANT during armed
conflict - nothing can confuse the enemy, or our own forces, worse than
what Clausewitz called
"the Fog of War". One of the first duties of commanders is
to ensure the "troops in the field" get all the information they need,
while at the same time, denying that information to the enemy.
Telephone, internet, and even data transmissions are particularly susceptible
to monitoring by the enemy.
Suspecting that electronic communications to outlying island locations could be intercepted by enemy "trawlers" hovering off the coast, the US Navy activated its Special Courier Program for the 'hand-delivered' movement of sensitive and classified information from one place to another throughout the Republic. Special vehicles, outfitted for rapid movement to all island destinations, were airlifted in from their storage bunkers in Singapore, filled with special formula fuels, and put into service. Here, specially trained Navy Drivers are seen preparing to rush dispatches to distant island command and control facilities.
NEW PASSENGER SCREENING CONTROLS IMPLEMENTED
1800 hrs., September 14, 2001.
After receiving information that additional hijackings were possible, the US Air Force commander implements Passenger Control Plan 01-9804-862894-AVIL-99. This top secret plan requires that all personnel desiring transportation on Air Force transports be thoroughly searched, along with their baggage and possessions. In addition to items like nail files and fingernail clippers being unauthorized for transport under this program, searches of all articles of clothing which might conceal a weapon are required. The thoroughness of the search includes a microscopic examination of seams and zippers of pants, which have been known to conceal "micro-weapons". A special feature of Passenger Control Plan 01-9804-862894-AVIL-99 requires enplaning passengers to surrender these garments for inspection at least 3 hours prior to flight. Because of the length of the process, passengers are allowed to drop off their clothing prior to 'passenger show time', and continue with their normal routine. However most passengers choose to spend their time waiting at the nearby Brit Club, which is conveniently stocked with various libations enjoyed internationally. In this exclusive MoP photo, members of the USO-sponsored visit by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are shown waiting for the completion of the inspection. The Cheerleaders had been on the island to cheer on the US Navy Shore Patrol Football Team in its annual fall classic against the British Police. The US Navy won the contest 175 - 6. The series now stands at 30 - 0, Navy. [editor's note: In the other annual US-UK matchup, the springtime Cricket Non-Invitational, the series stands at 30-0, UK, with the final score in last April's meeting 1,567 - 12, UK]
U.S. AIR FORCE ARRIVES
September 16, 2001.
Air Force Bomber Crews begin arriving, disrupting island social life.
SUICIDE BOMBER SNEAK ATTACK JARS ISLAND
September 19, 2001.
Even the most carefully defended redoubts are not invulnerable to
attack, as the island learned today. In the wee hours of the morning,
suicide bombers staged a daring raid which almost took out the island's
command center, the Quarterdeck. The Quarterdeck is the headquarters
for the US and British forces hosted by the PPDRDG, and the Commissar of
Defense toured the area shortly after the attack.
In this exclusive photo, it can be seen clearly just how closely the enemy came to their target. The impact craters from the double 'stick' of bombers can be seen marching across the parade field toward the headquarters building.
Reporters from the MoP interviewed allied officers following the attack. In keeping with US Department of Defense practice, we'll only use first and/or nick names in this report.
"It was very frightening," said US Naval Facilities commander 'Squidly'. "Had there been just one or two more bombers at the end of each stick, and they would have impacted the roof directly."
'Squidly' went on to say that because of the worsening Island economy, repairs would have proven too costly to make. "Our roof repair crew has been busy patching the holes in the tents we've set up for the Air Force," he said, "And that's used up our entire roof-repair budget for this Fiscal Year. As you know, one of our early protective measures was to close the Chief's Club, the Acey Deucy Club, the Turner Club, and the Officers' Club, and without the income from those facility, there simply is no spare cash to pay the roofing contractor for any extra work."
The British Representative, 'No Tan', was present at the interview, and promptly offered emergency funding from the proceeds at the Brit Club. "We've seen a huge increase in patronage since September 14, due to the daily rescheduling of the flight off-island for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Her Majesty's Government would be proud to provide roof-repair funding for the foreseeable future. Until the USO flight finally leaves, that is."
Colonel 'Ozone', the local representative of Air Mobility Command, could not be reached for comment.
U.S. MARINE CORPS RESPONDS TO AIR THREAT
September 20, 2001.
In response to the surprise suicide bombing attack of September 19,
US Marine Corps sharpshooters form "Anti-Suprise-Suicide-Bombing-Attack-Squads".
Shown here, one of these elite squads practice shooting at surprise suicide
bombers from their secure facility, Fort Johnny Rambo.
The Ministry of Propaganda interviewed the Marine Commandant, Major 'Ballsey' (shown standing in the lower left of the photograph), following the practice session.
MoP: Tell us, Major, how do you
plan to integrate these squads with the other air defense assets available
to island commanders to assist in island defense?
Major Ballsey: Aaaarrrgggghhhh!
MoP: What role do you see the senior NCOs in your command performing in perfecting this new tactic?
Major Ballsey: Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!
MoP: Where do you envision stationing these special squads around the island? We know that Captain Squidly's number one priority is limiting roofing repairs. Do you plan to station these units in strategic positions to limit this sort of damage?
Major Ballsey: Getdownandgivemetwentygetdownandgivemetwentygetdownandgivemetwenty!
MoP: We notice that at least one member of the squad is armed with a shoulder fired, heat seeking missile launcher. How effective do you think this weapon will be when combined with the fire power of the M-16s operated by the remainder of the squad.
Major Ballsey: Killkillkillkillkillkillkillkill!
MoP: Thank you, Major, this information will certainly prove comforting to everyone concerned with island defense.
Major Ballsey: Semper Fi!
U.S. AND U.K. CARRIERS GATHER IN LAGOON
September 25, 2001.
Seven U.S. Aircraft Carriers converge on Diego Garcia, en route to
their stations in the Arabian and Indian Seas in preparation for air raids
on Taliban and Al Queda targets. As part of this "Gathering
of Eagles", the USN sponsored the annual Deck Slogan competition, which
is normally held during Fleet Week in San Diego at about this time.
Shown here is the winner of this year's competition, the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT,
who's crew spelled out a portion of her namesake's famous saying,
"Speak softly, but carry a big stick." Second Place went to the USS
ENTERPRISE for "Beam Me Up, Scotty." The USS CARL VINSON was disqualified
when they tried to use the slogan "Death From Above". It was quickly
determined that Carl Vinson never actually used that phrase, and in fact
it was discovered that there are no existing records of any notable quote
from Mr. Vinson at all. The USS JOHN F. KENNEDY was also disqualified
when 174 sailors plunged into the lagoon from the fantail while trying
to complete the popular President's "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For
You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Country" slogan, thus failing to complete
the last 4 letters of the last 'Country'.
Although the Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier H.M.S. INVINCIBLE was also present, she did not participate in the Deck Slogan competition, as recent rains kept her sloping deck too slippery for the gobs to gain a foothold for the formation. "But it would have been just peachy," said the INVINCIBLE's Captain, 'Farquhar'. "We had planned to spell out one of Winnie's famous quotations. Or was it Baden-Powell's? No matter, if the damnable rain hadn't come up, well, it just would have been just peachy."
The crew of the THEODORE ROOSEVELT received the Grand Prize of an evening of liberty at the Brit Club, where they were reported to have knocked back a couple of beers with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, who were present while awaiting the daily cancellation of their flight off the island.
ISLAND DECLARED OFF LIMITS TO FOREIGN INFLUENCES
October 1, 2001.
The manager of the consolidated Package
Store reported the cancellation of the October "Foreign Beer of the Month"
special. The month's featured beer, a fine barley and hops lager
from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was determined to be unsuitable for consumption
residents. "It wasn't so much the name," said 'Red Nose', the manager
of the Packaged Products Division, in his heavy Australian accent, "But
we've learned that American beer drinkers prefer genuine piss water made
from rice, and this fine beverage we determined just wouldn't sell."
During the press conference announcing the decision, 'Squidly', the island
commander, added, "We also thought the verbiage on the boxes was not in
keeping with President Bush's desire to keep from offending Arab and Muslim
sensibilities in these difficult times. We felt the statement about
growing a beard would be particularly offensive." The MoP has obtained
a case of the beer, and provides the potentially offending wording here:
You Can Get It Crashing A Plane,
Or By Looking Insane.
Or Growing A Beard.
Making Rich Countries Poor,
Or Waging Holy War.
Making Bush Mad
By Calling "Jihad!"
You Can Get It Burning A Flag,
Or Wearing A Rag.
Being A Fugitive Fella,
Or Killing For Allah.
You Can Get It Any Old How,
In Fact You've Got It Now.
A Hard Earned Thirst Needs A Big Cold Beer.
Bin Laden Beer.
US NAVY BEGINS AIR CAMPAIGN
October 6, 2001.
Navy FA-18 crews begin airstrikes against Taliban positions using the new AGM-9Z ship launched missiles. Initial strikes are launched from the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER from a secluded position within the lagoon at Diego Garcia. Unfortunately, the missile's range did not meet expectations. Roof repair crews were immediately dispatched to the Plantation where one of the missiles inadvertently damaged the 'Masters House' from above.
DESERTERS RARE ON DESERT ISLAND, SAY U.S. AND
October 9, 2001.
SEABEES missing from a deployment in June
1972 turned themselves in to BIOT Police today. Stanley Schmidlapp
and Ernesto Quijote were found wandering around the Coral Sands Golf Course
clubhouse area early in the morning of October 9. BIOT Police, USN
Shore Patrol Elements, and USAF Security Forces were called immediately
by the Course Manager, a Mister 'Putter'. BIOT Police were first
on the scene, and apprehended Schmidlapp and Quijote, and after a brief
scuffle, apparently with Shore Patrol personnel over jurisdiction, the
ROPOs took the individuals into custody. Later in the day, the BRITREP
called a news conference, which was attended by MoP reporters, where
the story of Seamen Schmidlapp and Quijote was explained, and the individuals
allowed to speak briefly to the press corps.
"It appears that the two men have been living in a cave on Sand Dune Hill since sometime in the fall of 1972," said the Chief, Royal Police Officer (ROPO 1) 'Cattle Prod'. "They apparently have been living in the cave since that time, subsisting on a diet of coconut crabs, coconuts, coconut liquor, which they apparently brewed themselves, and the remains of a 500 kilo bale of marijuana. Apparently they were out and about this morning after they discovered they had smoked the last of their illegal drugs. It is indeed a tale of perseverance, but also of lawbreaking, which is best left to the prisoners to describe," he added.
Schmidlapp, shown at the microphone in the photo, was the only one of the pair who appeared capable of answering reporters questions. His statements, while generally confused, indicate that the men were members of a SEABEE Detachment sent to the island in late 1971 or early 1972 (he wasn't certain), to build a marina. Schmidlapp explained that sometime in 1972, he and his partner Quijote had "scored big time" while on Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Leave in Bangkok, Thailand. They allegedly arranged to transport their illicit cargo to Diego Garcia aboard one of the motor launches purchased for the Yacht Club there in Bangkok, and sailed to the island by Malaysian middle men.
"It was far out," said Schmidlapp. "Ernesto and me, we were going to get rich. That much shit on the island would have made us a pot full. If you know what I mean. If only it wasn't for that pig Senior Chief Oliver. He broke the code in our scam, and said the minute that shit hit the beach, he was sending us back to Vietnam."
At that point, apparently the pair decided to hide out "till Oliver got his cool back," and chose Sand Dune Hill, then an isolated jungle location. Schmidlapp and Quijote hollowed out a cave in the hill, and somehow managed to get the bale of marijuana before it could be confiscated by their Senior Chief. For the first few months, the pair apparently "bummed munchies from our buds," but when their detachment pulled out, they were listed as deserters and their source of food evaporated.
"Well, my man, it was out-a-sight," explained Schmidlapp. "We had all this reefer and then we discovered that those little crabs in those little shells were as tasty as M&Ms, if you don't chew. So we knew we could hide out until our stash was gone, and the Det rotated back in. Does anybody know when they're comin', man?"
As we know now, that stash lasted the pair for almost 30 years. "Whoa, brother, it's WHAT year?" asked Schmidlapp when told it was now the 21st Century. "You're shittin' me, man. We came out of the cave this morning and saw those BUFFs taking off, I mean, what are you dudes doin' man, finally getting around to bombin' Hanoi? Goovy. Can we get a ride on one of those things, man? I mean, what a trip that would be."
Following the news conference, Schmidlapp and Quijote were turned over the US Navy officials, who explained that the General Amnesty granted by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 probably applied to the pair, and that they would be flown back to the U.S. for outprocessing at Naval Station San Diego. The officials declined to state whether the pair would be granted back pay and allowances to the time of their disappearance.
SUPPLY SHORTAGES COULD HAMPER WAR EFFORT
October 16, 2001, 1300 hrs.
U.S. Air Force commanders conducted a short press briefing today, in which they explained how a limit on the availability of a simple item could soon impede their ability to prosecute the air campaign against targets in Afghanistan. That simple item? Chalk.
One of the bomb-chalkers at work. Not shown is the line to her left, which
contained over 350 individuals waiting their turn. Air Force Regulations require
each bomb to be marked with at least four slogans or messages, to conserve bombs.
However, the recent chalk shortage has revealed one of the unintended consequence
of this Regulation, which Air Force spokespersons say goes back to W.W. II.
"We only brought four pallets of chalk with
us in our initial deployment kit," explained Colonel 'Wingnut', the 2nd
in command of the Air Expeditionary Wing. "We've nearly run out,
and its only the seventh day of the campaign."
Colonel Wingnut went on to explain that ordinary white chalk-board chalk is indispensable to modern air operations. It is used for everything from marking "Chalk Numbers" on aircraft noses indicating the order of takeoff, to indicating which toilets in the latrines in "tent city" are backed up.
"Normally, those four pallets - which is more than 12,000 pounds of chalk - are more than enough for a lengthy campaign," he said. "I remember when I deployed here as a B-52 crewman during the Gulf War, we got by on four pallet loads for the entire 42 days."
But what the Air Force did not count on in this war was the number of people wanting to send personal messages to Taliban and Al Queda forces. "Sending personal statements to the enemy written on bombs is a time honored Air Force tradition. But it's usually restricted to the munitions loading crews and fliers," Wingnut explained. "But on October ninth [the first day of raids], well, there were a couple hundred people lined up at the gate to the bomb dump. Not having any instructions otherwise, the loading crews stopped the convoy and let everyone in line write their messages on the bombs." Supply clerks in the nearby Cantonment Area had given the crowd pieces of chalk from the Wing's stores.
Wingnut went on to say that by the afternoon of October 11, just two days into the air campaign, the lines at the bomb dump gate stretched over half a mile down "DG 1" toward downtown. "Our supply sergeants just didn't realize that the supply of chalk was limited," said the Colonel. "They gave everyone in line several pieces."
After writing their messages on the bombs, many people kept their pieces of chalk, and that's a big part of the problem, said Chief Master Sergeant "B.B. Stacker", NCOIC of the provisional supply squadron. "They were supposed to bring the unused pieces back, but they didn't," he lamented. "Now, we've gone through over 10,000 pounds of chalk, and the line at the bomb dump just isn't getting any shorter. To tell the truth, I think there are several people in line who have already had an opportunity to send their message."
Chief B.B. Stacker said he hoped the MoP could get the word out to all island residents that if the unused portions of chalk are not returned to the Supply Squadron Cantonment Area within the next two days, the result could be a cessation of the bombing campaign. "Tell them that if they want us to keep dropping bombs, we've got to have that chalk - its critical to the war effort," he said. "If we don't have chalk, we'll have to switch to grease pencils, and we only brought two pallets of those."
Colonel Wingnut added that by switching to grease pencils, the mysterious erasures noted on AMC aircraft "chalk numbers" over the past month would probably cease, and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders would certainly be able to leave within a matter of days.
A dumpster set up as an "Amnesty Box" outside the briefing tent was reported filled to capacity with chalk by 1400 hrs.
October 25, 2001
Navy Assigns New Marine Corps JAG
Anticipating an increase in legal activity during Operation ERNEST WILL,
the US Navy assigned it's crack Judge Advocate General Officer, Marine
Lieutenant Colonel Catherine Bell, to assist on Diego Garcia. LTC
Bell is widely known to the American public as the level-headed lawyer
on the hit TV show "JAG". Little known to the public, or the LTC
Bell before September 11, she had been granted the honorary rank and title
of Lieutenant Colonel, Judge Advocate General, by the USMC in a little-heralded
public relations gimmick three years ago.
"I was absolutely stunned," said the stunning LTC. "My agent told me that it had happened, but I just don't recall the event."
She said she was approached on the set of the TV show about three weeks earlier and told that her orders to active duty had been cut, and that she was to report for duty shortly.
"I don't mind helping out," said Ms. Bell, "But the cut in pay is pretty devasting. Plus, there's a real lack of Evian water here on the island."
Major Ballsey, Commandant of the Marine Security Force on Diego Garcia, said he looked forward to working with the Lieutenant Colonel. "We're short of bunks, but I suppose if I have to, I can let her hot bunk in my hootch."
Lieutenant Colonel Bell was greeted by a crowd estimated to be in the thousands when she arrived on the island last Thursday. "Wow!" she exclaimed upon seeing the Air Force Bombers on the flight line. "On the set, they just use models, you know? I had no idea they were so long. And hard. And so big around."
After being shown to her quarters, the Lieutenant Colonel donned her swim suit, and asked, "Where's this Brit Club I've heard so much about? I'd like to see my cousin. She's in the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and I hear that's where they hang out."
Upon arrival at the Brit Club, Ms. Bell posed for photographs on the stage. The MOP photographer was fortunately there at the time, and submitted this photo, showing the latest in Marine Corps undergarmet fashion.
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This, and everything else I write and every photo I produce is copyrighted by Ted A. Morris, Jr.