Questions And Replies

by thoughtsonthedead


“Good afternoon, everyone. Abernathy is on leave due to the squirrel-touching incident, so I’ll be doing the briefing this morning.”

“Do you have a name, sir?”

“Absolutely. Any questions?”

“Sir, down here. J.J. Jenkins, Washington Newspaper.”

“That’s the laziest fake paper name I’ve ever heard.”

“Yes, sir. It’s like casting the same two characters, one of whom he can’t even be bothered to name, in every little sketch.”

“Work’s work, Jenkins.”

“Yes, sir, I suppose. Anyway, the briefing: what does the State Department have to say about the rumors that it had a rogue NSA agent assassinated to keep him from leaking information to the North Koreans?”

“We deny them fiercely and completely. There is no truth to these allegations whatsoever, and we have written the Justice Department of our belief that the spreaders of these lies be prosecuted. For anyone to say the American government is having people assassinated is not just immoral, it may be illegal. America does not assassinate people.”

“So, you’re saying that the State Department did not have anyone killed?”

“Oh, no: we had a guy killed. Just wasn’t an assassination.”


“Funny story: we were trying to kill his roommate, Ted. Whole different thing. And, you know: if we had killed Ted, then that would have been an assassination. But somehow Albert got killed. Not an assassination. No political motive.”

“So you’re saying that you didn’t technically assassinate someone, you just had a guy killed.”

“By accident. Complete accident. Anyone could have made the mistake. Those two really look alike.”

“You intended to assassinate Ted.”

“Still do.”

“Isn’t that a crime, sir?”

“What? Planning a murder isn’t a crime.”

“I think so, sir.”

“Thoughtcrime, Jenkins. That’s what that is! A crime to intend? Intent doesn’t matter: actions do. Write that in your fake paper.”

“Okay, but you did have Albert assassinated.”

“No. Jenkins, you just don’t get it. If we had killed Ted, then that’s an assassination. There was a good political reason to have him killed. Therefore: assassination. But there was no reason at all that Albert had to die. Does no one any good. That means it’s not an assassination.”

“The fact remains that the man is dead and the State Department is responsible.”

“Facts? Jenkins, facts don’t matter: context does. Unless a killing aids in an old man’s accumulation of power, then it’s not an assassination. You could slice every woman’s throat on the planet, but you only get to commit matricide once.”

“Matricide is a one-time deal, sir.”

“You follow my meaning, then?”

“No, sir. You’re speaking in circles.”

“Nonsense, Jenkins: circles are coherent shapes.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Your first name is J.J., Jenkins?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What does it stand for?”

“It’s Jenkins all the way down, sir.”

“Good man.”