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In an unusual but bold move, the Justice Department has targeted a random aluminum bucket suspected of leaking “several drops of water,” according to a boastful White House press release.
The Obama administration has prosecuted six suspected leakers using the 1917 Espionage Act — more than all prior administrations combined — but this is the first time that the administration has targeted a simple, lifeless bucket.
“Some of you might be wondering if we can even prosecute an inanimate object,” remarked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. during a Monday press conference. “I assure you we can. We’ve got it all figured out in a secret legal memo that you aren’t allowed to read.”
“Our decision to prosecute this leaky bucket should come as no surprise,” said Holder. “This administration is widely regarded as diabolically paranoid and inane, and we intend to protect our legacy, regardless of the consequences. If you leak, we’re coming for you. It’s that simple.” Then the Attorney General gently stroked his mustache, closed his eyes, licked his lips and added, “Leaks that help Kathryn Bigelow produce war porno are still okay though. Give it up for Bigelow, everyone!”
In a letter to Holder, the bucket’s owner, Bill Dickerson, begged the Justice Department for leniency. “My bucket did nothing wrong,” Dickerson wrote to Holder. “It’s a bucket.”
Dickerson ended his letter with an impassioned plea. “Can you please give me my bucket back? I really need it. Thank you.”
The Internal Revenue Service responded to Dickerson’s letter, informing him that he would be audited sometime next week.
Experts said the scope of the investigation goes beyond the known scale of previous leak probes.
“This investigation is broader and less focused on an individual, since they’re focusing on an aluminum bucket, and not an individual,” said Steven Adler, a government secrecy expert. “Essentially this means anything that could potentially leak is now fair game: sprinkler systems, rowboats, juice boxes, everything. You think Eric Holder won’t subpoena your dirty diapers? You are naive.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement that he is “very troubled by these allegations” and wants to hear the government’s explanation. “Why only go after one bucket? There’s gotta be more than one leaky bucket that we can nail,” Leahy said. “I want to know more about this case, but on the face of it, I am concerned that the government just doesn’t take leaks seriously.”
Responsible news outlets and Internet blogs have largely ignored the investigation, although ThinkProgress was brave enough to report yesterday that the “Republican Mayor of Cabbage Patch, Iowa Said Something That Could Be Interpreted As Racist.”
Riley Waggaman is “America’s most trusted cub reporter,” according to Vanity Fair. He is not actually a “reporter,” and he no longer lives in America. But you can e-mail him anyway at: email@example.com