My Irish Up: How I missed out on Homeland

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

“President-elect Romney is working closely with his transition team to put together his administration to ensure a smooth transfer of power on Jan. 20, 2013 and get to work for the American people.” — “President-elect” Romney’s website, mistakenly put up the morning after the election, and then quickly taken down when events proved the transfer of power was to be even smoother than he’d hoped…

To see Mr. Same-Old, Same-Old taking the Oath of Office last week, it just breaks a man’s heart. Oh, well. To be honest, it wasn’t my lifelong goal to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, anyway. In fact, when Mitt Romney first sent a feeler my way, I giggled. (Well, it tickled.) Then, I thought about it some more and by the time Paul Ryan called to check back, I was showing “increased interest,” according to unnamed sources.

“Will I have an unlimited budget?” I asked. “I’ve always wanted an unlimited budget.”

“Whatever you need, just ask. Take on anything relating to national security.”

“Well, I’ll root out all waste in Medicare, starting with eliminating the patients,” I told Ryan. “Then, I’ll target the Communists and the unions. Also the ACLU. When can I start?”

Right away, he said, the sooner I started training the better. So, in mid-October I reported to what I thought was to be my new and future office in Washington, at 522 Virginia Avenue. It was a big empty room with just a desk and a telephone. To root out all waste, first thing, I threw out the desk and the phone. (I have one of those foldout canvas chairs, and I use a TracFone.) I sat there until 5, waiting for my phone to ring, in the meantime boning up on the Patriot Act. (I never got past Page 12: “Justifiable Executions of Suspicious U.S. Citizens.”) Then, I went home.

Three more days went by before the MPs found me. They put me in a car and drove me to my real office at 522 West Virginia Avenue. Oops — well, it just shows that even highly trained government agents can make a mistake. And the real place was much nicer. Plus, I had a secretary. I threw her out, and also the phone system, and 652 computers, and I set my TracFone on my desk and waited for it to ring.

Nothing much happened until I decided, a couple weeks later, hey, maybe I should tell people what my phone number is! And wouldn’t you know, I was out straight for days. Even the hopeful President-Elect called me, just hours before the election! Plus, earlier, his wife’s horse phoned me. Or at least, someone who said he was the future president-elect’s wife’s horse kept calling me. So, just in case, I ordered the future president-elect’s wife’s horse put down, as practice. You must have heard about this: we publicized it as “an accidental rogue drone attack — friendly fire, not al Qaeda, definitely, no, not al Qaeda! And not even the blood-thirsty Obama administration, for once.” That strike was a test, to see if it was really the horse, you know — and hey, the calls stopped! So I guess I did the right thing.

Drones, wiretaps, harassment of unsavory types, criminal investigations of domestic enemies, secretly bombing Toronto — for three weeks I practiced every possible situation. Then came the disappointment of the election. But, I learned that in the national security business decisive action is the crucial thing, even if you have no idea what’s going on. I call it “the fog of peace.” Sure, mistakes will be made, and that's too bad. But that’s also why protecting our nation from all internal and external threats is so exciting, bottom line.

If you ever get the call to take my place at Homeland, even in the Obama administration, my recommendation is to go for it and don’t look back. Or else we’ll have you killed, just to keep our hands in.

Mike Corrigan is awaiting follow-up calls from the CIA — hopefully, minus the black helicopters.

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