Congressional investigators were thwarted by the White House this week in their attempts to determine the identities of the people who met with Vice President Dick Cheney’s secret energy task force. Indeed, even the names of some task force members remain unknown. The task force’s influential report gave short shrift to various environmental concerns long-believed to be pressing.

Who are those masked men?

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In a startling development, a diary entry from one of the secret task force’s members was discovered near a duck blind in Delaware yesterday morning. It is reprinted below. Cheney was not returning phone calls.

Dear Diary,

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That was very fun. We went to the water park and Dick held us under water! After we dried off, he bought us pizza and called us his special club. We practiced our handshake, which is like arm-wrestling, and Dick reminded us of our oath:

We’re the energy task force
We meet behind closed doors
Nobody can know our secrets
And no girls, either!

After the oath, we got on the bus and drove to the “clubhouse.” We had to stop to get gas three times in 45 minutes! Dick patted the gas tank and shouted, “money in the bank,” and then laughed for a long time before cursing a little rabbit he accidentally saw in the distance. (One of Dick’s helpers asked if he should “disappear the bunny,” but Dick said, “We’ll come back later when it’s dark.”)

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The clubhouse is in the side of a hill and there are lions in front. These are the friendly kind? I asked Dick, but he said no, not at all.

Real energy policy needs more chicken.

Inside, we finally had our meeting about the environment. Dick said the best way to have a meeting is listen to him talk about barbecued chicken for a while, then about enviro-profit margins for a couple minutes, then back to barbecued chicken. It got a little confusing, so we just ended up signing some papers.

At one point, President Bush called. Dick put him on speaker phone.

“You’re doing good work, people,” the president said. “You’ve got the world’s future in your hands.”

“Sir,” Dick said to the speaker phone, “this is the energy task force meeting.”

“Oh!” said the president, “I thought I’d called the fudge factory. I like fudge!”

Dick unplugged the phone. This is serious business, he said. We spent the next hour drawing pictures of oil. Dick said all the drawings were very good, especially the best ones. Then he flushed them down the toilet, reminding us that everything must be kept secret.

To celebrate the end of the meeting, we each smoked two cigars at a time, propped our feet up on piles of Arctic fox pelts (they feel good on the ankles!) and made a list of things to remember about our secret club:

  1. If we let people find out about our energy club, surely they’ll start asking about the war crimes!

  3. Dick Cheney is a national American hero, like Batman except not as Jewish-sounding. Heroes need to work in the dark!


  4. If we tell, Dick will hurt our families.


  5. Know who would tell? Women.


  6. Energy is a private issue, like going to the bathroom. If the media asks about our qualifications for determining energy policy, we should say, “Just a minute!”