Responding to a crisis unprecedented in this nation's history, Pentagon officials announced yesterday that the US Naval Special Warfare Command has dispatched SEAL teams on a mission to kill award-winning actor Morgan Freeman.
"The terror Freeman represents will end once and for all," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed during a press announcement. "The world needs to know that America will stand up to its enemies and silence their soothing baritone voices of evil." Analysts agree that a high-profile announcement of this kind of mission is unheard of. But then again, so is the situation faced by policymakers.
"For years, we've speculated we could reach the Freeman Point," political commentator William Kristol said on Fox News this morning. "It seemed crazy when they first came up with it. But here we are, man. Here we goddamn are." A 2006 Heritage Foundation report predicted that as the percentage of Americans with basic knowledge of history, geography, and politics declined, and the number of countries which American forces intervened in or occupied rose (See chart at left), the country would reach a theoretical point of convergence when most people began to think the entire world was simply part of an ongoing US civil war.
At this time, the document speculated, the celebrated Ken Burns documentary on the subject would suddenly appear to be some kind of contemporaneous news report, and the once-mellow and inviting voice of Morgan Freeman featured in it would seem to turn sinister, as if Freeman were some kind of hostile warlord issuing threats against civilians.
"The administration will be forced to scale back military interventions and drastically improve US educational standards to bring our policies and the competence of our citizenry back into some kind of relationship with each other," the report concluded. "The only possible alternative would be to conduct an ill-advised, unconstitutional military operation against a beloved entertainer. Americans would simply never stand for it."
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Morgan Freeman needs to get shot in the face," said Ann Coulter at a rally to support US troops. "He sucked in Lethal Weapon, and now he's going to pay for it."
Still the administration has faced some criticism for its decision.
"When Paul Revere jumped down off that helicopter and killed King George, they weren't afraid to release the pictures," Sarah Palin said during a radio interview. "But this president wants to keep them hidden. He did when we killed Saddam and sadly, that's how it's going to be with Tom Friedman." Callers seemed to agree.
"How are we going to know about it if that shit's not on Youtube?" asked one man. "I need to keep up with all the stuff we're doing."
(Note: Picture of Freeman taken from larger image by David Sifry and used under Creative Commons license; Information here.)