Head Muscle Press (7 July 2010) – Earlier today at a surprise press conference, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced that his agency would take over operations at Guantanamo Bay prison, and convert it into a space camp for terrorists. “This camp is an important first step in our efforts to improve the self-esteem of Islamic terrorists everywhere, and I think that its impact will be significant,” Mr Bolden gushed to the gathered press.
News of the new Guantanamo Bay Space Camp comes on the heels of Mr. Bolden’s recent statement that improving relations with the Muslim world was now NASA’s ‘foremost’ objective. Advocates of the new space camp note that this new program will not only improve the dreadfully low self-esteem of terrorists, but will also assist in easing the controversy around the Guantanamo Bay facility. “Everyone wants Guantanamo Bay to be closed, but we just have not figured out how to do it,” an administration official admitted under condition of anonymity. “Everyone hates Guantanamo, but space camps are fun, high-tech, happy places,” he explained. “Who would want to close a space camp?”
Under NASA’s plan, the cells and fences at Guantanamo will be replaced with space simulators, shuttle mock-ups, and eventually a launching pad. Head Muscle Press was able to arrange an interview with a member of Mr. Bolden’s staff for more details. Transcript follows:
HM: So let me see if I understand this correctly, NASA is planning to turn Guantanamo Bay prison into an astronaut training center for terrorists?
Staffer: That is in essence the plan…yes.
HM: Interesting, so what is NASA’s thinking here?
Staffer: Well, both Mr. Bolden and President Obama believe that terrorists suffer from low self-esteem. They believe that, if we can make terrorists feel better about themselves, they will become productive peace-loving citizens… and in this case astronauts!
HM: So you will be focusing on terrorists and not Muslims in general then.
Staffer: Well the terrorists are the ones causing all the ruckus right? Besides, they are a natural fit for astronaut training.
HM: Why are they such a good fit?
Staffer: We really see this training as a venue for helping them channel their natural strengths.
HM: For instance?
Staffer: Well after 9-11, the shoe bomber, and the underwear bomber it became clear to us that terrorists really like to fly. So we are just going to build on that.
HM: So, you are going to teach them how to fly at this camp?
Staffer: Well certainly! I mean, you wouldn’t be a very good astronaut if you couldn’t fly right?
HM: Well I suppose but…
Staffer: (Interrupting) Besides, most of them are already pretty good at taking off, they just need to be taught how to land…it should be pretty straight forward.
HM: So what is the first step?
Staffer: Well the first step will be to get rid of those nasty white prison jump suits and give them some nice blue cadet flight suits and pilot rim shades. Mr. Bolden thinks that this alone will change the whole feeling of the camp.
HM: You are buying them shades…
Staffer: Oh yes. Mr Bolden believes that in order to feel good about yourself, you have to look good. We have actually hired some fashion consultants to help us come up with the final outfit. We are thinking low waistlines with tight legs and flared bottoms. Something that says, “sure I used to behead infidels, but I am sexy too.” Know what I mean?
HM: (Changing subject) I see…What kind of technical training will they receive at the…um…space camp?
Staffer: Well we are going to have to start slowly at first, and really focus on some of the basics.
HM: Like what?
Staffer: First of all, we are going to have to convince most of them that the world is not flat. [Laughing] You cannot really orbit a flat earth can you? I mean the turns would just be too sharp.
HM: Well I suppose that makes sense…anything else?
Staffer: Well another, relatively challenging, thing is that we are going to have to teach them not to kill the instructors.
HM: (Shocked) Kill the instructors?
Staffer: (Rolling eyes) Well sure…I mean they are terrorists right? We fully expect to lose a few instructors early on but, over time, we hope to change their thinking on the whole killing thing.
HM: (Amazed) Well that sounds like a real challenge to say the least.
Staffer: (Nodding head) The space suits will be somewhat of a problem as well.
HM: Why is that?
Staffer: Well, most of the terrorists have grown really long beards while in captivity, and when you pile all of that hair up into a standard space helmet it is really difficult to see through.
HM: So will they have to shave?
Staffer: (Shocked) Oh my no! How insensitive would that be? We are simply going to build new helmets with elongated fronts so that their beards can hang naturally.
HM: Your serious?
Staffer: Absolutely. In fact NASA is already working with the ZZ Top guys to build a prototype. It is really tricky though, no one really knows how all that hair will react to zero gravity…it could be ugly.
HM: So, I am assuming that the Obama Administration fully supports this new effort.
Staffer: Oh, the administration is fully committed to this. In fact, President Obama has even authorized NASA to stand up a new division devoted to this effort. We are calling it our Islamist Esteem Division or IED for short.
Staffer: Oh, most certainly. It is really brilliant. Now their IED training will be something just a bit more positive….it is all part of the bigger message you see.
HM: I see…so is it really NASA’s intention to let these terrorists fly into space.
Staffer: (Frowning) Well that would be the goal in a perfect world but, since we no longer have a space program, we are going to have to set our sights a bit lower.
HM: So what will they do?
Staffer: It is still somewhat uncertain, but we are currently talking with Walt Disney Inc. to see if we can get them some gigs at Space Mountain. We are also hoping that they can replace the little funny droids on the Star Tours shuttles.
HM: Really? You are serious?
Staffer: Well sure. Just think about it…they can lead Star Tours passengers through the perils of space, while teaching them inspirational chants. Imagine blowing up the Death Star while shouting, “death to the Empire, death to the Empire!” They are excellent chanters you know.
HM: So NASA and the Obama Administration actually believe that this crazy plan will reduce the threat of Islamist terror?
Staffer: Our analysts believe that it will dramatically reduce terrorist attacks if given a chance.
HM: (Curiously) Based on what?
Staffer: Well nothing is certain, but we do have strong data which shows that trained astronauts seldom, if ever, blow other people up on purpose.
Staffer: (Proudly) Yep! Same goes for Disney employees too…
HM: So how much is this going to cost the tax payers?
Staffer: (Smiling) Absolutely nothing! That is the great thing about this plan.
HM: Well someone has to pay for it…who?
Staffer: (Whispering) Obama is just going to tack it onto BP’s clean up bill. It is truly brilliant!
HM: (Baffled) Why on earth would BP pay for it?
Staffer: Well…we will have to wait until the slick hits Cuba, but when that happens we are home free…and I mean free!
Staffer: (Looking at watch) I would really like to stay and chat longer, but I need to get back to NASA or I will be late for the stoning, and all the good rocks will be gone.
HM: (Stunned) Stoning?
Staffer: Yeah, we are just trying to get into the spirit of things…you know, empathize with their plight…anyway…see you!
With that, our interview ended. Turning Guantanamo into a space camp is certainly a novel approach to the terrorist problem, but seems to be fully in line with the President’s direction. It is unclear if such an unorthodox approach will yield any fruit, but it is sure to keep NASA personnel employed for some time to come. The bottom line is, we will just have to wait and see whether or not this whacky plan actually works. In the meantime, ride Star Tours at your own peril.