Walter Mencken 10:05 a.m., April 30
Sorry, Wrong Conference
CIA Researcher Accidentally Reports on Government Plan to Destroy Black Community at National Black HIV/AIDS Day Conference in Lincoln Park
"What crack cocaine did for us in the '80s, AIDS can do for us today."
TUBMAN-CHAVEZ MULTICULTURAL CENTER, SAN DIEGO - CIA Head of Domestic Operations Bernard Neagle has probably fired his secretary by now, following a mixup that led him to reveal the government's plan to reduce the American black community via AIDS to that selfsame community.
"Clearly, Mr. Neagle thought he was addressing someone else," says Tubman-Chavez Center Director Malick Freeman, "someone else who was also holding a conference on National Black HIV/AIDS Day. But with, well, a different focus. I guess Ralph Ellison was right about blacks being invisible - otherwise, Neagle no doubt would have realized his mistake sooner."
As it was, says Freeman, Neagle entered the conference center, took out his notes, and began addressing the crowd of nearly 350 African-American San Diegans "Initially, of course, AIDS was created to thin the ranks of the gay community," Neagle began. "And in the years under Reagan, our efforts succeeded admirably. But over time, the gays regrouped and formulated a coordinated response effort. It is even arguable that our operation backfired, producing a gay community that was more politically united and energized than it was before the program began."
However, continued Neagle, "the introduction of AIDS into American public life has had some unforseen and happy side effects. Most notably, the further reduction of the black community. Today, blacks represent 14% of the U.S. population but 44% of all new cases of HIV infection. And while some members of the team favor a hands-off policy, the decision has made to take a more pro-active approach to spreading the disease - aiding AIDS, if you will. The following methods..."
At this point, recalls Freeman with a smile, Neagle raised his eyes from his presentation, assessed the crowd he was addressing, cleared his throat, and quietly dashed from the room.
When reached for comment, CIA spokesman Sam Iam pointed out that the organization has no involvement with domestic policy, and that no one named Bernard Neagle had ever worked for Agency.
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