WASHINGTON, DC: In a stunning late-hour development, President George W. Bush has granted Osama bin Laden a pardon for the murder of more than 2,700 Americans in the fall of 2001.
"This kinda came out of nowhere," said a White House aide who requested anonymity. "I wouldn't have put bin Laden on the short list myself. On the other hand, maybe this is the president's way of finding closure. Because ... y'know ... he wasn't actually able to kill bin Laden, or capture him, or even keep him from making all those (expletive) videos. I mean, jeez, let's face it: Osama bin Laden is basically a one-man Netflix of cave movies."
The aide paused, then went on to say, "Can you believe this dude (Bush) was actually president for eight (expletive) years? What were we thinking? Seriously, what the (expletive) were we thinking?"
The aide began weeping quietly. "May God have mercy on me for my role in the unfathomable travesty that was the Bush administration."
Conservative columnist William Kristol insisted the pardon made sense..
"George W. Bush is a brilliant strategist. I'm sure he has a good reason for this pardon. I'll figure it out."
Kristol sucked his thumb for a few minutes, lost in thought. He was then distracted by a brightly colored piece of string.
A passerby, told of the bin Laden pardon, offered a possible explanation:
"Maybe Bush is trying to smoke him out. Wasn't that the plan?"