03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

White House Creates Ministry of Hindsight and Self-Flagellation

In response to the just-released declassified report on the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, the Obama administration has created a new "Ministry of Hindsight and Self-Flagellation," which will coordinate all future criticism, head-scratching, and hand-wringing as it relates to things the government should have done about anything.

"It is high time that this department was established," said newly appointed Hindsight and Self-Flagellation Czar Thomas P. Whitcooke. "One of the Ministry's first priorities will be to ascertain exactly why we didn't establish this department sooner. Clearly, there was a breakdown in the system that prevented us from creating this department and, believe me, when we find out why -- heads will roll. Important heads."

The mission of the Ministry will be to organize and exacerbate reaction to any future past issues that end badly and make the government look stupid. The Ministry will simultaneously coordinate the Executive Branch's efforts to respond to such issues with dramatic concern, anger, fist-shaking, self-appraisal, and righteousness. Says Deputy Assistant Hindsight and Self-Flagellation Secretary/Proofreader Maureen Estwinder:

The Ministry will enable us to better and more effectively triangulate all conjecture about things we didn't know or think would happen and, in doing so, create the illusion that we are actually doing something about those things. And creating the illusion of doing something about those things is, of course, much more important to the American people than actually doing something about those things.

In addition, the Ministry will handle not only misgivings about such issues as terrorism and the continuing economic crisis, but will also work tirelessly to integrate past events like Vietnam, the development of the atomic bomb, and the Teapot Dome Scandal into current problems. "Many bad things happened in the past," says historian Trent Barrett Ballingstone. "Things that should not have happened. Things that might not have happened if we knew then what we know now. But, we didn't. Though we do now. And frankly, it's never too late to be held accountable."