Hmmmm. A warm summer day in Washington DC, 1998. In a little known conference room under the capital building, several members of the NSA are discussing containment options for a mistake the U.S. Government made, that it should not have. "Deny it altogether. That's the only thing we can do." "No, 17 people saw it happen. We would not have been called if denial was an option. No way we can get away with denying it if any of them ever came out." "Then we have to pay them to keep quiet. There's nothing else we can do. This can't come out, if the press or the public hear about this, we're dead." "I guess that is our only option. Set up individual meetings with each of them and make an offer. Don't try to save money, show them how important it is that they don't talk to anyone about this." "Very well." Several men leave the meeting, but 3 remain and continue. 11 of the witnesses agree to silence, gain some money, and quietly go about thier lives, each his or her own seperate way, none ever knowing about the other. 1 year later, stricken with guilt, a witness mentions the event to his girlfriend at the time. She's shocked, but too frightened to mention or acknowledge the event, for fear of repercussions. It quietly goes away for another 3 years. September 9th, 2002. A man in his 40's drives a deserted freeway. Formerly a military man, thoroughly trained in urban warfare and part of an elite black special forces unit trained in terrorism tactics. This is not a known or recorded legal military program. As part of his training and ability to operate covertly, he changed his recorded name to Muhammed and learned fundamental islamic principles. He answers a mobile phone with a short militaristic greeting. "Yes." "It's time. The most important thing is that there's never any connection made. Include very few random individuals if necessary. You are operating with autonomy, and you must provide closure at the end." "Understood." September 22nd, 2002. The same previously conscience-laden witness and his girlfriend, now wife, are traveling through Montgomery, Alabama, stopping at a convenience store for a few snacks. They don't even notice two men in the store, one at the magazine rack flipping through "Guns and ammo", the other browsing snack foods. In ten minutes, they're back on the road. Behind them the two men proceed to rob the convenience store. This convenience store is later changed on police reports to a liquor store. The witness and his girlfriend are never heard from again, and their car is found abandoned in Michigan. No missing person report is ever filed, no official record is ever made of thier appearance at the convenience store. Virginia, almost a month later, a shooter kills a man pumping gas at a gas station, then a man mowing a lawn. He apparently randomly continues to shoot individuals throughout the day. He is unable to attain his goal, though. American News media converge and propel the story to headlines, naming it the "DC sniper", and similar. It becomes an unanticipated media circus, and complicates tracking the other individuals. Using the mass media coverage as a tool becomes the option for coverup, and the shooter continues as planned. The media offers the serial killer concept, and the shooter uses this to his advantage, turning the focus away from the motive of the mission. Manipulation of messages through media outlets becomes trivial. A small design of impossible demands is developed to stall and cover the completion of the mission. The mission is completed, and small preparations are made. A signal is sent to indicate that the mission is complete, all targets have been eliminated, and objectives have been achieved. Extremely important to coping with the unexpected media frenzy, a perpetrator is caught, and America once again goes back to sleep. Goodnight.