I am quite sure I am not violating any national security laws by revealing the existence of a government research team which was created to deal with the bird flu threat in our country.  (I have it on very good authority that the Vice President was simultaneously declassifying this information as he was disclosing it to selected reporters last week.)

            Due to the critical nature of this project, the government wanted one of its best minds to lead it, so ex-FEMA director Michael Brown was chosen because of his extensive national crisis experience, (and because he had not turned in his ID card after leaving the first time.)

            The government scientists he recruited for the team were not ornithologists and epidemiologists, as one might expect, but global warming experts, because they have a lot of free time on their hands during this administration.  Their initial approach was to study the migration patterns of the birds most likely to be carriers of the virus, and at Mr. Brown's direction, the team spent the first three months studying the ostrich.  They immediately stopped this line of inquiry, however, when one of Mr. Brown's children informed him that ostriches can't fly. (Unfortunately, all the research notes and photographs from the ostrich study are still classified, so I can't prove any of this.)

            One of the scientists thought using satellite photos might be useful in their research, and the team thought they were on to something significant when they saw a

V-shaped formation in a photograph of the Midwest, but it turned out to be a Blue Angels flyover at the Iowa State Fair.

            As I understand it, the project was going nowhere, so Mr. Brown finally decided to add an ornithologist to the staff.   Sir Reginald Peabody of the British Zoological Society was hired, but he couldn't get a visa, so Miss Maude Dalrimple, one of the scientist's cousins who raises parakeets in her dining room, was hired instead.  Miss Dalrimple devised a plan (code-named "Operation Junior Birdman") which was quickly approved by the White House.  It involves the installation of 500 million pink plastic flamingos at strategic locations along the U.S. borders and coastlines to confuse the migrating birds as they arrive at our shores.  The project will be funded by the Defense Department because the flamingos were officially designated as "Weapons of Mass Distraction", and a no-bid contract was awarded to Halliburton in January to supply the flamingos, (each with its own fully-illustrated instruction manual), for an undisclosed amount.       

            I must confess that after hearing the details of the plan, I don't have much confidence in it actually working.  But I'm not worried, because according to my sources, the President has promised to use it only as a last resort.