By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Federal law limits the participation of resident aliens in the political process. But it is silent on the role of extraterrestrial aliens.
This loophole has not been lost on the life forms who arrived on these shores aboard flying saucers with little more than the antennae on their backs. After years of suffering without suffrage, these beings are now seeking to play a role in the 2008 presidential campaign.
That, at any rate, is the considered opinion of the Paradigm Research Group, which held a news conference at the National Press Club yesterday to demand that presidential candidates support a "truth amnesty" to end the "government-imposed truth embargo on the facts confirming an extraterrestrial presence."
"The truth amnesty disclosure project is reportedly recommended by the participating extraterrestrials themselves," Alfred Webre of the Institute for Cooperation in Space announced to the humans-only gathering, next door to a speech on Iraq by Rep. Jack Murtha. "That is the specific extraterrestrial civilization which approximately 60 years ago entered into a top-secret CIA human-extraterrestrial liaison program."
The 2008 presidential cycle has already been an abnormal one, and the candidates yesterday resisted this attempt to turn the race toward the paranormal.
"Let me check in with the mothership," Phil Singer, a Hillary Clinton spokesman, answered when asked about the truth embargo.
"We're more focused on lifting the government-imposed truth embargo on issues like the war in Iraq," replied Bill Burton, a spokesman for Barack Obama.
Dismissive answers such as these from the two Democratic front-runners leave an opening for other candidates to claim the alien vote -- a prospect that could create havoc in the primaries if large numbers of ETs are found to be living in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The likeliest beneficiary: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who wrote a foreword to the "Roswell Dig Diaries," a UFO book. "As a 25-year-old he was an employee of a secret CIA extraterrestrial liaison program," Webre explained. "He has inside knowledge."
But the knowledge must still be secret: His spokeswoman didn't respond to an inquiry.
Also a favorite of the ET crowd is Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman. "I'm sorry to out you, Dennis, but he knows a lot about this subject," confided Stephen Bassett of the Paradigm Research Group. "If he brings it forward as a presidential candidate, he's going to make some history."
The Republican side is "really tough" for the UFO crowd, but Bassett gives his nod to John McCain, a former Navy pilot, over Ron Paul, who was an Air Force flight surgeon. "McCain has shown some displeasure with the way NASA has conducted its affairs," Bassett reasoned.
More than anybody, Bassett has been working to elevate alien affairs as an issue in 2008. He filmed video questions for the CNN-You Tube debates; they weren't selected. He urged George Stephanopoulos to ask the candidates about ETs; no luck. He wrote an article titled the "ET Ticket" -- it gives the nod to Clinton and Richardson -- for publications such as UFO Magazine. And, fresh from the weekend's "X-Conference 2007" convention in Gaithersburg, he rented a room at the press club yesterday to announce "new efforts to introduce the UFO/ET issue into the ongoing presidential campaigns."
An economy-minded Bassett didn't order a microphone for his event, and the "X-Conference" banner he bought on the Internet ("one-third the price of Kinkos!") was too big for the room and had to be continued on a second wall. About 40 X-Conference conventioneers packed the room, far outnumbering the handful of journalists.
But none of this slowed Bassett, who treated the assembly to startling revelations: the "Jimmy Carter ET studies," the "Rockefeller initiative toward the Clinton administration to end the UFO truth embargo" and the "1967 Malmstrom Air Force Base incident, where our SAC missiles were shut down by an ET craft hanging over the base."
Not one of the participants or audience members cracked a smile. Neither did they giggle when Webre proposed an environmental rationale for the ET amnesty program, saying the aliens' "advanced technology," which uses nonpolluting fuel, could "revolutionize the transport of goods and people on this planet and rejuvenate the biosphere."
The faces remained serious and earnest when Robert Miles, a film producer, announced plans to give each member of Congress a high-definition DVD titled "Fastwalkers: They Are Here." On the cover, a mean-looking alien eyes the Capitol and saucers circle overhead. "Don't tell me the American public's not interested," Miles challenged.
So far, however, the presidential candidates remain, well, alienated. Even Kucinich. "If you have a serious question, just ask me," Kucinich spokeswoman Natalie Laber replied when told of the UFO crowd's hopes for her boss. "If not, then just keep your silly comments to yourself."