National intelligence versus Osama

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National intelligence versus Osama

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:02 pm

After numerous public rounds of "Who knows if Osama is even alive by now" speculation on Capitol Hill, Osama bin Laden decided to write to George Bush in his own handwriting, to prove to the President that he was indeed still alive and kicking. As it happened, Bush personally opened bin Laden's letter, which appeared to contain a coded message consisting of a single line:

370HSSV-0773H

Bush was baffled, and so he had the letter scanned and emailed to Condoleezza Rice. But Condi and her aides were equally clueless, so they sent it on to the FBI. However, no-one at the FBI could solve the conundrum either, and in this way it was passed to the CIA, and then to the NSA.

Eventually Britain's MI6 was asked to help. Within a minute, MI6 cabled the White House with this reply:

"Tell the President he's holding the message upside down."
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