License to overkill

AS REPORTED IN the June 14 Seattle Times, the controversial, long-delayed, and much-litigated plan to dispose of 3,500 nonmigratory Canada geese required two days of unspecified special "training" for the federal agents involved. Just what sort of deadly methods were agents taught behind those closed doors, you wonder? Thanks to another coup of Seattle Weekly investigative journalism, we have obtained the confidential memo reprinted below.

To: Delta Force Agents

From: USDA Covert Ops Division

Re: Operation Goose Storm

Mission: Goose sanitization and pacification. Termination of this dangerous pest that threatens to sap and impurify our precious freshwater resources with its noxious feces and attendant bacteria.

Recognizing the Enemy: To avoid past mistakes and further lawsuits, do not confuse your foe with any of the following: dogs, sunbathers, picnickers, in-line skaters, joggers, swimmers, small children, or personal watercraft. On the advice of our attorneys, consult your pocket goose-spotting guide before opening fire. We don't want another Madison Park on our hands.

NonViolent Outreach: Propaganda leaflets have already been air-dropped along most local shorelines, reading as follows: "Attention geese of Lake Washington! Surrender peacefully and you will not be harmed! Resistance is futile! Those who voluntarily board our trucks will be given a scenic sightseeing tour of Eastern Washington! Prisoners will be treated in strict accordance with the Geneva Convention!" (Leaflets have also been printed in French for the Quebecois subspecies of Canada goose.)

Resource Allocation: In the event of successful capture, divide your POWs into the following officially sanctioned categories: 1) pillow stuffing, 2) Thanksgiving meals for the homeless, 3) Ezell's, 4) KFC, 5) Goose McNuggets, 6) Plump When You Cook 'Em Goose-Dogs, 7) Safeway brand p⴩ de fois gras, 8) Goose-on-a-Stick, 9) Pagliacci Canada goose and pineapple pizza, 10) circus acts, 11) seeing-eye geese for the blind, 12) service geese for the handicapped, 13) geese in the coal mine, 14) homing geese for missions deemed too hazardous for pigeons, 15) Spam.

Strategy: When engaging enemy forces in combat, attempt to circle between them and the water—their natural avenue of escape. Attempt to frighten and confuse your opponents: Loudspeakers blaring Kenny G music at very loud volume can help to herd them into the kill zone. If they should take flight, notify the Air Force.

Diversions: Pretending to feed bread to the enemy as a ruse to gain his confidence and trust has resulted in the loss of countless fingers, hands, and limbs. Many gorings, maulings, and attacks have also occurred. Simply put, the old "feed the geese to lull them into complacency" stratagem has failed time and time again, as we learned so painfully in Vietnam.

Decoys: Experience has shown that your adversaries are too wily and cunning to be lured by plastic floating replicas. Similarly, our "Trojan Goose" operation will not be repeated after the debacle at Juanita Beach.

Unit Size: Do not attempt to assault your targets without at least a full platoon of armed agents. While estimates vary as to the exact size of a "gaggle," it's best to adhere to a one-man-per-goose ratio during combat, in case the attack should result in hand-to-wing fighting at close quarters. With geese, like Iraqis, the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming military force remains the best rule of engagement.

Golf Course Warfare: There have been complaints that our de-goosification program at Sahalee, Newcastle, and other country clubs has resulted in mortar fire damage to greens and fairways. Additionally, several carts have struck land mines. Accordingly, try to tread lightly on the turf, and remember that the sand bunkers need to be raked smooth again after machine gun strafing.

Defending Against Counterattacks: As last year's Battle of Magnuson Park has taught us, the airborne Canada goose is capable of delivering devastating feces bombardment upon our ground troops. Dig foxholes or seek shelter in our parks' bunkerlike rest rooms in such cases.

Weaponry: Your .45 sidearm, M-16 automatic rifle, grenades, and combat knife may not be sufficient to deal with the enormity of the goose threat. For this reason, if you encounter particularly strong and well-organized resistance, immediately call for armored reinforcements and artillery fire. Simply because you are engaging the enemy in a public park or residential area such as Laurelhurst or Windermere is no reason not to deploy mines, cluster bombs, and razor wire. Additionally, our submarines patrolling Lake Washington stand at the ready to deliver sea-to-ground missiles at a moment's notice. Remember: Civilian casualties and collateral damage can always be blamed on the opponent, as we learned in Waco.

Drastic Measures: When all else fails, call for air support. In order to save our lawns, lakeshores, and parks from the dread goose menace, we have been authorized to employ carpet bombing, cruise missiles, and napalm—all for the sake of a safer, greener Seattle.

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