WASHINGTON, DC—In the latest in a long series of ominous public pronouncements, the Department of Evil released a statement Monday demanding that all residents of the United States must die.
"Yes, all must die," Dread Secretary of Evil Hammond S. Reynolds said during a press conference in Room 1228 of Washington's Robert C. Weaver Federal Building. "There shall soon come an accounting in which all will fall before the Grim Reaper as wheat in winter, as lambs under the knife. Soon all necks will feel the steely bite of our soul- thirsting axe, wielded by the unforgiving iron hand of the Department of Evil. Thus spake I, Dread Secretary Reynolds."
The dread secretary then took questions from the assembled reporters.
Although the Department of Evil has not yet announced the exact timetable for the death of all, it recommends citizens make their peace with doomed relatives and spouses immediately, as the hour of their ending draws ever nigh and will be upon them as soon as the necessary funding has been authorized by the House Appropriations Committee.
"This budget approval is merely a pitiful, niggling formality, for soon we'll be free to swarm across the land draining the life-pus out of all you quivering mortal worms," Reynolds said. "Doubt us not: Come the wintertide, you all shall die, and die you will. Sorry, I meant 'must.' Die you must!"
Originally established by an act of Congress in 1953 and granted broader powers and funding in 1986 under the second Reagan administration, the Department of Evil has been an occasional source of controversy. Its 1993 And The Streets Shall Run Red With The Blood Of The Innocent initiative was highly criticized at the time by moderates, who thought the department's agenda overly harsh.
In 2004, an ambitious plan to seed the clouds with blood and then rain excruciation down upon the thrice-damned didn't even make it past a Senate budget committee, which criticized the plan as poorly conceived.
And last year, the department received a stinging blow after Congress voted to allocate only one-third of the money requested to swell the ranks of its deranged, barbarous demon cavalry.
Despite those recent setbacks, a DOE spokesbeast said that the dread secretary remains confident that his department will prevail in the end.
To publicize their current mission, the Department of Evil distributed to media outlets a ring-bound portfolio titled "You Shall All Perish Screaming 2007," which provides estimates and logistics detailing how everyone will die, a line-by-line budget breakdown, and an addendum apologizing that the document was not printed in human blood. The full text is available at evil.gov.
The "All Must Die" initiative, the highest-profile program proposed by the DOE in recent memory, came under almost immediate scrutiny from politicians on both sides of the aisle.
"I don't understand why we still even have a Department of Evil," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. "It's a Cold War holdover, an artifact of the '50s that has outlived its usefulness. Mr. Reynolds has done as good a job as any recent dread secretary, but as afraid as I am of him, I believe his talents would be better served at Education or Agriculture."
"Once again, Mr. Reynolds wants to throw money at the everyone-dies issue—in this case, $11.43 billion," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said. "This is a waste of taxpayer dollars to do work best left to the private sector. It's high time for the DOE to be absorbed into Homeland Security, where it belongs."
At the press conference, Reynolds refused to disclose his reasons for proposing that all must die.
"Question not the dread secretary, insects!" said Reynolds, rearing back his mighty head and bellowing as a powerful crescendo emanated from the department's enormous Gothic pipe organ. "First, the bandwagoners in Congress seek to derail our plans or committee them to death. Now, the mindless blood-bags who populate this teeming nation wish to know why they must perish. I will respond with the same answer we have always given: Despair, groveling vermin, and may your deaf, blind God forsake the United States of America! We're done here."