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Friday, May 5th 2006

Mission: Veteran Affairs

An L.A. Veteran Affairs ambulatory care center is shut down because someone thinks a bomb is in a newspaper rack.

The plan was to conceal digital audio players in 4,500 randomly selected newspaper boxes around Los Angeles and Ventura County. When newspaper buyers opened the racks, the six inch long, two-and-a-half inch wide red plastic boxes — connected to activator switches on the news rack doors — would play the easily-recognizable “Mission: Impossible” theme song.

A photo of the movie’s star, Tom Cruise, adorned a promotional poster on the front of the racks, although there was no warning that the doors had been rigged to play music.

Despite the simplicity of the plan, the digital audio players and the red, white and black wires leading to their activator switches did not stay concealed. One newspaper buyer saw the device and switch, thought it was a bomb and called authorities. After an inspection of the newspaper rack could not determine whether the device was explosive, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad blew up the newspaper rack.

“Lives were at risk. Doctors could not get into the building. The evening shift personnel, also, could not get into the building,” Baker said. “There were operations that needed to be performed and people were really at a standstill because of this.”

Your job, should you choose to accept it Mr. Phelps is to bring the local VA Hospital to a standstill.

H/T Drudge