Unconfirmed sources report that an unnamed aid to the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, has been implicated in the altering of the definition of the phrase ‘Civil War’ in the open source dictionary the Wikipedia. The change log of the Wikipedia indicates that a computer at the Department of Defense was used to make the changes. Wikipedia investigators with the help of Capitol Police then traced the computer to a office shared by several aids to the Secretary. Rumsfeld denies any knowledge of the changes and has not cooperated with the investigation.
The original definition read as follows:
A civil war is a war in which the parties within the same country or empire struggle for national control of state power. As in any war, the conflict may be over other matters such as religion, ethnicity, or distribution of wealth. Some civil wars are also categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict.
The edited definition included the following:
An insurgency, whether successful or not, is likely to be classified as a civil war, but should not be in the case of Iraq. In the Iraq situation the prolonged violence, social fragmentation, sectarian violence, breakdown of law and order, murder and torture of detainees innocents and journalists, and proliferation of suicide bombs is caused by a small group of disgruntled dead enders rather than a group large enough to be classified as a party to a civil war. The Iraq situation is not a ‘civil war’ ‘an insurgency’ or a ‘guerilla war’, but is instead a disagreement between several parties as to the future of Iraq.
Change logs indicate that the alteration lasted for several days and was viewed over 17,000 times before someone re-edited the definition and changed it back.
“The edited definition sounds right to me.” Said Secretary Rumsfeld to reporters at an impromptu press conference. “The Iraq situation is a complicated situation, it’s a situation that defies situational labels like ‘civil war’ or even ‘cluster fuck’. Situationaly speaking the Iraq situation is going great, even though there has been more killings lately. Frankly the more dead enders and killers that kill each other the better, that just leaves less for us to do. I repeat, the Iraq situation is going great.”
The Secretary then refused to speculate about how the changes might appear to have emanated from a computer used by his staff. Wikipedia investigators are continuing their work.