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"Lost" Star to Head Homeland Security Department

Bush and Locke

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shocking government observers, President Bush today named actor Terry O’Quinn to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of homeland security.

Bush hailed the character actor as a “dedicated, innovative reformer who insists on getting results.”

“Security has long been a concern of Terry O’Quinn, whether as the shadowy representative of the Millennium Group or as the mysterious John Locke keeping order on an uncharted desert isle,” the president said.

“Also, he was able to walk again after being crippled, so it’s obvious that he possesses some sort of freaky devil magic.”

O’Quinn conceded he was shocked as anyone that Bush would tap him to oversee homeland security. “But I’ve never turned down a role,” O’Quinn said. “Christ, I’ve appeared in SpaceCamp and Amityville: A New Generation. A fellah’s gotta eat.”

Despite O’Quinn’s lack of experience in government or counter-terrorism, Bush effusively praised the actor’s background. “He seems to know the mysterious secrets of the island, so infiltrating Al Qaeda shouldn’t be too much of a challenge,” Bush said. “And he’s managed to gain the trust of Sayid, who seems kind of shifty to me.”

When told that he was describing fictional characters on a TV program, the president blinked and stared off into space for five minutes, until aides were able to restore his focus through a series of grunts, single-syllable words and finger puppets.

O’Quinn was reluctant to get into specifics about how he would run the Department of Homeland Security. “But I think, in keeping with past roles, I plan to operate with a hint of sinister ambiguity,” he said.

“He’ll fit right in with this administration,” the president added with a chuckle.


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