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JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: BREAK UP THE RED CROSS

Rapidly Growing Charity Behemoth Stifling Competition, Says DOJ

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) – Calling the Red Cross “the Microsoft of relief agencies,” the U.S. Department of Justice today asked a federal court to break up the organization, which has taken in $250 million since the attacks of Sept. 11 alone, and is “showing clear signs of becoming an anti-competitive monopoly.”

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“This organization now has its tentacles into every home, every business, and every mind in this country,” said Justice Department lead attorney Stanley Brill. “Every day, companies large and small are announcing disaster contributions to the Red Cross. Nearly every U.S.-based Web site now has a link asking you to give to the Red Cross.

“God only knows what kind of pressure the Red Cross is placing on individuals and corporations to achieve these ends.”

Charities that feel ignored during the crisis, including Chicago’s “Pets Without Borders” adoption agency, and the “Loaves & Fish Fry Baptist Soup Kitchen” of Reynolds, Ga., filed “friends of the court” briefs supporting the Justice Department. Donors, however, quickly came to the agency’s defense.

“I mean, yeah, it’s tough to say no when everyone in your office is dropping money in the basket, but honestly, we weren’t pressured by anybody. We genuinely want to help.” insisted Harvey Took, a spokesman for Publix supermarkets, which recently gave $1.9 million to the organization to aid in disaster relief.

“That is the most insidious kind of pressure,” said attorney Brill. “Making people think it was their own idea.”

In her response, Red Cross CEO Bernadine Healy, M.D., called the anti-trust charges “ludicrous,” and insisted the organization’s recent growth was due to an “incredible outpouring of sympathy and generosity” from around the world.

“It may be true that we’re presently garnering more than our fair share of contributions, but we have done nothing to subvert competing charities, and we are not a monopoly,” she said. “Everything we do, we do to benefit mankind.”

Brill, however, called those words “hauntingly familiar.”

“Funny, isn’t it, how Microsoft claimed everything it did was done to benefit others, and now we have the giant, all-powerful Red Cross using the same tired, obvious defense,” he said. “These greedy monopolists must read from the same playbook.”

“Greedy? But we don’t have earnings,” Healy insisted. “We don’t have profits. We give everything away and get nothing back!”

Brill, however, labeled that description an attempt by the organization to pass itself off as an Internet company. Already, he added, people around the office are calling him “The Man Who Nailed the Red Cross.”

Congressional leaders, meanwhile, were surprised by the accusations, but most said they would wait to read the charges before offering an opinion. “On one hand, it seems to me that the Red Cross, like Microsoft, shouldn’t be punished for its popularity,” said Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State. “On the other hand, unlike Microsoft, the Red Cross hasn’t donated one single dime to help me get elected, so I really have no reason to care.”

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The case will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who said he would have to become more familiar with the evidence before making inappropriate public comments about the parties involved.

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