The seemingly endless trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein took a new turn today as the United States announced that the legal proceedings would continue in outer space, with the goal of landing the deposed Iraqi strongman on Mars by 2024.

The decision to blast Saddam into outer space came after weeks of consultation between the White House and NASA, White House spokesman Tony Snow said today.

“NASA told us that it would take at least until 2024 to land a man on Mars, and Saddam’s trial will take at least that long,” Mr. Snow said. “If he’s found guilty, which we believe he will be, we’ll just leave him there.”

Continuing the Iraqi madman’s trial in outer space will appear to bring two of President Bush’s oft-stated goals to fruition: bringing Saddam Hussein to justice and landing a man on Mars.

“The president has long wanted to send a man to Mars,” Mr. Snow said. “It just so happens that that man is Saddam Hussein.”

In Baghdad, plans were underway to prepare the former dictator for his long interplanetary journey, as Mr. Hussein appeared in court wearing a space suit and ate a lunch consisting of freeze-dried hummus and Tang.

Once launched into outer space, Saddam will continue to hear his accusers reprimand him via a satellite radio linkup with the courtroom in Iraq.

One benefit from the space mission, Mr. Snow said, is that there will be fewer of the former dictator’s trademark outbursts: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

Elsewhere, in England, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 80 years without having a job.

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book “The Borowitz Report: The Big Book of Shockers.” To find out more about Andy Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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