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Preparing for the Zombies. Seriously.

I’ll say right up front I don’t get the zombie thing. You know, the Walking Dead on AMC, that whole bit. I guess zombies now are like vampires five years ago, the “in thing.”

But it goes deeper than that. In the shooting world there are companies that sell zombie-killing ammo, zombie survival kits and even offer courses in surviving the zombie apocalypse. What’s more, people are actually shelling out hard-earned dollars for this stuff. I guess there’s a joke and I’m just not in on it. If you didn’t know better you would think that people actually believed that zombies were some kind of real threat and not just make believe.

Apparently, the U.S. government doesn’t know better.

How many times have the words above been written? In this case, it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on – conservative or liberal – I would think the sane among us would realize that zombies are pure make believe, purely fictional characters that sprang from someone’s imagination. Oh sure, there are stories of zombies in Haitian Vodou lore, but let’s get real.

Whatever the case may be, our government believes in the threat enough to have a protocol in place to deal with any future zombie attack. No, seriously. Check the date on this newspaper, it does not read April 1, 2014. Foreign Policy magazine uncovered a document on the U.S. government’s secret classified computer network dubbed CONOP 8888. Usually, documents on this system are classified but this particular material was left unclassified where it was discovered by the magazine and later reported on CNN.

Basically, this is a how-to guide for military planners in dealing with not only “human” zombie attacks but those of the chicken zombie, vegetarian zombie and even “evil magic zombies.”

No, seriously.

The CONOP document, also known as “Counter-Zombie Dominance” is dated April 30, 2011 and clearly shows that officials of the United States Strategic Command are prepping for the possibility of future attack. Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze even admitted that the document exists on a “secure internet site.”

Here are some highlights from the protocol as reported by Foreign Policy: “This document is unclassified to ensure maximum utility during times of crisis. Classified capabilities used to counter zombies will be addressed in appropriate orders and annexes aadapted [this is how it is spelled in the document] during crisis action planning to adapt the actions in this plan to current operational conditions”… “This document contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the Espionage Laws, title 18, United States Code, sections 793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of information contained herein, in any manner, to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.”

This is serious stuff here, dear readers. The protocol lays out how to protect “non-zombie” humans from the real zombies and how to set up a support network in times of zombie-induced rioting.

No, seriously.

Okay, so according to Kunze the protocol is in place as a military exercise, but what else would she say? I prefer to believe the government has my best zombie-fearing interests at heart. Plus, there was this little tidbit at the end: “this plan was not actually designed as a joke.”

No, seriously.

Rodney Williams is the managing editor for The Anna-Melissa Tribune and the Van Alstyne Leader. He can be contacted at news@amtrib.com or rwilliams@vanalstyneleader.com.