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Fake news from the real Mess O'Potamia

Operation Silent Thunder begins tonight. That's when "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" will begin airing reports from Iraq (for reals!) about the Global War on Terror. Senior War Correspondent Rob Riggle usually reports from a studio in New York with a Baghdad backdrop. But last week he and a couple of Comedy Central producers actually got into a plane and flew to Iraq to report on-site.

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They went as part of a USO comedy tour called Operation Feel the Heat, which performed on several military bases. In between sketches to entertain the troops, Riggle filmed short sequences that will be featured every night on "The Daily Show" this week. It's not the first time he's been in a combat zone. Riggle happens to be a real-life major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and served in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Ain't nothin' fake about that!

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Hijacking 101

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While the experience must have undoubtedly been terrifying for the passengers aboard the Atlas Jet flight headed from Northern Cyprus to Istanbul on Saturday, the attempted hijacking of the 136-passenger airliner provides a pretty great lesson in how NOT to hijack a plane. Herewith, a brief rundown of lessons learned from this botched job.

Step 1: Break into the cockpit. After an unsuccessful attempt to karate-kick the door down, the two hijackers ended up having to voice their demands to the pilots using the phone outside the door.

Step 2: State your demands and don't compromise. The hijackers ordered the pilots to divert the plane to either Iran or Syria, but quickly buckled when the pilots convinced them that they needed a quick detour to refuel and landed the plane in the Turkish city of Antalya.

Step 3: Keep hostages in your control. After landing in Antalya, the hijackers announced that all women and children could go. But once a couple resourceful passengers forced open a door at the back of the plane, the remaining hostages quickly flooded out. In the meantime, the pilots broke through the cockpit window and booked it outta there as well, leading some to label them as cowardly, even going as far as to say the two should never be assigned to another flight again.

And it turns out that the alleged "bomb" was nothing more than a lump of modeling clay adorned with wines (to make it look a bit more realistic of course).

The latest reports say that the hijackers were a 25-yr old Turk and a 33-yr old Egyptian holding a Palestinian passport, who is said to have had some past connection with al Qaeda (if staying in the same prison with an al Qaeda member in Saudi Arabia can really count). Their motive? To protest the policies of the United States. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone in Washington was paying all that much attention.