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The White House on Tuesday denied that a secret dig appears to be underway beneath the National Mall and that an exclusive photo released last week by the online entertainment network @lantisTV merely shows the construction of a new underground visitors center.
“The visitor’s center has been planned for years, and its costs have not been without controversy or publicity,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. “Construction has been going on in plain view of the American taxpayers. What we are witnessing here is some enthusiastic curiosity prompted by movies like ‘National Treasure’ and novels like Raising Atlantis. It’s entertainment, folks. For the record: There are no secret U.S. digs underway in Antarctica or the National Mall. There is no link between Atlantis and the founding of the United States of America. Period.”
McClellon had no comment on why the Department of Justice sought to block the photo’s release for eight months, nor why the White House issued its comment on a day that President Bush was out of the country.