As allegations of ethical lapses continued to swirl around Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), the House Majority Leader lashed out at his critics today, insisting that a 2002 trip his family took to Disneyland was a “top-secret fact-finding mission.”

The all-expenses-paid trip, during which Rep. DeLay and his family rode the Matterhorn no fewer than 35 times, was a clandestine mission to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be hidden inside Space Mountain, the congressman said today.

“The trip to Disneyland was a mission fraught with risk,” Rep. DeLay told reporters. “Thank heavens we all got home in one piece.”

Rep. DeLay said that his wife and children were so reluctant to go to Disneyland he had to pay them over $500,000 from his political action committee to change their minds.

The congressman also said that a privately financed trip to the Far East was not as extravagant as has been reported, arguing, “I did not tip the geisha.”

But the House Majority Leader’s attempts to put ethical questions to rest may have only raised new ones, as reporters quizzed him about what if any weapons of mass destruction he and his family found hidden inside Space Mountain.

“We did not find WMD inside Space Mountain,” Rep. DeLay acknowledged. “But we did not find them inside Iraq, either, and on the whole the trip to Disneyland was a lot cheaper.”

Andy Borowitz writes a daily humor column at