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It's funny.  Laugh.

Operation Acoustic Kitty 253

rockville writes: "Remember the Cold War, when intelligence agencies had no oversight and a blank check? Now that those days are back, here's a good object lesson: the Chicago Sun-Times has details about Operation Acoustic Kitty, a CIA program to wire a cat to spy on the Soviet Union. Feel free to be either shocked at the depravity or shocked at the stupidity. The first prototype is also a nominee for Worst Presentation Ever." Hmmm. Last time I posted a story about cats, I got angry email from cat-lovers. Let's see what happens this time.
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Operation Acoustic Kitty

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  • by Steve B ( 42864 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @09:55PM (#2536027)
    ...a CIA team tried to chemically treat a cat's dander so that it would rub up against Fidel Castro and cause his beard to fall out.
    • by Man Eating Duck ( 534479 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @11:05PM (#2536294)
      Why not? The British conspired to make Hitler lose his power over the German people by bribing a gardener delivering vegetables to Hitler's kitchen.
      He was supposed to inject female hormones in them to make Hitler appear more feminine and thus loose his appeal.
      The gardener probably didn't have the guts to do it, as Hitler never lost his mustache... Cool idea though
    • I'm afraid it's the fault of us Brits really after all we helped create the CIA by setting up Camp X [idirect.com] and the Americans seem to have taken our ideas to heart, this is just another Exploding Rat [bbc.co.uk], I hope I speak for the majority of us Brits when I say... Sorry!
    • Use of kitties for special operations is far more widespread than many people realize. Here are some kitty rules as part of a widespread project to decrease the productivity of American citizens:

      Kitty Rules

      Bathrooms:
      Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.

      Doors:
      Do not allow any closed doors in any room. To get door open, stand on your hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. Especially after you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season.

      Chairs and Rugs:
      If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so the mess is as long as a human's bare foot.

      Hampering:
      If one of your humans is engaged in some activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping" otherwise known as "hampering". Here are the rules for hampering:

      1) when supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

      2) for book reading, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

      3) for paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work as possible and pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or pen.

      4) for people paying bills or working on income taxes or Christmas cards, keep in mind the aim; to hamper! First sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils and erasers off the table, one at a time.

      5) when a human is holding the newspaper in front of them, be sure to jump at the back of the paper, preferably with a running start. Humans love surprises.

      6) when a human is working at computer, jump on the desk, walk across keyboard, bat at the mouse pointer on screen, then lay on the human's lap across arms, hampering typing.

      Walking:
      As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help your human with their coordination skills.

      Bedtime:
      Always sleep on the human at night so he/she cannot move around.

      Litter Box:
      When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter out of the box as possible. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes.

      Hiding:
      Every now and then, hide in a place where the humans cannot find you. Do not come out for three to four hours under any circumstances. This will cause the humans to panic (which they love) thinking that you have run away or are lost. Once you do come out, the humans will cover you with love and kisses and you will probably get a treat.

      One last thought:
      Whenever possible, get close to a human, especially their face, turn around and present your butt to them. Humans love this, so do it
      often and, don't forget guests.
  • Today we're seeing robots the size of pennies, that may be the next form of espionage in the next few decades. Heck, we may even make smaller "nano-bots" that can attach itself to the person who is under survailence.

    This also reminds me of the bionic insects I have seen in various magazines such as Popular Science. Cats were only the beginning I will state again.
    • The great thing is, the cockroaches (more info at ZZZ [zzz.com.ru]) can be radio controlled, which solves many of the problems with cats, such as unpredictability and uncontrollability. Plus, they're slightly less conspicuous.
      Of course, if seen, it might be harder to avoid getting killed than with a cat.
      On a slightly offtopic note, does anyone remember the game Bad Mojo, where you had to steer a cockroach around a bunch of obstacles? That might be good training for future spy-insect operators :-)
      • A fly could do a better job actually. With a fly, it can attach itself to the ceiling, wall, floor, or whatever and you wouldn't notice it. With a cockroach, you can easily see it and want to stomp it.

        As long as the radio control works though, if not the then the fly is at risk for being swatted because it will either be in control of it's self, go out of control, or it will drop and be noticed.
        • True, but imagine trying to actually operate a fly by remote control in 3D. With the cockroach, you can basically just move in two dimensions by walking forward/backward and rotating, but it's much more complicated with a fly since you have to account for aerodynamics and the like - a fly is more than a tiny RC airplane. Entirely apart from the difficulty of simply flying the thing, I doubt human operators would find it easy to emulate "fly-like" flitting flying patterns.
          The last problem is that, unlike cockroaches, flies can't carry five times their weight while flying around, so you'd have to really miniaturize the electronic equipment. After all, you'd need two cameras (for 3D viewing), wireless transmission equipment and electrodes, all really lightweight and attached in such a way that it doesn't get in the way of wings or legs.
          All in all, I think remote-control flies might still be quite a while off. Cockroaches will have to do for now.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Kind of puts into perspective God's talents as the original engineer, doesn't it. Robotics is my original field, and anyone who's studied it very quickly becomes struck by how the best robotic subsystems we can even imagine (nanotech and all) are just incredible kludges next to the real thing.

            Mimicry of biosystems is a good way to learn, but it will be a very long time (if ever) before we can make a robot fly that has even a tiny fraction of the capabilities of a real fly. (Just try and duplicate those compound eyes...) The same goes for cats, which explains the rationale behind this truly gruesome experiment - they knew they couldn't make a fake cat that would fool anyone, so they implanted the smallest radio transmitter they could get into a real cat. (And remember that in 1966, even the best one-off military technology might have made that a sizable package...)
      • Not that easy..... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:47PM (#2536231)
        Despite what you may think, it's not that easy to control a cockroach.

        How do I know, you ask?

        I'm a neuroscience graduate student who works in a lab that studies cockroach neurophysiology and movement control:

        http://www.life.uiuc.edu/delcomyn/

        Yes, we can GUIDE the motions, by stimulating parts of the CPG (central pattern generators) in cockroach motor control - each pair of legs in cockroaches have internal movement pattern generators, as well as connections to other legs as well as the higher CNS ganglia. This still doesn't mean we have total control, or even relatively FINE control - something that would be required for this kind of fantasy "bug" intelligence work. It's really not that practical, and I doubt it will ever be - a lot more can be acheived by remote sensing technology, or possibly MEMS-type sensors.

        Sincerely,
        Kevin Christie
        Neuroscience Program
        University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
        crispiewm@hotmail.com
  • Ridiculous idea (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ergo98 ( 9391 )

    There's an old saying about trying to herd cats...

    Seriously though, what were they thinking? Apart from the moral and ethical depravity of it, logically it seems like a pretty stupid plan to begin with: Was the cat fed wet food from a picture of the person whom it was supposed to befriend? For anyone who has a cat, you know from the beginning that these morons obviously didn't.

  • by Black Acid ( 219707 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @09:57PM (#2536037)
    Guardian Unlimited has an article, Project: Acoustic Kitty [guardian.co.uk], which says:
    A fresh batch of newly declassified CIA documents, however, provides a more nuanced picture of the CIA's directorate of science and technology. The documents - requested under the Freedom of Information Act by Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow at the national security archive in Washington - chart the development of the extraordinary US spy satellites as well as the U-2 and A-12 spy planes. But they also record some of the gaffes and wrong turns along the way, which reveal the CIA's boffins to be as accident-prone as any government institution.


    The "Acoustic Kitty" is one of the CIA's many failures. You can download the declassified documents at George Washington University [gwu.edu]. Most relevent is Document 27: Views on Trained Cat Use [gwu.edu]. Interesting read straight from the horse's mouth.
    • Anyone willing to decode document 27 for me?? Document 27 reads as follows:

      Memorandum for: (blank)
      Subject: (blank) Views on Trained Cats (blank) for (blank) Use

      1. Our final examination of trained cats (blank) for (blank) use in the (blank) convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs. Repeated checks on the state of training and equipment showed us that it was indeed possible to train (long blank) locations; we were not able to visualize (blank) (blank) use for this technique under conditions that prevail (blank).
      2. We have satisfied ourselves that it is indeed possible (very long blank). This is in itself a remarkable scientific achievement. Knowing that cats can indeed be trained to move short distances (blank) (blank) we see know reason to believe that a (blank) cat can not be similarly trained to approach (blank). Again, however, the environmental and security factors in using this technique in a real foreign situation force us to conclude that, for our (blank) purposes, it would not be practical.
      3. The work done on this problem over the years reflects great credit on the personnel who guided it, particularly (blank) whose energy and imagination could be models for scientific pioneers.

      (signed by blank)
    • ... program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our specialised needs. (quote from link in previous posters article.)

      They mocked my research! But I'll show them, I'll show them all! Hordes of highly trained special kitty operatives will spring from my underground base and bring the world to it's knees! Bwah hah hah hah!

      I would've gotten away with it, if not for you kids!

      I wonder if you could genetically engineer a form of anthrax that didn't kill the cat but did kill people and was released in the cats dander (where it could nonlethaly infect other cats).

      ... which reveal the CIA's boffins to be as accident-prone as any government institution.

      How about the NSA? Sure, the NSA makes mistakes, but it never tries to sick killer felines on people, and none of it's agents collect human ears. More amusing stories of CIA stupidity and brutality can be found here [angelfire.com]. Not to mention the big brutal stupidity of the CIAs unconscionable behavior in, you guessed it, Afghanistan.
  • Then the Soviets copied our idea, sending acoustic kitties into the caves of Afghanistan in the 70s. When the cats were killed they immediately gave up and said that surely the US couldn't suceed there.
  • by AcidDan ( 150672 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @09:57PM (#2536041) Homepage
    [And so Operation "Cat Nap" comes unglued when an unexpected event occurs...]

    General1: "Pavelovich? what is your kitty doing here?"

    General2: "It is not my kitty..."

    General1: "I wonder if it is true Russian Kitty..."

    General2: "I will fetch the Vodka."

    General1: "Let us see if you drink Vodka like true Russian Kitty..."

    -- Dan =)
  • according to the article, the prototype cat was run over in the test trial (they took it to a park and it was run over by a taxi).

    Clearly suicide.

    And BTW, you guys think maybe the parts that are still classified are the ones about the later models that worked right?
    Listen to me, I'm talking about cyborg cats like I would about cars...
    • Yeah, they just unclassified the so-called failures...what about the models that work correctly? *peers outside* The cats are watching, the cats....
  • giving the boys acid and letting them jump out of windows...
  • Does anybody else think that this was a really idiotic idea?

    What the heck else did the CIA try?
  • Bonsai! (Score:4, Funny)

    by themaddone ( 180841 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:00PM (#2536056)
    Instead of a wired cat, maybe we should send the Taliban a wired Bonsai Kitten. Considering their love of life, they'll enjoy it, and as a room decoration, it's second to none.

    http://www.bonsaikitten.com
    • > http://www.bonsaikitten.com

      Well, at least it's nice to see our government standing up for kitten rights by harassing people who make jokes about h4x0ring kittens.

      What was that old saying about people who accuse someone of doing "X" are more than likely guilty of "X" themselves?

  • Maybe someday they will declassify the tapes of all those mice speaking russian. This is almost as goofy as some of the Soviet experiments with animals (or parts thereof).
  • But I guess /. doesn't like leading the way any more....
  • Sigh.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsarina ( 456482 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:07PM (#2536079) Homepage Journal
    They say to give the CIA more free reign over what they do, that it would make them more effective. This only solidifies my doubts. They're no more effective, it seems - just have free reign to do stupid things. Like kill cats. Or fail to assassinate Fidel Castro how many times...?

    But we know about those, so perhaps I am incorrect. Perhaps we only hear about what they do wrong; after all, the failure means that it is no threat to our security (except our loss of faith in the CIA?). After all, it's whatever succeeded that would need to be kept secret, so that it could continue to work. You have to wonder... if they make enough stupid mistakes, and know they're stupid enough to be benign in regard to security, perhaps the CIA is somewhat smarter than we think. They know what they do wrong, then perhaps they know what they do right. They'll just never get credit for any of it.

    Golly gee, I've refuted myself again.
    • by Bob Uhl ( 30977 )
      How was this a stupid experiment? If one could use animals to gather ground-level surveillance, it would save human operative's lives. It's a dashed good idea. Like animal testing: would you rather cosmetics be tested on rabbits or Little Susan? Given that intelligence must be collected (which is a fact), and given that animals could collect that intelligence (which was hoped), it would have made a lot of sense.

      Although it is a humourous idea naetheless. After all, in all the movies the guards don't worry about the noise when they see the cat. I can see the new scene:

      *tinkle*

      Guard 1: What's that?!

      Guard 2: dunno

      Guards see cat

      Guards: Holy Sh*t!

      Guards open fire onto poor mouser

      Everyone on secret base dies from an attack of plague carried my mice no longer kept down by local cat population.

      Wow, it was a wonder-weapon!

      • > If one could use animals to gather ground-level surveillance, it would save human operative's lives.

        Actually, I agree. The concept is great. The execution, on the other hand, left much to be desired.

        I have visions of two agents looking at each other, then at the squashed cat, and saying "OK, suppose we got this large wooden badger..." as they realize that someone forgot that getting a cat to go where you want it to go is a nontrivial proposition.

        I think the Japanese experiments where they glued mini-cameras onto cockroaches, and controlled cockroach movements by remote control, are a good step in the right direction.

        And for those who don't enjoy the cloak-and-dagger stuff, it would also come in handy for search-and-rescue operations.

        (Though in response to your "Guard 1 / Guard 2" scenario, I'd think "VOA: 'Godless Taliban Guards Machine-Gun Kitten to Death! Click here for .rm file'" would be more appropriate :-)

        Sick observation: ...because obviously, footage of Taliban troops machine-gunning human females to death didn't outrage us enough over the past 5-6 years. Maybe kittens are what it'll take.

  • Imagine... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ... a Beowulf cluster of spy kittens going to Afghanistan. Or better yet, a Meta-Beowulf cluster! [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People have been putting audio/video equipment into pussies for quite some time. Oh... cats... nevermind.
  • I don't think the _idea_ was that terrible... It's the name that gets ya.

    Why don't they spend all that money developing a passable Russian accent so they don't need the bloody cat?
  • If their cat was anything like my cat, she'd just sit in the nearest windowsill all day and refuse to do anything, and if you tried to pick her up there'd be shreds of arm-flesh all over the room.

    Maybe that was their nefarious plan all along!

    • The at tried doing nothing; according to the article, they sliced and diced the poor creature's brain some more until it stopped trying to eat at inconvenient moments. Bastards.
  • This time (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:17PM (#2536117)
    Last time I posted a story about cats, I got angry email from cat-lovers. Let's see what happens this time.

    Ummm...angry letters from CIA lovers?
  • The scary thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lurkingrue ( 521019 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:20PM (#2536128)
    The frightening part of this whole debacle -- at least for USians -- is that this took place when the CIA was supposedly competent and well-staffed/well-funded... What does that say for their current capabilities?
    • That when the CIA is "well-staffed/well-funded" they have too much time and money and in order to justify it, have to think up amazingly stupid and expensive projects? Maybe keeping them a little short on cash will help them set better priorities than borg-ifying cats.

      Liza
    • > this took place when the CIA was supposedly competent and well-staffed/well-funded... What does that say for their current capabilities?

      ...that no matter how much money you throw at the problem, you still can't herd cats?

  • Sorry about that, Chief.
  • well.... (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by erpbridge ( 64037 )
    I guess it IS better than posting a story about Katz, in some people's opinions.
  • Bugger (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tekgno ( 321071 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:28PM (#2536157)
    Thats probably what they said when the prototype got run over. :)

    For the benefit of the many who are not enlightened enough to be Australian this is funny because we have a Toyota(?) advert over here which involves a farm ute being used for various tasks, the ute is supposedly very powerful and goes over board for every task here are some examples:
    Pulling stump out of ground: Stump gets airborne and smashes up dunny (outside toilet)
    Dog tries to jump onto ute but ute takes off, dog lands in mud and dog says bugger.

    You probably don't have the idea yet but believe me, it is funny (Could some of you other Aussies back me up here before the karma police lock me up?)
    • Oi Aussie, hands off!
      That is a kiwi ad, geez guys what you gonna try to steal off us next :)
      We have a few cricketers you are welcome to, assuming of course you don't break them all on us over next few days.

      ratty
    • Actually, we CAN see it over here :)

      www.adcritic.com hosts it, needs quicktime but oh well, it IS funny :)
    • "we have a Toyota(?) advert over here which involves a farm ute being used for various tasks,"

      Sorry but I'm not australian ... what's an 'ute' or specifically a 'farm ute?'

      And what's a 'dunny?'

      • Well, I'm not Australian, but I am multi-lingual.

        A "ute" is a utility vehicle, which is the UV part of SUV. So a "farm ute" is the sort of utility vehicle (4x4) that one would find a farmer driving.

        A "dunny" is a toilet.

    • Don't forget the McDonalds spinoff with the dog in the back of the ute...

      speaker: "Please place your order"

      dog: "Burger"

      (speakers line may differ from original advert. Hey... it was a long time ago)
    • You probably don't have the idea yet but believe me, it is funny (Could some of you other Aussies back me up here before the karma police lock me up?)

      I'll back you up, and I'm not even an Aussie. I'm from the US, but I was working over the pond for a month a few years ago. And this commercial had me rolling on the floor of my hotel room laughing, not just once, but at least the first 5 or 6 times I saw it. And it still cracks me up...

      Cheers!
  • or am I thinking I saw it on hardocp?
  • by Arecibe ( 456453 )
    the cia should have better thing to do
  • I'm not sure if this would even be an issue today. With silicon getting so small, a kitty could easily just get "bugged" or have a small chip inserted under its skin (Universal Soldier anyone?)

    This business of slitting kitties open is just disgusting. I can't see how spending this type of money on such a project could be beneficial, even during the cold war. It seems the money would have been better spent on finding other techniques, or improving the technology.

    It should be interesting to view the documents and see just what was going on. Anybody have any sort of information on how this released information could be found? I'm also interested to see what kind of "sensoring" they have done to it. =)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    nothing was better than Operation Dumbo Drop.
  • by neema ( 170845 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:42PM (#2536214) Homepage
    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: Release the sharks! All the sharks have had laser beams attached to their heads. I figure every creature deserves a warm meal.

    FRAU FARBISSINA: Dr. Evil?

    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: Yes, what is it? You're interrupting my moment of triumph.

    FRAU FARBISSINA: It's about the sharks. Since you were frozen, they've been placed on the Endangered Species List. We tried to get some, but it will take months to clear up the red tape.

    DR. EVIL: Right. Mr. Kremlin, we're going to lower you in a tank of piranhas with laser beams attached to their heads.

    FRAU FARBISSINA: *cough*

    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: What is it now?

    FRAU FARBISSINA: Well, we experimented with lasers, but you would be surprised at how heavy they are. They actually outweighed the piranha themselves, and the fish, well, they sank to the bottom and died.

    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: I have one simple request and that's sharks with friggin' laser beams attached to their heads, and it can't be done? Remind me again why I pay you people? What do we have?

    FRAU FARBISSINA: Cats.

    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: Right.

    FRAU FARBISSINA: They're mutated cats. With surveillance devices.

    DR. EVIL CIA GUY: Really? Are they ill-tempered?
  • This page [gwu.edu] (document 27) at the national security archive contains a PDF of the heavily redacted memo. In addition to the kitty, there is also material about spy satellites and other such things.
  • Mrs. Slocombe: The next thing you know they'll be calling me up
    and asking me to put a wire on MY pussy.

    Barney Fife: I say this calls for action and now! Nip it in the bud!
  • Woah.. this is some crazy stuff..

    Well, thats all really. I am just saying "wow".

  • by austad ( 22163 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:51PM (#2536247) Homepage
    Dammit! This MUST be why my cat only comes near me when I'm on the phone or typing at my computer, he's friggin' rigged! Where is that little furry bastard?!?! I bet some water would short circuit his electronics....

    Here kitty kitty...
  • I don't think we should ever talk about interesting things to do with cats without talking about the amazing Bonzai Kitties [bonsaikitten.com]

    This isn't a troll! Its just that the very thought of the sound that a cat would make as you tried to shove it into a blender would be...interesting. And it is therefore worth mentioning.
  • I'm no crazy PETA person, but it sounds like what they did to the cat was monstrous.

    And this really floored me:

    He said: "They took it out to a park and put him out of the van, and a taxi comes and runs him over. There they were, sitting in the van with all those dials, and the cat was dead."
  • by thesurfaces.net ( 196820 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @10:53PM (#2536260) Homepage
    There was a BBC documentary about 4 or 5 years ago with this story in it; the main subject was the MKULTRA project, and it was entitled "The Search for the Manchurian Candidate" (or something like that), but this "Acoustic Kitty" thing came up as an anecdote from some ex-intelligence guy they interviewed. Unfortunately, Google turns absolutely nothing up, and the BBC themselves apparently don't know a thing about it!
  • Dude...this has been on the Discovery Channel for at least four years. This is not new information. The stupid cat ran into the street and got run over.
  • by Murmer ( 96505 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @11:11PM (#2536322) Homepage
    Reading just a bit between the lines...

    "They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him. They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that,'' he said.

    So reading a hair past the ha-ha bad product description, we've learned that the CIA can stick a wire into your head and change the way you feel.
    And they knew how to do this in 1960. Damn, but they must have some cool toys by now.
    • Unfortunately for them, mental control through electronic equipment is very, very obvious to the person with the electronic equipment inside them. I presume, very seriously, that the cat ran into the street against its better judgement because it was going insane from the forced electrical stimulation and the intense pain of having that many pieces of electrical equipment stuffed into its body.
    • Read this. Fictional, but very interesting, and I think you'll learn that we've known how to modify brain activity with properly placed charges for quite some time. The brain passes signals using electrical impulses (more or less). If we can create our own, well, we can trigger certain results. "Damn, I'm hungry." *ZzZaaAApPp* "Wow, I'm stuffed!"
  • by dublin ( 31215 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @11:13PM (#2536326) Homepage
    The CIA cats working on this category must have been catatonic, or maybe just got caught catnapping:

    The kitty carcass catapulted by the cab catercorner across the catwalk caterwauled, then went cataleptic and catatonic. It's hard to categorize such cathodically catheterized cattails as anything but cataclysmically catastrophic. The catcalls clearly catalyzed the cattiest CIA agents to consider acoustic catfish to catch confidential conversations near cataracts. Catfights in cathouses are another matter: maybe covert catsup bottles? Gee that was cathartic - I think I'll have some catnip...
  • Well, that explains why I overheard this last week:

    "Mommy, I want an accoustic kitty... .pleeeeeeeeease can I have one?"
    • > Well, that explains why I overheard this last week:
      > "Mommy, I want an accoustic kitty... .pleeeeeeeeease can I have one?"

      Yeah. Wait'll SONY hears about this.

      Fuck AIBO!

  • I suppose this would explain why cats do not seem to like water. Perhaps they're all rigged now?

    Hrm...
    [::imagines the effect of slashdotters killing all cats::] (The black plague started in quite a similar manner.)
  • Obviously a slow news night for michael.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2001 @11:31PM (#2536368)
    From the article : "The tail was used as an antenna."

    So, let's see : if they wired a kitten, it would emit short waves. Then, as the kitty grows up, the frequency would slowly shift to the long wave band. Kind of like a very slow naturally occuring frequency-hopping encoding : if the Russian had picked up the transmission and went back to it several week after, they wouldn't have been able to find it again !

  • by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @12:33AM (#2536555) Journal
    > The document ... is still partly censored. This implies that the CIA was embarrassed about disclosing all the details of Acoustic Kitty

    Actually, the reason is that project Acoustic Bovine was a success, and is being covertly operated on the streets of moscow as we speak.
  • It's that no federal agency will ever be able to sensibly prosecute the Bonsai Kitten [bonsaikitten.com] in the near future. PETA be damned.

    ...

    Scratch that, somehow I don't think that the government would be restrained by mere hypocracy. If anything that seems to be an insentive in its actions.
  • If you're a cat lover looking for something else to get upset about, there's the Cat Cam [slashdot.org] project.
  • more CIA operations (Score:3, Informative)

    by diarmuid_c ( 535113 ) on Thursday November 08, 2001 @06:11AM (#2537132)
    For instance Operation Mongoose [parascope.com] where among other things America civilians would be shot, planes hijacked and ships sunk which would then be blamed on the Cubans, giving the US an excuse to invade.

    It's is suspected that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident [pbs.org]was actually based on the above operation.

    If you havent read it already check out Body of Secrets [amazon.com] , a recent history of the NSA, and proof that the land of the free is far from that

  • ...I'm so glad they're putting my tax money to good use...
  • See this [userfriendly.org] User Friendly cartoon.
  • Russian Dude: Here kitty kitty, let me scratch under your chin.

    Meanwhile in the survalance van:

    CIA Dude: I'm picking up some sort of chopping sound, they must be jamming us.

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