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Rappaport
Oct 2, 2013


No thread about the CIA is complete without a shout-out to Acoustic kitty (poor kitty). Though it seems some operative has claimed that the cat lived after all? Either way, CIA at their finest:

quote:

Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project launched by the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology, which in the 1960s intended to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies. In an hour-long procedure a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in the cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur.

[...]Victor Marchetti, a former CIA officer, said Project Acoustic Kitty cost about $20 million.

[...]

The first Acoustic Kitty mission was to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and allegedly killed by a taxi almost immediately.

I know this doesn't compare to murdering people with polonium in their tea or whatever the heck the Russians are up to, but, you know, it is sort of darkly funny that the CIA spent millions of dollars on making a bionic cat, who promptly proceeded to fling themselves under a car. I suppose the lesson here is, don't do weird spy surgery on cats, they dislike it.

Which also reminds me, there is an anecdote about a US recruiting manual (of sorts) that was used to help them, eh, acquire Finnish assets? to go over the border to Russia and do some scouting work. For whatever reason, this was considered worthwhile to the US. Anyhoo, the recruitment manual said, I'm paraphrasing, "do not be alarmed if the person you are meeting is drunk. This is normal." Which, fair enough, but that also seems sort of funny to me, that the real-life James Bonds had to deal with drunken dudes who just wanted the money man, I'll go where you point, sure! It lacks a certain... Gravitas the spy films tended to have.

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