THE CIA's SWINGIN' CATBOTFor decades, the CIA has been at the cutting edge of the very latest in surveillance technology. For an example, look no further than 1967's "Acoustic Kitty" project (scroll down to #27), a stroke of genius from the Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. In it, a surgically altered cat, wired with transmitting and control devices, was trained to become a mobile, eavesdropping platform. As Victor Marchetti recalls in John Ranelagh's book The Agency:
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. Finally, theyre ready. They took it out to a park bench and said hListen to those two guys. Dont listen to anything else not the birds, no cat or dog just those two guys!sThey 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!