the Disillusioned kid: God is an Animal Liberationist
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Monday, September 26, 2005

God is an Animal Liberationist

It turns out that all the religious wingnuts claiming that God or Allah caused Hurricane Katrina as punishment for the US's multitude sins are wrong. The Almighty is in fact an animal liberationist. Quite a claim you say (particularly coming from an atheist)? Well let me explain.

The US Navy has been training dolphins for military missions since Vietnam. More recently the focus of their training has been on anti-terrorist operations. The Fifth fleet, for instance, is protected by "the Mk 6 anti-swimmer dolphin system" (previously this role had been fulfilled by a similarly trained group of sealions). The use of dolphins for such operations and the training methods which the Navy is alleged to use (including withholding food, physical beatings and implanting electrodes) have been strongly criticised, which is perhaps why the Navy tends to keep quiet about the whole thing.

The relevance of Katrina in all this is the suspicion that the Hurricane may have liberated 36 dolphins armed with poisoned darts. It has been suggested that these escapees could pose a threat to divers, who resemble the trainers who have simulated terrorists in exercises, or surfers who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although the darts are only meant to put the target to sleep in order to enable subsequent "interrogation", there are concerns about what would happen if a victim were shot and not found for several hours.

The Navy has refused to confirm that the dolphins are missing, but suspicions were aroused after the Navy helped recover eight dolphins who had been swept from the Marine Life Oceanarium. While the recovery itself is unremarkable, the fact that the dolphins were not returned until they had been examined by Navy scientists piqued the curiosity of a number of observers who believe that they wanted to ensure that the dolphins were not there's.

The story is not without precedent. In 2003 Takoma, one of the Navy's minesweeping dolphins which had been deployed to Iraq decided to go AWOL. There are suggestions, however, that the US has accounted for this eventuality. The beaching in France of 22 dolphins with holes in their necks has led to claims that military-trained dolphins may be fitted with remote-controlled explosive in case they "deserted".

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