I heard this on the "coming up on the news" promo last night, "Armed and dangerous Navy dolphins escaped during the hurricane..." and I asked my wife "Did they just say armed dolphins?" Yup. Now, I'd heard of dolphins trained to sweep for mines, plant bombs on hulls of ships, and protect naval bases, etc. But trained "hit-dolphins" with toxic dart guns? Ezra has a link to the story:
[link] It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts who have studied the US Navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.
[...] 'My concern is that they have learned to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?'
Ezra's right, this sounds like a GI JOE comic. I'm glad our billions in Homeland Security and Pentagon money is going into stuff like this. I feel safer already! Don't worry about those "unsecured" chemical plants, folks—the terrorists don't stand a chance against our laser beam-equipped eagles.
Hopefully the Navy has fully deployed its fleet of Sea Wolf subs in the search...