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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Reliable sources within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have revealed a secret plan to install electronic listening devices in tens of thousands of hotel guest rooms across the U.S. According to those sources, the plan, based on a similar operation that has been carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency across Europe and the Middle East since 2002, has passed the "proof-of-concept" and "limited test" phases and is expected to be fully operational early next year.
In pre-deployment phases the operation has already netted nearly 3600 culprits, including the high profile case involving a scheme to kidnap Paris Hilton. According to law enforcement officials close to that case, the would-be kidnappers planned to free their hostage in exchange for the release of a dozen enemy combatants held at the U.S. Marine base in Cuba.
In that sting, electronic listening devices had been installed in the over 1200 hotel guest rooms for which Ms. Hilton had registered during the year. Upon gathering information about the plot, agents moved in swiftly to arrest four Peruvian men and two Lindsay Lohan fans shortly after Ms. Hilton announced that her favorite drink is mixed with Parrot Bay, her favorite tanning beach is on the shores of eBay and her favorite Cuban song is Guantanamo Bay.
Code named BizBug, the DHS operation is intended to find and "neutralize" business travelers who are involved in dealings that jeopardize the security of the country, either through their direct actions or through activities which support "enemies of the state."
When contacted by Err Travel, John Uperstedt, Acting Interim Adjunct Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Public Affairs at the DHS, said, "The department can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such an operation or any testing of such an operation or the consequences to hotel guests of such testing."
Nevertheless, in a secret DHS interdepartmental memorandum that was made available to Err Travel, it was found that some travelers to Kansas City, the apparent test location for BizBug, "have reported high-frequency chirping sounds emanating from smoke detectors, interference with television reception while viewing adult entertainment movies, and tingling sensations to 'certain body parts' while occupying the commodes.”
When asked about an unusually high number of reports by travelers to Kansas City that their hotels rooms seemed to be occupied by poltergeists, Uperstedt repeated his can-neither-confirm-nor-deny statement.
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