Column Date 2006-07-07

Government admits spying on lingerie stores

Washington, D.C. High level government sources revealed today the existence of a secret National Security Agency program to monitor phone calls to and from every lingerie store in America.

An anonymous FBI official also claimed that 1 out of every 5 Victoria’s Secret employees is probably an FBI informant. He added that banking transactions involving ‘skimpy lingerie’ were audited on a regular basis.

The driving force behind this massive spying program, according to sources, was not the Bush administration, but rather a group of government psychiatrists.

“It’s all about the virgins,” said one prominent psychotherapist, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation.

He said that profiles of young men who are likely to become suicide bombers – many of them in their teens -- show an almost complete lack of knowledge about women. And when faced with the prospect of meeting 72 sloe-eyed virgins, they tend to become extremely nervous and unsure of themselves.

“This is not the optimum state-of-mind for someone about to blow himself up,” said one terrorism expert. “If you get nervous about your sexual performance – remember, there will be 72 beautiful women for you to satisfy -- you are obviously not concentrating on your job and could easily trigger the explosives prematurely, or not at all.”

Shopping in lingerie stores and learning how various pieces of female apparel work (becoming competent in unhooking bras, for example), is now a regular pattern of behavior for these young men.

Administration officials were outraged at the release of these reports, promising that the people who leaked this information will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Vice-President Cheney angrily defended the secret lingerie program and criticized the news media for making public an operation he said was "crucial" to fighting terrorism.

“We consulted with the Attorney General,” he said, “and he agrees that our anti-terrorist lingerie initiative is absolutely legal. Even the ACLU has to agree that there is not a single mention of lingerie in the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.”

The surveillance program, code-named “Operation Sneak ‘n Peek,” has been in effect since early 2002.

Response from Congress was split along party lines, with Republicans supporting the administration with phrases like “eavesdropping is essential to keep our society free,” and Democrats warning that lingerie could be just the start.

Said one Democratic spokesperson: “First it was eavesdropping on phone calls to catch terrorists. Then it was ogling our bank accounts to catch terrorists. Now they’re looking for terrorists in lingerie stores.”

“Next thing you know, some CIA guys will figure out that these insecure kids need to look their best for the virgins– so they’ll start surveillance of acne medication aisles in drug stores. Our privacy is going down the drain.”

The House and Senate postponed debates on the budget, the trade deficit, the Iraq war, immigration, Guantanamo Bay and hurricane preparedness so that hearings on “the lingerie leak” could begin next week.

©2006 Peter Tannen