| 25 Mar 2003 @ 20:05, by Letecia Layson|
"Forget precision bombs, unmanned spy-planes and high-tech weaponry, the U.S. army is about to unveil its most unlikely mine detector -- all the way from San Diego, California, the Atlantic Bottle-Nosed Dolphin.
At the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, secured by U.S and British forces after days of fighting, soldiers made last-minute preparations on Tuesday for the imminent arrival of a team of specially trained dolphins to help divers ensure the coastline is free of danger before humanitarian aid shipments can dock.
I found another article from The Smoking Gun:
SAVE THE EMBEDDED DOLPHINS!
MARCH 25--When The Smoking Gun learned today that coalition forces in Iraq had embedded sea life in the drive to oust Saddam Hussein, we wondered how long it would take People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to leap to the defense of mine-sweeping dolphins and sea lions.
As it turned out, PETA took about three minutes to provide us with a statement attacking the military practice of using marine mammals to look for and mark mines that now dot shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. Along with troops and military equipment, humanitarian aid is also passing through that channel.
Here's what PETA has to say:
"Our troops deserve the best defense possible, but PETA opposes the use of dolphins, sea lions, or any other marine mammals. The project is cruel and cannot provide a reliable defense or surveillance for our troops. The Navy claims they are not putting these animals in harm's way, but they've removed these animals from their homes, relocated them to foreign waters in the Persian Gulf, and are forcing them to not only inspect the waters, but to actually swim up to potential terrorists under the water, clamp a cuff on their leg, and deploy a floating marker. How can anyone say these animals are not being put in harm's way?
The bottom line is that dolphins cannot provide a reliable defense. These are living beings with minds of their own, and though they are incredibly intelligent, they have no idea that lives will be lost if they fail to perform tasks properly. Yet, the military wants to rely on the actions of these animals in order to protect our troops. Our troops deserve the best defense possible and this isn't it. The animals and our troops deserve better."