Monday, January 30, 2006

Kingston Defends Bionic Ear

Chief calls it, "Necessary in wartime."

Broken Springs Police Chief Jim Kingston has once again come under fire from local residents and civil liberty organizations for his use of a Bionic Ear listening device. But he defended his eavesdropping in much the same way President Bush has defended his warrant-less wiretapping.

Kingston, who used the illegal device probably no more than 20-30 times tops in the mid 90‘s, according to his wife and Village Clerk Cherry Kingston, recently explained to NFBS that it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“I did it for the security of Broken Springs. I did it to keep drugs off the streets, and to guard our youth from the drug culture.”

Kingston is referring to the only official time his Bionic Ear was used, to listen in on private correspondence pertaining to drug solicitation. The family whose civil rights were trampled on lived next door to a police officer at the time. According to a source known only as White Throat, the family was also black.

“I didn’t know they were black. They certainly didn‘t sound black. Not once did they say, ‘You know what I‘m saying?’,” explained Kingston. “There were no pink Caddies in the driveway. No washing machine on the porch either. It was only after their arrest that I realized they were nig… er, African Americans.”

According to police reports at that time, Kingston had round the clock surveillance on nearly a dozen Broken Springs houses, and a variety of conversations were recorded. NFBS has had the chance to review those tapes, but heard nothing out of the ordinary for small town small talk. It was all mundane stuff, really, like: Don’t forget to get milk at the store after you get off work. Did you return your library books? Can you believe the price of gas? Over a dollar a gallon! You forgot to pick up my dry cleaning again? You’re sleeping on the couch tonight, mister! What are all these 900 numbers on the phone bill? Is that lipstick on your collar? You’re wearing that to church?

Critics have since accused the Chief of violating the fourth amendment to the Constitution because the eavesdropping was done without a warrant. But according to a random poll of intoxicated patrons in a bar uptown, 65% of Broken Springs residents think Kingston was justified in spying to keep the streets of Broken Springs safe, while only 30% objected to his illegal actions. The other five percent were undecided and/or unaware of anything other than the stein of beer in front of them.

Lonna Jackson commented loudly, “If you aren’t hiding anything, you don’t have anything to fear,” which must mean she doesn’t mind everyone knowing about the strange moaning noises she makes while using her vibrating egg beater in the kitchen.

Asked whether or not he’d use the device again, Kingston said it would depend on whether or not he could get caught. If not, he said, “Absolutely. It’s crucial in wartime. Who knows how many potential Al Qaeda members we have hiding in Broken Springs. Well, thirteen that I know of. They are being closely monitored,” assured the Chief. “But not by the Bionic Ear,” he quickly added. “No, by a completely legal device authorized by the NSA under the Foreign Surveillance Act.”

“You’ve tapped their phones, then?” we asked.

“Naturally,” answered the Chief. “And to those of you with overdue library books, we know who you are.”

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