LANGLEY, W.VA. --- Protesters continue to flock to CIA Headquarters in Langley, West Virginia in the wake of alleged plans leaked to the media by the Central Intelligence Agency and Wal Mart to restore the ailing Hubble telescope. According to secret documents, the high powered space based telescope, rather than being sent crashing into the ocean, will be repaired during the next shuttle mission and turned to face the Earth. The purpose, according to the documents, will be "homeland security and market research".
If there is any truth to the rumors, Morris Sorensen, Ph.D. explained, Hubble's powerful technology would enable intelligence officials and market researchers to see what numbers alleged terrorists were dialing on a public payphone, or to count the pores on a teenager's face, so that purchasing agents would know when to stock facial cleansers. Dr. Sorensen teaches astronomy and marketing at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Civil libertarians and consumer advocates are in an uproar over the alleged joint venture.
"It's Big Brother marries the Corporate Octopus - George Orwell and Frank Norris's love child," said Avera Carter of the Electronic Freedom Foundation. "The terrible implications are beyond imagining."
Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, turned Green Party presidential hopeful, turned consumer advocate again, stated that this "unholy marriage between big government and big business" was disturbing, but to be expected.
"But don't blame me," he said. "I voted for Kerry."
CIA officials, when contacted, said they could neither confirm nor deny the alleged plans to turn Hubble into a super spy scope.
"It's our policy," an unnamed official said.
Wal Mart public affairs personnel also were obstinate.
"Whatever that guy said," Colleen McArthur, a Wal Mart spokesperson, said.
NASA officials claimed to have no knowledge of the CIA-Wal Mart venture.
"I'm not saying, there are no such plans," Roger Beakman, personal assistant to NASA director Cartman von Braun said. "But it's not like people keep us in the loop around here. Personally, if they want to take Hubble, they can have it. But they better pay for it."
Beakman said, jokingly, the cash-strapped space agency is in such desperate need for funding, they are hole-punching electrical tape to make o-rings for the shuttle fuel tanks.
"Don't print that," he said. "But seriously, if they want to buy Hubble, it would make a nice down payment for the next space telescope."