"Bad Boyz. Bad Boyz. Watcha Gonna Do.
Watcha Gonna Do
When They Bitch Tag You.
Tag Du, Tag Tu."
The Assassinated Press
Survey: 24 Percent Between 18-50 Tattooed:
NSA, FBI Consider Clandestine Federal Branding Program A Modest Success:
$154 Million Allocated For Fish And Wildlife Diverted to Body Piercing Tracking Devices Or BPTDs:
Nano-Ink Used In Tattoos Contains Microscopic Transmitters
By BROOKE LYNN BRIDGES
Assassinated Press Writer
June 10, 2006
WASHINGTON -- As he lies in the morgue, a sun shines on Dam You's back, alongside a swimming koi fish and a vivid slice of pepperoni pizza. A tree would have soon grown on his arm. You used to say that "Your body's an empty canvas, a physical tabula rasa, so if you have trouble scribbling on your brain, you sure as hell want to scribble on your ass," the coroner said as he showed us You's tattoos. And like much art produced today tattoos and body piercing are funded by government programs. But there's a twist. The agencies funding these programs ain't the NEA. They read like a who's who of law enforcement and the body art is used to identify bodies, catch and sell runaways into white slavery, and identify and track those who they have accused of committing crimes or are otherwise perceived as threats or just inconvenient.
A generation or two ago, You's tattoos -- to say nothing of his pierced nose -- probably would have gone untrackable by law enforcement. But no longer. Ever since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began tagging and stapling animal transmitters to bears, boars and baby seals the NSA, FBI, CIA and police departments and private security firms around the country have been eager to use the technology to keep track of American citizens. The American University employee was among about 36 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 with at least one tattoo, according to a survey. And when his body showed up impaled on the iron fence outside the White House, it was his tattoo that allowed his grandmother to identify his badly mutilated corpse at the morgue.
The study, scheduled to appear Monday on the Web site of the government funded Journal of the American Academy of Communications Dermatology, provides perhaps the most in-depth look at tattoos since with the help of large scale Federal funding their popularity exploded in the early 1990s.
FBI Says Its Undercover Tattoo Parlors Must Reach Out
The results suggest that 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four. Two surveys from 2003 suggested just 15 percent to 16 percent of U.S. adults had a tattoo.
"Really, nowadays, the people who don't have them are becoming the unique ones," said Chris Kreaton, a tattoo artist and recipient of a $4 million dollar grant to implant computer chips in his customers for the FBI.
But body art is more than just tattoos.
About one in seven people surveyed reported having a piercing which can carry a tracking device anywhere other than in the soft lobe of the ear, according to the study. That total rises to nearly one in three for the 18-to-29 set. Just about half -- 48 percent -- in that age category had either a tattoo or piercing.
"Body piercing jewelry with cheap electronic tracking devices molded into them is a booming fuckin' business, cowboy," Frank 'Dusty' Wisner told the Assassinated Press. "I catch the right frequency on my short wave and a Marilyn Manson concert sounds like a cattle drive."
Given their youth, that suggests the percentage of people with body art that can be tracked or lead to easy identification by law enforcement will continue to grow, said study co-author Dr. Anne Laumann, a Northwestern University communications dermatologist.
"They haven't had time to get their body piercing. They haven't had time to get their tattoo. They are just beginning to get into it as the NSA and FBI fund more sophisticated and stylish tracking devices to be stapled to peoples' fleshy parts. The number is already big," Laumann said. "And government grant money is going through the roof."
So why has body art become so popular? Money.
Laumann and others believe it allows people to broadcast to the world what they are all about. But she's either an idiot or a stooge for the intelligence community. In truth, its popular because of advertising in the broadest sense of the term. Branding, so to speak, of tattooing and body piercing in the mass media is ubiquitous. Madison Avenue's most successful sale pitch is simply the old tried and true rebellion or a rite of passage which has been hustled in everything from rock music to imbibing hallucinogens created, used and distributed by the CIA. The survey found nearly three-fourths of the pierced and nearly two-thirds of the tattooed made the leap before 24.
The Lemming Effect
"It's a very easy way to express something that you think represents part of your identity -- that you don't have to tell someone but you can just have seen," said Chelsea Farrell, 21, an American University senior from Albany, N.Y. And young Chelsea has no idea how true her insights are. Certainly, your easier for law enforcement to identify. And you don't have to "tell" them anything because the squares in the criminal justice system see body piercing and tattoos the same way they see a 1986 Camaro covered in bondo. One's called a "felony car" by law enforcement. The other is simply a felony body. An FBI agent will just come up drop Chelsea's jeans around her ankles and say "Yep, Bono being cornholed by a World Bank representative. Looks like we got our girl." According to FBI records, Farrell has a tattooed fish on each hip and a Celtic knot on the small of her back.
The survey also found that what the FBI may have told you about who has tattoos is true: People who drink, do drugs, have been jailed or forgo religion are more likely to be tattooed. But if federal law enforcement working with a coalition of conservative ministers have their way that is about to change. Tattoo parlors and piercing salons offering Biblical themes are springing up in church community rooms all over the country. Many churches now hold services in tattoos only with the saved stripping down and telling biblical stories with their body art and testifying by having more holes punched in their bodies. Body pierced palms and feet as well as a length of chain dangling from the side are among some of the most popular piercings among the faithful.
J. Edgar Hoover Tits & Clits
They are also showing their patriotism as they willingly have transmitting devices stapled onto their nipples, tongues, tits and clits. "Its my way of showing my govinmint I ain't done nothin' and I'm ready to turn everybody in," said Marla San Batuba of Fort Sceptic, Wyoming.
The same holds for piercings, though rates do not appear to vary with education, income or job category. In that sense, they appear to be "different from animals," said Laumann. "The fuckin' animals are harder to track. The animals just seem plain smarter. Got better survival instincts."
One worry for law enforcement is that piercings can be easily removed, unlike tattoos which now can contain millions of tiny nano-transmitters one ten millionth the width of a hair.
"I guess I liked the way they looked and the rush of being like a hunted animal, you know desired even if it was just the cops. I can take them out and the holes will close up and where will the pig voyeurs be then," said Simah Waddell, 21, of Rochester, N.Y., of her pierced nose, tongue, belly button and ears. But with new technology nanotransmitters disguised as ear wax, belly button fuzz and genital extrusion can be swathed onto body piercing decoration and remain their even after the jewelry is removed and the hole closes up.
How The Fuck Did They Know???
Waddell, who is entering her senior year at American University, said she suffered no side effects, other than a surprising arrest for possession of a controlled substance. "How the fuck did they know?" she asked. The survey suggests aside from incarceration that is not always the case for others with piercing. Nearly one in four reported medical problems, including skin infections. Among those with mouth or tongue piercings, an equal proportion reported chipped or broken teeth. Transmitters are also often placed in chipped and broken teeth.
For tattoos, 93 percent of respondents had problems with healing due to the nano-transmitters many of which were previously used as tiny viral and bacteriological storage units. "Presently, there are no federal guidelines for the sterilization and re-cycling of Buckyfullerenes used for storing pathogens," Simca Walloo of People For the Gray Goo Way told the Assassinated Press. "However, generally, the Food and Drug Administration receives few reports of complications from tattoos because the people who get infected have never heard of the fuckin' FDA."
The industry is run by federal, state and local law enforcement, but not the FDA, and there is no such thing as an agency-approved tattoo nano-pigment or nano-ink. As its law enforcement and compliance budgets mushroom, the FDA is considering more involvement, said Dr. Linda Katz, director of agency's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, but they expect stiff resistance from the NSA, FBI and even the CIA who consider who consider "titty tagging" their turf.
"If you look at the fact that a quarter of adults have a tattoo, it's amazing how easy it is to control people," said Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, a CIA asset posing as a Harvard Medical School communications dermatologist and tattoo tracking expert. None of the survey respondents had ever had a tattoo removed, though 17 percent had considered it.
'Suburbinatin'' The Tattoo
Freedom-2 LLC, a Philadelphia company co-founded by Gottlieb, hopes to launch the first of two lines of not-so-permanent tattoo nano-inks next year, though without FDA approval. "The ink goes away. The transmitter stays," Gottlieb said. "That should attract more rubes."
To create the nano-ink, pigments would be encapsulated in a polymer and the microcapsules injected into the skin. "A tattoo would be permanent only as long as its wearer wanted it to be," said Gottlieb. "But his or her whereabouts would be known to the feds forever."
"It would only take a few pulses of a laser to break open the capsules and release the ink into the body to be safely absorbed," said Martin Schmieg, the company's president and chief executive officer. "The nano-transmiiters would lodge in one of the organs usually the large intestine and the brain.
A second nano-ink, to be available in 2008, would rely on the same technology, except the capsules would dissolve on their own. Depending on the version, the tattoos would naturally vanish after six months, 12 months or 24 months, but the tracking signal would be forever..
"It will be like wearing what are essentially wildlife tagging devices s though they were jewelry, where you will be able to take it off and everything but the ability to track and control behavior will remain," Schmieg said.