CIA Director Porter Goss said that a high-tech central monitoring station had already been established at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., to eavesdrop on what he expects to be as many as 300 million New Year's resolutions in the days ahead.
Goss defended the agency's decision to listen in on Americans' personal vows as "an important new tactic in the war on terror.
"Many Americans believe that their New Year's resolutions are their own business," Goss said. "But like many things Americans believe, they are wrong.
"There is a fine line between a resolution, a promise, and a threat," he added.
The CIA director said that if Americans make innocent resolutions, like cutting back on cigarettes or alcohol, they have nothing to fear, but if their resolutions are more sinister than that, then the agency "has the right to know."
"If your New Year's resolution is something along the lines of, 'I promise to spend less time watching TV and more time on jihad,' that's a piece of information that could be very helpful to us," he said.
At the White House, President Bush told reporters that he intended to lose 220 pounds in 2006, a remark that was widely interpreted as referring to top advisor Karl Rove.
Elsewhere, the medical community reacted with skepticism to the news that a dog had successfully cloned a South Korean scientist.
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