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They took away their bullets and stuck them in front of computers in the office where they can't do too much harm. They thought their careers were over, but posing as thirteen-year-old girls in chatrooms can yield prosecutorial pay dirt once in a while when the moon is right. And sure enough, untrusted FBI Special Agents nailed ninety slobbering pedos which Yahoo! was sheltering in its 'Candyman' egroups online community. Kudos, ladies and gentlemen; you may well have earned your bullets back.

Forty pervs are currently in handcuffs, and another fifty are expected to be rounded up by week's end.

Among the sickos currently in custody are police officers, athletic coaches, and sundry military, medical and clerical workers. Among the clerics, only the two Catholics have been meticulously identified by denomination in the American press, in keeping with America's rabid anti-Catholic inclinations. The others may be Jews or Buddhists or Muslims or lowbrow America-First Protestant proles, but this detail is not regarded as newsworthy by Reuters, Yahoo! News, NBC, or the Washington Post.

The Yahoo! group in question, www.egroups.com/groups/thecandyman, is believed to have contained upwards of 7,000 members, most of whom will, regrettably, escape prosecution.

"Operation Candyman demonstrates our commitment to protecting our nation's children from sexual predators. This extensive operation should serve as a warning to others that we will find and prosecute those who target and endanger our children," US Attorney General John Ashcroft nevertheless said on Monday.

'Commitment', perhaps; but 'effectiveness' is another story. One in seventy isn't quite the ratio we're looking for. We admire the effort, and the spirit as well; but perhaps it's time to let the Special Agents who still have their bullets contribute a bit as well. ®

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