Back to my friend Matt and his monkeys: I was telling Clare about this last night, and as I did I remembered a movie called The Day of the Dolphin. 1973, starring George C. Scott. Written by Buck Henry, directed by Mike Nichols. The plot summary on imdb.com goes like this: "Dr. Jake Terrell, who has been training a pair of dolphins for many years, has had a breakthrough. He has taught his dolphins to speak and understand English, although they do have a limited vocabulary. When the dolphins are stolen, he discovers they're to be used in an assassination attempt. Now he is in a race to discover who is the target, and where the dolphins are, before the attempt is carried out."
So you see, Matt? Things have been weird, bending-animals-to-our-will-wise, for at least 30 years! (And though I'm not going to go scouring back through the paper again, I'm pretty sure I remember reading something yesterday about dolphins being used in the current war on Iraq as well.)