For as long as it’s existed, the Central Intelligence Agency has used Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in its hunt for information that could serve as fuel for its analysis. This often meant simply reading major foreign newspapers, and monitoring for trends. When it came to understanding foreign cultural movements, CIA took it a step further - they studied the political cartoons of foreign countries. Cartoons that were essentially memes.
We could still learn a few things from the Central Intelligence Agency’s unusually-sourced guide to semantics.
Playboy magazine was founded just a few years after Central Intelligence Agency, and together, those two institutions left their mark on the 20th century, for better and for much, much worse. To mark Hugh Hefner’s passing, we dug up those times those two overlapped in the Agency’s declassified archives.
Amid the literally hundred of government films preserved by the US National Archives are several cartoons. Some are good, some are bad, and a select few defy all rational explanation. Here are our favorite clips from that last category.