Throughout the ’60s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s infamous COINTELPRO operations targeted what it called “Black Nationalist Hate Groups,” for surveillance, infiltration, and ultimately, disruption. It was to that end in March 1968 that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo to the New York field office, authorizing the use of the Bureau’s secret weapon against the Nation of Islam: the zine.
As we’ve written about before, the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives contain a treasure trove of comics. Recently, we discovered “Donovan of Central Intelligence,” a seven-page story from a 1950 issue of Atomic Spy Cases that allegedly tells the true story of our titular hero’s mission to smuggle missile plans out of an unnamed Middle Eastern country.
As we kick off what will hopefully be a very transparent Sunshine Week 2018, we want to take a moment to reflect on one of the more absurd finds in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archive so far, and how the work the #OpenGov community can find itself part of the public record.
Intelligence work can make on feel awfully stupid, and in the Central Intelligence Agency’s 13 million pages of declassified documents that’s more than a few times that folks made their frustrations felt. Here’s five of our favorites.
A unexpected fringe benefit of the CIA’s release of its declassified archive is the treasure trove of comic strips - mostly concerning the Agency’s activities - contained therein.