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.
One of the lesser-known scandals associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most infamous Director, J. Edgar Hoover, is that for years, he answered to his childhod nickname, “Speed.” While various sources have attributed the name to everything from Hoover’s habit to talking quickly (allegedly to mask a stutter) to his swiftness on the football field (a sport he never played), an official FBI newsletter released to Russ Kick offers the official origin story.
After the “octopus incident,” the White House threatened veto power over future spy satellite logos …
Records released to William Pierce show that the fallout from the National Reconnaissance Office’s infamous “world-eating octopus” logo was enough for the White House to threaten veto power over future logos on spy satellites. Despite this warning to steer clear of controversy, the designers for the NROL-76 logo tried their best to sneak in a “Talladega Nights” reference - even resorting to Latin to get around copyright.
Yesterday on Twitter, I asked the #FOIA community if anybody would be interested in “Secret Santa, but for random declassified reports?” The response was a pretty resounding chorus of affirmatives, so we’re doing this.