With the recent news that MAD Magazine will be effectively ending publication after nearly 70 years, it’s worth revisiting the one gag that the Central Intelligence Agency liked so much that it became a state secret.
A letter in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that in late 1959, the Agency received an unsolicited suggestion from a helpful citizen on how to best weaponize haberdashery. While there’s no record that the CIA ever followed through on the advice, or even responded to the letter, it apparently left enough of an impression to remain classified for the next 44 years.
Shortly after lunchtime on what was shaping up to be a relatively uneventful Wednesday, the @FBIRecordsVault Twitter account - which posts sporadic updates to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s FOIA reading room - tweeted out the words “Bigfoot” and a link. And with that, the Wednesday officially became eventful.
After a 2016 Inspector General report in which Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director David Shedd defended his use of a government-issued vehicle to travel to and from restaurants by arguing that trips were necessitated by the poor food quality in the DIA cafeteria, JPat Brown filed a FOIA for the agency cafeteria complaints. After three years of processing, the DIA released 110 pages of responsive records - the most horrifying of which make it sound like Shedd might have had a point.
Recently, we received our 1500th submission to the Great Hoover Hunt project, which aims to catalog all of the handwritten notes from longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover in the Bureau’s files. To commemorate the occasion, we put together a collection of some of Hoover’s choicest bureaucratic broadsides, ready to be copy-pasted into your office’s Slack debate over who forgot to pick up more toner.