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The CIA Posts an Image That's Loaded With Clues

Looks like intelligence agents can have fun, too
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2019 10:53 AM CDT
Try Spotting Clues in the CIA's First Instagram Post
The CIA's first image on Instagram.   (The CIA)

The CIA kicked off its Instagram account Thursday with an image of a desk and a simple clue: "I spy with my little eye..." The challenge, it seems, is to interpret the meaning of objects in the photo—like a wig, a clock set for 8:46, and a pair of cuff-links, the BBC reports. The CIA says the objects were gathered from current agency workers. How many can you figure out? With a SPOILER ALERT, a few answers:

  • The bamboo plant looks like a reference to, what else, CIA foreign intelligence plants.
  • Artwork is of Tony Mendez, the CIA officer who pretended to be a filmmaker to rescue six American hostages from Iran in 1980.
  • Cuff-links have apparently been worn by a CIA case officer and an asset to identify each other.
  • The clock is set to 8:46, the moment a plane hit the World Trade Center's North Tower on 9/11.
  • The golden owl represents Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. It was apparently offered by CIA Chief Operating Officer Andy Makridis, who is Greek-American.
  • Maps of Iran, China, and Russia remind us of America's top international rivals.
  • A "burn bag" labeled "TOP SECRET PULP" is for destroying evidence.
  • A CIA badge dangling from a jacket shows CIA Director Gina Haspel's original 1985 CIA photo, per the Verge.
Haspel announced the Instagram move at a Q&A in Auburn and mentioned the agency's already-existing Twitter account, per CBS News. "There are some people still around at agency who really don't know what that is—and are against it in principle, I'm sure," she said. (More CIA stories.)

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