Politique Diabolique Feb 24 2011
BOYS WITH TOYS
Every move you make, every step you take, they’ll be watching you... from inside a catfish.

We just couldn’t let this one pass. The CIA set up YouTube and Flickr pages this week at which you can learn everything about the agency they ever wanted you to know. For instance, you can have a laugh at some of the devices their tech eggheads cooked up during the Cold War, including an intelligence gathering dragonfly and a remote controlled catfish named—wait for it—Charlie. That’s hilarious, you see, because Charlie was a tuna on those old Starkist…

What’s important is that the CIA, that wellspring of deadly coups and dirty wars in far-flung corners of the globe, also has a cuddly side, which the YouTube page is presumably supposed to showcase to the public, even as the egghead section is busily working on better, smaller catfish so compact they can swim right up your urethra and beam your thoughtsto a central computer located in Virginia. Disturbingly, as of this writing most of the links on the YouTube page don’t work. We tried them, and quoth the raven: “404.” Which means, maybe they aren’t links at all. Or maybe it’s all part of a plan to make us civilians think the CIA is incompetent, and then, just when we least suspect, here come the nano-catfish up our pee holes to paste links into our brains.

But we digress. Back to the YouTube page—even if some of the links don't work, the main link to cia.gov does, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that there’s a kid’s section, which we’re currently scouring for a waterboarding set-up we can mail-order for use on some troublesome local teens, or failing that, some electrified genital clamps because, well, these kids are really a pain. Anyway, you can check out the CIA Flickr page here. Or don’t. The page is interesting, but the choice is yours. We aren’t suggesting a course of action one way or the other. Doh! Our subtle reverse psychology has got even us confused. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 17
1933—Capone Sentenced to Prison
Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion after all other attempts to tie him to an assortment of crimes, from the mass murder of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to widespread violations of the Volstead Act, fail. He is sentenced to eleven years in federal prison and, cut off from the outside world while on Alcatraz Island, his power is finally broken.
October 16
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
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