The CIA is on Instagram! Here are all the hidden messages on its first cryptic post
The United State's top spy bureau, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), officially launched its Instagram account on Thursday in an effort to increase transparency. The move was not surprising considering CIA's Director Gina Haspel, during a talk at Auburn University, Alabama, last week, had announced that the intelligence agency would begin building its presence on the photo-sharing platform. The agency is already present on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and boasts of a sizeable following.
The intelligence agency opened its account with a fun, cryptic post of a cluttered CIA desk carefully orchestrated with Easter eggs for its nearly 30,000 followers to spot and decipher. The image of the desk was posted with a cheeky caption, saying: "I spy with my little eye..."
The image shows a few maps, CIA Director Gina Haspel's original agency badge, a paper bag labeled "Top Secret Pulp", a wig, a notebook with the agency's motto "Share what we can, protect what we must." written in Arabic, an image of Osama bin Laden on a green paper kept on a stack of cards, a wig and a clock among other things.
The nation's top intelligence agency, after hours of keeping its followers busy in figuring out the clues, has begun revealing what the items on the desk stand for. Let's have a look at what the CIA has been up to on Instagram:
CIA Director Gina Haspel's badge
A badge, which can be seen pinned to a beige coat hanging on a chair, belongs to CIA Director Gina Haspel, which was also her first badge.
The 9/11 clock
The hands of the clock kept on the desk are set to 8:46, which is the time the North Tower of the World Trade Center was struck on September 11th, 2001. The CIA, in its story, made the revelation saying: "8:46 am — The first tower was hit on 9/11." A subsequent picture of the same clock in the story reads: "9/11 marked a turning point in CIA history."
The Arabic text scribbled on a notebook
The desk also has an open notebook kept on it with a written message in Arabic. The message translates to: "Share what we can, protect what we must." which is considered to be the spy agency's motto.
The star kept on the desk is the kind that is given to the families of fallen soldiers by the agencies. The CIA in its story wrote: "Honoring Our Fallen."
Broken coffee cup
The broken coffee on the desk represents the 1998 US embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks occurred on August 7, 1998, in which over 200 people were killed. The CIA in its story revealed: "Broken coffee cup recovered from the US embassy in Nairobi after the bombing in 1998."
Officer Tony Mendez's poster
Although the agency has not yet revealed other clues, the artwork depicting the legendary CIA Agent Tony Mendez cannot be missed. Mendez coordinated the rescue mission of six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1979.
Multiple followers have come up with their own speculations of the rest of the clues on the desk with one follower providing a detailed explanation, writing: "There is a wig and a jacket on the chair. The bag labeled “TOP SECRET PULP” might be used for destroying media, and the bag underneath the desk is likely a burn bag for destroying classified documents. The open box on the desk contains two cufflinks, which from my understanding were used by a case officer and an asset to identify each other... There are maps of China, Russia, and Iran spread on the desk. There are foreign banknotes on the desk. There is also a lanyard hanging out of a closed drawer. The key to the drawer is in the lock still, which makes it seem like someone might have either left in a hurry or is still in the vicinity."
With more interesting revelations from the CIA ahead on its Instagram page, followers are waiting for the agency to confirm their speculations. Till then the least you could do is follow the agency and revel in the fact that, at least on Instagram, the CIA doesn't follow anyone!