Monday, December 18, 2006

Something for the kids

A few months ago I came across a spoof flash animation called ‘Snuggly – The Security Bear

'We’re watching you because we love you'

I found it to be quite amusing and I thought no more of it. Being British I didn’t dream for a second that it was based on a real CIA cartoon bear character.

How wrong I was...

Ginger, the badly drawn CIA bear, is the star of the CIA for Kids webpage and gets up to all sorts of badly-illustrated adventures in CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia – walking in the garden, being issued with an entry pass, eating in the staff canteen…

Ginger checking out CIA Central, including that strange Kryptos thing

Ginger is only a little bear so he hasn’t been assigned any overseas missions yet – destabilising democratically elected Leftist governments, supervising extraordinary rendition and torture, stuff like that – or maybe he has but if he told us he’d have to kill us all with a fake heart attack afterwards.

Ginger explains...

When people think of the CIA, they think of people lurking around in trenchcoats, sending messages in code, and using cool tools to do their job. Well, to some extent that's true, but it's not the whole story. The Central Intelligence Agency's job is to help the President, the National Security Council, and all other government officials who make and carry out US national security policy. We do this in two ways:

We give accurate and timely intelligence (or information) on foreign threats to our security.

We conduct counterintelligence or other special activities relating to foreign intelligence and national security when the President asks us to.

Inspired by Ginger’s adventures I performed a few quick Google searches for other Security Agencies for Kids pages and was not disappointed -

There’s the NSA for Kids homepage featuring the adventures of the Cryptokids

Interestingly, the Cryptokids have been trademarked which opens the intriguing possibility that the US National Security Agency may be planning to diversify into the commercial cartoon business at some point.

And then there's the FBI for Kids homepage featuring Steve, Kim, Shirley and Darrell, as well as Special Undercover Agent 'Bobby Bureau' (not his real name)

Having worked through most of the activities sections in all these pages I have established that the FBI site features the best colouring-in pages and the NSA has the most challenging code-breaking puzzles – which is how things should be.

Sadly, once I started searching outside of the US I had considerably less luck. Neither MI6, Mossad, the FSB or the DGSE appear to have dedicated children’s pages. Scotland Yard has a Youth Section but it’s filled with boring stuff like features on drug-taking, violent assault and rape and, as far as I can tell, no cuddly cartoon characters, maze puzzles or photo-adventure stories

Very disappointing.

National Security in the 21st century is all about infowar and the winning of hearts and minds. And where better to start than with the young, the mentally weak and the barely literate in the way that American security agencies have done? As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, the British should seriously consider following the US example…

Ollie the Spooky MI6 Owl (or is he a Transformer?) -

The bumbling adventures of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair as COBRA Commander -

And Graham the CO19 Golden Retriever -

'Hello Boys and Girls. Can you help me find the Dead Brazilian?'

Whilst on the subject of mental defectives and cute puppies, Barney the Dog’s new Christmas video ‘Barney’s Holiday Extravaganza’ is now available on the White House Homepage, along with a series of seasonal muzak MP3s performed by the USMC Band for free download.

And just in case anyone in the White House realises that producing a video of the Leader of the Free World talking to a dog about Christmas parties whilst his country is at war is just a little bit insensitive and takes it down, someone has also put a copy of the video up on You Tube for posterity...

My Master is a twat


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