April 3, 2008Asidebooksbudgetsdefencedefence expenditurehumourSecurityUnited States

Weekday Squib: Tastes like chicken and top secret

Depicting the undepictable

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Image: Trevor Paglen

Source: Trevor Paglen

Image: IHT/Trevor Paglen

Source: IHT

Trevor Paglen could tell you, but then he would have to destroy you. But he’s written a book you could read—presumably without any danger to your life—on the Pentagon’s secret budget. Well, not the secret budget itself, but how black projects are visually represented through patches on military uniforms. As the International Herald-Tribune reports, these include Skulls. Black cats. A naked woman riding a killer whale. Grim reapers. Snakes. Swords. Occult symbols. A wizard with a staff that shoots lightning bolts. Moons. Stars. A dragon holding the earth in its claws.”

Paglen’s website says

The symbols and insignia shown in the Symbology series provide a glimpse into how contemporary military units answer questions that have historically been the purview of mystery cults, secret societies, religions, and mystics: How does one represent that which, by definition, must not be represented? [Trevor Paglen]

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