Thursday, June 19, 2014
Clearly the OSS..er CIA abandoned this particular effort too early, and well before they had fully considered the widespread effect they could have produced.
There’s a dispute over how many of the figurines, if any, were ultimately delivered. A person with direct knowledge of the project in China said hundreds of the toys — one of which was seen by The Washington Post — were made as part of a pre-production run and sent on a freighter to the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2006.
The CIA, while not disputing that it had commissioned the bin Laden figures, said the project was discontinued shortly after the prototypes were developed.
“To our knowledge, there were only three individual action figures ever created, and these were merely to show what a final product might look like,” said CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani. “After being presented with these examples, the CIA declined to pursue this idea and did not produce or distribute any of these action figures. Furthermore, CIA has no knowledge of these action figures being produced or distributed by others.”
They could have easily tapped into the almost universal contempt for the later..er…earlier episodes of the Star Wars franchise to sow the seeds of a visceral disgust response to the mere image of Osama Bin Fishfood.
Note the similarity:
Osama BFF the Doll
And Darth Maul
Imagine what could have been; a coordinated re-release of that horrid Episode I with a concomitant saturation bombing of the Middle East with Darth Laden (Lauden?) dolls…er.. action figures, raining from the skies as vast formations of aircraft flew over Af/Pak, Iraq, etc. in gross violation of airspace.
It might be possible though, that there was good reason to axe the effort. As Phantom Menace characters go, Maul was not really as appallingly bad as the others. He was kind of a hissing bad ass come to think of it.
One dimensional, yes, but not wooden and mind-numbingly boring as were so many of the others. So, perhaps the CIA saw that he was not necessarily the best choice for propaganda purposes.
But they cut bait too prematurely, I think. If they had been thinking about this just a bit more, the CIA would have happened on the obvious choice for this sort of psychological aversion therapy. Think about it; if you had to rank the characters in that interminable film in terms of intolerability, there are several that are better candidates for action-figure hybridization with OBFF. Several characters the essences of which the Chinese doll..er..action figure manufacturers could have captured, and craftily melded with Bin Laden’s visage.
Brooding pouty baby Anakin,
Dime-store philosophizing Qui Gon
Sure, any of those would have done. But, one character truly stands out, reviled across all cultures (OK maybe more in Rastafarian circles). Of course we are talkin’ Jar Jar.
There is a certain resemblance:
Perhaps it is not too late to take advantage of this? Drop millions of copies of Phantom Menace into ISIS held territory, and millions of talking Jar Jar Bin Laden Action figures, including all those catchy and painfully unfunny Jar Jar phrases We-sah all-a hate-sa so much.
All those kids would be turned off to ISIS AQ or any other variant forever!
Hearts and Minds. Hearts and Minds.
It's all about the kids.