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CIA’s first post on Instagram is a cryptic mashup of hidden messages



The US Central Intelligence Agency created an Instagram account on Thursday and picked an image that depicts the agency’s clandestine nature for its first post.

In the picture, various items are scattered across what appears to be an office cubicle.

A desk clock, an employee badge, and maps of Russia and China — a few items, save the 1970s-style wallpaper, look as if they belong in the typical workspace of a CIA analyst.

But as the picture’s cryptic caption suggests, many of them have a hidden meaning: “I spy with my little eye…,” the caption reads.

Many of the items belong to current CIA employees, according to CBS News.


Some of the items pictured include:

  • A photo of CIA director Gina Haspel from 1985 on a badge — in another image, the number 0911947 appears on the badge. The CIA first came into operation on September 18, 1947.
  • A golden owl statue that represents Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.
  • A desk clock’s time shows 8:46 the time when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • A box containing cuff links that were used by a case officer and an asset. The two CIA employees reportedly never met each other and used the cuff links to identify each another.
  • A plant to depict an intelligence “plant.”
  • The infamous classification stamp.
  • Something that resembles a gray wig.
  • A burn bag under the desk
  • An image of Tony Mendez, a CIA officer who oversaw the brazen 1979 rescue of six US hostages in Iran.

“Joining Instagram is another way we’re sharing CIA’s stories and recruiting talented Americans to serve here,” a CIA spokesperson said to CBS News. “Through the account, we’ll give a peek into Agency life, but we can’t promise any selfies from secret locations.”

The CIA’s public affairs team recently made another savvy move on social media by referencing a scene from HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Former CIA deputy director David Cohen appeared as an extra on the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”

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