Speed Reads

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Check out the CIA's cheeky illustrated guide to the most-hated political clichés

Check out the CIA's cheeky illustrated guide to the most-hated political clichés

Thanks to its glorious arrival to Twitter over the summer, the CIA let everyone in on a little secret: It has a sense of humor! Despite being known for all things top-secret and spooky, America's highest intelligence agency has a knack for wit — and it's been clever for much longer than three months.

Back in 1982, the CIA released an internal newsletter containing illustrated monsters — very "Maurice Sendak-esque" in appearance, as The Washington Post puts it — intended to embody some of the agency's most hated clichés. The newsletter writer joked he'd found this "collection of strange fauna in a corner of a sub-basement" and dubbed it the "Bestiary of Intelligence Writing."

(Multidisciplinary analysis)

(Viable alternatives)

(Foreseeable future)

As Medium's War is Boring blog puts it: "Think about that for a moment. Two CIA agents hated reading the same buzzwords over and over again enough to take the time to write and illustrate a special report depicting those buzzwords as monsters."

See more of the monsters — and read up on their backstories — here.