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October 15, 2004

Exactly How High IS The US Government?

Along with the peculiar ruminations of Charles Duelfer, one of the most puzzling things about the CIA's final Iraq WMD report is an odd illustration on the background of every page of the introduction.

It's a missile wrapped around... something. But what?


As Jack Handey says, "Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone's neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what IS that thing?!"

Posted at October 15, 2004 02:23 AM | TrackBack

The Grim Reaper's cloak?

Posted by: Rick Thomas at October 15, 2004 04:27 AM


That's a likely possibility. But doesn't it look like it has an eye on top? As though it might be an eel with its mouth stretched wide open?

I demand we appoint another government commission to get to the bottom of this mystery!

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at October 15, 2004 06:22 AM

It's clearly a foghorn -- I'm not sure what its significance is in this context though -- "Fog of war"?

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at October 15, 2004 08:03 AM

It's obviously a screaming fish monster. Duh.

Posted by: Jake at October 15, 2004 08:53 AM

It is a female urinal, clearly

Posted by: Jesse at October 15, 2004 02:42 PM

It's either a Schmoo, illustrated by Al Capp during a seance, or a Ringwraith. I vote for the Schmoo.

Posted by: SG at October 15, 2004 04:19 PM

Well, if you read the intoduction, I guess it's a some sort of creature you use to make a Dynamic Vice Static Analysis. Whatever that is.
Or maybe it's a dementor. Yes, it's clearly a dementor. Saddam was definitely contemplating a program to consider starting a relationship with Lord Voldemort. That right there would justify invading Iraq.

Whatever it is, though, it's clearly not one of those Zeiss planetarium thingies.

Posted by: clete at October 15, 2004 04:23 PM

Has anyone considered the possibility it's a COMBINATION grim reaper/screaming fish monster/female urinal/schmoo/ringwraith/dementor?

When seen from this perspective, it's amazing the illustration came out as well as it did.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at October 15, 2004 05:45 PM

Well, remember also the Daliesque melting pencil is shaped like a missile, so the overall meaning of the illustration has to be symbolic...

At any rate, my guess is that Duelfer might just be a disgruntled philosophy and art major...

Posted by: Hee En Ming at October 15, 2004 05:56 PM

Off topic, but here's the address to a story about an entire National Guard platoon under arrest for refusing orders to convoy fuel trucks under completely unsafe conditions N of Baghdad.

Posted by: Larry C. at October 15, 2004 06:43 PM

Are we even sure it's a missile? At the pointy end it could be a pencil. And the back looks more like a drainpipe to me than a high-tech weapon. Just interested - is this in the print version too?

Posted by: joe at October 15, 2004 10:42 PM


I don't know for certain if it's in the print version, but it almost certainly is. It's in the pdf version.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at October 16, 2004 06:24 AM

It's the Grim Reaper in a fetching new necklace from the Dali Collection.

Posted by: James J. Dominguez at October 17, 2004 05:14 PM

When I first saw it out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a missile strangling the dove of peace. That is a little hard to see now.

Why hasn't any official media commented on this? Did they only read the executive summary?

Posted by: Misha at October 21, 2004 08:05 PM