A photoblog with pictures I've taken of graffiti and street art in Moscow (and anywhere else I happen to travel).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The many uses of graffiti...

There are plenty of political stickers and graffiti around in Moscow and in some of the other cities where I've photographed, and this Washington Post article raises the possibility that such things are not always grass-roots phenomena.

Before the War, CIA Reportedly Trained a Team of Iraqis to Aid U.S.
By Dana Priest and Josh White, August 3, 2005; Page A12

Before the war in Iraq began, the CIA recruited and trained an Iraqi paramilitary group, code-named the Scorpions, to foment rebellion, conduct sabotage, and help CIA paramilitaries who entered Baghdad and other cities target buildings and individuals, according to three current and former intelligence officials with knowledge of the unit.

The CIA spent millions of dollars on the Scorpions, whose existence has not been previously disclosed, even giving them former Soviet Hind helicopters. But most of the unit's prewar missions -- spray-painting graffiti on walls; cutting electricity; "sowing confusion," as one said -- were delayed or canceled because of poor training or planning, said officials briefed on the unit. The speed of the invasion negated the need for most of their missions, others said. [...]

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