Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel earlier indicated that the intelligence service would set up an account on the popular platform “to educate the public” about what the agency does.
The CIA’s account, which went live Thursday, features just one post for now, with a picture of a desk and the tag line “I spy with my little eye…”
The desk features a variety of stereotypical spy agency stuff, including a wig, headphones (perhaps for listening in on people without their consent), an “I want to travel the world” piggybank, obviously referring to the CIA’s global operations, a series of maps, a clock with two second hands, documents, badges, and a stamp on top of a brown paper folder.
The agency’s apparent attempt at humour wasn’t lost on followers, who joked that the desk looked more like that of a business startup, or maybe that of well-known English children’s books author Susan Cooper, rather than that of an employee of the fearsome spy agency.
“There’s no way in hell this is actually Gina Haspel’s desk. It looks like a boiler room”, one user joked, referring to the ID badge featured in the post.
Others took a more serious tone, with one user saying it wasn’t bad for a first post, adding that they were “kind of hoping for a waterboarding tutorial but hey, top secret pulp works too”. Other users simply repeated the words “MK Ultra” over and over again, referring to the agency’s notorious mind control programme, which the CIA ran from the 1950s to the 1970s.
“Remember the crack”, another Instagram user wrote, likely referring to the CIA’s alleged involvement in the trafficking of narcotics to finance the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s.
The CIA’s Instagram account has racked up about 750 followers as of Thursday afternoon, giving it a long way to go to match that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose account has racked up over 420,000 followers, and features dozens of photos of the agency’s various operations.