The first tweet of the Central Investigative Agency - America's premier spy agency - was "We can neither confirm nor deny this is our first tweet". Depending on your worldview this is either hilarious or terrifying.
On the one hand, clearly the CIA has a sense of humour. On the other hand, the CIA has definitely used the medium for a whole panoply of wonderfully dark, if not completely twisted, activities. So it is possible that rather than a droll joke, they are telling us the flat-out truth - this is not their first tweet.
However, conspiracy theories aside, the agency's Twitter account, run by Carolyn Reams - the Agency’s social media manager, does deliberately aim to present a friendlier face to the public. They have kept a lighter *nudge wink* theme throughout, rather than pontificating about America's enemies.
But one cannot help but taste the strong 'it's all a joke, but we are totally serious' undertaste to it all. Sample this tweet for example - "No, we don’t know your password, so we can’t send it to you. #sorrynotsorry #twitterversary".
An agency that has the capacity to break our accounts is joking about how it hasn't....yet. Ha. Ha. Ha.
But if it has been all fun and games so far, sometimes we are abruptly reminded that this is a real agency which has some pretty serious, and in some cases murderous, business.
To celebrate the five-year anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the agency decided to 'live-tweet' the event, basically reliving a day of great glory for the agency. To add to the strangeness, they spelt the name 'Usama', since apparently they just roll differently than the rest of us. (Both Osama and Usama are technically correct).
Beginning with -
The story moved on how the helicopters were sent into Pakistan, the actual raid, the situation back in the White House's situation room and finally the grand bow on the top - a confirmation that the dead man was actually Osama.
The reaction for this latest foray of the CIA - assassination via Twitter - has been largely either a collective eye-roll or outrage. The anger has mostly been confined to commentaries about 'bad taste', with no one actually daring to suggest that the killing of Bin Laden was a bad thing. There was even a little support - though very little.
Ultimately that is the role of the CIA - to do the things that most Americans do not have a problem with, but perhaps to not to do quite so openly.
Although, if this more than a one-off thing, it does beg the question - are any more famous assassinations on the roster?
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST