The Washington Post reports Levine, a Korean War vet who created the popular toy soldiers in 1964, was, in 2005, asked by the CIA to develop a doll that looked like the infamous al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The CIA’s goal for “Project Devil Eyes” was to “spook children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden,” the Post writes.
Levine was retired, but still had a Kung Fu grip on the toy manufacturing process in China.
He created an action figure that looked like bin Laden, but “the faces of the figures were painted with a heat-dissolving material designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.”
The Post article has pictures.
The CIA said the project was discontinued shortly after prototypes were made, but a person with knowledge of the toys’ production said hundreds were created and some shipped to Pakistan.
Levine died in May at age 86.
When asked for a comment, a family spokesperson said, “Don Levine was a dedicated Patriot, and proud Korean War veteran. When called on, he was honored to assist our country.”
If the CIA really wanted to scare children they could have shown them the recent G.I. Joe movies.
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