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At age 77, Donald Levine may have been past his prime, but the figure behind G.I. Joe sprung into action when the CIA came calling.
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.”
News to Me is a blog (not a news article) written Monday-Friday and any other day George finds spare time to do such a thing.
George has been a local news editor with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1999. Earlier attempts at journalism included stops in Valdosta, Cordele and Tifton.
A lifelong resident of Georgia, he was raised in Berrien County. He’s fond of guitars, homemade beer and finding interesting news on the wire, Internet and Twitter.