Posted: 5:35 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014
By George Mathis
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.
More news gleaned from Thursday’s interwebs:
- Texas man told his U.S. flag offends Muslim neighbors
- Police officer arrested after slitting dog’s throat
- Prison GED teacher raped after being left alone with inmates
- Reporter robbed while reporting on robbery
- 31-year-old female pilot named Amelia Earhart trying to finish doomed flight
- Coca-Cola plant ordered closed because it uses too much water
- T-Mobile CEO drops f-bomb at press conference
- Gay, white professor sues historically black college for discrimination
- New dad bringing home newborn killed by neighbor’s stray bullet
- Principal plagiarizes graduation speech, congratulates wrong school
- Teen suicides up 22 percent as antidepressant drug use drops 24 percent
- U.S. ranked 101st ‘most peaceful’ nation
About the Author
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 nuggets on the wire, Internet and Twitter.