I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World Hardcover – 9 Apr 2009
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"A fascinating set of shoulder patches designed for the Pentagon's Black Ops programs."
--Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report Link
"A glimpse of [the Pentagon's] dark world through a revealing lens--patches--the kind worn on military uniforms.... The book offers not only clues into the nature of the secret programs, but also a glimpse of zealous male bonding among the presumed elite of the military-industrial complex. The patches often feel like fraternity pranks gone ballistic."
--William Broad, "The New York Times," April 1, 2008 Link
"Gives readers a peek into the shadows ... Department of Defense spokesman Bob Mehal told Newsweek that it 'would not be prudent to comment on what patches did or did not represent classified units.' That's OK. Some mysteries are more fun when they stay unsolved."
--Karen Pinchin, "Newsweek"
"An art book that presents peculiar shoulder patches created for the weird and top secret programs funded by the Pentagon's black budget... an achievement."
--Timothy Buckwalter, "The San Francisco Chonicle"
"I was fascinated... [Paglen] has assembled about 40 colorful patch insignia from secret, military 'black' programs that are hardly ever discussed in public. He has plenty of regalia from the real denizens of Area 51."
--Alex Beam, "The Boston Globe"
"An impressive collection."
--Justin Rood, ABC News
"The iconography of the United States military. Not the mainstream military, with its bars and ribbons and medals, but the secret or 'black projects' world, which may or may not involve contacting aliens, building undetectable spy aircraft, and experimenting with explosives that could make atomic bombs look likefirecrackers. Here, mysterious characters and cryptic symbols hint at intrigue much deeper than rank, company, and unit."
"Of course, issuing patches for a covert operation sounds like a joke...but truth be told, these days everything is branded. Military symbols are frequently replete with heraldic imagery--some rooted in history, others based on contemporary popular arts that feature comic characters--but these enigmatic dark-op images, in some cases probably designed by the participants themselves, are more personal, and also more disturbing, than most."
--Steven Heller, "The New York Times Book Review"
About the Author
\TREVOR PAGLEN is a geographer by training, and an expert on clandestine military installations. He leads expeditions to the secret bases of the American West and is the author, with A.C. Thompson, of Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights, which the New York Times praised as “the real thing . . . and not on the evening news.”
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on 19 May 2008
A book that could have had a lot of promise turns out to be very dull and with surprisingly little information. The left hand page will show a 'black ops' emblem or patch whilst the facing page attempts to decipher the hidden meanings within. This would be ok if it wasn't for the fact that the repetitions are numerous and often the reader is presented with a patch where the author clearly has no idea at all of the meaning and goes on to admit it - then it just becomes a book with pictures of patches! Avoid.
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