On Sale Now — A Civilian Squad Machine Gun
For almost 30 years the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon has been the go-to light machine gun for U.S. Army infantry squads — and Marine Corps squads, too, until recently. And now you can walk into your local gun shop and purchase a semi-automatic M-249S SAW, a replica of the... Read more
The CIA Battled the Kremlin With Books and Movies
Originally published on May 2, 2015. During the Cold War, Moscow’s Ministry of Culture was a master of censorship. The Kremlin’s cultural bulwark screened non-Russian films, suppressed literature and shaped the lives of Soviet artists. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency also dabbled in the dark arts of cultural influence.... Read more
Twenty-five German Prisoners Escaped from a Phoenix POW Camp During World War II
During World War II, the United States held 400,000 Axis prisoners of war in some 500 POW camps. Some of these camps were located in the Midwest and Great Plains areas, but the majority were in the South and Southwest. “At the same time that the prison camps were... Read more
JFK Had a Secret Nuclear Fallout Bunker in South Florida
Originally published on April 27, 2015. In December 1960, the SeaBees — the U.S. Navy’s construction force — supposedly began the mundane task of building a munitions depot behind the Coast Guard station on Peanut Island, Florida. Known as “Operation Hotel,” the SeaBees actually built a secret nuclear fallout shelter for president-elect John... Read more
The CIA’s ‘Freedom Fighter’s Manual’ Is One of the Lamest Comic Books You’ll Never Read
The Central Intelligence Agency’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual has to be one of the most curious works of propaganda the U.S. government has ever published. For one, it’s a comic book. But that’s not the weirdest thing about the Manual. Released during the Contras’ war with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua during... Read more
America Experimented on Conscientious Objectors During World War II
The vast majority of Americans supported involvement in World War II, but a small minority refused to serve in combat because of their religious, philosophical, political or moral beliefs. The Selective Service and Training Act of 1940 gave these conscientious objectors the option of serving in non-combat military roles... Read more
America Tried to Overthrow the Castro Regime With Rap Music
For decades, the United States had sought to destabilize and overthrow the Cuban government. But the most recent attempt to antagonize the Castro regime may have been the strangest. The effort involved the United States Agency for International Development and its attempts to infiltrate the Cuban hip-hop scene. It... Read more
Che Guevara Was Really Into Shotguns and Molotov Cocktails
Shotguns and Molotov cocktails are standard fare during the early phases of revolutions. They’re common and easily obtained in urban and rural areas. Spent shotgun casings are relatively simple and inexpensive to reload. Likewise, Molotov cocktails can be made from an array of readily available household materials — basically,... Read more
Fidel Castro Had a Bizarre Obsession With Milk
Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loves milk, and especially ice cream. You could say it does a revolution good. “One Sunday, letting himself go, finished off a good-sized lunch with 18 scoops of ice cream,” famed novelist Gabriel Garcia Márquez wrote in his essay A Personal Portrait of... Read more
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