Home Museum institution US CIA’s in-house museum adds new spy exhibits

US CIA’s in-house museum adds new spy exhibits


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LANGLEY, Va., Sept 24 (Reuters) – They like to call it “the greatest museum you’ll ever see.”

Tucked away in the hallways of its Langley, Va., headquarters, the Central Intelligence Agency’s revamped museum — though still closed to the public — reveals recently declassified artifacts from the spy agency’s most legendary operations. since its founding 75 years ago.

Headlining: A just over a foot (30.5cm) scale model of the compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, which was used to brief President Joe Biden ahead of the drone attack that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri just two months ago.

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“It’s very unusual for something to be declassified so quickly,” said Janelle Neises, the museum’s deputy director.

“We use our artifacts to tell our stories. It’s a way of being really honest and transparent about the CIA, which is sometimes difficult,” said Neises, who joined the museum director on Saturday, Robert Byer, to lead a media outlet on a tour of the revamped CIA. exhibitions.

The articles, some of which can be viewed online, are part of a broader effort to broaden public awareness and recruitment by the legendary but secretive agency, known in some circles as much for its scandals as for its successes in matter of intelligence.

CIA officials often say that the agency’s successes are secret but that its failures are sometimes public.

The outreach effort includes the launch earlier this week of the CIA’s first public podcast on which Director William Burns said the agency seeks to “demystify” its work at a time when “trust in institutions is so rare”.

The hundreds of objects in the museum, some of which have been on display since the 1980s, are all decommissioned. Neises said the agency occasionally lends them to presidential libraries and other nonprofit museums.

A must-see for those with permission to visit: The AKM assault rifle carried by Osama bin Laden the night US Navy SEALs killed him in a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011, and a leather jacket found with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when he was captured in 2003.

Other exhibits range from flight suits worn by pilots of Cold War-era U-2 and A-12 spy planes to a wood-framed saddle, similar to those used by members of the team. CIA Alpha as they navigated on horseback through the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan soon after. the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.

None of the items, which are all considered US government heritage assets, have not been assessed for value.

“Our museum is up and running,” Neises said. “It’s here for our workforce to learn from our successes and failures.”

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Reporting by Michael Martina Editing by Bill Berkrot

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