Artist, writer, and experimental geographer Trevor Paglen joined host George Knapp (email) to discuss his research into black ops programs and CIA-sponsored Γ??Torture Taxis.Γ??
He noted the symbology of patches used by military black ops programs and the information he has deciphered from his vast collection of hard to find pieces. Calling the patches "glimpses into the black world," Paglen revealed that many of them serve as "inside jokes" used by members of the secret programs. To this point, he cited the use of the invisible-at-will cartoon character PeteΓ??s Dragon on patches used by early Stealth pilots. Other interesting symbols included "five stars in one" to signify an Area 51 program and an alien head for space-based operations.
Turning towards his other areas of research, Paglen talked about his investigation into CIA operated extraordinary rendition programs. He said that Guantanamo Bay is just "the visible part of this much broader network" and detailed the means by which the CIA conducts these programs. He also covered his travels to Afghanistan to find purported secret prisons like the "Salt Pit" and the "Dark Prison," a facility described as pitch black with blaring music and Halloween noises playing constantly.