US history The Best CIA Nicknames  

Mike Rothschild
210 votes 108 voters 5.8k views 21 items Embed

CIA code names for operations, people, and facilities range from informal nicknames to a complex series of cryptonyms. Many of their major headquarters, training areas, intelligence gathering facilities, and other buildings have no official names, but have nicknames that stuck over time. They often give their operations creative and colorful designations that mean nothing to anyone but insiders - and those are just the ones that aren't classified.

Intelligence jargon is designed to be easily understood by those who need to understand it, and nearly incomprehensible to outsiders or snoops listening in. Hence the series of two-letter codes used to identify countries, or the innocuous all-caps names given to new NSA surveillance initiatives. If you know what they are, then you know what they are. And if not, then you're not supposed to.

Here are some of the best, most creative, and all around weirdest nicknames given by the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies in the US to all manner of buildings, people, and even missions. Vote up the craziest CIA nicknames below!

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The Company is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
The Company Internal nickname for the CIA.

That Time The CIA Used A Giant Claw Machine To Access A Soviet Submarine Went Exactly How You'd ... The Best Dog Breeds for Families

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The Farm is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
The Farm Code for the CIA training base at Camp Peary in Williamsburg, VA. Also called "Camp Swampy."

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Nosey Smurf is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Nosey Smurf NSA hack that can turn on an iPhone's microphone. Revealed by Edward Snowden.

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Puzzle Palace is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Puzzle Palace Nickname of the National Security Agency's headquarters at Fort Meade. Also called "The Fort."

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DBROCKSTARS is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
DBROCKSTARS CIA program to recruit Iraqi spies before the 2003 invasion.

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BLARNEY is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
BLARNEY NSA telecommunications intelligence gathering program.

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Moby Dick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Moby Dick CIA program to launch photographic balloons over the Soviet Union from West Germany.

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Liberty Crossing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Liberty Crossing Twin headquarters of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center, in McLean, VA.

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Stargate is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Stargate Remote viewing operation masterminded by the CIA.

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Acid Gambit is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Acid Gambit CIA plan to rescue an agent taken prisoner while setting up anti-Noriega radio station in Panama.

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Great White Case Officer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Great White Case Officer Informal nickname for 1950s CIA chief Allen Dulles.

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L-Pill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
L-Pill Cyanide capsule carried by agents to commit suicide rather than be captured.

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Blue Goose is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Blue Goose CIA training facility in Virginia that taught black ops techniques until it was torn down in 2015.

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Ivy Bells is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Ivy Bells Joint CIA, Navy, and NSA plan to tap Soviet undersea communication cables.

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Dagger Complex is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Dagger Complex NSA intelligence processing center located in Germany.

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Blue Birds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Blue Birds Blue-painted Blue Bird buses that transport CIA employees around the Washington, D.C. area.

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Lace is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Lace Post-Berlin Wall operation to find a CIA mole, based on information found during storming of Stasi headquarters.

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AMTHUG is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
AMTHUG CIA code name for Fidel Castro ("AM" being the code for Cuba).

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QKFLOWAGE is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
QKFLOWAGE Code name for the now-defunct United States Information Agency.

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Sheep Dip is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
Sheep Dip Dropping someone from the CIA payroll to do their job through a civilian company.

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JIB is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best CIA Nicknames
JIB Stands for "jack-in-the-box" - an inflatable dummy used to evade Soviet surveillance.