Available this month are the first t shirt and cap designs based on particular classified Pentagon Black Operation patches. The patches are from a recent book, “I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me,” by Trevor Paglen. The patches refer to the hidden reality behind the Pentagon’s classified “black” budget which provides billions in dollars to supposed stealth government projects.
Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer. His work involves deliberately blurring the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us. He has managed to document some of this hidden world in the form of patches he’s collected from touring bases, noting what some of the personnel wore, joining alumni associations, interviewing active and former team members, talking to base historians, and filing requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Shown in his book for the first time, these patches reveal a secret world of military imagery and jargon, where classified projects are known by peculiar names ("Goat Suckers," "None of Your Fucking Business," "We Make Threats Not Promises") and illustrated with occult symbols and ridiculous cartoons. Although the actual projects represented here (such as the notorious Area 51) are classified, these patches-which are worn by military units working on classified missions-are precisely photographed, strangely hinting at a world about which little is known.
He says what sparked his interest were the remarks made by then Vice President Dick Cheney’s after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On “Meet the Press” Cheney said the nation would engage its “dark side” to find the attackers and justice. “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows,” Mr. Cheney said. “It’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.”
Inspired by Cheney’s remarks and memories of his childhood when his military family traveled the globe to bases often involved in secret missions, Trevor set off to map the secret world and document its expansion, which resulted in a Ph.D. thesis and various books.
The classified budget of the Defense Department nearly doubled during the Bush administration to 32 billion, which is more than the combine budgets of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The items and book are available as well as at select Freshjive retailers worldwide...