Monday, May 07, 2007

Poppy coin has the Defense Department all a-jitter!

Apparently, the "Poppy Coin", the 25-cent piece commemorating Canada's veterans stirred the Defense Department in Washington up, eliciting a panicked warning about "espionage coins". Canadians are familiar with the coin, with it's coloured red poppy in the centre of the 2004 quarters. Apparently, a defense contractor traveling in Canada came across one in the coin tray of his rental car and did what anyone would do... freaked out.
"The worried contractors described the coins as "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP."

""It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source," wrote one U.S. contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car. "Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire-like mesh suspended on top.""
The "several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire-like mesh suspended on top" was, in fact, a clear coating applied over the engraved pattern on the poppy designed to hold the ink. The clear coating is intended to keep the red pigment colouring the poppy from rubbing off.

I'm not sure how stupid the "intelligence" behind these "spy coins" thought that anyone supposedly being spied on were... One would imagine that anyone capable of developing a "spy coin" with "nano-technology" would also be able to do a better job at disguising said "spy coins". However, the irony is not lost on your correspondent that the "big brains" involved with National Defense actually thought that so distinctively, so obviously and so immediately visibly different item would be used by ANY espionage group.

However, I imagine these "big brains" took a page from the CIA's book of "spyin'". The CIA, of course once lathered ransom money to be used to garner the release of people held by Lebanese hostage-takers with a substance designed to cause the paper to deteriorate and become worthless after the hostages were released.... Unfortunately, they took so long to get the money to the hostage-takes that the money deteriorated BEFORE the hand-over. I recall reading that the hostages were killed.

The CIA also once trained a cat to go onto the property of someone they wanted to spy on. They then surgically implanted a listening device in said pussycat and released it across the street from the residence they wanted to spy on. The cat crossed the street and was promptly run over by a truck.....

I cannot imagine what they thought of our "suspiciously" multi-coloured bills!
My concern is the US "spy coin" pictured below, with it's mini-transmitting antennae!

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