Alien Technology Exploitation Division

Confirmed: The Air Force Totally Hides Aliens From Us

You don’t know how many Freedom of Information Act requests we’ve filed in the hope of finding the Alien Technology Exploitation Division, the intrepid souls who’ll soon announce a sources-sought contract to develop the Hyperspace Blaster. Alas, they don’t exist.

A former officer at Air Force Space Command tells Paglen that he and his friends had the patches made at their own expense after getting endlessly ribbed for working in a secure vault “where they kept the alien bodies.” They wore them on their flight suits for months before a one-star general asked where he could get one of his own.

Oh, and the barely-decipherable legend on the bottom? It’s Klingon for “Don’t Ask.” Paglen got it in the mail from its creator after mentioning that he knew about its existence on the Colbert Report.

Image: Courtesy Trevor Paglen

(via Secret Insignias From the ‘Black Ops’ World –

This one’s clearly a joke, but the bigger joke is the reminder that there are certainly thousands of people working on things so secretive that no one will ever tell us that these things even happen, and they’re certainly not going to ask for our permission to continue doing these things. Vote for who you like, but some stuff is too important for democracy.


But-heads and their phrases that announce ‘I’m lying’

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there’s a whole range of phrases that aren’t doing the jobs you think they’re doing.

In fact, “I hate to be the one to tell you this” (like its cousin, “I hate to say it”) is one of them. Think back: How many times have you seen barely suppressed glee in someone who — ostensibly — couldn’t be more reluctant to be the bearer of bad news? A lack of respect from someone who starts off “With all due respect”? A stunning dearth of comprehension from someone who prefaces their cluelessness with “I hear what you’re saying”? And has “I’m not a racist, but…” ever introduced an unbiased statement?

These contrary-to-fact phrases have been dubbed (by the Twitter user GrammarHulk and others) “but-heads,” because they’re at the head of the sentence, and usually followed by but. They’ve also been dubbed “false fronts,” “wishwashers,” and, less cutely, “lying qualifiers.”

via I hate to tell you –

I like ‘lying qualifiers’ best.