In a plan that should shock and surprise no one, and yet horrify us all the same, the CIA had plans to portray Saddam and Bin Laden as pedophiles through fake videos (presumably in separate incidents, unless they were going for a scandal of historic proportions).
This is absurd and ridiculous in oh-so-many ways, but here's a few that show both the arrogance and ignorance of the U.S. intelligence community:
To begin with, is the agency run by an 8 year old? We don't like the way someone else runs their country, so we say they like boys? Or maybe someone had just seen too much Dateline: Predator episodes and figured if Chris Matthews could do it, certainly the CIA could pull it off.
It's also an example of a tried-and-true American method for dealing with people we don't like -- continually try to kill, humiliate, or otherwise discredit them, and then when they speak out against the U.S., act as if it's crazy they could ever have anything against us and they're completely irrational for not doing everything we demand they do. The same thing happened with Castro -- the CIA tried to kill him or overthrow him a good dozen or so times, and then acted shocked, just shocked, that he would denounce the U.S. as a military aggressor.
And finally, it points out how completely tone-deaf the people who are supposed to be experts on international culture are. For while a same sex encounter with a teenage boy would cause incredible controversy in the United States, it really wouldn't cause much of a stir in many Middle East cultures. Shockingly enough, not every place in the world views everything the same way the United States does.
Take for instance the recent DoD study that found that many Pashtuns in Afghanistan have sexual contact with men but don't identify as homosexuals. It has lead to many American commentators concluding those poor Afghans must just be confused. Because after all, any sexual contact with men = homosexual. But similar to studies of American prisons that find men who completely identify as heterosexual having sex with other men while in prison, it is totally possible to have a sexual orientation that is more flexible that totally hetero- or totally homosexual, but that's another post for another day.
But then, what do I know? I mean, the CIA probably has a grainy video of some guy who looks like me doing all sorts of deranged shit...