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Two-Word Naming Controversy Erupts as Spy Agency Code Name Supply Dwindles

An internal classified memo was leaked today showing that US spy agencies are dealing with a designation crisis—the supply of code names is running critically low. Code names form the basis of secrecy within the intelligence community. Without code names, agents would no longer know how to refer to enemy targets, secret projects, meet-up locations, or each other. Reusing code names is also problematic, as the memo described confusion at a spy station in a foreign country where every agent is known as “Condor”. Unfortunately, the English language just does not have enough interesting single words that can be used as code names—all of the cool ones have already been assigned. Since 1982, all Federal code names have been created and managed by an aging machine known as “Code Namer 5000”, a system so old that none of the staff members know how it works internally, how to fix it when it spits out a code name in French, or to prevent it from issuing racist or dehumanizing code names. As a stop-gap measure the Federal agency in charge of code names, the National Institute of Code Names and Cover Stories (NICNaCS; code name: “Knickknacks”), has started assigning two-word code names. “Purple Passion”, “Anger Management”, “White Guy”, “Jealous Husband”, and “Horny Jason” were cited as examples of the new approach to code names. Knickknacks believes it has extended the life of Federal code names with only a minor inconvenience for remembering a two-word code name. The American Federation of Government Employees has filed a formal complaint with the Office of Personnel Management claiming the two-word code name approach devalues the existing code naming scheme and will lead to errors with potentially deadly consequences for American spies. Knickknacks has a budget request of $782M to replace the Code Namer 5000 as part of its “Make American Names Great Again” initiative.