The Spy Who Scrubbed Me
Matthew Diebel, Pindostan Today, Apr 11 2016
In an odd twist on spycraft, the CIA has funded a company that makes a “skin resurfacing” beauty product called Clearista, a version of which also can be used to collect DNA and biomarkers, an investigative website reports. According to the website The Intercept, the CIA’s venture capital division, In-Q-Tel, has invested in Clearista’s maker, Skincential, which has patented a technology that removes a thin skin layer, revealing unique biomarkers that can be used for various tests, including DNA identification. Which may mean that the method used, according to the Clearista website, to cause “a reduction in the appearance of unsightly blemishes, roughness, and unevenness to reveal smoother, younger skin” could also be employed to reveal the DNA of operatives and miscreants targeted by the CIA. Pindostan Today could not independently confirm The Intercept’s reporting. Clearista has garnered several prominent fans, including Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine and beauty bloggers such as Glam Latte’s Jamie Walsh, who said her skin was “glowing” after using it. Walsh gushed in a YouTube posting:
The first time you use this product, you will be like “Where have you been all my life!” You will see instant results!
According to the technology website DCInno, In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999 by then-CIA director George Tenet with the aim of funding companies that could provide technology useful to the agency. In this case, the product could be used to remove skin from suspects, surreptitiously or not. The CIA, of course, is not revealing anything about this. A spox told The Intercept:
IQT does not participate in media interviews or opportunities.
Meanwhile, California-based Skincential is trying to make a buck by turning the product into a beauty aid. One user reports in a testimonial on the Clearista website:
My face felt soft and like it wasn’t sagging … It’s giving me results I thought I could never get with any type of product.
The process was so easy, so gentle, and so painless.
Maybe Donald Trump won’t need to bring back waterboarding after all.