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(Politico)   Since Obama is in the news for using one. Here are 10 facts about the "autopen"   ( politico.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, obama, Ken Lay, Vice President Dan Quayle, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, major piece, President Truman  
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7702 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Jan 2013 at 2:35 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-01-03 01:04:00 PM  
4 votes:
Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the side of the  Milizis, a well-known Russian spy satellite.
9) The first colored autopen appeared in 1990 (blue). Prior to this, all models had been either black or white.
10) Barack Obama's autopen is inscribed with the word "Harambee," which in Swahili means "let us come to dominate you."
2013-01-03 03:33:03 PM  
1 vote:
No one needs a high capacity legislative device like the autopen. The Founding Fathers couldn't have imagined such a thing.
2013-01-03 02:46:22 PM  
1 vote:
I liked how two of the Presidents spent thousands of dollars to fly documents to them to get signed personally instead of using it. Where's the outrage over that wasteful act? I'm sure they used military resources instead of just a FedEx envelope.
2013-01-03 12:44:38 PM  
1 vote:

Back in the early 90s, a friend bought what he thought was a pen plotter at a GSA auction for $5.

When he got it home and started farting with it, it sprang into action, and wrote the most perfect

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

complete with pressure on the paper as Ronnie would have done IRL.
2013-01-03 12:39:27 PM  
1 vote:
Heh... Sorry, Republicans, but you have no one to blame for your outrage but Bush...


President George W. Bush commissioned the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the auto pen's constitutionality. The result: A 29-page opinion saying it's legal.
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