Posted by ESC on January 23, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Sheep dipped posted by ESC on January 23, 2007
: : : The phrase "sheep dipped", while it may not be well known in the regular military, is commonly used in intelligence circles. A way of saying someone has been given an alternate identity. The best known example being Air America, but also in many other covert ops applications. Not necessarily military. "Those who were accepted got "sheep-dipped" and vanished."
: : Do you know why (i.e. the relationship between literal sheep dipping and vanishing)? Pamela
: See http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/30/messages/1654.html for a citation from 2004. Dipping a sheep gets rid of creepy crawlies. I am guessing that dipping a person figuratively gets rid of details of his/her former life.
Taking a second look at the previous discussion, what would be gone is the soldier's "military uniform and identification."
SHEEP-DIPPED - Stripping a soldier of his military uniform and identification so he can pose as a civilian during a covert mission. From "Ravens: Covert War in Laos," a 2004 documentary shown on Discovery Times channel on April 11, 2004.