A company named Kwikpoint makes them, and the military hands them out to personnel. The guides help English-speaking personnel communicate with prisoners, would-be-detainees, interrogatees, and so on. Don't speak Farsi or Iraqi Arabic? Need to tell a prisoner to drop trou and get horizontal beneath your boot, pronto? Point to the infographic.
Visually, they're unsettling. The images are functional icons, like highway signs or web UI buttons, so they reflect a simplified aesthetic -- like early childhood storybooks. The subject matter is violent, but the look is "see spot run" or "happy Lego people at play." The most surreal one is a two-part diagram in which a man is asked to remove his toupee so the interrogator can determine whether or not weapons are stashed beneath (shown in thumbnail here).
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.