The PlayStation 2 was designed with the ability to update its internal software by installing updates onto a memory card. Sony did not make much use of the feature, and it was eventually removed from later models. However, hackers eventually discovered the feature, and were able to use it to run homebrew software on the PlayStation 2.
In the year 2000, 4,000 PS2s had been bought in the US and shipped out to Iraq. Some US military experts believed that several PS2s could be linked together to form a "supercomputer", which could control a missile or an unmanned aircraft, and that Saddam's regime was doing just that with these consoles. This was before military intervention had occurred in Iraq, so it was not members of the US Army. This large purchase also exacerbated the shortage of Playstation 2s in America for the Christmas period of 2000.
The white towers in the startup animation vary in height and number depending on the size and number of games currently on your memory card.