If there are any lingering doubts about whether the U.S. government
acts like a bunch of mafia hit men, the following documents, classified for
years, should clear things up.
And as the “CIA’s Killer’s Instruction Manual”
points out remember that possibly the only thing separating the mafia from the
U.S. government is that the thugs in the underworld are much, much smarter.
Never in a month of Sundays would mafia thugs ever think of leaving behind
a paper trail, like the following CIA documents indicate, on how exactly to
pull off the perfect assassination attempt.
But that’s exactly what the U.S. government did when the CIA distributed
a training manual for would-be killers called “A Study of Assassination,”
distributed to agents and operatives taking part in the agency’s 1953
covert coup in Guatemala, which ousted the country’s democratically elected
The killer’s training manual. hidden and classified until 1997, until
the National Security Archive, a Washington D.C. public-interest group, obtained
a copy among roughly 1,400 pages found by the group concerning the Guatemala
coup, in light of CIA statements that it has destroyed all other secret files
about the coup.
Since the release of the documents, however, their contents have remained virtually
hidden from the public eye, the messy details of how to pull off the perfect
assassination never making it into the mainstream press and only viewed by a
select few elsewhere.
Presented by the CIA almost like a college course for future killers, the Department
of Defense and CIA spokesmen this week denied knowing anything about the manual,
adding they were not aware of any such teaching tool being distributed to agents
As the manual verifies purely by its publication, the U.S. government is involved
up to its neck in the killing business, the involvement going back to the early
1950’s and most likely much farther back.
And it’s safe to say nothing has changed today, since reports by John
Perkins in his latest book, “The Economic Hit Man”
and other reports surfacing, seem to indicate the killing business is booming
for the government.
Take, for example, the recent story told by former Army wife Kay Griggs of
Virginia, who recounts how her husband for more than 10 years told her about
his involvement with training and participating in government hit squads, knowledge
of which leads to the doorstep of some of the most powerful leaders in our country,
including the Oval Office.
Also, consider the recent stories coming out of Venezuela where democratically
elected President Hugo Chavez is running for his life from the CIA after he
publicly on numerous occasions has announced to the world that the Bush administration
wants him dead for not cooperating with policies that would leave his country
bankrupt and his people starving.
And in a sick, twisted manner, working on a theory that the end justifies the
means, the CIA published it s killer’s manual, breaking down the art of
committing the perfect assassination into eight major categories, including
definition, employment, justification, classification, the assassin, planning,
techniques and examples.
Here are the portions of the manual, the words taken directly from the CIA
writers illustrating just how sick, twisted and distorted they really are:
According to the CIA, assassination is a term thought to be derived from "Hashish",
a drug similar to marijuana, said to have been used by Hassan al-Sabbah to induce
motivation in his followers, who were assigned to carry out political and other
murders, usually at the cost of their lives.
It is here used to describe the planned killing of a person who is not under
the legal jurisdiction of the killer, who is not physically in the hands of
the killer, who has been selected by a resistance organization for death, and
whose death provides positive advantages to that organization.
Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine operations.
It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by any U.S.
Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its execution
by members of an associated foreign service.
This reticence is partly due to the necessity for committing communications
to paper. No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded.
Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached
in the field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions
should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one person
will be involved. No report may be made, but usually the act will be properly
covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all concerned.
Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim
has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination
of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just punishment.
Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger
to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.
But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who
are morally squeamish should not attempt it.
The techniques employed will vary according to whether the subject is unaware
of his danger, aware but unguarded, or guarded. They will also be affected by
whether or not the assassin is to be killed with the subject hereafter, assassinations
in which the subject is unaware will be termed "simple"; those where
the subject is aware but unguarded will be termed "chase"; those where
the victim is guarded will be termed "guarded."
If the assassin is to die with the subject, the act will be called "lost."
If the assassin is to escape, the adjective will be "safe." It should
be noted that no compromises should exist here. The assassin must not fall alive
into enemy hands.
A further type division is caused by the need to conceal the fact that the
subject was actually the victim of assassination, rather than an accident or
natural causes. If such concealment is desirable the operation will be called
"secret"; if concealment is immaterial, the act will be called "open";
while if the assassination requires publicity to be effective it will be termed
Following these definitions, the assassination of Julius Caesar was safe, simple,
and terroristic, while that of Huey Long was lost, guarded and open. Obviously,
successful secret assassinations are not recorded as assassination at all. [Illeg]
of Thailand and Augustus Caesar may have been the victims of safe, guarded and
In safe assassinations, the assassin needs the usual qualities of a clandestine
agent. He should be determined, courageous, intelligent, resourceful, and physically
active. If special equipment is to be used, such as firearms or drugs, it is
clear that he must have outstanding skill with such equipment.
Except in terroristic assassinations, it is desirable that the assassin be
transient in the area. He should have an absolute minimum of contact with the
rest of the organization and his instructions should be given orally by one
person only. His safe evacuation after the act is absolutely essential, but
here again contact should be as limited as possible. It is preferable that the
person issuing instructions also conduct any withdrawal or covering action which
may be necessary.
In lost assassination, the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics,
religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is
unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care. He must not
know the identities of the other members of the organization, for although it
is intended that he die in the act, something may go wrong. While the Assassin
of Trotsky has never revealed any significant information, it was unsound to
depend on this when the act was planned.
When the decision to assassinate has been reached, the tactics of the operation
must be planned, based upon an estimate of the situation similar to that used
in military operations. The preliminary estimate will reveal gaps in information
and possibly indicate a need for special equipment which must be procured or
constructed. When all necessary data has been collected, an effective tactical
plan can be prepared. All planning must be mental; no papers should ever contain
evidence of the operation.
In resistance situations, assassination may be used as a counter-reprisal.
Since this requires advertising to be effective, the resistance organization
must be in a position to warn high officials publicly that their lives will
be the price of reprisal action against innocent people. Such a threat is of
no value unless it can be carried out, so it may be necessary to plan the assassination
of various responsible officers of the oppressive regime and hold such plans
in readiness to be used only i f provoked by excessive brutality. Such plans
must be modified frequently to meet changes in the tactical situation.
The essential point of assassination is the death of the subject. A human being
may be killed in many ways but sureness is often overlooked by those who may
be emotionally unstrung by the seriousness of this act they intend to commit.
The specific technique employed will depend upon a large number of variables,
but should be constant in one point: Death must be absolutely certain. The attempt
on Hitler's life failed because the conspiracy did not give this matter proper
The techniques portion of the manual then went on to provide details about
the particular effectiveness and use of an assortment of weapons, including
all types of firearms, explosives as well as blunt and sharp-edged weapons.
However, the most interesting assassination techniques recommended by the CIA
It is possible to kill a man with the bare hands, but very few are skillful
enough to do it well. Even a highly trained Judo expert will hesitate to risk
killing by hand unless he has absolutely no alternative. However, the simplest
local tools are often much the most efficient means of assassination. A hammer,
axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lamp stand, or anything
hard, heavy and handy will suffice. A length of rope or wire or a belt will
do if the assassin is strong and agile. All such improvised weapons have the
important advantage of availability and apparent innocence. The obviously lethal
machine gun failed to kill Trotsky where an item of sporting goods succeeded.
In all safe cases where the assassin may be subject to search, either before
or after the act, specialized weapons should not be used. Even in the lost case,
the assassin may accidentally be searched before the act and should not carry
an incrimin ating device if any sort of lethal weapon can be improvised at or
near the site. If the assassin normally carries weapons because of the nature
of his job, it may still be desirable to improvise and implement at the scene
to avoid disclosure of his ident ity.
For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is
the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement
and is only casually investigated.
The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet
or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows
and bridges will serve. Bridge falls into water are not reliable. In simple
cases a private meeting with the subject may be arranged at a properly-cased
location. The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the ankles,
tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry,
playing the "horrified wit ness", no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal
is necessary. In chase cases it will usually be necessary to stun or drug the
subject before dropping him. Care is required to insure that no wound or condition
not attributable to the fall is discernible after death.
Falls into the sea or swiftly flowing rivers may suffice if the subject cannot
swim. It will be more reliable if the assassin can arrange to attempt rescue,
as he can thus be sure of the subject's death and at the same time establish
a workable al ibi.
If the subject's personal habits make it feasible, alcohol may be used [2 words
excised] to prepare him for a contrived accident of any kind.
Falls before trains or subway cars are usually effective, but require exact
timing and can seldom be free from unexpected observation.
Automobile accidents are a less satisfactory means of assassination. If the
subject is deliberately run down, very exact timing is necessary and investigation
is likely to be thorough. If the subject's car is tampered with, reliability
is very low. The subject may be stunned or drugged and then placed in the car,
but this is only reliable when the car can be run off a high cliff or into deep
water without observation.
Arson can cause accidental death if the subject is drugged and left in a burning
building. Reliability is not satisfactory unless the building is isolated and
In all types of assassination except terroristic, drugs can be very effective.
If the assassin is trained as a doctor or nurse and the subject is under medical
care, this is an easy and rare method. An overdose of morphine administered
as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect.
The size of the dose will depend upon whether the subject has been using narcotics
regularly. If not, two grains will suffice.
If the subject drinks heavily, morphine or a similar narcotic can be injected
at the passing out stage, and the cause of death will often be held to be acute
Specific poisons, such as arsenic or strychine, are effective but their possession
or procurement is incriminating, and accurate dosage is problematical. Poison
was used unsuccessfully in the assassination of Rasputin and Kolohan, though
the latte r case is more accurately described as a murder.
Agents may be presented brief outlines, with critical evaluations of the following
assassinations and attempts:
Marat, Hedrich, Lincoln, Hitler, Harding, Roosevelt, Grand Duke Sergei, Truman,
Pirhivie, Mussolini, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Benes, Rasputin, Aung Sang,
Madero, Kirov ,Abdullah, Huey Long, Gandhi, Alexander of Yugoslvia, Trotsky.