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Government Gangsters: An Excerpt from CIA Assassination Manual

June 13, 2013

The following is a verbatim excerpt from the CIA Assassination Manual which was declassified in 1997 and can be found in A Study of Assassination, published in 1954 by the Central Intelligence Agency; this document was written and put out to “agents in the field” only a short time prior to the death of Frank Olson. As bone chilling and macabre as this is, its important that we know our history lest we are doomed to repeat it and worse make decisions against our own best interest.

2. Accidents

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, stairwells, 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 [next word excised] of the ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the “horrified witness”, 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 alibi.

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.

“What this means for me is that a national security homicide is not only a possibility, but really it is a necessity, when you have a certain number of ingredients together. if you are doing top secret work that is immoral, arguably immoral, especially in the post-Nuremberg period, and arguably illegal, and at odds with the kind of high moral position you are trying to maintain in the world, then you have to have a mechanism of security which is going to include murder.” 

— Eric Olson

And what it means to this writer is that being a member of the CIA is no different than being a member of the Mafia, the only difference is that in the former you get political protection from the harm you’ve done unless you wake up one day with a moral conscious, then you end up like Frank Olson.

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