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CIA: A Study of Assassination (1953)

In Archive, CIA on December 18, 2014 at 10:46 PM
Transcript of a CIA file titled “A Study of Assassination”. This unsigned and undated (estimated publication date: Dec 31st, 1953) 19-page typewritten file was part of a collection of CIA documents pertaining to Operations PBFORTUNE and PBSUCCESS.
[archiveorg-book CIAAStudyOfAssassination1953/CIA%20-%20A%20Study%20of%20Assassination%20%281953%29 width=600 height=825]

PDF (<1MB)

Summary via MyApologetics:

The document is written in the sterile tone that is typical of most technical instructions. There is a kind of matter-of-fact manner in the way it describes how and why certain things should be done. The only place where it does break from the unemotional is at the foot of the section called ‘Justification’:

“…assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.”

The rest of the document gives practical advice for the assassin and how the authorization for an assassination must come from and at the same time must never be connected to any US Headquarters. Hence the orders are verbal and include the notion of plausible deniability for the person who gave the orders.

In the section called ‘The Assassin’ we are presented with the ideal profile of an assassin:

“…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.”

The document then gets down to the nuts and bolts of the best way to assassinate someone. Hard objects rocks, screwdrivers, kitchen knives lamps or anything handy. Puncturing body cavities are seen as unreliable unless the heart is damaged.

“Absolute reliability is obtained by severing the spinal cord in the cervical region…”

It goes on to discuss guns, machine guns and even recommends what types of guns. Bombs are also given a long section.

Yet the most interesting part of the document is the drawings at the end that show how to kill people at a conference table. It goes into the detail of who stands where; where to shoot and how to cover your escape.


Related Link: Secret CIA Review of “High Value Target” Assassination Program (2009)

  1. […] is the PDF of a CIA file released in 1997 under the FOIA that I received today via LeakSource.  It discusses morals, guns, bombs, drawings of how to assassinate someone at a conference table […]


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