Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Simple Sabotage Field Manual (1944) [pdf] (cia.gov)
133 points by soroso on Aug 27, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments

There's another great manual they dropped over Nicaragua to instruct people on how to take down the state. Comes with helpful illustrations and everything!


This is hilarious. I like how they slowly go from 'be lazy' to 'outright violence.' Why don't we make these for our modern conflicts? North Korea, the sprawling Middle East stuff, those crazy Russians around Georgia/Ukraine...

"Call in sick and throw tools in the sewers. Threaten your boss by telephone and cut up the upholstery of vehicles. Put nails in battery cells. Paint seditious slogans. Burn down a warehouse."

Damn, that is some devious stuff in there. Clogging toilets with sponges is a new level of hostile creativity.

Should be called "How to be an jerk".

Sounds like standard .gov operating procedure:

«When possible, refer all matters to committees, for "further study and consideration." Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.»

Or standard office procedures:

> Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

> To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.

And there is also the standard "I want to keep my job move":

> Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. Barnett Cocks

I had a thought that this might have been the intelligence community taking a humorous jab at the US government, and also happened to be true. But have no information on if committees were better or worse at that point in history.

That whole chapter reads like SOP of any large corporation in the US today.

I am still holding the opinion that this piece was sarcastic until I get evidence to the contrary. It is way more plausible than the CIA creating something that effective.

I just realized that I've worked with quite a few CIA plants, especially in the insurance industry.

So the Anarchist Cookbook is terrorist literature [1], but this guide is fine?

> To create a briefer but even hotter flame, put celluloid such as you might find in an old comb, into a nest of plain or saturated paper which is to be fired by a candle.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7030096.stm

>So the Anarchist Cookbook is terrorist literature [1], but this guide is fine?

If you are just now discovering that the state holds itself to a different standard than its citizens, you must have been living under a rock.

The whole idea with the (modern, democratic) state is that certain task are delegated and exclusive to the state.

Revenge and killing people is for instance delegated to the judicial system, the police, and the military. Without it we would be back to tribal wars.

Correct me if im wrong but wasnt the anarchist cookbook mostly cherry picked from military field manuals found in a public library? If so, kind of hard to make the claim that its terrorist literature.

This is an article about CIA literature. The Anarchist Cookbook is not illegal in the US.

* Invent social media

* Every Friday is mariachi band day

* Cater lunch, spike the food with laxatives

Should have included open space offices.

"Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can."

Should cover open offices

This is also the manual for running a regular Dilbert type corporation :)

As clear evidence as I've ever seen that the modern corporate state is truly a plot. :D

Click the "past" link above yields many more and saves you the trouble of searching and C&Ping these links. You're welcome.

Woah ... How could I have missed that?! Thanks

Looks like Putin's winning strategy was an American export. How ironic indeed.

Why publish this at all? It adds no value to society.

In a democracy, it is important for normal people to understand what our governments have done in the past, in order to know what they may be doing today.

Today, Venezuela is on fire. The opposition claim this is due to government ineptitude, and the government, at times, claims it is due to foreign interference.

If this sort of thing were going on, even if we agreed with it, our governments could not tell us that they were doing these things, or they would be less effective. So we must study history to understand what may be contributing to events around the world.

It might help us decide how to vote.

Though as demonstrated in the most recent US election, nothing really changes, just the wall paper.

I agree its important to know what the government has done in the past. What I disagree with is making all of that available to anyone with access to the internet. I just imagine 11 year old boys trying this stuff out on the school.

That is what you learned from the last election? What I learned is that people can be fooled very easily. And that they can not differentiate between a qualified candidate and a pompous narcissist. But that is just my opinion.

It's probably just another document that fell out of classification and was published in accordance with blanket sunshine laws.

A) This sort of thing is probably not a great handbook in the first place; it looks like a committee just decided to compile a bunch of general knowledge about sabotage in a big bullet-point list.

B) Information from the 1940s is probably not terribly relevant today. It ignores modern safety systems, engineering principles, surveillance technologies, and most kinds of telecommunications. Any prospective saboteur trying to put this 'manual' to practical use will probably get caught or maybe electrocuted in short order.

In that case, why post anything? 99% of the internet is drivel but people love it.

But 99.9999% of that drivel does not teach people how to disrupt society.

Not sure I follow, what do you mean?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact