When most people think of CIA sabotage, they think of coups, assassinations, proxy wars, armed rebel groups, and even false flags — not strategic stupidity and purposeful bureaucratic ineptitude. However, according to a declassified document from 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which later became the CIA, used and trained a curious breed of “citizen-saboteurs” in occupied nations like Norway and France.
The World War II-era document, called Simple Sabotage Field Manual, outlines ways in which operatives can disrupt and demoralize enemy administrators and police forces. The first section of the document, which can be read in its entirety here, addresses “Organizations and Conferences” — and how to turn them into a “dysfunctional mess”:
— Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
— Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
— 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.
— Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
— Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
— Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
— Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.