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Has Your Office Been Infiltrated?

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Don Mansfield

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In January 1944, the Office of Strategic Services, a wartime intelligence agency and predecessor to the modern Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), issued Strategic Services Field Manual No.3 (Simple Sabotage Field Manual) to its agents to aid the Allied war effort in Europe. The purpose of the classified document was to explain the technique of simple sabotage, outline its possible effects, and present suggestions for inciting and executing it. It introduced the concept of simple sabotage as follows:

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Sabotage varies from highly technical coup de main acts that require detailed planning and the use of specially trained operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary individual citizen-saboteur can perform. This paper is primarily concerned with the latter type. Simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen who may or may not act individually and without the necessity for active connection with an organized group; and it is carried out in such a way as to involve minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.

 

 

The manual goes on to describe two types of simple sabotage: destructive and nondestructive. Regarding the latter type, the manual explains that—       

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“It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt a non-cooperative attitude, and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another. A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than creating an unpleasant situation among one’s fellow workers, engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.

This type of activity, sometimes referred to as the ‘human element,’ is frequently responsible for accidents, delays, and general obstruction even under normal conditions. The potential saboteur should discover what types of faulty decisions and non-cooperation are normally found in his kind of work and should then devise his sabotage so as to enlarge that ‘margin for error.’”

 

 

 

The manual has a section titled “Specific Suggestions for Simple Sabotage” that provides suggestions for how to execute simple sabotage for different targets. There are suggestions on how to innocently start fires in buildings, set off automatic sprinklers to ruin warehouse stock, change sign posts at intersections and forks, dilute gasoline with water, wine, or urine so it won’t combust, and other Dennis the Menace type hijinks. What seemed most familiar were the suggestions under “General Interference with Organizations and Production.” Here are a few:

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(a)    Organizations and Conferences

 

(1)    Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2)    Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.

(3)    When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make committees as large as possible—never less than five.

(4)    Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(5)    Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

(6)    Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

(7)    Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

(8)    Be worried about the propriety of any decision—raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

(b)    Managers and Supervisors

 

[…]

(9)    When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.

(10)  To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.

(11)  Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

(12)  Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.

(13)  Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

(14)  Apply regulations to the last letter.

(c)    Office Workers

[…]

(7) Spread disturbing rumors that sound like inside dope

               (d) Employees

 

                       […]

(4) Pretend that instructions are hard to understand, and ask to have them repeated more than once. Or pretend that you are particularly anxious about your work, and pester the foreman with unnecessary questions.”

 

 

               The manual was declassified in 2008, but I suspect it fell in to enemy hands long before that. The question is, though, why is the enemy targeting Federal contracting offices?


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