Joho the Blog » Simple sabotage

Simple sabotage

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference (which I didn’t attend), Don Burke and Sean Dennehey from the CIA gave a talk on Intellipedia, the CIA’s internal wikipedia. As part of their talk, they cited a manual, including, I’m told, this from page 28:

(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 the 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 juris­ diction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Their point was that these instructions come from a 1944 manual on how to sabotage a business.

The session’s Web page points to the entire, amazing, declassified manual of simple sabotage. [Tags: ]

33 Responses to “Simple sabotage”

  1. [...] company rules, pointlessly close parsings of email messages, and PHBs? Maybe someone is executing a denial-of-service attack on the business! (The instructions are real; they start on page 28 of the linked manual.) [...]

  2. [...] course, they were describing how to sabotage an organization from within. (Follow the link to download the PDF of the original [...]

  3. Oh my goodness, this is fantastic!

    The really sad part is seeing this type of stuff in action all the time, but not with the objective of causing sabotage, but as a way they believe business should be done. Number 5 is one I’m dealing with right now.

  4. [...] from this blog) « Brother can you spare a gallon? [...]

  5. [...] Enterprise 2.0 and Joho the Blog are all covering a talk given by CIA folks at the Web 2.0 conference about the Intellipedia, or how [...]

  6. what is this, from ww2?

  7. what is this, from ww2?

  8. [...] I found this link on BoingBoing. Its a link to a PDF of a CIA document from 1944 that describes various methods of sabotage, from your mundane pouring sand into fuel tanks to the more sophisticated “fucking up of things”. The really interesting part was when it describes how to sabotage a business which sounds uncannily like modern business/political practise…. (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 the 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 juris­ diction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon. link [...]

  9. [...] Joho the Blog » Simple sabotage How to sabotage a business. (tags: cia) [...]

  10. Isn’t there a cartoon illustrating these principles?

  11. [...] PDF Download of the Simple Sabotage Manual. Thanks to David Weinberger. [...]

  12. Nice. But how the scanning of a 1944 typewriter paper document results in an pdf with clear times and helvetica inline text? With nice “declassified” stamps on every single page?

  13. seb – it isn’t typewritten, it’s printed. Printing presses have existed for a long time – it is generally accepted that the first practical movable-type printing press was constructed by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439.

    The font used is not Times (by which I assume you mean Times New Roman, which was designed well before 1944) – the serifs aren’t quite right, and the bottoms of the t’s look wrong too – but similar fonts (Garamond, Baskerville) have been around for centuries. See for instance the following scan of the front page of the September 3-10, 1666 issue of the London Gazette:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:London-gazette.gif

    Sans-serif fonts have been around since the early 1800s. The font on the cover looks like Futura, not Helvetica (which is a lot curvier); Futura was designed in 1927.

  14. Serifs have been around for a while. But the United Nations (p2) dates back only as far as 1945. And it’s an odd kind of reference when you consider that, in 1944, the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations, was effectively defunct.

    “Finally, the very practice of simple sabotage by natives in enemy or occupied territory may make these individuals identify themselves actively with the United Nations war effort, and encourage them to assist openly in periods of Allied invasion and occupation.”

  15. Wikipedia gives the answer to “United Nations”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_by_United_Nations
    coined by the U.S. president to describe the allies… .is it surprising that the successor to the League had the same name?

  16. Way to “rather” yourself…

  17. Sabotage? Or “Modern Business Principles(tm)” at Work?…

    It’s funny because its true. You know it. I always wish things were more like they were then. People just got shit done. Christ we went to war in ’42 and were done in two separate theatres in three and a half years. Stuff just got done, dammit. …

  18. [...] This is making the rounds in the blogosphere, and while it isn’t actually helpful, it does make for a good intro piece in a speech, talk, etc. [...]

  19. [...] noticed David Weinberger’s post, but didn’t read it carefully the first time; the words “CIA” and “Wikipedia” stood out, [...]

  20. @des Open the pdf, look for font information: you will find out that the whole document is in Times and Helvetica. I mean: Pages are made with DTP-Programms. Its not a PDF with pictures. So I think this is a fake.

    Or do you know ANY kind of OCR thats makes TEXT from scans without any error and puts pictures (the stamp) on this text?

    So the PDF seems to be a PDF with scanned pages from an old printed document. But it isn’t.

  21. [...] [From Joho the Blog » Simple sabotage] [...]

  22. if you want to view it without downloading the PDF try: http://www.footnote.com/image/76293867

  23. [...] to that manual though.  You can download it, in it’s full 1944 glory, from here.  You’ll have to actually read the thing (or skim it, as I did) if you’re interested [...]

  24. CIA control pet international Agents etc.
    LIST OF NAMES CIA control pet international Agents etc.
    Timothy Leary?
    Allison Legge
    Joe Parise
    PET
    Sarah Johnson
    Charlie Chrisawn
    Carvalho Rasmussen
    alex jones
    tyrk ozoz
    Ralf andersen
    Tom Zajkowski
    Colin Butler
    Pia Kjærsgaard
    Bjarne Bo Larsen
    Cynthia Dame Logan
    Jens ( Peter) Mortensen
    Pam Hughes
    lars ‘moslem’
    Kareeme Tucker
    Germany
    Danish royals
    jack harmes
    INTELLIGENCES
    Jens Mogensen? Henrik Sass Larsen? valerie plame ? karl rove? johnny hansen hardington thomas christensen lebrecht 322 boligforening dupont
    OSAMA BIN LADEN
    Svensson
    Koskinen
    Julita Brown
    Victoria Mortensen
    Tiitinev
    DF
    george tenet
    HM
    Jeppesen Dataplan
    Crowell Aviation Technologies, Inc.
    Lockheed?
    Devon Holding and Leasing Inc.
    Aviation Specialties, Inc.
    Keeler and Tate Management LLC
    Rapid Air Trans Inc./Rapid Air Transport Inc
    Tepper Aviation, Inc.
    Stevens Express Leasing Inc.
    LCF
    Premier Executive Transport Services,Inc.
    Aero Contractors
    Prescott Support
    Maggie Gravelle
    Villy Søvndahl
    Charlie Chrisawn
    Shane Fitzsimmons
    Amber Smith
    camre mogens?
    Ehmsen
    israel
    batluder
    Inger Serup
    Juha Leppanen
    Tracy Tilly
    Kenn mortensen
    putin
    lars ‘moslem’
    A. fogh Erasmussen
    NATO
    Nicholas Turza
    mi5
    Jens Mogensen ?
    cameron
    Gregory Asherleigh
    Julita Brown
    internet
    PAUL NYRUP?
    hollywood
    above

  25. And I wondered how anything got done by holding endless meetings. Now I know why. Double-agents!

  26. Much of what would have “sabotaged” a business in 1944 we can get done more efficently in 2009. Channel communications for example are easier with email than snail mail or courier.

  27. cool pics

  28. [...] apparently has been the source of mirth among CIA types for two years. Now you can share the comedy secrets of our intelligence [...]

  29. So, do we have a word on whether or not it’s real?

  30. It’s real. I have spent months at the National Archives and have pored over literally thousands of original OSS documents. A few remarks:
    – The signature looks like Bill Donovan’s, and I would expect him to sign such a document
    – The OSS really thought that way and did things like that. The CIA still does. There was a sabotage comic book that surfaced during the Contra war that was strikingly similar
    – The UN as we know it is a child of the war effort, and it is not hard to find classified documents and even public statements referring to the anti-Nazi alliance as the “united nations” or “United Nations” long before the UN was formally constituted at a conference in San Francisco in 1945.
    – The classification and declassification of this document is entirely consistent with other OSS documents. Specifically, it is classified SECRET which is appropriate given it’s content. It contains an admonition from WJD concerning use of information contained therein, which is also appropriate given it’s intended use (you want the right people knowing about it, but you don’t want the wrong people knowing, or the right people knowing anything they don’t need to know).
    – Every page is declassified. That is standard procedure.
    – It was declassified in 1976, which is about right for OSS docs with that classification. Especially sensitive stuff waited longer; lower classification material was released earlier.
    -It is reasonable to assume this document would be printed in limited amounts, and circulated internally. It needs to be read by (say) dozens or hundreds of persons to be effective, but is not appropriate for release. So it was printed internally. There are probably duplicates in many places in the Archives because copies would have wound up in the files of several departments.
    – The formatting, font, and style are consistent with many internally printed OSS documents.
    – There is no discernible motive for anyone to forge such a document, which would in any case require considerable effort.

    It would be nice if they included a specific record group, entry, and box number, so one could look up the specific document. Since it originated with WJD, one could probably find a copy of it in the Director’s records.

    Verdict: genuine.

    Eric

  31. Thanks Eric!

  32. [...] OSS Manual on How to do Simple Sabotage includes methods seen in recent meetings here! (via Dave [...]

  33. [...] French and other nationalities slow the progress of the Axis war machine durring WWII. And no, I’m not the first to see this. See page 28 for the [...]

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