“A study of Assassination.” In “CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents.” Accessed May 2, 2021. https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/index.html.
This document is an in depth look at the tactics and techniques of assassination, for use my CIA agents, and compiled in connection with the use of assassination of communist and government-supporting leaders as a part of operation PBSuccess. The document discusses the circumstances in which assassination may be generally used as a tactic, and says that written instructions to perform an assassination should never be allowed to exist.
The document divides assassinations into different tactical categories, and describes and suggests ‘easy’ methods for taking another human being’s life. These include recommendations for weapons, as well as tactics for catching the victim off guard, the destruction of evidence, and methods of escape. The work of maintaining an empire is not clean; this project undertakes to examine some of the ways that violence has been used by the US to maintain its empire. But it is a gruesome thing to see the taking of human life so clinically described in this way.
“Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just puni-shment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.
But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.”