Friday, June 10, 2016


I just saw this unclassified OSS (CIA) document about sabotage techniques during WWII and although it's not new, it's new to me, so I figured I'd share.

If you don't feel like reading a PDF (or visiting the CIA website), I've provided a screenshot of the best part, page 28/29:

I've also taken the liberty of cleaning up the OCRed text for easy reading:

  1. General Interference with Organizations and Production
    1. 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 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 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.
    2. Managers and Supervisors
      1. Demand written orders.
      2. "Misunderstand" orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can.
      3. Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don't deliver it until it is completely ready.
      4. Don't order new working materials until your current stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will mean a shutdown.
      5. Order high-quality materials which are hard to get. If you don't get them argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior work.
      6. In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that the important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers of poor machines.
      7. Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw. Approve other defective parts whose flaws are not visible to the naked eye.
      8. Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials will be sent to the wrong place in the plant.
      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 all regulations to the last letter.

If any of it looks familiar, you too have worked in a modern American office. From sabotage to standard operating procedure in 70 short years. PROGRESS!

Obligatory soundtrack for this post: