Bribery, Blackmail, Drugs: Making Friends and Influencing People the CIA Way

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
By Paul Martin

Newly declassified files reveal how the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, instructed agents in the art of bribery and blackmail to achieve major covert objectives.

A declassified US intelligence field manual, prepared under the direction of “Wild Bill” Donovan, Head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II predecessor to CIA, explains to new recruits how to use bribery and blackmail to make friends and influence people.

Dubbed the Morale Operations Field Manual, the document served as the “basic doctrine” for OSS psychological warfare training, and sets out “all measures of subversion other than physical” used to create “confusion and division” and “undermine the morale and the political unity of the enemy.” Suggestions include using bribery and blackmail to start riots and trigger coups, and getting individuals addicted to drugs.

“The OSS will employ the following implements for the accomplishment of objectives: contact with and manipulation of individuals and underground groups; agent provocateurs; bribery and blackmail; rumors; forgery, including the writing of poison pen letters, forging intelligence documents, falsification of enemy documents and periodicals, printing of false orders to the enemy; “freedom stations” masquerading as the voice of groups resistant within enemy and enemy-occupied countries,” the document reads.

Bribery and blackmail are said to be “extremely effective” in many cases, although both are deemed dangerous. While bribery could be used to target “political and military leaders, newspaper editors and reporters, radio broadcasters, heads of business houses, religious, professional and labor leaders, police, petty officials, customs officers and sentries,” it was seen as likely to expose agents, since any bribed individual was “apt to be an unscrupulous person willing to work for either side.”

The Rest…HERE

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