cia assassination files
CIA ASSASSINATION MANUAL
THE COVER OF THE ORIGINAL CIA FILE
A Study of Assassination
EBOOKED AND REVISED EDITION BY SOKOL 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ..... 3
PREFACE ..... 5
A STUDY OF ASSASSINATION:
DEFINITION. EMPLOYMENT. JUSTIFICATION ..... 6
CLASSIFICATIONS. THE ASSASSIN ..... 7
PLANNING. TECHNIQUES ..... 8
EXAMPLES ... 16
ANNEX 1: CONFERENCE ROOM TECHNIQUE ... 17
ANNEX 2: ORIGINAL 'A STUDY OF ASSASSINATION' DOCUMENT PAGES ... 19
ANNEX 3: ORIGINAL GUATEMALA '54 COUP ASSASSINATION LISTS ... 23
Here you find a transcript of the CIA file titled 'A Study of Assassination'. This
unsigned and undated (estimated publication date: Dec 31st, 1953) 19-page
typewritten file was part of a collection of CIA documents pertaining to
Operations PBFORTUNE and PBSUCCESS and was declassified under the
Freedom of Information Act on May 15, 1997.
After years of answering Freedom of Information Act requests with its
standard "we can neither confirm nor deny that such records exist," the CIA
has finally declassified some 1400 pages of over 100,000 estimated to be in
its secret archives on the Guatemalan destabilization program. An excerpt
from this assassination manual appears on the Op-Ed page of The New York
Times on Saturday, May 31, 1997.
Operations PBFORTUNE and PBSUCCESS were the CIA code-names of the
1952-54 attempts to topple the Guatemalan government under the
democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
Arbenz Guzman was elected President of Guatemala in 1950 to continue a
process of socio-economic reforms that the CIA disdainfully refers to in its
memoranda as "an intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the
touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the 'Banana Republic.'"* The first
CIA effort to overthrow the Guatemalan president - a CIA collaboration with
Nicaraguan dictator Anastacio Somoza to support a disgruntled general
named Carlos Castillo Armas and codenamed Operation PBFORTUNE - was
authorized by President Truman in 1952.
As early as February of that year, CIA Headquarters began generating
memos with subject titles such as "Guatemalan Communist Personnel to be
disposed of during Military Operations," outlining categories of persons to be
neutralized through "Executive Action" (= murder) or through imprisonment
and exile. The "A" list of those to be assassinated contained 58 names, all of
which the CIA has excised from the declassified documents.
PBSUCCESS, authorized by President Eisenhower in August 1953, carried a
US$2.7 million budget for "psychological warfare and political action" and
"subversion," among the other components of a small paramilitary war. But,
according to the CIA's own internal study of the agency's so-called "K
* That Arbenz Guzman confiscated two-thirds of United Fruit Co.'s land did not endear him to the
USA. In these days, anti-communist paranoia was at its highest, and a politician who took away
United Fruit's land (even if to improve the lives of the plantation workers, who were living in
slavery but by name) had to be a closet Ruskie.
program," up until the day Arbenz Guzman resigned on June 27, 1954, "the
option of assassination was still being considered."
While the power of the CIA's psychological war, codenamed "Operation
SHERWOOD," against Arbenz Guzman rendered that option unnecessary,
the last stage of PBSUCCESS called for "roll-up of Communists and
Although Arbenz Guzman and his top aides were able to flee the country,
after the CIA installed Castillo Armas in power, hundreds of Guatemalans
were rounded up and killed.
Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate that the repressive
operatives of sucessive military regimes killed more than 180,000 individuals.
Among them are the Mayans massacred in 626 documented governmentsponsored
or government-committed attacks on native villages, today only
rebembered by a rather small number of people abroads as the cause for
1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, an ethnic Mayan, to start
her struggle for civil rights and peace in the region.
This document has been carefully reformatted (and in instances where the
HTML transcript had obvious errors not related to the original document,
corrected*) and put into e-book format to be read onscreen or printed out and
read at leisure by sokol. This introductory text has been in most parts adapted
from George Washington University's National Security Archive website at
sokol, June 2002
* like the doubled lines in the 'Explosives' section.
A STUDY OF ASSASSINATION
Assassination is a term thought to be derived from "Hashish", a drug similar to
marijuana, said to have been used by Hasan-ibn-Sabah to induce motivation
in his followers, who were assigned to carry out political and other murders,
usually at the cost of their lives.
It is here used to describe the planned killing of a person who is not under the
legal jurisdiction of the killer, who is not physically in the hands of the killer,
who has been selected by a resistance organization for death, and whose
death provides positive advantages to that organization.
Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine
operations. It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by
any U.S. Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its
execution by members of an associated foreign service. This reticence is
partly due to the necessity for committing communications to paper. No
assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently,
the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the
field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions
should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one
person will be involved. No report may be made, but usually the act will be
properly covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all
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 punishment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning
career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held
But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons
who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.
The techniques employed will vary according to whether the subject is
unaware of his danger, aware but unguarded, or guarded. They will also be
affected by whether or not the assassin is to be killed with the subject.
Hereafter, assassinations in which the subject is unaware will be termed
"simple"; those where the subject is aware but unguarded will be termed
"chase"; those where the victim is guarded will be termed "guarded."
If the assassin is to die with the subject, the act will be called "lost." If the
assassin is to escape, the adjective will be "safe." It should be noted that no
compromises should exist here. The assassin must not fall alive into enemy
A further type division is caused by the need to conceal the fact that the
subject was actually the victim of assassination, rather than an accident or
natural causes. If such concealment is desirable the operation will be called
"secret"; if concealment is immaterial, the act will be called "open"; while if the
assassination requires publicity to be effective it will be termed "terroristic."
Following these definitions, the assassination of Julius Caesar was safe,
simple, and terroristic, while that of Huey Long was lost, guarded and open.
Obviously, successful secret assassinations are not recorded as
assassination at all. [Illeg] of Thailand and Augustus Caesar may have been
the victims of safe, guarded and secret assassination. Chase assassinations
usually involve clandestine agents or members of criminal organizations.
In safe assassinations, the assassin needs the usual qualities of a clandestine
agent. He should be determined, courageous, intelligent, resourceful, and
physically active. If special equipment is to be used, such as firearms or
drugs, it is clear that he must have outstanding skill with such equipment.
Except in terroristic assassinations, it is desirable that the assassin be
transient in the area. He should have an absolute minimum of contact with the
rest of the organization and his instructions should be given orally by one
person only. His safe evacuation after the act is absolutely essential, but here
again contact should be as limited as possible. It is preferable that the person
issuing instructions also conduct any withdrawal or covering action which may
In lost assassination, the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics,
religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is
unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care. He must not
know the identities of the other members of the organization, for although it is
intended that he die in the act, something may go wrong. While the assassin
of Trotsky has never revealed any significant information, it was unsound to
depend on this when the act was planned.
When the decision to assassinate has been reached, the tactics of the
operation must be planned, based upon an estimate of the situation similar to
that used in military operations. The preliminary estimate will reveal gaps in
information and possibly indicate a need for special equipment which must be
procured or constructed. When all necessary data has been collected, an
effective tactical plan can be prepared. All planning must be mental; no
papers should ever contain evidence of the operation.
In resistance situations, assassination may be used as a counter-reprisal.
Since this requires advertising to be effective, the resistance organization
must be in a position to warn high officials publicly that their lives will be the
price of reprisal action against innocent people. Such a threat is of no value
unless it can be carried out, so it may be necessary to plan the assassination
of various responsible officers of the oppressive regime and hold such plans
in readiness to be used only if provoked by excessive brutality. Such plans
must be modified frequently to meet changes in the tactical situation.
The essential point of assassination is the death of the subject. A human
being may be killed in many ways but sureness is often overlooked by those
who may be emotionally unstrung by the seriousness of this act they intend to
commit. The specific technique employed will depend upon a large number of
variables, but should be constant in one point: Death must be absolutely
certain. The attempt on Hitler's life failed because the conspiracy did not give
this matter proper attention.
Techniques may be considered as follows:
It is possible to kill a man with the bare hands, but very few are skillful enough
to do it well. Even a highly trained Judo expert will hesitate to risk killing by
hand unless he has absolutely no alternative.
However, the simplest local tools are often much the most efficient means of
assassination. A hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife,
lamp stand, or anything hard, heavy and handy will suffice. A length of rope or
wire or a belt will do if the assassin is strong and agile. All such improvised
weapons have the important advantage of availability and apparent
innocence. The obviously lethal machine gun failed to kill Trotsky where an
item of sporting goods succeeded.
In all safe cases where the assassin may be subject to search, either before
or after the act, specialized weapons should not be used. Even in the lost
case, the assassin may accidentally be searched before the act and should
not carry an incriminating device if any sort of lethal weapon can be
improvised at or near the site. If the assassin normally carries weapons
because of the nature of his job, it may still be desirable to improvise and
implement at the scene to avoid disclosure of his identity.
For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is the
most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little
excitement and is only casually investigated.
The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or
more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows
and bridges will serve. Bridge falls into water are not reliable. In simple cases
a private meeting with the subject may be arranged at a properly-cased
location. The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the
ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up
an outcry, playing the "horrified witness", no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal is
necessary. In chase cases it will usually be necessary to stun or drug the
subject before dropping him. Care is required to ensure that no wound or
condition not attributable to the fall is discernible after death.
Falls into the sea or swiftly flowing rivers may suffice if the subject cannot
swim. It will be more reliable if the assassin can arrange to attempt rescue, as
he can thus be sure of the subject's death and at the same time establish a
If the subject's personal habits make it feasible, alcohol may be used [2 words
excised] to prepare him for a contrived accident of any kind.
Falls before trains or subway cars are usually effective, but require exact
timing and can seldom be free from unexpected observation.
Automobile accidents are a less satisfactory means of assassination. If the
subject is deliberately run down, very exact timing is necessary and
investigation is likely to be thorough. If the subject's car is tampered with,
reliability is very low. The subject may be stunned or drugged and then placed
in the car, but this is only reliable when the car can be run off a high cliff or
into deep water without observation.
Arson can cause accidental death if the subject is drugged and left in a
burning building. Reliability is not satisfactory unless the building is isolated
and highly combustible.
In all types of assassination except terroristic, drugs can be very effective. If
the assassin is trained as a doctor or nurse and the subject is under medical
care, this is an easy and rare method. An overdose of morphine administered
as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect.
The size of the dose will depend upon whether the subject has been using
narcotics regularly. If not, two grains will suffice.
If the subject drinks heavily, morphine or a similar narcotic can be injected at
the passing out stage, and the cause of death will often be held to be acute
Specific poisons, such as arsenic or strychine, are effective but their
possession or procurement is incriminating, and accurate dosage is
problematical. Poison was used unsuccessfully in the assassination of
Rasputin and Kolohan, though the latter case is more accurately described as
4. Edge Weapons.
Any locally obtained edge device may be successfully employed. A certain
minimum of anatomical knowledge is needed for reliability.
Puncture wounds of the body cavity may not be reliable unless the heart is
reached. The heart is protected by the rib cage and is not always easy to
Abdominal wounds were once nearly always mortal, but modern medical
treatment has made this no longer true.
Absolute reliability is obtained by severing the spinal cord in the cervical
region. This can be done with the point of a knife or a light blow of an axe or
Another reliable method is the severing of both jugular and carotid blood
vessels on both sides of the windpipe.
If the subject has been rendered unconscious by other wounds or drugs,
either of the above methods can be used to ensure death.
5. Blunt Weapons.
As with edge weapons, blunt weapons require some anatomical knowledge
for effective use. Their main advantage is their universal availability. A
hammer may be picked up almost anywhere in the world. Baseball and [illeg]
bats are very widely distributed. Even a rock or a heavy stick will do, and
nothing resembling a weapon need be procured, carried or subsequently
Blows should be directed to the temple, the area just below and behind the
ear, and the lower, rear portion of the skull. Of course, if the blow is very
heavy, any portion of the upper skull will do. The lower frontal portion of the
head, from the eyes to the throat, can withstand enormous blows without fatal
Firearms are often used in assassination, often very ineffectively. The
assassin usually has insufficient technical knowledge of the limitations of
weapons, and expects more range, accuracy and killing power than can be
provided with reliability. Since certainty of death is the major requirement,
firearms should be used which can provide destructive power at least 100% in
excess of that thought to be necessary, and ranges should be half that
considered practical for the weapon.
Firearms have other drawbacks. Their possession is often incriminating. They
may be difficult to obtain. They require a degree of experience from the user.
They are [illeg]. Their [illeg] is consistently over-rated.
However, there are many cases in which firearms are probably more efficient
than any other means. These cases usually involve distance between the
assassin and the subject, or comparative physical weakness of the assassin,
as with a woman.
(a) The precision rifle.
In guarded assassination, a good hunting or target rifle should always be
considered as a possibility. Absolute reliability can nearly always be achieved
at a distance of one hundred yards. In ideal circumstances, the range may be
extended to 250 yards.
The rifle should be a well made bolt or falling block action type, handling a
powerful long-range cartridge. The .300 F.A.B. Magnum is probably the best
cartridge readily available. Other excellent calibers are . 375 M.[illeg].
Magnum, .270 Winchester, .30 - 106 p.s., 8 x 60 MM Magnum, 9.3 x 62 kk
and others of this type. These are preferable to ordinary military calibers,
since ammunition available for them is usually of the expanding bullet type,
whereas most ammunition for military rifles is full jacketed and hence not
sufficiently lethal. Military ammunition should not be altered by filing or drilling
bullets, as this will adversely affect accuracy.
The rifle may be of the "bull gun" variety, with extra heavy barrel and set
triggers, but in any case should be capable of maximum precision. Ideally, the
weapon should be able to group in one inch at one hundred yards, but 2 1/2"
groups are adequate. The sight should be telescopic, not only for accuracy,
but because such a sight is much better in dim light or near darkness. As long
as the bare outline of the target is discernable, a telescope sight will work,
even if the rifle and shooter are in total darkness.
An expanding, hunting bullet of such calibers as described above will produce
extravagant laceration and shock at short or mid-range. If a man is struck just
once in the body cavity, his death is almost entirely certain.
Public figures or guarded officials may be killed with great reliability and some
safety if a firing point can be established prior to an official occasion. The
propaganda value of this system may be very high.
(b) The machine gun.
Machine guns may be used in most cases where the precision rifle is
applicable. Usually, this will require the subversion of a unit of an official
guard at a ceremony, though a skillful and determined team might
conceivably dispose of a loyal gun crew without commotion and take over the
gun at the critical time.
The area fire capacity of the machine gun should not be used to search out a
concealed subject. This was tried with predictable lack of success on Trotsky.
The automatic feature of the machine gun should rather be used to increase
reliability by placing a 5 second burst on the subject. Even with full jacket
ammunition, this will be absolute lethal is the burst pattern is no larger than a
man. This can be accomplished at about 150 yards. In ideal circumstances, a
properly padded and targeted machine gun can do it at 850 yards. The major
difficulty is placing the first burst exactly on the target, as most machine
gunners are trained to spot their fire on target by observation of strike. This
will not do in assassination as the subject will not wait.
(c) The Submachine Gun.
This weapon, known as the "machine-pistol" by the Russians and Germans
and "machine-carbine" by the British, is occasionally useful in assassination.
Unlike the rifle and machine gun, this is a short range weapon and since it
fires pistol ammunition, much less powerful.
To be reliable, it should deliver at least 5 rounds into the subject's chest,
though the .45 caliber U.S. weapons have a much larger margin of killing
efficiency than the 9 mm European arms.
The assassination range of the sub-machine gun is point blank. While
accurate single rounds can be delivered by sub-machine gunners at 50 yards
or more, this is not certain enough for assassination. Under ordinary
circumstances, the SMG should be used as a fully automatic weapon. In the
hands of a capable gunner, a high cyclic rate is a distinct advantage, as
speed of execution is most desirable, particularly in the case of multiple
The sub-machine gun is especially adapted to indoor work when more than
one subject is to be assassinated. An effective technique has been devised
for the use of a pair of sub-machine gunners, by which a room containing as
many as a dozen subjects can be "purified" in about twenty seconds with little
or no risk to the gunners. It is illustrated below.
While the U.S. sub-machine guns fire the most lethal cartridges, the higher
cyclic rate of some foreign weapons enable the gunner to cover a target
quicker with acceptable pattern density. The Bergmann Model 1934 is
particularly good in this way. The Danish Madsen SMG has a moderately
good cyclic rate and is admirably compact and concealable. The Russian
SHGs have a good cyclic rate, but are handicapped by a small, light projectile
which requires more hits for equivalent killing effect.
(d) The Shotgun.
A large bore shotgun is a most effective killing instrument as long as the
range is kept under ten yards. It should normally be used only on single
targets as it cannot sustain fire successfully.The barrel may be "sawed" off for
convenience, but this is not a significant factor in its killing performance.
Its optimum range is just out of reach of the subject. 00 buckshot is
considered the best shot size for a twelve gauge gun, but anything from single
balls to bird shot will do if the range is right. The assassin should aim for the
solar plexus as the shot pattern is small at close range and can easily [illeg]
(e) The Pistol.
While the handgun is quite inefficient as a weapon of assassination, it is often
used, partly because it is readily available and can be concealed on the
person, and partly because its limitations are not widely appreciated. While
many well known assassinations have been carried out with pistols (Lincoln,
Harding, Ghandi), such attempts fail as often as they succeed, (Truman,
If a pistol is used, it should be as powerful as possible and fired from just
beyond reach. The pistol and the shotgun are used in similar tactical
situations, except that the shotgun is much more lethal and the pistol is much
more easily concealed. In the hands of an expert, a powerful pistol is quite
deadly, but such experts are rare and not usually available for assassination
.45 Colt, .44 Special, .455 Kly, .45 A.S.[illeg] (U.S. Service) and .357 Magnum
are all efficient calibers.
Less powerful rounds can suffice but are less reliable. Sub-power cartridges
such as the .32s and .25s should be avoided.
In all cases, the subject should be hit solidly at least three times for complete
(f) Silent Firearms.
The sound of the explosion of the propellant in a firearm can be effectively
silenced by appropriate attachments. However, the sound of the projectile
passing through the air cannot, since this sound is generated outside the
weapon. In cases where the velocity of the bullet greatly exceeds that of
sound, the noise so generated is much louder than that of the explosion.
Since all powerful rifles have muzzle velocities of over 2000 feet per second,
they cannot be silenced.
Pistol bullets, on the other hand, usually travel slower than sound and the
sound of their flight is negligible. Therefore, pistols, submachine guns and any
sort of improvised carbine or rifle which will take a low velocity cartridge can
be silenced. The user should not forget that the sound of the operation of a
repeating action is considerable, and that the sound of bullet strike,
particularly in bone, is quite loud.
Silent firearms are only occasionally useful to the assassin, though they have
been widely publicized in this connection. Because permissible velocity is low,
effective precision range is held to about 100 yards with rifle or carbine type
weapons, while with pistols, silent or otherwise, are most efficient just beyond
arms length. The silent feature attempts to provide a degree of safety to the
assassin, but mere possession of a silent firearm is likely to create enough
hazard to counter the advantage of its silence. The silent pistol combines the
disadvantages of any pistol with the added one of its obviously clandestine
A telescopically sighted, closed-action carbine shooting a low velocity bullet of
great weight, and built for accuracy, could be very useful to an assassin in
certain situations. At the time of writing, no such weapon is known to exist.
Bombs and demolition charges of various sorts have been used frequently in
assassination. Such devices, in terroristic and open assassination, can
provide safety and overcome guard barriers, but it is curious that bombs have
often been the implement of lost assassinations.
The major factor which affects reliability is the use of explosives for
assassination. The charge must be very large and the detonation must be
controlled exactly as to time by the assassin who can observe the subject. A
small or moderate explosive charge is highly unreliable as a cause of death,
and time delay or booby-trap devices are extremely prone to kill the wrong
man. In addition to the moral aspects of indiscriminate killing, the death of
casual bystanders can often produce public reactions unfavorable to the
cause for which the assassination is carried out.
Bombs or grenades should never be thrown at a subject. While this will
always cause a commotion and may even result in the subject's death, it is
sloppy, unreliable, and bad propaganda. The charge must be too small and
the assassin is never sure of: (1) reaching his attack position, (2) placing the
charge close enough to the target and (3) firing the charge at the right time.
Placing the charge surreptitiously in advance permits a charge of proper size
to be employed, but requires accurate prediction of the subject's movements.
Ten pounds of high explosive should normally be regarded as a minimum,
and this is explosive of fragmentation material. The latter can consist of any
hard, [illeg] material as long as the fragments are large enough. Metal or rock
fragments should be walnut-size rather than pen-size. If solid plates are used,
to be ruptured by the explosion, cast iron, 1" thick, gives excellent
fragmentation. Military or commercial high explosives are practical for use in
assassination. Homemade or improvised explosives should be avoided. While
possibly powerful, they tend to be dangerous and unreliable. Antipersonnel
explosive missiles are excellent, provided the assassin has sufficient technical
knowledge to fuse them properly. 81 or 82 mm mortar shells, or the 120 mm
mortar shell, are particularly good. Antipersonnel shells for 85, 88, 90, 100
and 105 mm guns and howitzers are both large enough to be completely
reliable and small enough to be carried by one man.
The charge should be so placed that the subject is not ever six feet from it at
the moment of detonation.
A large, shaped charge with the [illeg] filled with iron fragments (such as 1"
nuts and bolts) will fire a highly lethal shotgun-type [illeg] to 50 yards. This
reaction has not been thoroughly tested, however, and an exact replica of the
proposed device should be fired in advance to determine exact range,
pattern-size, and penetration of fragments. Fragments should penetrate at
least 1" of seasoned pine or equivalent for minimum reliability.
Any firing device may be used which permits exact control by the assassin.
An ordinary commercial or military exploder is efficient, as long as it is rigged
for instantaneous action with no time fuse in the system.
The wise [illeg] electric target can serve as the triggering device and provide
exact timing from as far away as the assassin can reliably hit the target. This
will avoid the disadvantages of stringing wire between the proposed positions
of the assassin and the subject, and also permit the assassin to fire the
charge from a variety of possible positions.
The radio switch can be [illeg] to fire [illeg], though its reliability is somewhat
lower and its procurement may not be easy.
[Illeg] may be presented brief outlines, with critical evaluations of the following
assassinations and attempts:
Grand Duke Sergei Truman
Archduke Francis Ferdinand Benes
Rasputin Aung Sang
Huey Long Ghandi [sic]
Alexander of Yugoslavia
CONFERENCE ROOM TECHNIQUE
(1) Enters room quickly but quietly (2) Opens fire on first subject to
react. Swings across group
(2) Stands in doorway toward center of mass. Times
burst to empty magazine at end
(1) Covers group to prevent
individual dangerous reactions;
if necessary, fires individual
bursts of 3 rounds.
(2) Finishes burst. Commands "shift." (1) Finishes burst. Commands
Drops back thru [sic] door. Replaces "shift". Drops back thru [sic]
empty magazine. Covers corridor. door. Replaces magazine.
(1) On command "shift", opens fire on
opposite side of target, swings one burst (2) On command "shift", reacross
group. enters room. Covers group: kills
survivors with two-round bursts.
(2) Leaves room. Commands "GO".
Covers rear with nearly full magazine.
(1) On command "GO", leads withdrawal,
covering front with full magazine.
ORIGINAL DOCUMENT – PAGE 1
ORIGINAL DOCUMENT – PAGE 4
ORIGINAL DOCUMENT – PAGE 5
FIRST PAGE OF ONE OF THE MANY ASSASSINATION LISTS COMPILED BY THE CIA DURING PLANNING FOR
OPERATION PBSUCCESS. AS THE MEMORANDUM INDICATES, THE CHIEF OF ONE OF THE CIA'S
DIVISIONS INVOLVED IN THE COUP (THE DIVISION TITLE HAS BEEN DELETED) REQUESTED A LIST OF NAMES
OF ARBENZ GUZMAN GOVERNMENT LEADERS, MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY, AND INDIVIDUALS
"OF TACTICAL IMPORTANCE WHOSE REMOVAL FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL, ORGANIZATIONAL OR OTHERS
REASONS IS MANDATORY FOR THE SUCCESS OF MILITARY ACTION."
THE MEMO ASKS THAT CIA PERSONNEL READ THROUGH THE LIST AND INITIAL THE NAMES OF THOSE
WHO SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON A "FINAL LIST OF DISPOSEES." THE LIST (AND THE INITIALS OR NAMES OF
ALL CIA OFFICERS APPEARING IN THE DOCUMENT) HAS BEEN WITHHELD. A HANDWRITTEN NOTE
ATTACHED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE MEMO READS:
April [illeg] - [Illeg] is taking a copy of list of
names for checking with the [illeg]
April 7 - Original Memo
with attached Biographic data
has been passed to [deleted]
Returned by [deleted] on 1 June 1954
FIRST PAGE OF ANOTHER VERSION OF THE ASSASSINATION LISTS COMPILED BY THE CIA AND CARLOS
CASTILLO ARMAS (CODE-NAMED CALLIGERIS) IN THE COURSE OF PREPARING FOR THE 1954 COUP.
THE NAMES OF THE AGENCY'S INTENDED VICTIMS WERE DIVIDED INTO TWO CATEGORIES: PERSONS TO BE
DISPOSED OF THROUGH "EXECUTIVE ACTION" (I.E. KILLED) AND THOSE TO BE IMPRISONED OR EXILED
DURING THE OPERATION. BEFORE RELEASING THIS DOCUMENT TO THE PUBLIC, THE CIA DELETED EVERY
NAME, LEAVING ONLY THE ROWS OF NUMBERS TO INDICATE HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE TARGETED.
'ATTACHMENT # 1' OF THE ABOVE. THE LIST OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE MURDERED CONTAINED 58 NAMES.
'ATTACHMENT # 2' OF THE ABOVE. 74 INDIVIDUALS WERE SINGLED OUT FOR IMPRISONMENT OR EXILE.
AS NAMES HAVE BEEN DELETED IN BOTH LISTS, IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO VERIFY THE CIA'S CLAIM
THAT IN SPITE OF THE NUMBER OF ASSASSINATION PROPOSALS, NO SUCH KILLINGS WERE ACTUALLY
CONDUCTED DURING THE COUP.