1984. SCARCE EARLY PHOTOCOPY OF THE TYPED MANUSCRIPT OF THE CIA’S STUNNING 1984 DOCUMENT, ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS IN GUERRILLA WARFARE’, A MANUAL FOR NICARAGUAN REBELS (INCLUSIVE OF HANDWRITTEN CORRECTIONS & NUMBERS) & OF THE TWO PAGES DEEMED TOO TROUBLING & REMOVED BY ONE OF ITS AUTHORS. 88 pages. Fine condition.
On October 15, 1984, the New York Times ran a story that began: “Intelligence officials say the Central Intelligence Agency has produced a manual Nicaraguan rebels that instructs them to hire professional criminals for ‘selective jobs’. The manual also says some Government officials can be ‘neutralized’ with the ‘selective use of violence’” (NYT, Oct. 15, 1984). “The manual gives advice on political assassinations, blackmailing, mob violence, kidnappings, and blowing up buildings. It advocates the use of shock troops armed with clubs, iron rods, placards, and small firearms, to be hidden together with knives, razors, chains, clubs and bludgeons in anti-government demonstrations. Under the heading ‘Selective Use of Violence,’ instructions are given to neutralize carefully selected and planned targets such as court judges, police, or state security officials and urges the Contras to kidnap all officials or agents of the Sandinista government” (Villar, 243).
This is that manual; note that this is not the mass market issue of the document published that same year. This is an early photocopy of what appears to be the original translation by the Congressional Research Service complete with handwritten corrections.
The history of this document is complicated. In late 1983 it was first produced in English “by a 5-person team, made up of [John] Kirkpatrick [former Green Beret assigned by th CIA as advisor to the rebels]; [Edgar] Chamorro [head of propaganda activities for Nicaraguan Democratic Force]; a man named Ortiz who ran the 15th of September contra radio station; an unidentified woman who typed manuscripts and helped with translations, and a man identified as ‘Plato’ who did the final proofreading… and took it to a local printer in Tegucigalpa” (Bargar, Washington Post, Oct. 31, 1984). The manuscript cites only ‘Tayacan’ as author, a pen-name meaning ‘head man’.
“About 2,000 copies were brought to a rebel safe house in Tegucigalpa Nov. 21, 1983… Chamorro said there was only one printing of the manual… and that the final manuscript was not sent to Washington before being sent to the printer. He said that in late December [after initial printing] HE TORE 2 PAGES FROM ALL OF THE BOOKS EXCEPT ABOUT 200 THAT ALREADY HAD BEEN DISTRIBUTED. He said the pages dealt with the hiring of professional criminals and the selective killing of the contras’ own men to create ‘martyrs’ for their cause” (Bargar). The 200 copies that retained the pages Chamorro tore from the other copies were said to be distributed to only ‘our top people’, according to Adolfo Calero, leader of the largest rebel faction. Those pages are included in this manuscript.
One of the remaining 200 copies, the ones retaining the missing two pages, made its way to America because as the NYTs reported on Oct. 15, 1984 “a photostatic copy was obtained by the AIP. Its authenticity and the CIA’s role in its preparation were confirmed independently by American intelligence sources” (NYT).
Once the AIP and the NYT had a copy, it was then translated back into English. When the NYTs published, Congress immediately obtained a copy, and indeed the 3rd page of this document bears a stamp reading “Congressional Research Service [CRS], The Library of Congress/Translation – Spanish” as well as a seal. The CRS then printed the document as a mass market paperback issued that same year, 1984. The scenario that seems to make the most sense is that this is a copy of an early translation, complete with original proofreading notes and handwritten numbers, rendered by the CRS for publication. Item #1080