The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

I'm a spy junkie. I grew up thinking Harriet the Spy was pretty fucking cool, spies were all like James Bond, and the CIA was the greatest and most nearly-omnipotent institution on the face of the planet. While my illusions about spies and the CIA are obvious and widely documented, Harriet is still fucking cool.

The CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception is partly a history of the agency's use of...trickery and deception, but more awesomely is a verbatim reproduction of an infamous and supposedly extinct CIA text that was used as a sort of subterfuge manual to train field agents in the arts and crafts of trickery. And deception. My vocabulary appears limited today.

Penned in 1953 by a magician (and you wonder why the CIA has problems) named John Mulholland, the existence of the manual--along with all remaining copies--was supposed to be erased from history in 1973. Supposed to be, but apparently not: authors H. Keith Melton (intelligence historian) and Robert Wallace (CIA officer, ret.) uncovered one last copy in 2007 and used it to write this book.

Below are some illustrations from the book. My personal favorite is the toothpaste gun.

The authors also have a book out called Spycraft, which doesn't have as cool a cover, but seems equally awesome. Both are available at Amazon. The CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception runs a cool $16.49.

via gizmodo

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