Does the CIA really hire professional assassins to do their dirty work?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 17, 2020 05:14 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 17, 2020 05:14 AM

Let’s put it this way. There’s no Death Dealing Division/Dirty Rotten Assassins Branch (DDD/DRAB) in the CIA. There’s no CIA training program for assassins. No professional assassins anywhere among the wide mix of CIA employees.

To be sure, there is the Special Activities Center’s Special Operations Group (SAC/SOG), composed largely of former elite DOD special forces types who have joined the CIA and been cross-trained as regular Operations Officers. This relatively small group is usually composed of no more than a hundred or so officers at any one time. Their job is to conduct small, covert paramilitary operations abroad (a large paramilitary operation couldn’t be covert), often under circumstances where if things went south, the US Government would deny involvement. They also sometimes engage in joint overt operations with DOD special forces, where their main role is to provide intelligence support.

Their operations are often very dangerous, and a good number of them have been killed — more than half of the 131 stars on the CIA’s Memorial Wall honor deceased SOG officers who were killed while on covert missions. Yes, like all US soldiers, they could be called trained killers, and yes, they have killed adversaries while on missions, including some who were the targets of such missions, but to disparage them as “professional assassins” is a stretch beyond my reach.

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