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CIA Declassifies Pages From Their Cookbook 119

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-spell-checker-exploded dept.
AngryNick writes "The Washington Post reports today on the declassification of some of the CIA's oldest secrets: Do you want to open sealed envelopes without getting caught? According to one of the six oldest classified documents in possession of the Central Intelligence Agency: 'Mix 5 drams copper acetol arsenate. 3 ounces acetone and add 1 pint amyl alcohol (fusil-oil). Heat in water bath — steam rising will dissolve the sealing material of its mucilage, wax or oil.... Do not inhale fumes.'"
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CIA Declassifies Pages From Their Cookbook

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  • what if I've got nasal congestion? This stuff ought to eat through that lickety-split if I inhale the fumes, right?

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:54AM (#35881614) Homepage Journal
    While hardly anyone sends info via letters anymore, I bet a bunch of teenage amateur meth manufacturers are getting ideas for new drugs.
    • by dmbasso (1052166) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:14PM (#35881892)

      Just yesterday I became aware that people drink (or inhale the vapor of) a infusion made of VHS videotapes to get high. It's been a long time since I laughed so much... with ideas like that we can confirm that there are no bounds on human stupidity.

      [Warning: VHS tea may cause cancer or metal poisoning, take it only if you are completely retarded and want to kill that lonely neuron of yours.]

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:55AM (#35881626)
    Wow, 6 documents from 100 years ago. We'll find out about Kennedy any day now!
  • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:55AM (#35881632)

    That one I learned as a kid: either orange juice or sugar dissolved in water makes invisible ink. Heat the paper with a clothes iron to develop.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    These documents predate the CIA. Therefore the recipes aren't CIA recipes.
    • But they were classified and kept by the CIA. The documents themselves (1 [cia.gov] 2 [cia.gov] 3 [cia.gov] 4 [cia.gov] 5 [cia.gov] 6 [cia.gov]) carry stamps keeping them exempt from declassification for dates as late at 1978 and 1989.

      Some of the recipes in there, however, are as old as Julius Caesar.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:56AM (#35881660)

    Mix 5 drams copper acetol arsenate. 3 ounces acetone and add 1 pint amyl alcohol (fusil-oil).

    This is sounding like the "anarchist cookbook" which had made up recipes intended to blow up potential bombers rather than cooking up the real thing.
    Right up there with "get high from banana peels"

    You want a solvent for mucilage, try ethanol fumes. I have no idea how to test it because envelope manufacturers have not used biological mucilage for longer than I've been alive... Maybe a museum or an old relative has an envelope they'd let you mess with?

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      I dunno, I think you give the guy who put the cookbook together a bit too much credit. If anything it was a collection that was put together from book learning and inexperience. Sure, anybody can look up the reaction and figure out how to make nitroglycerin. Doing it safely on the other hand isn't something that a lot of people (even some who did it) can speak to.

      Getting high from banana peels is a perfect example. It wasn't new in the cookbook. It was a hoax printed in a Princeton newspaper. The author of

      • by hoggoth (414195)

        But huffing cat urine is real, right?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Have you read it? it goes into exactly what you need to do to maintain temperature and stability.

        Bear in mind the idea was for someone in a house to do it, not a lab.

        It's also a great book to read on the insight of the time.

        People have forgotten, but we where right on the brink of a large violent revolution. Thanks to the FBI, it became a much calmer event.

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          Actually I have only read some of the online versions, and some bits of the US Army Improvised Munitions Manual (1969) which probably provided a fair amount of source material.

          I wish I had read the real book, always meant to check it out. Maybe that wasn't a good example but, I have heard many times this theory that it was intended to kill the people who tried it, and I just never bought it. It always seemed plausible enough that errors or bad procedures were more the result of lack of QA than actual malici

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Ive made nitroglycerine and its not that dangerous until you get to the unstable levels of concentration.

        Low grade nitro that can take out a house by putting it in a nice sealed pressure cooker left on a fire in the basement? Easy as hell to do. I was 13 when I mixed my first batch of it. I made a small mason jar full of low grade stuff. a campfire in the wood to detonate it, 1 hour later it left a nice 6 foot crater where the campfire used to be. we spent the next 6 hours putting out small fires in

    • by bmo (77928)

      The Anarchists' Cookbook had real recipes.

      It's just that some stuff was left out, like... safety.

      This was discussed here on Slashdot and if you read the packet of declassified docs relating to it, it was pretty well stated that sure, these are actual things you can do, but they might not quite work out as you plan.

      "they" - meaning law enforcement, preferred you blow yourself up and draw attention to yourself instead of having to hunt down every PFY that downloaded the book off the local BBS at 1200 (or 300!

      • by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gmail.DEBIANcom minus distro> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:45PM (#35882314) Homepage Journal

        "they" - meaning law enforcement, preferred you blow yourself up and draw attention to yourself instead of having to hunt down every PFY that downloaded the book off the local BBS at 1200 (or 300!) bps.

        Many of the books called by the name "Anarchist's Cookbook" on old BBSs weren't the same as the print edition. Actually in the early-mid 90's I don't think I ever actually found a text version of the print edition on any local BBS (or Fido, or, later, telnet BBSs). If anything, most of the BBS versions were more dubious than the original. I remember reading how to make a "contact explosive" from iodine and ammonia, and pondering how the hell someone would do that without blowing themselves up or inhaling particularly nasty fumes. Some of them devoted tens of pages on stuffing match heads into tennis balls and calling it a "grenade"...

        The 90's were a much simpler time. I supported myself through high school by selling print, and disk, copies of the BBS versions of the Anarchist Cookbook, and other "counterculture" literature to my fellow students. I think I charged like $10 for a print copy, and $5 for a floppy. These days I would have been expelled, arrested, and probably permanently black marked from ever having a successful life.

        I also sold compilations of ways to extract drugs from ethnographic plants for awhile (most of which were probably completely innacurate and potentially harmful, in retrospect)...

        I feel sorry for kids there days... Half the stuff I did in my youth would get someone into very deep water now.

        • by bernywork (57298)

          > I remember reading how to make a "contact explosive" from iodine and ammonia,

          Made it, it worked. Had to play with the ratio a bit though to get the desired effect (I wanted throw downs, not sneeze and blow up...)

        • by J053 (673094)

          I actually made some nitrogen tri-iodide at around age 15. I had gone to a summer camp for "gifted" students at a local college, and we had pretty free access to the chem lab. So, I and a buddy were able to get pure iodine crystals and concentrated ammonium hydroxide, which made it easy. You just dissolve the iodine in the NH4OH, filter the residue, and do whatever you want with it while it's wet. Once it dries, it's a very effective contact explosive. Great for painting on stair treads and doorknobs, or st

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Go back a bit more and my uncle was making touch powder (picric acid version I think) and simple gunpowder and when that was not enough for his little cannon he ducked under the fence to the army dump and came back with cordite. It turns out there was also mustard gas there but it wasn't found until decades later.
          He was the smart one. Another younger relative blew off four fingers playing with less powerful home made explosives some time in the 1960s. Some of the old chemistry textbooks were a lot more i
  • by Super Dave Osbourne (688888) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:57AM (#35881664)
    If someone is opening my mail, by all means inhale drop dead.
  • by errxn (108621) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @11:58AM (#35881686) Homepage Journal

    Mix 5 drams copper acetol arsenate. 3 ounces acetone and add 1 pint amyl alcohol (fusil-oil). Heat in water bath — steam rising will dissolve the sealing material of its mucilage, wax or oil.... Do not inhale fumes.

    This recipe is terrible, and tastes like shit. Conclusion: The CIA's cooking sucks.

    • by mangu (126918)

      Mix 5 drams copper acetol arsenate. 3 ounces acetone and add 1 pint amyl alcohol (fusil-oil). Heat in water bath â" steam rising will dissolve the sealing material of its mucilage, wax or oil.... Do not inhale fumes.

      This recipe is terrible, and tastes like shit.

      I knew it tasted bad, but had no idea that this is how shit tastes.

      • by errxn (108621)

        Actually, you're right. Adding a couple of teaspoons of shit to this makes it taste better.

    • Serve with the C4 recipe on the next page, and BAM! Kick it up a notch!

    • it tastes like diesel to me

      what kind of shit have you eaten that has an acetone bouquet and an arsenate metallic tang on the tongue?

      although that yak shit i ate once near the supply depot did have a weird gasoline type perfume

      • by 517714 (762276)
        I believe an anorexic chip fabricator would deliver the requested flavor combination.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    CIA + Cookbook makes me think Culinary Institute of America. I was all ready for culinary secrets...

    • by muridae (966931)
      sodium alginate and calcium chloride
      transglutaminase
      agar agar
      lecithin


      Those are the current high tech kitchen secrets. The 100 year old secret is "don't overcook anything".
    • by toleraen (831634)
      The magic ingredient is water. Yes, ordinary water. Laced with nothing more than a few spoonfuls of LSD.
  • by ackthpt (218170)

    Geocaching technology is YEARS ahead of any of this stuff.

    Why, I bet you can't even find the camoed ammo can hidden in this post!

    • Geocaching technology is YEARS ahead of any of this stuff.

      Why, I bet you can't even find the camoed ammo can hidden in this post!

      Found it. Cleverly masked the 2x4 club as a thread post.

  • A general rule of spooks . . . we'll tell you how we spied 100 years ago . . . but not how we do it today . . .

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      A general rule of spooks . . . we'll tell you how we spied 100 years ago . . . but not how we do it today . . .

      Except the principles of modern espionage go back hundreds if not thousands of years. Do you think brush-passes or dead drops were modern inventions? How about encryption and codes? While today's technology includes stuff spies could have only dreamed of 100 years ago, the fundamentals and basics are exactly the same.

    • by Gnavpot (708731) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:10PM (#35881848)

      A general rule of spooks . . . we'll tell you how we spied 100 years ago . . . but not how we do it today . . .

      The joke is not that this is public today - but that it was still considered worth keeping secret yesterday.

      • No, the real joke is on you. Why? Because the CIA and all other government and private (RIAA) acronyms can do today in plain sight and most importantly, legally what they had to do behind your back 50 years ago.

  • that the Culinary Institute of America had classified cookbooks.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @12:05PM (#35881780) Journal

    Is awesome! [ciachef.edu]

    • This CIA (Culinary Institute of America) used to be in New Haven. Maybe this explains why so many Bulldogs became spooks.

  • Do they have a good chili recipe?
    • Well they could tell you, but then they'd have to kill you.
    • by PPH (736903)

      I think you misspelled Chile. They can bring the gov't to a boil and add a pinch of Pinochet. But it makes a mess in the kitchen.

      • Mix a democracy with a dash of pro-US dissenters
        Bring to a boil
        Remove president when flavor suited to taste
        Add one whole dictator
        Simmer for 30 years

  • I thought we were finally going to get the cookbook the blind folks who work at the CIA snack stand in Langley use. Total gyp.

  • The Kanamits are not amused.
  • All of them are re: the recipe for the GERMANSâ(TM) invisible ink in WWI (samples, methods for detecting, etc.). What ârecent advancement in techâ(TM) suddenly made this no longer secret?

    Notice that theyâ(TM)re stamped âoeExempt from automatic declassificationâ in 1978. In 1999, the agency rejected a Freedom of Information Act request to release the six documents, asserting that doing so âoecould be expected to damage the national security.â Really?

    I recognize as w

    • Your typing is all weird.
  • It works on RSA too.

  • Oh, come on! I'm a regular viewer of Burn Notice. [wikipedia.org] What's the CIA going to tell me that I don't already know?

  • Does it say anything about selling drugs to the Crips and Bloods to finance their black ops projects?

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