From Ethical Politics
A jackal is a paid operative, generally acting at the behest of a government intelligence agency, who is responsible for abductions, assassinations, coups, and other operations meant to remove a person or persons who are considered to be a threat or obstruction to a stated aim or goal.
Although the term has been familiar to those with knowledge of the workings of the intelligence world, the term was first popularized in the mainstream in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. A jackal only surfaces if an economic hit man has failed to bend a government leader to his corporation’s will:
“If we falter, a more malicious form of hit man, the jackal, steps to the plate. And if the jackal fails, then the job falls to the military… Jackals are men who trace their heritage directly to those earlier empires. The jackals are always there, lurking in the shadows. When they emerge, heads of state are overthrown or die in violent "accidents."
- Perkins, John. Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004, Berrett-Koehler Publishing)
Author: John Perkins