So we have documentary proof not only of CIA-sponsored torture but also assassinations - i.e. "neutralizations" not only in Latin America in the eighties but also in Vietnam earlier -- as cited below. This of course does not cover the gamut of CIA operations to sponsor torture and assassinations but does record a few of these operations.
The CIA and its officers, retired and active, are loathe to admit to such but the evidence is overwhelming. I, can attest, to the agonies of accepting the truth about CIA and its activities. In Vietnam, I contemplated suicide as the only way out of my moral dilemma. I do not wish to be dramatic or confessional -- it took many years before I could admit this to anyone -- but it is extremely difficult to view your life's endeavors as primarily a lie and a cruel, destructive hoax.
This is one of the reasons why I protest -- can we expect that those subjected to CIA operations to forgive and forget? Should we expect them to? Should we excuse these operations? Should we continue these operations? Lastly, is this an intelligence organization?
The Phoenix or Phuong Hoang Operation was originally designed to "neutralize," that is assassinate or imprison, members of the civilian infrastructure of the National Liberation Front (NLF). Phoenix offices were set up from Saigon down to the district level. their functions were to: (1) collate intelligence about the "Vietcong Infrastructure"; (2) interrogate civilians picked up at random by military units carrying out sweeps through villages; (3) "neutralize" targeted members of the NLF. This third task was often carried out by CIA-led Vietnamese organized into Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU).
The original Phoenix concept was quickly dilute, for two main reasons: (1) pressure form the top to fill numerical of person to be neutralized; (2) difficulties at the bottom of identifying NLF civilian infrastructure, who were often indistinguishable from the general population, and the near impossibility of proving anyone membership in the NLF. The result was vastly to increase the numbers of innocent persons rounded up and imprisoned, indiscriminately murdered, and brutally tortured in an effort to show results.
National Security Study Memorandum #1, prepared for Henry Kissinger in January 1969, makes it clear that Phoenix was an American creation. The State Department reported to Kissinger that
Although the program [Phoenix] was launched in December, 1967, Saigon-level Vietnamese cooperation was minimal until Thieu, after considerable American prodding, issued a presidential decree in July 1968 formally directing that the network be set up.
The Military Assistance Command in Vietnam (MACV) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were even more explicit in their report to Kissinger:
The Phoenix-Phuong Hoang program is looked upon by many Vietnamese as being forced on the GVN by the Americans. Further, the PRU program is clearly identified as an American program--supervised, controlled and financed by the Americans.
William Colby, head of the Phoenix program, later testified
before Congress in 1971 that Phoenix was an American
the American had a great deal to do with starting the program ...we had a great deal to do in terms of developing the ideas, discussing the need, developing some of the procedures, and so forth...
One of the principal tasks of high-level U.S. officials, led by Colby, was to establish for the number of Vietnamese to be "neutralized" each month.
Vietnam Information Notes, published by the U.S. State Department in July 1969, reports that "The target for 1969 calls for the elimination of 1800 VCI per month....The Phoenix program... [has] served notice to Province Chiefs that their performance will in large part be measured by Phoenix results.
MACV said Until....Tet 1968, the GVN was reluctant to carry out a systematic program of "neutralization"...as negotiations progress...the pressures within families to reach accommodation will increase and, correspondingly, the effectiveness of the Phoenix-Phuong Hoang program could decrease.
U.S. advisers -- CIA, U.S. Army and Office of Public Safety were placed in the field to assess and direct operations. A number of such U.S. personnel testified that one of Phoenix's main results was the mass and indiscriminate murder of Vietnamese civilians.
In a document entitled Vietnam: Toward Peace and Prosperity, published by the Saigon Ministry of Information, the GVN states that
The Phoenix program was launched on August, 1, 1968, in order to eradicate the communist infrastructure, with the following results;...Killed--40,994.
Colby himself testified that Phoenix had resulted in the deaths of 20,587 persons as of May 1971. This number proportionate to population, would total over 200,000 Americans deliberately assassinated over a three-year period, were Phoenix in practice in the United States.
Michael Uhl, a Phoenix military intelligence operative, testified before Congress: a Phoenix military intelligence team measured its success... not only by the body count and kill ratio but by the number of CD's [civil detaineess] it had captured....
Between 1968 and 1972 hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians were rounded up and turned over to the Vietnamese police for questioning. Such interrogation has usually been marked by brutal torture. Uhl also said "All CD's, because of command pressure...were listed as VCI. To my knowledge, not one of these people ever freely admitted to being a cadre member. An again contrary to Colby's statement, most of our CD's were women and children.
The yearly processing of hundreds of thousands, this detention of tens of thousands, inevitably led Phoenix to change judicial procedures. Civilians rounded up by Americans The U.S. Phoenix program resuscitated the Security Committee as a means of jailing detainees without a trial. Under the An Tri law, the Security Committees have been empowered to jail any South Vietnamese citizen for up to two years, renewable. The Security Committee does not see or talk with the accused. The accused has no right to be represented by a lawyer, confront witnesses, present evidence, or even plead in his or her own behalf.
The system, was also used for sentencing. The Phoenix program decreed that at least 50 percent of those captured were to be sentenced. Colby said: The reason for putting in the 50 percent sentencing was to put a greater pressure on officials to do a more professional job of capturing and interrogating and then sentencing.... From: UNCLOAKING THE CIA, H. Frazier editor, 1978 The Free Press, pages 111-119.
A few CIABASE references to Phoenix report:
Vietnam, 67-73 CIA developed Phoenix program in 67 to neutralize: kill, capture or make defect VCI. VCI means civilians suspected of supporting communists. targeted civilians not soldiers. Phoenix also called Phung Hoang by VNese. due process totally nonexistent. svnese who appeared on black lists could be tortured, detained for 2 years without trial or killed. valentine, d. (1990). the Phoenix program 13
Vietnam, 67-72 k. barton osborn's testimony re the Phoenix program before the house committee on government ops, 8/71. osborn characterized program as a "sterile, depersonalized murder program." andrade, d. (1990). ashes to ashes xv-xvi
Vietnam, 65-72 during nixon's first 2 1/2 years, state department officially admits that the CIA-run Phoenix program murdered or abducted 35,708 vnese civilians, 4,836 more than the pentagon claimed the nlf had assassinated or kidnapped during the same period, and a monthly increase over the 200 killed by the CIA every month under johnson. senator gravel edition, (1971). pentagon papers v 300
Vietnam, 68-73 COS shackley had orders to close down most paramilitary and pacification programs - Phoenix, census grievance, etc. supposedly dci helms hoped to pass most such activity to pentagon and Colby's Cords. paramilitary and political programs claimed roughly 75% of CIA's budget; intel received rest - but primary target for intel budget was thieu regime - enemy came second. no good intel on vc. CIA involved in VN for 20 years, yet it never approached VN in a true intel fashion. george allen, ddi specialist on VN in 60 while on trip to VN found that not one CIA officer was more than marginally interested in burgeoning insurgency. jack horgan, region v in delta in 66-67, said there no real intel ops. CIA interrogation center "beat the shit out of people. no captives admitted being vc. daren flitcroft, roic region iii, said "half the time we don't have any idea whats going on." corn, d. (1994). blond ghost: ted shackley and the CIA's crusades 183-4 nicaragua, 83-84 john kirkpatrick, army counterinsurgency specialist, with experience in Vietnam Phoenix program, working under contract to CIA's international activities division wrote the contra manual, "psychological operations in guerrilla warfare." CIA contractor coordinator also helped in manual. sklar, h. (1988). washington's war on nicaragua 177
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix op from 1/68 thru 5/71, Cords reported 20,857 VCI killed. gvt of VN reported 40,994 from 8/68 thru mid 71. per cord statistics 12.4% deaths could be attributed to Phoenix ops. kenneth osborn of program said Phoenix became a depersonalized murder program. a dept of defense analyst thayer, found that 616 suspected VCI targeted by Phoenix from 1/70 thru 3/71 were killed by Phoenix forces. after war nvnese foreign minister nguyen co thach said CIA's assassination program slaughtered far more than the 21,000 officially listed by the U.S. in some parts of south 95% of communist cadre assassinated or compromised by Phoenix. manning, r., (ed), (1988). war in the shadows: the Vietnam experience 72
Vietnam. Phoenix program to neutralize VCI (tax collectors, supply officers, political cadre, local military officials, etc). plan to send PRU or police teams to get in practice, death the frequent result of such ops, some times through assassinations pure and simple. powers, t. (1979). the man who kept the secrets 181
Vietnam, july 71 Colby inserted chart to representative reid showing that some 67,282 persons had been neutralized by Phoenix ops against vc between 68-71 of these 31 percent had been killed, 26% rallied, and 43% captured or sentenced. frazier, h. (ed). (1978). uncloaking the CIA 18
Vietnam, 67-73 the Phoenix program used the CIA's assassination squads, the former counter terror teams later called the provincial reconnaissance units (PRU). technically they did not mark cadres for assassinations but in practice the PRU's anticipated resistance in disputed areas and shot first. people taken prisoner were denounced in saigon-held areas, picked up at checkpoints or captured in combat and later identified as vc. sheehan, n. (1988). a bright shining lie 732
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix ci/terror program was established by thieu's presidential decree, literally written by CIA man william Colby. decree and future authorizations indicated that suspects could be arrested without a warrant or copy of charges and detained on basis of police dossier heresay evidence. once arrested, suspect could not confront accusers or see dossier, was denied bail legal counsel, and was denied a trial or even a hearing. at best one's case was reviewed by province security committee composed of milt and intel officers. under Phoenix all rights of due process stripped. counterspy winter 78 28
* More about the role of the CIA to eliminated the PKI and support General Suharto rise to power in Indonesia?
There is a book: "SUBVERSION AS FOREIGN POLICY" from A.R. Kahin & G. Mc T. Kahin! [ It's very petty not yet on the internet avaible!]