03-30-2004, 03:20 PM
"CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam"
Date: 19 Feb 1996 11:58:48 -0500
Until outlawed in mid 70s CIA directly involved in assassination attempts against Castro of Cuba, and Congolese leader Lumumba. CIA also encouraged plots that resulted in assassination of Dominican Republic President Trujillo, South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in 63 and Chilean Rene Schneider in 73. Most extensive assassination op was Operation Phoenix conducted during latter part of VN war. Twentieth Century Fund. (1992). The Need to Know: Covert Action and American Democracy, 83.
Vietnam, 65-70 details re Vietnam. From 65-68 U.S. and Saigon intel services maintained an active list of VC cadre marked for assassination. Phoenix Program for 69 called for "neutralizing" 1800 a month. About one third of VC targeted for arrest had been summarily killed. Security committees established in provincial interrogation centers to determine fate of VC suspects, outside of judicial controls. Green Berets and navy SEALs most common recruits for Phoenix Program. Green Beret detachment B-57 provided admin cover for other intel units. One was project cherry, tasked to assassinate Cambodian officials suspected of collaborating with NVNese, and kgb. Another was project oak targeted against svnese suspected collaborators. They controlled by special assistant for counterinsurgency and special activities, which worked with CIA outside of general abrams control. Stein. J. (1992). A Murder in Wartime, 360-1.
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, 68-72 Under Phoenix "security committees" in provincial "interrogation centers" would determine fate suspected NLF. Counterspy spring/summer 78, 8.
Vietnam, 69 Under Phoenix in July 69 "Vietnam information notes," a state dept publication said target for 69 elimination of 1,800 VCI per month. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978). Uncloaking the CIA, 97.
Vietnam, 73 According to Defense Dept official 26,369 South Vietnamese civilians killed under Phoenix while op under direct U.S. control (Jan 68 thru Aug 72 ). By same source, another 33,358 detained without trial. Colby in 73 admitted 20,587 deaths thru end 71 , 28,978 captured, and 17,717 "rallied" to Saigon gvt. Thus approx 30% targeted individuals killed. All Phoenix stats fail to reflect U.S. Activity after "official" U.S. Control of op abandoned. Counterspy spring/summer 75 8.
Vietnam, 75 Counter-spy magazine describes Phoenix Program as "the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the nazi death camps of world war two." Counterspy spring/summer 75 6.
Vietnam, in 82 Ex-Phoenix operative reveals that sometimes orders were given to kill U.S. military personnel who were considered security risks. He suspects the orders came not from "division", but from a higher authority such as the CIA or the ONI. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) summer 82 52.
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 Secret, 181.
Vietnam. Phoenix Program took over 20,000 lives, 65-72 U.S. Congress,Church Committee Report. (1976) B 1 27.
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 CI, 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, Phoenix Program, late 60 early 70 took over 20,000 lives in Vietnam. U.S. Congress, Church Committee Report. (1976) B 1 27.
Vietnam. Phung Hoang aka Phoenix Program quotas for units set by komer for all 242 districts. One result indiscriminate killing with every body labeled VCI. Powers, T. (1979). The Man Who Kept the Secrets, 181-2.
Law professor at University of Washington, Seattle, Roy L. Prosterman, designed the land reform program the U.S. Government promoted in the Philippines, Vietnam, and El Salvador. In each place the program was accompanied by a rural terror. In Vietnam the Phoenix Program killed 40,000 civilian between August 68 and mid-71; in Philippines, martial law; in El Salvador, a state of siege. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) Winter 90 69
Vietnam, 67-70 Phoenix a fiasco, it unmanageable and encouraged outrageous abuses. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 323.
Vietnam, 75 according to Frank Snepp's Decent Interval up to thirty thousand special police, CIA and Phoenix related Vietnamese employees were left behind. Saigon CIA station managed to pull out only 537 of its 1900 Vietnamese including close to 1000 high-level Vietnamese who had built close relationships with the agency over the years. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) 6-7/79 4.
Vietnam, 68-72 CI Phoenix project run jointly CIA and U.S. Army military intel. Counterspy 5/73 21.
Vietnam, 75 U.S. military provided approx 600 case officers to supplement 40-50 CIA case officers for Phoenix ops. Counterspy spring/summer 75 8.
Vietnam. The Phoenix and the identity card programs. Volkman, E., & Baggett, B. (1989). Secret Intelligence, 150.
Vietnam, 65-69 CI/pacification efforts initiated by French culminate in Phoenix Program designed to eliminate Viet Cong infrastructure. Made official June 68, Phoenix was intensification of ci ops and involved "mass imprisonment, torture and assassination." For thorough Phoenix description seeCountersp 5/73 20.
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix Program synthesis police and pm programs. CIA managing census grievance, rd cadre, counterterror teams and pics. Military intel working with mss, ARVN intel and regional and popular forces. Aid managing chieu hoi and public safety, including field police. Needed to bring altogether under special police. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 99.
Vietnam, 66 beginning of Phoenix Program. Lv 218. Phoenix to increase identification VC infrastructure and passing info to military, police, and other elements who were to induce defections, capture them, or attack them in their strongholds. Colby, W. (1989). Lost Victory, 266.
Vietnam, 67-73 In 67 CIA proposed all U.S. Intel agencies pool info on VC at district, province and Saigon levels for exploitation. Program first called intel coor and exploitation program (icex). Phoenix the name of program. Assigned quotas for VC to be neutralized. To focus police and intel orgs. Against communist apparatus. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, 243-8.
Vietnam, 67-73 District intel ops coor center (diooc). Dien ban center a model for all of Phoenix. Bldg 10' x 40'. Manned by two U.S. soldiers, 2 census grievance, one rd cadre, and one special branch. Diooc intel clearinghouse to review, collate, and disseminate info. Immediate local reaction. Americans kept files of sources, VCI and order battle. Reaction forces 100 police, 1 PRU unit, guides from census grievance. Marines screened civilian detainees using informants and diooc's blacklist. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 126.
Vietnam, 67 12/20/67 Prime Minister signed directive 89-th. T/vp/m legalizing Phung Hoang, VN clone of Phoenix. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 148.
Vietnam, 67 Phoenix Program in fledgling stage conceived and implemented by CIA. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 147.
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix Program statistics were phony a bust and a fake. DeForest, O., & Chanoff, D. (1990). Slow Burn, 54-55.
Vietnam, 69 Program of 69 campaign called for elimination of VCI. Program became known as Phung Hoang or Phoenix. In each province the chief established a province security committee (PSC). PSC controlled the npff and sp who maintained province interrogation centers (pics). Counterspy 5/73 20.
Vietnam, 71 CIA had no intention handling over attack on VCI to national police command. CIA advisers to special police advised to begin forming special intel force units (sifu). 8-Man teams composed of 4 volunteers each from special police and field police. Sifu targeted at high-level VCI, as substitutes for pru. They sign CIA planned manage attack on VCI thru sb, while keeping Phoenix intact as a way of deflecting attention. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 391.
Vietnam, 71 In revising Phoenix Program (because of all communist penetrations in gvt) first steps to hire southeast asia computer associates (managed by a CIA officer) to advise 200-odd VNese techs to take over MACV and CORDS computers. VNese were folded into big mack and Phung Hoang management info system (phmis). Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 363.
Vietnam, 72 In report on Phoenix effectiveness in 9/72 Phung Hoang crossed out and anti-terrorist inserted. The end of Phoenix? Some Phoenix ops in 73. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program 403, 406.
Vietnam, 75 U.S. Still involved in Phoenix in 75. Program renamed special police investigative service (spis). U.S. provides data processing facilities for spis thru, Computer Science Services, inc. Which runs intel thru machines to classify and collate them and then turns info over to spis. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 415.
Vietnam. Phoenix Program, resources control program, checkpoints, identification card program, paramilitary police called the police field force a 100 man mobile company at least one assigned to each province. Aid helped upgrade police and developed national police academy, improved communications and files, established one two-way radio in every village. Chieu hoi program. Refugee generation programs. Province coordinating committees supervised civic action on bridges, roads, public buildings, agricultural extension work, medical technicians and more. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, 217-8.
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, Phoenix. Ranelagh, J. (1986). The Agency 437-441.
Vietnam, police. Public safety included Michigan State University program. Resources control, effort to regulate movement resources both human and material. Includes set up checkpoints roads and waterways, mobile checkpoints. Resulted in 560,000 arrests by 1969. National identity registration program. Every VNese 15 or older must register and carry identification card. Fingerprints obtained. Once completed program to include fingerprints, photos and bio data. Surveillance of suspects role of special police branch. Sp agents penetrate subversive organizations and use intel collection, political data and files from census data to separate good from bad. Pacification or Phoenix Program. Systematic effort at intel collection and exploitation. All intel services and America's CIA and military intel orgs. Pool data from informers and prisoners. With this info police and provincial reconnaissance units make raids in contested areas to seize or eliminate VCI agents. See Klare, M.T. (1972). War Without End, 265 for more death squads.
Vietnam, 66-71 Phoenix op designed to help U.S. Military reach crossover point, where dead and wounded exceeded VC's ability to field replacements. In 4/67 Pres Johnson announced formation of civil ops and revolutionary development support (CORDS) for pacification. R. Komer as deputy commander of MACV-CORDS. CORDS budget about $4 billion from 68-71. CORDS the management structure for pacification programs. Personnel both military and civilian. By 71, 3000 servicemen, advisers to ARVN, placed under CORDS. 1200 Civilians by 71. Usaid responsible for material aid. State and USIA also provided personnel. But CIA played the crucial role. CORDS reinstated civic action teams under name revolutionary development cadre. Rd program formed teams of 59 SVNese, divided into 3 11-man security squads and 25 civic action cadres. Teams to spend 6 months in a village to fulfill "eleven criteria and 98 works for pacification." 1. Annihilation of ...Cadre; 2. Annihilation of wicked village dignitaries; etc. System placed 40,000 two-way radios in villages. Land reform failed. (Photos of Phoenix propaganda material). Teams helped create regional and popular forces (rf/pfs). Ruff-puffs, suffered high casualties. They represented half of SVN gvt forces, they had 55-66% of casualties. They inflicted 30% of communist casualties. Underground pm effort called Phoenix which included a "census grievance," stay-behind. He actually a spy. All info fed into intel coordination and exploitation program. VNese at Komer's request set up staff that with CIA was responsible for coordinating intel reports on VC infrastructure. Info from census grievance, military, police reports. PM units - including CIA's provincial reconnaissance units and ruff-puffs. Arrestees - those not killed when captured - taken to provincial interrogation centers (pic). Also regional prisons and a national center all financed by CIA. Problems of coordination and jealousy. Numerical quotas created saying how many VCI to be eliminated each month. Torture used in questioning. Manning, R., (ed), (1988). War in the Shadows: the Vietnam Experience, 55-65.
Vietnam, 71 William E. Colby on july 19, 1971, before Senate subcommittee testified CIA op Phoenix had killed 21,587 Vietnamese citizens between 1/68 and 5/71. In response to a question from mr. Reid "do you state categorically that Phoenix has never perpetrated the premeditated killing of a civilian in a non-combat situation?" Colby replied: "No, I could not say that...I certainly would not say never." Counterspy 12/78 6.
Vietnam, 67 First MACV alloted Phoenix 126 officers and ncos. By end 67 one nco assigned to each of 103 dioccs then in existence. All military officers and enlisted men assigned to Phoenix Program took orders from CIA. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 145.
Vietnam, 68-73 Phoenix ci/terror op funded and covered by U.S. Aid, CORDS pacification survey, public employment projects, and other benign agencies. Counterspy may 73 22.
Vietnam, 71 1.7 Billion dollars go to CORDS in Phoenix Project. Colby refuses congressional audit Phoenix funds before committee. Counterspy 5/73 24.
Vietnam, 71 When questioned concerning unaccounted-for 1.7 Billion dollars which had financed much of covert aspect of Phoenix Program, Ambassador Colby assured house subcommittee on foreign ops and govt info, all main problems has been resolved and Congress could rest assured aberrations of brutality would remain at a minimum. He did not know how many innocent victims the program had killed, maybe 5,000, maybe more. He did not have authority to discuss reasons why Congress could not audit 1.7 billions worth of taxpayers funds which went to CORDS. Counterspy 5/73 24.
Vietnam, 69 Colby rendered due process obsolete. VCI target broken into three classes a, for leaders and party members; b, for holders of responsible jobs; c, for rank-and file. Decision c category to be ignored since Phoenix directed at VCI command and control structure. Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) explained. Hes guesstimate of VCI in 1/69 was 75,000. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 260.
Vietnam, 71 House subcommittee on foreign operations and gvt. Info. investigates Phoenix. Colby insists project "respectable", brutality minimized. Estimates 5000 killed. Congress denied audit of Phoenix funds. Counterspy may 73 24.
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, 68 Phoenix ci/terror program 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.
Covert Action Information Bulletin 13:3, 16-17:6-10; 17:48-49; 22:2,4,6,10-24; "from Phoenix associates to civilian-military assistance," 22:18-19; "from the hessians to the contras: mercenaries in the service of imperialism," 22:10-11.
89 An article by Rob Rosenbaum from interviews with General Secord and Ted "Blond Ghost" Shackley. They give their answers to questions about Iran-Contra, secret war in Laos, Phoenix Program in Vietnam, CIA-Mafia plots of the sixties. Shackley discusses charges of opium smuggling in Laos by elements supported by CIA. Photos of Secord and Shackley. Shackley interview in his risk-assessment consulting firm, Rosslyn-based Research Associates International. Vanity fair, 1/90 72-77, 126-8,130-1 Vietnam 68-73 Evan Parker, Jr., John Mason, and John Tilton all from CIA were men who headed Phoenix Program when it supposedly transferred to military and CORDS. Roger McCarthy said CIA very much involved with Phoenix. Corn, D. (1994). Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades, 193.
Vietnam. John Murray, of WHD, and his wife Delores, former CIA ops officer, sending letters of disclosures re Shackley. He covertly contacted William Miller, staff director of Church Committee, and told how Shackley and Helms in 70 arranged to keep CIA from being implicated in My Lai massacres. (Some evidence suggested massacre related to CIA's Phoenix Program.) Corn, D. (1994). Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades, 302.
Vietnam, 67 50 officers and enlisted men invited to join counter insurgency program. Those who accepted by CIA joined as junior officer trainees. Most assigned to provinces as rdc/p or rdc/o advisers and many as Phoenix coordinators. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 198.
Vietnam, 68-69 Robert K. Brown (later editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine) worked with James K. Damron, CIA's project coordinator for the Phoenix Program in Gia Dinh province. Pigeon, R. (1986). The Soldier of Fortune, 44.
Vietnam, Orrin DeForest, with U.S. Air Force special investigations early on. Joined CIA in 68 as chief interrogator Hau Nghia province in bien hoa under cover of Office of Special Assistance (OSA). Duties included inspection of pics, training VNese in interrogation. Monitoring intel production. He discovered pics poorly run, Phoenix Program slipshod, and CIA had been unable generate single agent. Using methods learned while working with Japanese national police in identifying, communist agents, disregarding CIA methods, DeForest's efforts produced 80% hard intel in VN. Minnick, W. (1992). Spies and Provacateurs, 50-1.
training, 55 Eisenhower establishes public safety program whose goal is to train foreign police units in, among other things, counterinsurgency. 62 Program becomes Office of Public Safety which eventually procures 400 officers in 45 countries and yearly budget 50 million. Much of Phoenix funding and training was thru Office of Public Safety. By 75 ops had distributed 200 million in equipment foreign police, trained 7000+ senior police officials, and trained over 1 million rank and file police officers worldwide. Counterspy Winter 78 29-30.
Vietnam, 75 Counter-spy magazine describes Phoenix Program as "the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the nazi death camps of world war two." Counterspy Spring/Summer 75 6.
Vietnam. Former Phoenix advisor Wayne Cooper said "Operation Phoenix was a unilateral American program", and Klare confirmed by saying "although most of the dirty work was performed by indigenous operatives, Phoenix was designed, organized, financed, and administered by U.S. authorities." Counterspy Winter 78 27.
Vietnam. "Phoenix demonstrated that the U.S. Government through the CIA will create, impose, and conduct an operation in another country without a semblance of a mandate from a given people or their representatives as long as the operation is considered in interest of U.S. governmental objectives." Counterspy Winter 78 27-8.
Vietnam, 59-69 the SEALs and the Phoenix Program. The Intel Coordination and Exploitation Program (ICEX) was a joint MACV/CIA op - forerunner of Phoenix. SEALs helped train VNese personnel. SEALs assigned ops detachments. SEALs worked with PRUs. By 68, with prisoner snatches, ambushes, and increasing VC defections, ICEX program neutralizing 800 VCI every month. Phoenix began 7/1/68. Description of the province intel ops coordinating center (piocc) and the district (diocc). Combatting VCI in urban areas responsibility of national police force and police field force. SEALs taught PRUsin mekong delta. Description of prus. They the most effective native troops. By end of 68, the iv corps PRUswere almost entirely advised by seal personnel. Seal advisors accompanied PRUson average of 15 missions a month. Description of ops. Dockery, K. (1991). SEALs in Action, 167-176.
Vietnam, 68-73 ttwo small groups wreaked havoc on the VCI. The Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU) and the Navy's SEALs. PRUs and SEALs often worked together and both killed many VCI and guerrillas -- the enemy had wrapped itself in the population. Together they were fewer than 6000 men. They had access to the best intel often coming directly from CIA. Pru had roots in the counterterror teams of the early 60s. In 66 the ct became prus. Details of the makeup and recruiting source of the prus. PRUsoften killed targets. Military participation in the pru program was to end in 10/70. Pru was the most effective action arm of the Phoenix Program. Details of the SEALs larger-than-life reputation earned in VN. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 171-199.
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, 65-73 Phoenix Program torture tactics include rape, electric shock, water torture, hanging from ceiling, beatings, incarceration and execution. Counterspy 5/73 16. Vietnam, 69-71 K. Barton Osborn, Phoenix agent, testified to Congress "I never knew an individual to be detained as a VC suspect who ever lived through an interrogation in a year and a half. Uc 114. Note says this testimony given before U.S. Congress, Heari. 315-321.
Vietnam, 73 "The prime difference between the types of intelligence provided to the military units and the Phoenix coordinator was that all information going to Phoenix was of a political nature ... I was following through on a reported (VC) suspect that one of my agents had identified. The man was interrogated at the marine counter-intelligence complex and I was invited to witness it. As I entered the hooch the man was being taken out, dead. He died from a six inch dowel pushed through his ear and into his brain." Barton Osborn, former Phoenix case officer before Armed Services Committee, 1973. Counterspy Spring/Summer 75 7.
Vietnam. Colby supervised est of pics in each of SVN's 44 provinces. Each center constructed with CIA funds. Agency personnel directed each centers op much of which consisted of torture carried out by VN nationals. Coi 207. Colby admitted serious abuses committed under Phoenix. Former intel officers came before Congressional cmttees to describe repeated examples torture. Marchetti, V., & Marks, J.D. (1974). The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence 207 see fn.
Vietnam, 66-74 CIA analyst, Nelson H. Brickman, on 11/66 produced basic guidelines for [the Phoenix Program] in a memorandum that described the VCI and suggested which parts of it should be targeted. His memo said rank-and-file members were not legitimate targets "because they were most often unwilling participants in the revolution." Brickman called for using all available intelligence services to neutralize the VCI. Robert Komer was so impressed he assigned Brickman to the revolutionary development office. He adopted brickman's suggestion that there was no need to begin a new anti-vci program, only that the existing programs be brought together and managed by a single bureau. He recommended the U.S. Agencies get their houses in order before bringing in the gvn. Brickman "deserved the credit" for the Phoenix Program. A program called intel coordination and exploitation (icex) was the first structure. Evan parker named director of icex but komer had full control. U.S. Military reluctantly participated initially. Icex officially created on 7/9/67, although basic structure had been in place a year. Building of district ops and coordinating centers (doicc) which by late 67 were called district intel and ops coordinating centers (dioccs). MACV directive 381-41 stated: "to coordinate and give impetus to U.S. and gvn operations...Directed toward elimination of the VC infrastructure." Icex placed under cords. South Vietnamese were unwilling to take program seriously. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 58-70.
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, 67 The Phoenix (Phung Hoang) program was officially born on 12/20/67 when the SVNese premier issued a decree. This differed from ICEX only in official SVNese support for the program. Seal-and-search op in Bui Cui village. LRRP ambush parties. People's self-defense forces (psdf) started after Tet, it was a nationwide system of local militias. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 72-81.
Vietnam, 68-70 PIOCCC had extensive dossiers on VCI and the chieu hoi program was the largest producer of Phoenix intel. 132. A criticism of Phoenix was the covert control by CIA. Despite influx of military advisers, CIA controlled chain of command and purse strings. Colby, top man of CORDS in 69 had been with CIA. American directors of Phoenix at national level were all CIA. In 7/69 the system changed. "Management and support facilities for Phoenix were officially transferred from the office of the special assistant to the ambassador (osa) (cia) to MACV, who assumed full responsibility for providing for or arranging monetary and logistical support through American channels." From July 69 on, CIA made up only a small part of the program. Details of numbers neutralized and differences between CIA and military estimates. The use of diocc VCI target folders, a simple prepared set of biographical, operational, and administrative questions. By the end of 1970 one hundred thousand copies had been distributed. A sophisticated computerized collation program called the Phung Hoang Management Info System (PHMIS) was implemented. The program combined the national police tracking system with VCI info to gear up police for handling both. PHMIS was manned by Vietnamese, using American advisers as trainers. 135-6. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 134.
Vietnam, 68 President Thieu with the help of William Colby, Komer's deputy for CORDS, drafted a decree that officially sanctioned Phoenix/Phung Hoang on 7/1/68. Article 3 was of paramount importance -- it defined who was or was not a member of the VCI. Article 3 -- definitions: the Viet Cong infrastructure is all Viet cong, political and administrative organizations established by the communist party which goes under the name people's revolutionary party, from the cities to the countryside. The Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN) is the highest level steering organization...And the front for the liberation of South Vietnam (NLFSVN)....Viet Cong military units, members of mass organizations established by the Viet Cong, citizens forced to perform as laborers, or civilians in areas temporarily controlled by the Viet cong, are not classified as belonging to the Viet Cong infrastructure. Definition adjusted over time. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 84.
Vietnam, 94 VN rejects visit of ex-CIA chief Colby, now a Washington lawyer, who had planned to visit as a director of a U.S.-based investment fund. Fund directors had planned to hold a reception Monday. Event canceled, and directors will meet in Bangkok. Colby was CIA's chief in Saigon during war and was associated with Phoenix, an op to root out rural support for communist guerrillas via sweeping arrests, torture and execution of suspects. Critics said most of those killed were innocent peasants. Chicago Tribune 12/3/94 21.
Vietnam, accelerated pacification campaign, July 68 Thieu with Colby's help issued decree est Phoenix committees at national, regional and provincial and even district level, "to which all the agencies involved had to furnish representation." Colby, W. (1978). Honorable Men, 267.
Vietnam, Australia, Vietnam, 62-73 Australian AATTV teams operated in VN often in CIA Phoenix op. `Black team' commanded by American of australian usually given target figure. He pinpointed and black team would go out, usually dressed in enemy's gear and the assassination then blamed on VC. Toohey, B., & Pinwill, W. (1990). Oyster: The Story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service 87-88.
Vietnam, icex intel coor and exploitation MACV/cia program to work on VCI with Vietnamese cooperation. Colby helped devise program which became Phoenix. Colby, W. (1978).Honorable Men 267.
Vietnam, National Security study memo, 67-69 said although Phoenix launched in Dec 67, Vietnamese cooperation minimal and only after American prodding, Thieu issued a decree in July 68 directing network to be set up. Program forced on VNese. Pru supervised, controlled and financed by Americans. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978). Uncloaking the CIA, 111-125.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program most notorious of counterinsurgency programs. Originated by robert w. Komer, who now headed Civilian Operations Revolutionary Development Staff (CORDS), Phoenix designed to root out secret Vietcong infrastructure in South Vietnam. Miller, N. (1989). Spying for America379.
Vietnam, Phoenix, 68-70 In 69 CIA apparently had attack squeamishness and pulled out of CORDS. Concluded Phoenix inappropriate. It believed North had moved away from military engagement to lacing entire gvt with spies -- possibly as many as 30,000 so Thieu's gvt could be easily overthrown. Baritz, L. (1985). Backfire, 269.
Vietnam, Phoenix op. Every person who ran program from Saigon assigned to program from CIA. Colby and 20,000 + figure of persons killed under Phoenix, see fn ag 440. Phoenix General Ranelagh, J. (1986).The Agency 436-441.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, beginning circa 66-67 CORDS pacification program. Komer settled on massive intel program on VC who could be neutralized by SVN forces. First called ICEX. Name changed to Phoenix in 69 with SVN version phung hoang. Had interrogation centers in each of SVNs 235 districts and 44 provinces, card files and computerized indexes. Pru's of 50 to 100 men. In Phoenix CIA provided weapons, paid for Saigon computer files, funded and trained PRU's and passed intel to Phoenix. Colby told senate Phoenix killed 20,587 VCI. When questions arose re legality Colby retreated and said 87% killed in regular military actions. Two army lts. Told federal judge they order to maintain kill quota 50 VCI a month. Prados, J. (1986). Presidents' Secret Wars, 307-310.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program evaluation. Robert Komer wrote Phung Hoang has been a small, poorly managed, and largely ineffective effort. Clearly Phoenix failed to eliminate the infrastructure that remained after heavy losses of tet. Ce 274-8. Colby continued to see Phoenix as contributing usefully to attack on VC. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, notes 328.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, july 69 "Vietnam information notes" a State Dept publication says: target for 1969 calls for elimination of 1,800 VCI per month. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978). Uncloaking the CIA, 97.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program. Part of total pacification program of gvt VN. Colby testified that in over two and a half years there were 29,000 captured, 17,000 defected and 20,500 killed, of which 87% were killed by regular and paramilitary forces and 12% by police and similar elements. Vast majority killed in military combat, fire fights, or ambushes, and most of remainder were killed in police actions attempting to capture them. Major stress to encourage capture. Borosage, R.L., & Marks, J. (eds.). (1976). The CIA File, 190.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program. Quotas and indiscriminate killing of people. CIA conceived and organized program and regional and provincial officers in charge were all CIA. Colby actually wrote Phoenix directive which Thieu was finally pressured into adopting july 68 Colby conceded Phoenix recorded deaths of 20,587. Powers, T. (1979). The Man Who Kept the Secrets, 181-2.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, 67-75 Targets members VCI. 637 Military intel advisers assigned to Phoenix. Much money given to VNese police to expand detention facilities. Phoenix org: first the district co - ordination center, diocc, that maintained dossiers on suspected VC. Once enough evidence person placed on police green list. Suspect then jailed without right to civilian trail. In cordon and search ops all villagers lined up and walk past police checkpoint. Next level province interrogation center, pic, staffed by SVNese, Americans and CIA. After interrogation, suspect passed on to province security committee, comprised of police chiefs, military and police intel and advisors. Finally suspects could be imprisoned under law for 2 years. This one way to neutralize. Other way via Provincial Reconnaissance Units, PRUs, who would kidnap or assassinate agents targeted by diocc. Had American advisors from SEALs, Green Berets. Official amnesty program called chieu hoi used to convince VC to surrender. VC categorized as a,b, or c. A were key members, c least impt. National police detention center processed 180,000 a year. American money and effort went into national identification card, id, project. All Vietnamese over age 15 jailed if did not carry a card a RAND computer tracked the 15 million suspects also cross-linked to 10 million dossiers and fingerprints. The Dossier issue 6, 11/83 14-5.
Vietnam, Phoenix, 72-73 The F-6 program was a defensive measure to bolster Phung Hoang after the Easter Offensive. F-6 sought to increase pressure on the VCI by allowing province chiefs to move against suspected cadre on the strength of a single report rather then the usual three. With the culmination of the F-6 program in early 73, the Phoenix Program came to an end. In the spring of 72 phung hoang was absorbed into the national police. The last American advisers left VN in december 72. Various tables, command structure charts in appendix. Andrade, D. (1990). Ashes to Ashes, 231-251.
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix Program synthesis police and pm programs. CIA man managing census grievance, rd cadre, counterterror teams and pics. Military intel working with mss, arvn intel and regional and popular forces. Aid managing chieu hoi and public safety, including field police. Needed to bring altogether under special police. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 99.
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, 68-72 NLF according to Nixon adm decimated during Tet Offensive, remainder by Phoenix Program. Nvese officer reported Phoenix resulted in loss of thousands of our cadres. Proof in 2 remaining offensives. In 72 and in 75 they did not rely on guerrillas. Baritz, L. (1985). Backfire, 273.
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix Program quota of 1800 neutralizations per month. Viet Cong Infrastructure system (vciis) fed 3000 names VCI into computer at combined intel center political order battle section. Beginning of computerized blacklist. In Saigon DIA, FBI and CIA used computers. Until 70 computerized blacklist a unilateral American op. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 259.
03-30-2004, 04:06 PM
Some very good info
An elaborate, sophisticated, secret enemy network existed in Vietnam that tried to impose its authority on the people through terror and threat. This network, called the Viet Cong infrastructure (VCI), provided the political control and direction of the enemy's war within the villages and hamlets.
The VCI supplied the caches for the troops infiltrating from the border sanctuaries; it provided the guides and the intelligence for the North Vietnamese newcomers entering South Vietnam for the first time; it taxed, terrorized and conscripted youth for the military. During 1969, terrorists killed more than 6,000 people, 1,200 of whom had been selected for assassination. In addition, there were 15,000 wounded. Among the dead were 90 village chiefs and officials, 240 hamlet chiefs and officials, 229 refugees and 4,350 of the general populace.
Between the assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and the emergence, in mid-1965, of General Nguyen Van Thieu, South Vietnam's war effort was greatly hampered by political instability. A period of some 19 months saw the stagnation of the pacification programs (a broad term that included all the past and present socioeconomic efforts of the government to "win the hearts and minds of the people") and the continued deterioration of rural security as the VCI took advantage of the disarray in Saigon.
By 1965 the situation was so grave that American and South Vietnamese officials concluded that all efforts to date -- including pacification plans, counterinsurgency operations and the reorganization of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) -- were insufficient to stave off defeat at the hands of the Communists.
In March 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Robert W. Komer as his special assistant in Washington to direct, coordinate and supervise nonmilitary programs (in his words, "the other war") -- further evidence of the priority the president gave to pacification. After several trips to Vietnam, Komer reported pacification at a virtual impasse and recommended to the president a number of measures that might produce results. He believed the best way to weaken the Viet Cong was by consolidating American assistance under a single manager empowered to eliminate overlapping programs and disentangle competition for resources.
Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Intelligence summarized a comprehensive study of the enemy strategy, distributed June 29, 1967, based on an analysis of information reports, interrogation reports and captured documents in U.S. and ARVN files. It clearly stated that the VCI provided a pervasive and insidious threat to meaningful victory in Vietnam, making the destruction of the VCI our most formidable task. That same year, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) proposed that all U.S. intelligence agencies pool their information on VCI at province, district and Saigon levels.
Phoenix (a bird of Egyptian mythology that rises, renewed, from the ashes of its fiery death) became the code name for the plan to neutralize the enemy's clandestine effort. U.S. intelligence officials defined Phoenix as a "systematic effort at intelligence coordination and exploitation." For example, before Phoenix, one district had 11 networks of allied intelligence agents operating independently. Some observers suggested that the district contained more paid informers and agents for the allied side than there were VCI regulars to spy on.
Using the Phoenix operation as the tool, by June 1970 the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) rated 91 percent of the total 10,944 hamlets as "secure or relatively secure" and 7.2 percent as "contested," leaving only 1.4 percent as "VC-controlled." Those figures indicated a substantial reduction of VCI dominion.
Nobody knew how many Viet Cong (VC) ran the so-called shadow government (de facto government set up by VC in South Vietnam's rural areas; also known as the Government of the Night), but in December 1967, when the Phoenix program was launched, it was estimated that about 80,000 were in VCI assignments. In its first year, despite the Communist offensives of February and May of 1968, Phoenix rooted out nearly 16,000 from their underground positions.
Phoenix worked to pool the resources and information with joint intelligence committees at all governmental levels down to district. American advisers, including CIA, participated in the effort to sift information from agents, informers, prisoners and other sources. Exploitation was accomplished by military or paramilitary units that conducted secret, small-unit missions into Viet Cong controlled areas, usually at night.
Initially, Phoenix stirred more enthusiasm with the Americans than with the Vietnamese. A U.S. field official said in 1968: "For months we were sending plans, advisers, filing cabinets, safes -- you name it -- out to the provinces and districts. It was an American program not a Government of [South] Vietnam [GVN] effort." This quickly changed.
In one province near Saigon, pooling intelligence for two months produced the capture or assassination of six members of the VCI province committee, three VCI district chiefs, nine other VCI district officials and 31 village cadre. Trained cadre, especially at the province level, were difficult for the VCI to replace.
President Johnson gave General William C. Westmoreland, Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (COMUSMACV), control of both the civil and military aspects of pacification and appointed Komer as Westmoreland's deputy for pacification. Komer headed a new organization (begun in May 1967) designated Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), which integrated these military and civilian efforts at all levels.
The Communist apparatus had been operating in Vietnam for many years and was highly experienced in covert techniques. In order to counter this force, the government of South Vietnam developed, after the 1968 Tet Offensive, a program called Phung Hoang (after a legendary bird endowed with magical powers). The Department of the Army submitted an explanatory fact sheet to Senator J. William Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which stated: "Phung Hoang is a GVN Plan with the objective of centralizing and coordinating the efforts of all military and civilian agencies engaged in the neutralization of the VCI....Phung Hoang is a policy aimed at protection of the people against terrorism....The basic essence of the Program is a fully coordinated intelligence effort of all existing GVN and United States agencies targeted on the VCI with the express purpose of neutralizing its effectiveness and control over the people."
President Nguyen Van Thieu announced the program on July 1, 1968, in the wake of the major uprising by NVA, VC and VC sympathizers. He did not say that Phung Hoang was, in fact, a logical extension of the Phoenix program.
The GVN defined very clearly the different levels of participation of Viet Cong political effort. Three levels of participation and punishment were identified. The A level, a party member, important front or local official, received a two-year sentence. The B level, an important cadre in one of the key committee posts such as taxation or a guerrilla leader, received a minimum of one year and maximum of two. The C level or general follower of the Communist cause, a courier or logistics assistant, or a member of a local paramilitary unit, could not receive more than a one-year sentence. Most of the C level participants were released quickly.
Quotas imposed by CORDS applied only to A and B levels, not to C level. American advisers estimated that about 20 percent of the suspects received sentences in 1969 and that only a fraction of those were imprisoned for the maximum of two years. Most sentences ranged from three to six months.
The GVN publicized the need for this effort to protect the people from terrorism, and called on the citizens to assist by providing information. Phoenix operated under the CORDS structure of MACV. Komer's successor as CORDS chief was Ambassador William E. Colby, who took over on November 6, 1968.
Colby had previously been the CIA chief of station in Saigon. His background for the CORDS job was outstanding. In World War II, as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), he parachuted behind the lines to work with the Resistance and conduct sabotage operations in German-occupied Norway and France. Colby later became director of the CIA.
The entire program focused on the concept of pacification. Included in pacification was the Chieu Hoi or "Open Arms" program initiated in 1962 by the South Vietnamese government. It was essentially an amnesty program that sought to encourage defections from the National Liberation Front (NLF) army. In 1969, 47,000 VC personnel voluntarily went over to the government side, where they received medical care, economic help and vocational training before being released into civilian society or permitted to enlist in the South Vietnamese army. In 1970 the figure was 32,000.
Ambassador Colby prepared a command directive to clarify the Phoenix program for American personnel. He emphasized that the operation was not a program of assassination but an intelligence program...to be conducted according to the laws of war. The instruction said in part: "The PHOENIX program is one of advice, support, and assistance to the GVN Phung Hoang program, aimed at reducing the influence and effectiveness of the Viet Cong Infrastructure in South Vietnam.
"Operations against the VCI include the collection of intelligence identifying these members, inducing them to abandon their allegiance to the Viet Cong and rally to the government, capturing or arresting them in order to bring them before Province Security Committees for lawful sentencing, and, as a final resort, the use of military or police force against them if no other way of preventing them from carrying on their unlawful activities is possible."
One of the most controversial elements of the Phoenix program was based on VCI quotas. During his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1970, Colby was asked, "Are cash incentives offered to the Vietnamese who operate the program?"
"Not to the Vietnamese who operate it," said Colby. "There are certain rewards offered in public statements that certain individuals are wanted. There have been posters and leaflets put out that a certain man is wanted because he is a member of the infrastructure and participated in a certain terrorist act and that if information is produced that will lead to his arrest then a certain reward will be paid."
The chairman, Arkansas Senator Fulbright, asked, "Is it like putting a price on Jesse James?"
"Yes," responded Colby, "except that I would say that the Vietnamese government has made a considerable effort to indoctrinate all the way down the line that a live captive is better than a dead one, because the live one carries information in his head, which can do you a great deal of good for future efforts. It has, I think, become generally accepted that what we want is either ralliers [defectors from the Viet Cong] or captives, and we are really not so anxious to get the others."
Colby was questioned in detail on "selected assassinations." He stated that there were 1,743 such assassinations for 1968, but that figures were not complete for February, because of Tet.
"Are those the times when they went into a village and picked people and killed them?" Senator Stuart Symington asked. "Is that what selected assassination means?"
Colby answered,"Yes, a directed assassination against a specific [VC] official rather than a grenade going off in a market place."
Colby stated that the quota was 1,800 people per month. He was then asked what percentage of that figure was captured and how many killed.
"Over the year 1969," Colby answered, "the number captured was 8,515, rallied 4,832, and killed 6,187, to a total of 19,534. About 30 percent were killed.
"That kill figure also includes a number of people who were discovered to be VCI after they were killed. For instance, various people may be killed in an ambush outside the village at night when some armed men come along and a firefight takes place, or an attack on an enemy guerrilla unit. By looking at the papers they carried and the identification, it can be discovered that those killed were actually members of the VCI. Thus even though the particular operation was not aimed to get them, it may develop later they were members of the VC infrastructure and they consequently do count against the quotas."
The chairman questioned the reason for firefights outside the village.
"Self-defense, Senator," said Colby. "In each of these areas at night there is a curfew and there is a small defense unit outside the village. They lay ambushes to stop enemy guerrilla units from coming into the villages. When they see some armed men coming along they shoot at them. Certain of those killed may be part of the VCI."
A Washington Post article of February 17, 1970, by Robert G. Kaiser, Jr., was brought to Colby's attention during the hearing. It addressed the criticism of Phoenix, and also described how the program was supposed to work: "Phoenix offices in the 44 provinces and many of the 242 districts of South Vietnam (all with U.S. advisers) are supposed to maintain dossiers on Viet Cong officials in their area and a 'blacklist' of wanted men and women. "Ideally, Special Branch Police (an intelligence unit of the National Police advised and financed by the CIA), local troops and 18-man Provisional Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) are supposed to conduct operations to arrest these wanted persons. Arrested individuals are interrogated. When there is some evidence of a Viet Cong connection, they are brought to trial before the provincial security team. High-level suspects are supposed to be bound over to a military field court." Phoenix, the article said, was often seen in the States as "a sort of Vietnamese Murder Inc."
Phoenix operated at the local level, where the problems began. Each district intelligence coordination and operations center (DICOC) had teams usually consisting of a South Vietnamese military intelligence officer, an American intelligence adviser -- normally a lieutenant -- special police agents and local pacification officials who were supposed to pool intelligence data and compile dossiers on suspected Viet Cong agents within the surrounding communities. When the dossier was complete, they attempted to find and arrest the suspect.
Below the district level was the village. Policy decisions focused on the village. By 1969, 95 percent of the villages had elected their own councils and village chiefs. The village governments received control of local armed forces, including revolutionary development (RD) cadre, assigned police, People's Self Defense Forces (PSDFs), and popular forces (PFs). A large number of Phoenix exploitation missions were executed at that level and with those forces.
Many suspects were released an hour or two after they were picked up. If the suspect was not released at the local level, he was taken to a province interrogation center for questioning and then confined until the dossier came before the Province Security Council, where the evidence was examined and the suspect either released or sentenced.
In some areas, because of the inability of many regular military units to effectively carry out "exploitation missions," U.S. advisers relied on PRUs to make strikes on VCI targets.
The PRUs were more American than Vietnamese. Chosen, trained, paid and operated by the CIA, they were highly trained mercenaries, selected from Vietnam's minority groups, such as Chinese Nungs and Cambodians or from Viet Cong agents who had defected. U.S. Navy SEAL (sea-air-land) units, assigned to the CIA, often led their operations. Members of these units received 15,000 piasters a month (an ordinary soldier got 4,000).
In late 1968, the CIA station in Saigon informed CORDS that it intended to withdraw the personnel who had been performing advisory and monitoring functions in the Phoenix program. CORDS replaced these officers with hastily trained lieutenants and captains. This shift reasserted the importance of independent intelligence collection as the classic CIA function in any situation involving the U.S. national interest overseas. The CIA established a trend away from counterinsurgency.
The Phoenix program came to a standstill when the NVA launched its Eastertide Offensive in 1972, but was not terminated until 1973. In its effort to neutralize the VCI, Phoenix had employed 450 U.S. military advisory personnel, of which 262 served in the key operational elements at district levels. According to Colby, the Phoenix program resulted in the defection of 17,000 Viet Cong, the capture of 28,000 suspects, and the death of 20,000 others. He stated that more than 85 percent of the dead were killed in combat with Vietnamese and American military and paramilitary troops, with only 12 percent killed by police and security forces. Of that 12 percent, most died in firefights, resisting arrest.
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