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Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:09 PM

 

Question for Vietnam Veterans and American Historians: To what extent

was the CIA's torture program of the Bush years pre-figured by the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam?

The Program was designed to identify and "neutralize" (via infiltration, capture, terrorism, torture, and assassination) the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF or Viet Cong). The CIA described it as "a set of programs that sought to attack and destroy the political infrastructure of the Viet Cong". The major two components of the program were Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) and regional interrogation centers. PRUs would kill or capture suspected NLF members, as well as civilians who were thought to have information on NLF activities. Many of these people were then taken to interrogation centers where many were tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence on VC activities in the area. The information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders, who would use it to task the PRU with further capture and assassination missions.

The program was in operation between 1965 and 1972, and similar efforts existed both before and after that period. By 1972, Phoenix operatives had "neutralized" 81,740 suspected NLF operatives, informants and supporters, of whom between 26,000 and 41,000 were killed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Program (Emphasis Added)


Has anyone done any work on this apparent continuity or am I simply imagining the connection(s) between Vietnam\Southeast Asia and Afghanistan\Central Asia?



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Response to KingCharlemagne (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:18 PM

1. In Long Bien we had a prisoner area which was a fenced

off area where prisoners were kept. I would see them standing against the fence watching us. It seemed strange to me that they were kept so close to us and not in some place in Saigon. I don't know why they were held but I guess for interrogation.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:22 PM

2. Started thinking about the fact that Cheney and Rumsfeld were cutting their teeth as

 

chickenhawk policy makers back in the 1965-72 time period and wondered if the seeds of the 2002-09 torture regime were first planted back then. Just a guess and a sick surmise.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:22 PM

3. I doubt it is connected since

waterboatrding torture was used by the US military in the Phillipines after the Spanish - American war after 1898.

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Response to Malraiders (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:25 PM

5. I think waterboarding (or iterations thereof) have been in play since the Spanish

 

Inquisition (aka 'Counter Reformation'). Not something I've spent much time on, though, so relying on general and vague memories. The U.S. definitely did a number on the Moros, that's for sure.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:24 PM

4. I seem to recall the last American charged and convicted for torture (war crimes) was in 1969

From the Vietnam Conflict and it was for water boarding an enemy soldier. Sentenced to prison.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:27 PM

6. Your post is triggering some memories. IIRC, William Colby said the Phoenix Program

 

had been a 'success,' much like Hayden yesterday was trumpeting the BushCo torture program's 'success.'

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:59 PM

7. KUBARK, the code name for a 1963 instruction manual on interrogation,

which was used on subjects ranging from suspected Soviet double agents to Latin American dissidents and guerrillas.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5939473

Linked article points to the School of the Americas the infamous Academy of Torture which many countries learned from us how to torture and terrorize its citizens.

Look to the late 50's and early 60's in South America, we were exporting terror back then too.
That was a time, btw, when the CIA was barely whispered about and our various Administrations denied it existed.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 06:09 PM

8. Alfred W. McCoy provides an excellent history of torture

Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation (2012)

http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/4999.htm

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