Author of three books on CIA operations, Valentine’s research into CIA activities began when CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in various aspects of the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. It was a permission Colby was to regret. The CIA would rescind it, making every effort to impede publication of The Phoenix Program, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture and assassination in Vietnam.While researching Phoenix, Valentine learned that the CIA allowed opium and heroin to flow from its secret bases in Laos, to generals and politicians on its payroll in South Vietnam. His investigations into this illegal activity focused on the CIA’s relationship with the federal drugs agencies mandated by Congress to stop illegal drugs from entering the United States. Based on interviews with senior officials, Valentine wrote two subsequent books, The Strength of the Wolf and The Strength of the Pack, showing how the CIA infiltrated federal drug law enforcement agencies and commandeered their executive management, intelligence and foreign operations staffs in order to ensure that the flow of drugs continues unimpeded to traffickers and foreign officials in its employ.Ultimately, portions of his research materials would be archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center, and John Jay College.This book includes excerpts from the above titles along with subsequent articles and transcripts of interviews on a range of current topics, with a view to shedding light on the systemic dimensions of the CIA’s ongoing illegal and extra-legal activities. These terrorism and drug law enforcement articles and interviews illustrate how the CIA’s activities impact social and political movements abroad and in the United States.A common theme is the CIA’s ability to deceive and propagandize the American public through its impenetrable government-sanctioned shield of official secrecy and plausible deniability.Though investigated by the Church Committee in 1975, CIA praxis then continues to inform CIA praxis now. Valentine tracks its steady infiltration into practices targeting the last population to be subjected to the exigencies of the American empire: the American people.
"...courageously takes us inside the CIA''s most shameful extralegal operations, exposing an intelligence service gone rogue. He is a sentinel of the public interest, and his book is a public service." -- John Kiriakou, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA''s War on Terror.
"Valentine''s two books on the FBN/DEA are a major achievement." -- Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State
"Douglas Valentine writes books that rip the bloody veil off the criminal enterprise known as the US government. When he does this, he combines incredibly in-depth research, interviews and an inviting style of prose that exposes the dark truth about the US nation and its national security state. The CIA as Organized Crime continues that tradition and is an important and crucial text" -- RON JACOBS, Counterpunch
Douglas Valentine is an American journalist and author of four works of historical non-fiction: The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, The Strength of the Wolf (winner of the Choice Academic Library Award), and The Strength of the Pack.His articles appear regularly in CounterPunch, ConsortiumNews,.. Portions of his research materials are archived at the National Security Archive (both a Vietnam Collection and a separate Drug Enforcement Collection), Texas Tech University''s Vietnam Center, and John Jay College. He provided expert testimony at the King v Jowers trial on MLK assassination
In the wake of September 11, 2001, my articles about the Phoenix program became more relevant than ever before. The third, "Homeland Insecurity," appeared on October 1, 2001, and predicted that the government would establish Phoenix-style "extra-legal military tribunals that can try suspected terrorists without the ordinary legal constraints of American justice."
The United States soon established detention centers at Guantá¡namo in Cuba, Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, and at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. And the CIA established "black sites" around the world. But I was referring to plans by the Bush administration to rob American citizens of their right to due process. And that is exactly what happened in January 2013 when President Obama signed a National Defense Authorization Act that provides for the indefinite detention of Americans.
These developments were easy to predict, given my back-ground in Phoenix. In the October 2001 article, for example, I explained that Phoenix would become the bureaucratic model for the "homeland security" program that now envelops America and subjects its citizens to the same blanket surveillance that the Phoenix program imposed on the people of South Vietnam. Almost ten years later, in July 2011, the Washington Post published its "Top Secret America" exposé, which outlined America''s "heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment." Lead reporter Dana Priest calls it the "vast and hidden apparatus of the war on terror."
This Phoenix-style network constitutes America''s internal security apparatus, and it is targeting you, under the guise of protecting you from terrorism. And that is why, more than ever, people need to understand what Phoenix is really all about.
When the CIA created Phoenix in June 1967, it was called ICEX-SIDE: Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation–Screening, Interrogation and Detention of the Enemy. The SIDE function is often ignored as journalists and propagandists focus on the sensational aspect that involves the targeted assassination of terrorists and their sympathizers, often by remote-controlled drones.
But in the first instance, Phoenix was a massive dragnet that packed South Vietnam''s prisons, jails, and detention centers to overflowing. The foundation stone of this network was a jerry-rigged judicial system based on Stalinist security courts that did not require evidence to convict a person. People charged with national security violations had no right to legal representation, due process, or habeas corpus.
As Johan Galtung taught us, "Personal violence is for the amateur in dominance, structural violence is the tool of the professional. The amateur who wants to dominate uses guns; the professional uses social structure."
It was perfectly clear, following the terror attacks of 9/11, that America''s elite were creating exactly this kind of criminally legal social structure. Climate change, overpopulation, income inequality, dwindling resources, and other geopolitical factors are pushing the rich into gated communities in every nation in the world.
The establishment is preparing for the dystopian future that lies ahead.