Inside the Organized Crime Syndicate known as the CIA: an Interview with Douglas Valentine – CovertAction Magazine
Douglas Valentine: Well, it meant that the Phoenix program was targeted against civilians, the civilians who managed the insurgency in South Vietnam, not soldiers, not even guerrillas or terrorists. But these were civilians who were working undercover in political positions, generally speaking. We managed the insurgency in South Vietnam and their names could be put on blacklists. And once their name was on a list—once somebody had been informed about them, and once they were a member of a list a that was called the Vietcong infrastructure, the insurgency—the CIA and its forces could go out and kidnap them, put them in interrogation centers, kill them along with their families, and do anything they wanted to try and suppress them. And the problem was that lots of innocent civilians got their names put on these blacklists. In fact, one of the ways that the CIA and its forces, the South Vietnamese Special Police and its mercenary army, one of the ways that they got people to inform on the members of the Vietcong insurgency was by threatening to put their names on blacklists. So therefore, it became a blackmail scheme.
So, if you were just an average citizen and you did not support the government of South Vietnam, you could find your name on a blacklist and your whole family could be wiped out. So, it became a way of not just attacking the members of this Vietcong infrastructure, but a way of population control, a way of terrorizing everybody in South Vietnam and bringing them all into line following government policies. And the minute you stepped out of line, you could find your name on a blacklist.
Michael Steven Smith: 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. Can you give us some examples of this please, Doug?