TORTURE AND MURDER = USA CIA PROGRAM OPERATION PHOENIX VIETNAM (1965-1973) CONTINUES UNDER ISIS(L) TO TODAY
7 Year Program (1965-1972) “Operation Phoenix” = Operation Phoenix = Phoenix Program = a program designed, coordinated, and executed by USA CIA + Special Forces during the Vietnam War to identify and “neutralize” (via infiltration, capture, terrorism, torture, and assassination) “a set of programs that sought to attack and destroy the political infrastructure” and military infrastructure of South Vietnam = Similar programs were used before and after (F-6) and others are using ISIS(L) today.
2 Major components of Phoenix Program = Units (PRU) to kill or capture suspects + interrogation (torture) centers attempted to gain intelligence = Any information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders to direct PRU UNITS to do more kill and capture and assassination missions.
By 1972, Phoenix operatives had “neutralized” 81,740 suspected Vietnamese of whom between 26,000 and 41,000 were killed.
CIA developed the interrogation centers and PRUs in Saigon by Station chief Peter DeSilva was a proponent of a military strategy known as “counter terror” which held that terrorism was a legitimate tool to use in unconventional warfare, and that it should be applied strategically to “enemy civilians” in order to reduce civilian support for the Enemy.
The PRUs were designed to terrorize the Vietnamese in 1964 — Originally called “Counter Terror” teams = Then renamed to PRUs (“Provincial Reconnaissance Units”) after CIA officials “became wary of the adverse publicity surrounding the use of the word ‘terror'”
Torture Methods used at the interrogation centers included Rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electric shock (‘the Bell Telephone Hour’) rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body like tongue.
Military intelligence officer K. Milton Osborne witnessed torture: Inserting a 6-inch rod into the ear canal and tapping through the brain until dead + Starvation to death (in a cage) of a woman suspected of political education in one of the local villages + Both women’s vaginas and men’s testicles shocked into submission
The ‘water treatment’ + The ‘airplane’ — prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back and a rope looped over a hook on the ceiling was pulled to suspend the person in midair, after which he or she was beaten with rubber hoses and whips + Police dogs mauled victims.
Targeted killings and assassinations on Innocent civilians. Lieutenant Vincent Okamoto, an intelligence-liaison officer for the Phoenix Program for two months in 1968 and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross said the following — “The normal procedure would be to go into a village and just grab someone and say, ‘Where’s so-and-so?’ Half the time the people were so afraid they would not say anything. Then a Phoenix team would take the informant, put a sandbag over his head, poke out two holes so he could see, put commo wire around his neck like a long leash, and walk him through the village and say, ‘When we go by so and so’s house scratch your head.’ Then that night Phoenix would come back, knock on the door, and say, ‘April Fool, motherfucker.’ Whoever answered the door would get wasted. As far as they were concerned whoever answered was a Communist, including family members. Sometimes they’d come back to camp with ears to prove that they killed people.”