Unmasking The Phoenix Program and America’s “War on Drugs”


On this weeks Real Politik journalist and historian Douglas Valentine discusses his research that culminated in the landmark 1990 book The Phoenix Program–the definitive history of the CIA-led counterinsurgency and assassination campaign carried out in Vietnam during the late 1960s.

Phoenix was a major precursor to the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in the post-9/11 era and remains a potential harbinger in light of domestic military exercises such as Jade Helm that has begun this week.

Valentine also discusses with James the inroads the CIA has made in drug trafficking and mass media since the late 1960s, noting that the CIA is essentially the “organized crime branch” of the US government that has institutionalized its practices to shield against another “Gary Webb” meltdown of the mid-1990s.


In addition to The Phoenix Program, Valentine is the author of several other notable books including The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs (2004) and The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage that Shaped the Drug Enforcement Agency (2008).  In addition to his historical research, Valentine is also a poet. His latest collection of poetry, With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century, was published in 2014. See Douglas Valentine’s Author’s Page at Amazon for a more detailed list of titles.

9 thoughts on “Unmasking The Phoenix Program and America’s “War on Drugs””

  1. I wish I had professors like James Tracy when I was a student at FSU. He is a true academic in every sense of the word..

    Upon graduating from the business school at Florida State, nobody, not even once to my recollection ever mentioned the federal reserve was not federal.

    Of course I don’t have to preach that to the choir here. It is a pretty high brow clientele.

    I am 70 years old, and yes I have found myself untangling much of what has been passed off as truth over the years.

    Don’t fool yourself, a diploma means nothing. It certifies you as a young child who agrees to seek truth, thereafter. An education means nothing if you are reading the wrong books.

    As I have said before,I glided through the Florida State University Business School and nobody and I mean nobody mentioned the federal reserve was not federal.

    Is that a kick in the arse or what?

    1. “Don’t fool yourself, a diploma means nothing”

      Gary North says it best: A diploma certifies that you can endure what feels like endless years of boredom. This proves to corporate managers that you will endure spending the best decades of your life playing the role of a plodding corporate drone.

  2. Excellent interview, amazingly comprehensive.

    Does the National Clandestine Services operate domestically, and, therefore, illegally?

    Do CIA field operatives engage in mobbing activities against U.S. citizens and domestic organizations (i.e., do they run gang stalking)?

    Has any intelligence insider spoken on the exponential increase in mass shooting events since 1980 (particularly the marked increase since 2007) and/or the nexus between the weekly active shooter events and mobbing/gang stalking?

  3. Valentine is a really heavy truther, Mentioning the Unmentionable that puts him outside the left and right US truth consensus. With the CIA supporting narcotics dealers for political-financial purposes, and the banks washing the money, US power has become the major narcotics trafficker in the world. In Afghanistan, US increased the growth of opium tremendously, creating labs to turn it into heroin, after it was nearly eliminated by the regime that the US overthrew.

    Valelntine says so, which is why his work is not as well known as it should be.

  4. Some interesting things about the TN mass shooter from yesterday’s “motiveless” shooting de jour:

    1. 24 year old religious Muslim suspect. His father was a cop:

    “Abdulazeez’s father, Youssuf Abdullazeez, was appointed as a “special policeman” for Chattanooga’s Department of Public Works in March 2005.”


    The father was also on a terror watch list (think fusion centers and gang stalking Program):

    “The New York Times, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported that his father had been under investigation several years ago, over possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization. His name was later removed from a terror watch list.”


    Does anyone, including the New York Times believe that the FBI would take a foreign national with suspected terror links OFF OF A WATCH LIST????????

    What’s up with a Boston Police captain’s religious Muslim son, age 23, getting arrested for planning a terrorist killing rampage 3 days before the TN event?


    Perhaps these folks were being gang stalked???

    1. “Perhaps these folks were being gang stalked???” -PeaceFrog


      Given what I know, that would be my guess, as well. Where are the whistle-blowers on this?


      JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, that’s in the face of a crime rate that generally keeps—has been plummeting in the United States, but these mass shootings have been increasing. Have you tried to ascertain or do any analysis why?

      MARK FOLLMAN: It’s a great question. It’s hard to explain. I think it’s a very complicated set of factors that go into this. And I should add, too, that the data that we collected is, in some sense, very conservative. It’s a narrow estimate of this problem, because we only look specifically at public mass shootings of this type. And you have a lot of other similar types of gun crimes. There are a very high number of domestic mass shootings that happen in our country, where people kill their whole families. Those happen, in fact, more often than the public events.

      And the other aspect of this is that the way that these are measured, the way that we did it, uses a baseline threshold of fatalities of four or more people killed. This was a criterion established by the FBI about a decade ago in talking about mass murder, and it’s generally been the accepted way of defining a mass shooting, although it’s not a very clearly defined problem. If you think about it, that’s in some ways a very artificial construct. If you take away just one in that count and say three people killed, and, you know, say another nine or 10 injured, is that not a mass shooting? That happens a lot, too. If we were to add in those types of cases, we would be talking about hundreds more cases than we do. The set that we have from the last 30 years is now over 70 mass shootings around the country, and it’s in more than 40 states.

      AMY GOODMAN: So, Mark Follman, the Harvard research shows that mass shootings has tripled since 2011.

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