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Commentary :: International
BTL:Vietnam War Era-style "Phoenix" Assassination Program Implemented in...
01 Jan 2004
Modified: 09:51:17 AM
...U.S.-Occupied Iraq Interview with Douglas Valentine, author of "The Phoenix Program," conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Vietnam War Era-style "Phoenix" Assassination Program Implemented in U.S.-Occupied Iraq

Interview with Douglas Valentine, author of "The Phoenix Program," conducted by Scott Harris

Despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, the insurgency challenging U.S. occupation forces in Iraq continues. Suicide bombings and assaults on American led coalition troops and their Iraqi allies took the lives of 19 in Karbala, a city holy to Shiite Muslims, over the Christmas holiday.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. counteroffensive against guerrillas attacking occupation troops -- code-named "Operation Iron Hammer" -- has been successful in capturing weapons and arresting some of those accused of organizing resistance. But investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in a recent New Yorker magazine article, that another American covert operation is targeting for assassination members of the deposed Ba'athist regime and other civilians thought to support the insurgency.

This secret operation described as "pre-emptive manhunting" -- run according to Hersh by the U.S. Army's Special Forces -- is strikingly similar to the Vietnam-era CIA-run Phoenix Program that assassinated more than 25,000 political supporters of the Communist insurgency fighting to topple the U.S. supported South Vietnamese government. This revelation comes not long after Max Boot of the influential Council on Foreign Relations, wrote a New York Times editorial in November advocating that the U.S. adopt illegal assassination operations like Phoenix in Iraq. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Douglas Valentine, author of the book "The Phoenix Program," who discusses America's counterinsurgency program in Iraq and the parallels with the CIA's covert assassination operations during the Vietnam War.

Investigative journalist Douglas Valentine is author of the book "The Phoenix Program." Read Valentine's articles online by visiting his website at

Related links:

"Preemptive Manhunting: The CIA's New Assassination Program," by Douglas Valentine,, Dec. 11, 2003

"Moving Targets," by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, Dec. 15, 2003

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:

"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).

For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)

For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)

betweenthelines (at)

Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions

©2004 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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