Homeland Security and The Invention of (Counter) Terrorism
Though this article was written over a year ago, it is equally as, if not more pertinent now. Tell me, how do you think this relates to the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force and its upcoming hearing on Dec. 22?
When The Phoenix Comes Home To Roost
"The implication or latent threat of terror was sufficient to insure that the people would comply."
-- William Colby, RIP (1)
America has been in an ideological state of siege since 11 September 2001, when the Twin Towers came crashing down, and all the moral and psychological prohibitions on the reactionary right were lifted forever. Under the aegis righteous retribution, the anger and frustration the neo-conservatives cultivated during the Vietnam War, and the degenerate Clinton Administration, was unleashed in a torrent of unabashed war mongering. Even Democrats climbed on the war wagon and four days later, on 15 September 2001, Congress, save for one glorious dissenter, gave Bush $40 billion and the authority to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against those involved (or could be said to have been involved) in the uninvestigated and as yet unexplained terrorist attacks.
After the attacks, Bush embarked on his Holy Crusade. But something insidious was happening behind the scenes: with little fanfare Bush announced the formation of the Office of Homeland Security to detect, prevent, and recover from terrorist attacks, and/or "weapons of mass destruction" attacks on American soil. This obscure Office of Homeland Security was officially created by executive fiat on 8 October 2001. Less than three weeks later, again with overwhelming Congressional support, Bush signed the draconian USA Patriot Act into law, vastly expanding the domestic intelligence gathering and law enforcement powers of the government, while rolling back individual rights and protections from government intrusions. (2)
The stigma of his having stolen the 2000 presidential election was replaced, thanks to the horror of 11 September, with the popular war of revenge in Afghanistan, and as a result, Bush's standings in the polls nearly doubled. In the absence of opposition from the anthrax-challenged Democratic Party leadership, his rationale for eternal war on terror evolved over the next year, and on 20 September 2002 it was set in stone with the promulgation of "The National Security Strategy of the United States," through which Bush conferred upon himself the divine right to launch deadly preemptive attacks on any nation he characterizes as a terrorist threat.
This first-degree murder strategy (call it Manifesto Bush) makes many Americans feel safer because its terror, for the moment, is directed at the "other." But this first-strike foreign policy has potentially lethal consequences for American citizens as well, for by launching pre-emptive strikes against foreign countries, Bush will kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people. The killing of innocents will generate more domestic dissident, and more dissent will provide Bush with the pretext he needs to impose a "legally criminal" social structure. This is the sinister "other" side of Manifesto Bush, for the illegitimate Bush Régime requires a "legally criminal" social structure to maintain its dominance, and ensure support for the eternal war on terror, with all the personal economic benefits that entails for Bush and his clique. (3)
In order to institutionalize his "legally criminal" social structure, Bush signed the Homeland Security Act on 25 November 2002, creating the Department of Homeland Security under former Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Ridge. The Department's job is to coordinate the anti-terror elements of dozens of federal agencies, and to secure the US "from terrorist threats or attacks," be they genuine or provoked by the Bush Régime. The Act also provides for a policy-making Homeland Security Council. The Council has as its four standing members; Bush (as chairman), Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Homeland Security Council is the flip side of the "other" directed National Security Council. (4)
Last but not least, Bush on 29 January 2003 created the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). TTIC combines the essential anti-terror elements of the Justice Department and the CIA. It reports directly to Bush, so the Bush Régime may coordinate the war on terror with the Homeland Security apparatus, outside the Department of Homeland Security and Congressional scrutiny.
The Method In Their Madness
Homeland Security is a euphemism for internal security, and Manifesto Bush is based on Homeland Security, for without political "internal security" at home, he cannot plunder the world. There is no other need for Homeland Security. That's right: Bush did not concoct the Homeland Security apparatus to provide Americans with bigger SUVs or greater protection from terrorism. On the contrary, at a cost of $50 billion in taxpayer's money, it will provide Bush with the 170,000 political cadres he needs to pacify the unwitting, flag-waving American public, including the 75% that support him and his illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the idiotic 40% that believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for the terror attacks of 11 September. Homeland Security is a Trojan Horse through which Bush will unleash his ideological storm troopers on America, and exploit his ill-gotten power to achieve personal and political gain.
This is no mean feat. Creating the Homeland Security apparatus is the largest reorganization of the US government in fifty years. According to Lawrence Korb, one of the nation's leading national security experts at the Council on Foreign Relations, it might even "bankrupt the country." Which may be another of its unstated purposes, for Bush will need a series of national emergencies, a depression as well as preordained terror attacks, to perpetuate his de facto military dictatorship. (5)
It's important to remember is that the Bush Régime is creating this fascist police state through the Big Lie technique favored by Hitler. A generation has passed since the Vietnam War, and thirty years of Hollywood propaganda has erased from America's collective memory the lessons that humiliating defeat taught about the abuse of power. Americans no longer have a moral imperative to pretend that they care what is right or wrong. The only thing that matters to them now is conquest.
And yet, everyday the war on terror is looking more like the Phoenix Program in South Vietnam, but on a global scale. Eighteen months after the burqa was lifted in Afghanistan, CIA directed Special Forces systematically hunt down and murder the political opposition of the Bush Régime's puppet government. And in Iraq, the "total victory" Bush promised has translated into the violent suppression of thousands of Nationalists, not just Saddam's political supporters. Worldwide, the Bush Régime has a Phoenix Program-style blacklist of sixty nations it intends to invade, conquer and convert into quisling quasi-democracies through a series of "shock and awe" military campaigns, followed by endless, illegal dirty wars designed to eradicate the Bush Régime's ideological opposition from the face of the earth. That's Manifesto Bush.
What Bush isn't telling you, is that in order to commit genocide and plunder the world, he needs to ensure his political "internal security" at home. This will be done in the same way the war on terror is being waged overseas: through a new and improved version of the CIA's Phoenix Program, as it was conceived in Vietnam, perfected in Israel, and is about to applied here through the Homeland Security apparatus.
Anti-Terrorism As Internal Security
On 12 December 1970, the CIA issued a report titled Internal Security in South Vietnam-Phoenix. It is significant for two reasons. First, it documents that the CIA equated its Phoenix "anti-terror" Program with political "internal security." Secondly, it is significant because it acknowledged that terrorism, as well as political and psychological operations, were more dangerous to internal security than main force military operations. According to the CIA, the Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) managed this shadow war in South Vietnam. In the report, Internal Security in South Vietnam-Phoenix, the VCI is defined as "the political and administrative organization through which the Communists control or seek to control the people of South Vietnam."*
Keep this definition in mind, for the CIA's "political and administrative" targets in South Vietnam were civilians, not soldiers. The same holds true today. Civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq who organize politically against the Bush Régime's puppet rulers are the modern equivalent of the VCI, and, according to Manifesto Bush, they can be hunted and killed by the CIA. If they arm themselves in self-defense in their Homeland, they become "faceless" terrorists. Likewise, the Homeland Security apparatus will eventually target the Bush Regime's "political and administrative" opposition in America.
The 10 December 1970 report stated that the CIA's Phoenix Program was the only defense against the insurgency's managers, and the terrorists under their control. Phoenix did this by coordinating all US and South Vietnamese intelligence and anti-terror agencies in an effort to identify and then "neutralize" the VCI. To "neutralize" meant to kill, capture, or make to defect, and the CIA went about this in typical corporate fashion: it imposed an 1800-per-month neutralization quota on its Phoenix officers in the field. Those officers in turn relied upon a computerized blacklist of the VCI, which included not only Communists, but also their sympathizers and, more significantly, anyone not actively supporting America's puppet government. Innocent people who found their names on the Phoenix blacklist could be killed, kidnapped, detained and/or tortured indefinitely on the false accusation of one anonymous informant.
More on the blacklist later: for the moment I'd like to explain how the analogy between the CIA's Phoenix Program and the Bush Régime's Homeland Security apparatus becomes more valid everyday.
Phoenix As The Conceptual Precedent For Homeland Security
The Phoenix concept is that terror is an organizing principle of society, and it is through terror that Bush will create his "legally criminal" society through the Homeland Security apparatus. This includes every type of terror, from the "explicit" terror of the sadistic, feudalistic siege that strangled, starved, obliterated and liberated Baghdad from a despot, and delivered it into a humanitarian catastrophe; to the "collective" terror Israel dishes out to deny Palestinians jobs, health, education, pride. It is the pure terror of rubber bullets that pepper war protesters in America. There is also the "implicit" psychological terror of jack-booted National Guardsmen patrolling airports, and of plainclothes policeman armed with automatic rifles, searching cars without probable cause. It's color-coded warnings issued by anxious Homeland officials of terror attacks that never occur, and it's frightening but unsubstantiated reports brought to you by Network News.
The Phoenix concept also includes "selective" terror, which was perfected by the Vietnamese Communists and involved the murder and mutilation of minor French colonial officials and their Vietnamese suppletifs. The Vietnamese Communists, like the Palestinians, Taliban, and Iraqis, were so incredibly out-gunned that they had to choose between submission, annihilation in an open rebellion, or selective terror - including suicide bombers. The purpose of selective terror was psychological: to isolate the oppressor, while demonstrating the ability of the oppressed to strike small blows for freedom, until a general uprising was possible. (6)
In 1964 the CIA concluded that in order to win the Vietnam War, it had to adopt the enemy's tactics, and start neutralizing the VCI through selective terror. The CIA called this Counter-Terrorism as a way of making its terrorism sound justifiable. It also added its own distinctly, playful American twist by applying the Eye of God technique, which plays on the primitive fear of an all-seeing cosmic eye that can look into anyone's mind and root out bad thoughts. In South Vietnam in 1964 the CIA produced 50,000 Eye of God playing cards. Each card was painted black and had a hideous white eye in the center. When a Counter-Terror team discovered who the VCI were in a city or village, they would murder them in the most gruesome fashion possible, along with their families if possible, and then nail one of these cards in the victim's third eye, which Buddhists consider the seat of consciousness.
The Eye of God terror technique has been adopted by Bush and applied to the counterinsurgency in Iraq, through the distribution of a deck of cards that identifies, for capture or assassination, the leaders of Saddam Hussein's Régime and the Ba'ath Party. This exercise in "motivational indoctrination" (the brainwashing technique developed by the CIA in Vietnam to convert average soldiers into assassins) has become so popular in America that the CIA is actually posting these death cards on the Internet.
Little do the Internet viewers know that the Bush Régime is subliminally (say it, George) applying the Eye of God terror technique to Homeland Security, to make everyone feel as if Big Brother is watching him or her, personally. Whether at home or abroad, the idea is to put the fear of God into the good, the bad, and the ugly; which is why the CIA's Phoenix was always pictured, in the various psychological warfare documents the CIA distributed among the Vietnamese, as holding a blacklist in one hand and a snake (representing the Communists) in the other.
The Phoenix is the only all-seeing bird that selectively snatches its prey. It is the archetype of terror, and Bush is about to unleash it on America.
The Foundation Stones of A Terrorist State
In 1964 the CIA set in place the three of the four foundation stones upon which the Phoenix Program was built: Counter-Terror teams; the Province Interrogation Center Program, through which an American engineering and construction firm built an interrogation center in each of South Vietnam's 44 provinces, one of which, in 1972, was managed by Representative Rob Simmons (CT-R): and the Hamlet Informant Program (HIP), which was designed to identify VCI suspects at the grass roots level of society. Attorney General John Ashcroft's short-lived Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIP) was the Homeland Security version of HIP. (Don't worry: Ashcroft, the CIA and the military have other blanket surveillance systems up their sleeves, like the Total Information Awareness Program.)
These three programs worked in tandem. On the basis of a false accusation from a single anonymous HIP informant, a Counter-Terror team would kidnap or assassinate a VCI suspect. If kidnapped, the suspect was detained in an interrogation center, jail, or one of the hundreds of detention centers the CIA paid American firms like Brown-Root to build everywhere in South Vietnam; VCI suspects were shuffled back and forth between interrogation centers, detention centers, and jails until they died or defected. Otherwise they were sent for disposition to a military tribunal or a CIA-advised, Stalinesque security committee. Disposition meant summary execution or imprisonment on Con Son Island, ninety miles off the southern tip of South Vietnam. Con Son Prison was the Phoenix version of Bush's macabre detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where so-called illegal combatants (civilians who resist American occupation in their own Homelands) are banished into a modern Black Hole of Calcutta, where psychological terror is the torture of choice, the lights are never turned off in the tiny isolation cells built by Brown Root, and the hooded CIA interrogators are America's boy next door.
Administrative detention, the fourth foundation stone of the Phoenix Program, is the extra-legal nail upon which the Homeland Security apparatus and war on terror hang. Administrative detention is a neat way of circumventing the law by creating crimes of status. It was used by the CIA in Vietnam through the Phoenix Program against anyone sympathizing with the Communists, or failing to actively support the puppet régime. These were crimes of status, as was being a pacifist. Administrative detention practices were perfected in Israel, where it is okay to round-up civilians, detain and torture them indefinitely, destroy their homes with bulldozers, and then cast them to the four winds, simply because they are Palestinians. Being a stateless Palestinian is a crime of status.
The Patriot and Homeland Security Acts have already set in place in America most of the elements of administration detention. John Ashcroft's forthcoming Domestic Security Enhancement Act will eliminate whatever administrative burdens remain, and make it possible for US citizens to be detained on the basis of their crimes of status; such as protesting the war on terror, threatening critical infrastructure programs by being an environmentalist, or a peace activist, or organizing politically against the Bush Régime.
Under Phoenix, the justice system was the ultimate form of terrorism. Through administrative detention laws, due process was non-existent, and corrupt officials used the Phoenix blacklist to extort innocent civilians as well as VCI. It was the greatest blackmail scheme ever invented: if you didn't do what the President and his clique of gangsters wanted, your name appeared on the blacklist - and you were as good as dead.
Be forewarned: the Bush Régime and its corporate gangsters have their blacklists: the INS-State Department TIPOFF blacklist; the No-Fly blacklist, distributed to airlines by the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration, identifying peace activists; CAPPS II, which uses credit card information and secret databases to assess a person's security risk level; and local blacklists like the one kept by the Denver police department. (7)
You know the ones. You just don't know about the secret ones - the legitimate Bush Régime's enemy's list of its most powerful domestic political opponents.
Phoenix As The Organizational Model For Homeland Security
Upon its creation in 1967, Phoenix was managed by a committee of five senior CIA and military officers. This Phoenix Committee functioned like Bush's Homeland Security Council: it was a board of directors that advised the chairman and formulated policy. Directly under the Phoenix Committee was a Phoenix Directorate. A senior CIA officer served as Director and was assisted by a staff of CIA and military personnel. The Directorate planned and conducted anti-VCI operations, managed the judicial processing of some 200,000 Vietnamese civilians caught in the Phoenix dragnet, and made sure that all the US and South Vietnamese intelligence and anti-terror programs it coordinated - as well as programs for defectors, territorial security, refugees, public safety, civil affairs, and psychological warfare - stayed focused on anti-VCI operations.
The Phoenix Directorate is the organizational model for the Department of Homeland Security, which has four divisions: Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, Science and Technology, Border and Transportation Security, and Emergency Preparedness and Response. Senator Joseph Lieberman would like to add, within the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, an Office of Intelligence, with about 1000 analysts from dozens of contributing agencies. If the Senator from Israel has his way, this Office of Intelligence will coordinate and direct Homeland Security operations. If Bush has his way, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center will handle this function, as a White House hip pocket operation.
Phoenix personnel were assigned at national, regional, province and district levels. A province in Vietnam is the equivalent of a state in the US, and the Phoenix Province Coordinator was the main man in the Phoenix chain of command. In each of South Vietnam's 44 provinces, he managed the CIA's Counter-Terror teams, Province Interrogation Center, and informant program. The CIA's Counter-Terror Center will post officers within Justice Department terrorism task forces in 56 US localities, to "plan daily operations." Just like the CIA's Province Coordinator was the main man in the Phoenix chain of command, these CIA officers will dominate terror operations within the Department of Homeland Security. (8)
The involvement of CIA Counter-Terror officers in domestic law enforcement is extra-legal and tactical - their job is to sniff out terrorists and launch preemptive attacks that neutralize them before they strike even if it's a labor dispute. That's what Phoenix did, and what the Department of Homeland Security will do. But there is also a strategic facet to Phoenix, and just as the Phoenix Committee managed the strategic Internal Security function in Vietnam, Bush's Homeland Security Council, through the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, will wage secret political warfare against the Bush Régime's domestic opposition in America.
Phoenix As The Prototype Of Political Warfare
The greatest danger facing America today is the secret political warfare program the Bush Régime's has hidden within its Homeland Security apparatus. The precedent is the Phoenix Program. Like the Bush Régime, the Government of South Vietnam was inherently illegitimate and corrupt, and was able to sustain its political internal security only through a phony war on terror that had, as its ulterior motive, the pacification of the people it was pledged to defend. The problem became manifest in 1968, when South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu sabotaged peace negotiations with the North, because, like Bush, he had stolen his office and thus preferred political internal security over a peaceful settlement that would end the national emergency, suspend all police state actions (like administrative detention, upon which it relied), and allow for majority rule.
Thieu's actions led to Congressional investigations which in 1970 revealed that the CIA had used the Phoenix Program as "an instrument of mass political murder" to neutralize politicians and activists who opposed Thieu or espoused peace. "By analogy," said Representative Ogden Reid (D-NY), "if the Union had had a Phoenix program during the Civil War, it targets would have been civilians like Jefferson Davis or the mayor of Macon, Georgia." (9)
Nowadays in America, strategic political neutralizations can be made to look like accidents, as most likely happened in the plane crashes of Senator Paul Wellstone and Missouri Governor Mel Carnahans. Like the anthrax letters mailed to Democratic senators, it takes only a few "black propaganda" terror operations to silence the Bush Régime's political opposition.
There is no doubt that the Bush Régime intends to use terror to subdue it political opposition. As right wing pundit Michael Ledeen stated, "New times require new people with new standards." Ledeen's new people will have the will power to "stamp out" the "corrupt habits of mind" manifest in the thoughts or actions of anyone who opposes Bush Régime aggression. According to Ledeen, "The entire political world will understand it and applaud it. And it will give Tom Ridge a chance to succeed, and us [the fascists] to prevail." (10)
This ideological terror is the maximum danger of Homeland Security, and blackmail is the key. Hundreds of businesses and institutions across the country have already been placed on the CIA's Watch List. One Bush official has said that merely being on the list "could destroy the livelihood of all those organizations... without a bomb being thrown or a spore of anthrax being released." (11)
Such blacklists have "the leaders of many federal departments and agencies... scrambling to figure out... how they can influence [Homeland Security] without appearing disloyal." So as not to appear disloyal, intelligence agencies "deliberately slant estimates to fit a political agenda," and her over a year it's been well known that the Bush Régime, through its secret blacklists, "squelches dissenting views..." (12)
What blackmail fosters is mandatory self-censorship: no one in authority will probe Bush's relations with the bin Laden family, or ask why he whisked the bin Ladens and members of the Saudi Royal family out of the country in the wake of 11 September. No one will dare ask about those Israeli spy rings in the US, and their likely false flag relationship with the Saudis who flew the planes into the Twin Towers.
Phoenix As The Psychological Warfare Precedent for Homeland Security
As noted, information management - the Big Lie - is key in the Bush Régime's effort to make terror the organizing principle in American society, while at the same time making its Homeland Security apparatus and war on terror appear to be legal, moral, and most importantly, popular. The way this is being done is through the most ambitious psychological warfare campaign ever waged on planet Earth.
The first step is organizing political cadres - Ledeen's legions of new people with the will power to stamp out the corrupt habits of mind of Bush Régime opponents. Again the Phoenix Program is the model. The soldiers slated to participate in Phoenix were trained at a CIA-managed "motivational indoctrination" school at Fort Bragg. These Phoenix advisors were the first political cadres to infiltrate the American military. In return for adopting the right wing party line, a successful career was guaranteed. Several former Phoenix officers now enjoy important Homeland Security posts. Major General Bruce Lawlor, a former CIA officer who ran counter terror teams in Vietnam, is now Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security. The Department's chief of counter narcotic operations, Roger Mackin, ran Phoenix operations in the city of Da Nang. Others lurk about. (13)
At Fort Bragg, CIA psychological warfare experts instructed Phoenix advisors in using Armed Propaganda to wage political warfare. A training manual on the subject was reprinted in the early 1980s by a former Phoenix operator involved in the Reagan Régime's illegal Contra War. Titled Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, it states that "the human being should be considered the priority objective in a political war. And conceived as the military target of guerrilla war, the human being has his most critical point in his mind. Once his mind has been reached, the "political animal" has been defeated, without necessarily receiving bullets." (14)
Homeland Security personnel will pass through the same political and motivational indoctrination courses before they go to work. Critical Infrastructure personnel will spy on colleagues who may inadvertently or maliciously serve as "terrorist surrogates" by publicly or privately revealing information on infrastructure vulnerabilities. The cadres will "covertly identify" and watch these people until it comes time to expose them in the media as being under investigation. No one will want to be identified, even falsely, as an "inadvertent" or "malicious terrorist surrogate," knowing that once they have been defined in these terms, they are subject to being "stamped out" as Michael Ledeen has suggested.
The Bush Régime is busy training its political cadre, Ledeen's "new people" whose minds have been defeated by implicit threat, and who have embraced the fascist principles they've been subliminally indoctrinated with for years through the corporate propaganda machine. These new people are fast joining front organizations like the Freedom Corps, the Citizen Corps, Community Emergency Response Teams (which will train kids at school to prepare for the disasters the illegitimate Bush Régime and its Timmy McVeighs will surely visit upon America); the Neighborhood Watch Program that will allow the Bush Régime to detain its drunk and disorderly political opponents as terrorist surrogates; and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), through which overpaid doctors will monitor patients within the faltering health care system.
Within these front groups, as stated in the CIA's Guerrilla Warfare manual, are the cadres trained "in techniques of persuasion over control of target groups" to support the Bush Régime. In a national emergency, these cadres will be mobilized; they will attend mass meetings, carry placards, shout slogans, and if necessary grab guns and ropes and form lynch mobs. As in Vietnam, only five percent of the people need to be organized in this fashion, in order to wield control over the indifferent ninety percent, and defeat the five percent that form the resistance.
The pressure to join the new legions will be almost irresistible. Already we are subjected to a barrage of Bill O'Rilley and Michael Savage-style TV and radio shows, and Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg movies that appeal to our most violent cultural beliefs; and when that doesn't work, latent threats get us to denounce our ideals and accept the fascist Bush Régime. In South Vietnam, CIA officers taught district chiefs how to teach classes on government ideology: "problem individuals" were given the motivational indoctrination course, and everywhere "the populace was encouraged to report the activities of the VCI by dropping a note addressed to the police in local mailboxes." This method of institutionalized snitching accounted for 40% of the information used in Phoenix operations. Psychological operations in support of the attack against the VCI were so effective that in 1970, the Pentagon's Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities described Phoenix as "the number one... priority." (15)
When Bush publicly his proposed legislation for the Department of Homeland Security on 6 June 2002, he stressed that the organization's primary mission was to "mobilize and focus... the American people "to accomplish the mission of attacking the enemy where he hides and plans." By which he means having his new legions root-out the political enemy within America, just as the CIA would root out the VCI, or is nor rooting out insurgents in Iraq.
Phoenix As The Model For Maximum Abuses
In the forthcoming national emergency, the CIA will form special units within the 56 terror Justice Department task forces around the country, and TTIC will form hit teams within security forces at its disposal for political internal security operations. Bush's most powerful political opponents will endure "compromise and discredit" operations like the one the FBI used against Martin Luther King before they killed him; or like Goldberg-Lewinsky sex scandal that destroyed Bill Clinton. Thanks to blanket surveillance, the most intimate details of a person's private life will become his or her greatest liability. Extramarital affairs, drug use, and mental health care will be bared to the nation.
If an individual is impervious to shame, or has no past indiscretions, forged documents will be used. One prominent political opponent jailed by South Vietnamese president Thieu through the CIA's Phoenix Program revealed the existence of "a systematic campaign of vilification by use of forged documents." Forged documents used to justify false arrests or conceal illegal operations often emerged as "captured documents." Aides to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigating Phoenix in 1970 wryly reported that "There seems to be captured documents to prove any point or to support, retrospectively, almost any conclusion." (16)
Not just the phony justification for the invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq, forged documents, whether captured or not, and "compromise and discredit" operations, are also a mainstay of the eternal war on terror. We have seen Network News broadcast "edited" videotapes of Osama bin Laden, and in Afghanistan, captured documents were routinely used as a form of black propaganda to justify military actions that resulted in "collateral" damage, meaning the first-degree murder of innocent people.
At the local level we can also expect a slew of false rumors from Homeland Security cadres, designed to ruin the reputations of politically incorrect families in their villages and towns, especially environmentalists who challenge critical infrastructure corporations. The paranoia that currently infects the Arab-American community will spread nationwide, until no one is sure who is a spy for the Bush Regime's Thought Police. Midnight arrests and disappearances into administrative detention centers will be commonplace, as the definition of a terrorist surrogate is expanded to include people deemed dangerous to the Public Order. As Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker wrote in 1972, this "means that virtually any person arrested... can now be held on criminal instead of political charges." (17)
No specific charge will be required; a Homeland Security cadre will simply accuse his neighbor, the one whose dog poops on his lawn, of disturbing the public order. Then off the unlucky fellow goes into the local Guantanamo.
Through Ashcroft's Domestic Security Enhancement Act, the crime of sedition will be resurrected and will include disseminating information about government corruption, or undermining the will of the State (as Ashcroft is fond of saying) by challenging its authority. Calling for civil disobedience will be equated with threatening Homeland tranquility. Cadre in the Office of Cyberspace Security will expose you as a terrorist surrogate for sending sarcastic or satirical emails. How can you prove you were only joking when you blamed Bush for the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, or said that Cheney's refusal to investigate the attacks proves that Bush did it? (18)
A Final Word Of Warning
Already we passively permit hooded policemen to search our cars, without probable cause, for Osama bin Laden. These policemen are helping us, right? They would never turn their guns on us, right?
As stated in the CIA's terror manual, and as is known to the Homeland Security cadre like Michael Ledeen and Bill O'Reilly, "Implicit terror always accompanies weapons, since the people are internally "aware" that they can be used against them."
Knowing this, every town will form a Homeland Security Committee, chaired by the Bush Régime's local political cadre, who will process confidential reports from concerned citizen snitches about the activities of terrorist suspects. These reports will pass through an ideological filter as they work their way up to the TTIC, where motivationally indoctrinated CIA officers will gleefully pull the plug on peace activists, environmentalists, people espousing national health care, and anyone else posing a challenge to the reactionary right and the internal security forces that are firmly in its grip.
What makes this possible is that Ashcroft has vowed to "arrest and detain any suspected terrorist who has violated the law," but he has yet to define what a suspected terrorist is, or what law (Public Order?) has been violated. This is what happened in Vietnam too. There was never any consensus about the definition of a VCI sympathizer. Four years after the Phoenix Program was initiated, the New York Times revealed that 26,843 VCI and VCI sympathizers had been neutralized in the previous 14-month period. During Congressman Hearings that were being held at the time, Representative Ogden Reid (D-NY) asked William Colby, "Are you certain that we know a loyal member of the VCI from a loyal member of the South Vietnamese citizenry?"
Colby said, "No." (19)
So the definition of a terrorist suspect or surrogate is deliberately left wide and open, paving the way for political repression through institutionalized terror. The anti-terror legislation passed by Congress and signed by Bush allows for secret searches of the homes of people who meet the nebulous criteria of "suspected terrorist." No doubt these secret searches violate the Fourth Amendment, so Ashcroft, again lifting a page from the Phoenix playbook, has vowed to "employ new tools that ease administrative burdens." (20)
Ashcroft is laying his meaning between the lines, and what he means is that the Bush Regime's political police will be empowered to detain US citizens without probably cause. When four Congresspersons charged that the administrative detention laws under the Phoenix Program violated that part of the Geneva Conventions guaranteeing protection to civilians in time of war, CIA legal experts argued that Article 3 applied, "only to sentencing for crimes, and does not prohibit a state from interning civilians or subjecting them to emergency detention when such measures are necessary for the security or safety of the state."
In this way indefinite detention, torture, and summary execution, all carried out without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, will be perfectly legal in the forthcoming, legally criminal Homeland Security state, because they will result from "administrative procedures" and will not involve a "criminal sentence." (21)
This is Phoenix, and it's what the Bush clique has in store for America.
Douglas Valentine is the author of The Hotel Tacloban, TDY, and The Phoenix Program, which are available through this web sites, and at http://members.authorsguild.net/valentine. His fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1930-1968, will be published by Verso in the spring of 2004.
(1) Vietnam Policy And Prospects 1970 (Hearings Before The Committee On Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, February 17-20, March 3, 14, 17, 19, 970), Statement for the Record On The Security Aspects of Pacification And Development. by Ambassador William E. Colby, p. 716.
(2) Reylea, Harold, Report for Congress, Homeland Security: Department Organization and Management, 9 September 2002, p. 14.
(3) Anthony Judge quoting three time Nobel Prize winner Johan Galtung (coiner of the phrase "legally criminal") in "Metaphoric Entrapment in Time, Avoiding the Trap of Project Logic," Project Logic: An Undetected Policy Trap, 21 April 2000: view at http://www.uia.org/uiadocs/entrap.htm
(4) Homeland Security Mission & Management statement, http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland . Homeland Security Act of 2002, TITLE IX--NATIONAL HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL
(5) Interview with Lawrence Korb.
(6) Valentine, Douglas, The Phoenix Program, New York, William Morrow Company, 1990, p. 21.
(7) Rothschild, Matthew, "More Anti-War Activists Snagged by "No Fly" List, 16 October 2002, The Progressive. See also Unisys News Report, BLUE BELL, Pa., August 19, 2002.
(8) Priest, Dana: "The CIA Is Expanding Domestic Operations," Washington Post, 23 October 2002
(9) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, p. 13.
(10) Ledeen, Michael, 1 October 2001, The National Review Online.
(11) Woodward, Bob, 21 October 2001, The Washington Post
(12) Becker, Elizabeth, 19 January 2002 New York Times, first quote, Bamford, James, "Maintain CIA's Independence," 24 October 2002 USA Today, second quote.
(13) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine0824.html p. 263, Ft Bragg, pp. 407-410, Lawlor, pp. 351-4, Mackin. Government Executive Magazine, 18 December 2002, citing the Washington Post, Lawlor as Chief of staff; March 24th, 2003 Press Release by White House Drug Czar and Homeland Security chief , Mackin
(14) Tayacan: Psychological Operations In Guerrilla Warfare: published on line at
(15) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, p. 284.
(16) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, p. 332-4.
(17) Ibid p. 402, Bunker statement re Decree Law 020 "Concerning National Security and Public Order. In a 16 July article for the New York Times, Elizabeth Becker reported a top Bush official as saying,"The whole society is vulnerable with hundreds, thousands of targets we have to protect, but the most important stuff won't be released." Korb goes so far as to speak of "existential threats."
(18) Warnings by an FBI agent that Moslem extremists were planning to fly planes into the World Trade enter were lost in a bureaucratic shuffle in August, only weeks before the attacks. We are told that these warnings never reached the White House, although Ashcroft himself was warned not to fly on commercial airlines at precisely that same time. (Jake Tapper, Salon.com, 12 September 2001.)
(19) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, p. 378
(20) Attorney General John Ashcroft, Prepared Remarks for the US Mayors Conference, October 25, 2001
(21) Valentine, The Phoenix Program, p. 378.
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