Inside the organized crime syndicate known as the CIA: An interview with Douglas Valentine


[Douglas Valentine is an investigator and author with a rare and tenacious approach toward research. His writing results in uniquely incisive and revealing books on the dark side of U.S. intelligence activities and the National Security State. His latest book, The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, draws parallels between CIA operations in Vietnamas exposed in his well-known 1990 book, The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnamand recent/current operations in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. In the following interview, Valentine reflects on a variety of issues including the Phoenix Program, plausible deniability, paramilitary wars, drug trafficking, sabotage, blackmail, propaganda, Operation GLADIO, class interests of the CIA establishment, Trump, the Mueller Report and the Bidens.—Editors]

Heidi Boghosian: In 1947, Congress passed the National Security Act, which led to the formation of the National Security Council and, under its direction, the CIA. Its original mandate was to collect and analyze strategic information for use in war. Though shrouded in secrecy, many CIA activities such as covert military and cybersecurity operations have drawn considerable public scrutiny and criticism. In 1948, the Security Council approved a secret directive NSC 10.2, authorizing the CIA to carry out an array of covert operations. This essentially allowed the CIA to become a paramilitary organization.

“George F. Kennan was an American diplomat and historian. He was best known as an advocate of a post-war policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War. Curiously, he opposed the building of the hydrogen bomb and the rearmament of Germany. He lectured widely and wrote advocating for ‘containment’ of the USSR. He was concomitantly one of a group of foreign policy elders known as ‘The Wise Men.'” PHOTO/World Socialist Web Site/Duck Duck Go

Before he died, George F. Kennan, the diplomat and Cold War strategist who sponsored the directive, said that, “in light of latter history, it was the greatest mistake I ever made.” Since NSC 10.2 authorized violation of international law, it also established an official policy of lying to cover up the law breaking. 

We speak today with Douglas Valentine, author of The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. Mr. Valentine’s rare access to CIA officials has resulted in portions of his research materials being archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and John Jay College. He has written three books on CIA operations, including the Phoenix Program:America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture, and assassination in Vietnam. His new book describes how many of these practices remain operational today. Doug Valentine, welcome to Law and Disorder

Douglas Valentine: Thank you very much for having me. 

Heidi Boghosian: Doug, how did you come to get such unparalleled access to top level CIA agents, including director Bill Colby?

Douglas Valentine: Well, I’m not really sure of the answer. I was a nobody. I hadn’t gone to the Columbia Journalism School. In fact, I was a college dropout. I had written a book about my father and his experiences in World War II and I wanted to write a book about the Vietnam war. And so, I sent this book that I wrote about my father called the Hotel Tacloban: The Explosive True Story of One American’s Journey to Hell in a Japanese POW Camp to Colby. And he read it! And based on him reading this book I wrote about my father, he agreed to do an interview with me about the CIA’s Phoenix program. 

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