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The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam

Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: History, Military
4 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A shocking expos of the covert CIA program of widespread torture, rape, and murder of civilians during America’s war in Vietnam, with a new introduction by the author. In the darkest days of the Vietnam War, America’s Central Intelligence Agency secretly initiated a sweeping program of kidnap, torture, and assassination devised to destabilize the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Vietnam, commonly known as the “Viet Cong.” The victims of the Phoenix Program were Vietnamese civilians, male and female, suspected of harboring information about the enemy - though many on the blacklist were targeted by corrupt South Vietnamese security personnel looking to extort money or remove a rival. Between 1965 and 1972, more than eighty thousand noncombatants were “neutralized,” as men and women alike were subjected to extended imprisonment without trial, horrific torture, brutal rape, and in many cases execution, all under the watchful eyes of US government agencies.Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with former participants and observers, Douglas Valentine’s startling expos blows the lid off of what was possibly the bloodiest and most inhumane covert operation in the CIA’s history.The ebook edition includes “The Phoenix Has Landed,” a new introduction that addresses the “Phoenix-style network” that constitutes America’s internal security apparatus today. Residents on American soil are routinely targeted under the guise of protecting us from terrorism - which is why, more than ever, people need to understand what Phoenix is all about.

©1990 Douglas Valentine (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Mathew
  • American Fork, Utah United States
  • 07-30-19

HOLY CRAP!!!! The truth needs to come out!

Who do you believe?!?!?
There is so much talk today about real vs fake news. This book exposes the dirty truth of the US' involvement in Southeast Asia and it isn't pretty.
Being born in the 60s, I have had to take my understanding from books, old news reports, etc. I remember seeing one program where Robert McNamara admitted that he knew the Vietnam war was wrong and failure. I felt like he should have been tried for treason and imprisoned for prosecuting a war he knew was wrong!
Walter Cronkite and the news lied to us and especially about the Tet Offensive. Most trusted man my eye.

Being an audio book, it can be more difficult to research the references and information used in the book.
Douglas Valentine seems to have done his homework here, citing many names and places and interviews of the actual participants and policy makers.
If what is presented here is true, I am shocked and disturbed by the vast number of US and Vietnamese who lost their lives and their loved ones for nothing.
I understand the politics and fear of the spread of communism. It was and still is a real threat to the free world. Look at North Korea and the human misery of millions under the yoke of Kim Jong Un. Look at the rising power of Russia (again) or the Chinese threats against Japan and Taiwan.
However, the tactics, policies and actions described in this book demonstrate several things to my mind:
1- The thuggery and murder of evil or weak charactered men when given the power over someone else's life with no consequences. This is clear on all sides of the conflict herein.
2- Good men trying to protect and serve can be used a pawns and their lives become fodder.
3- Good and innocent people loose their liberty, property and lives when evil people strive to get gain and power by stepping on the dead.

This is not a short book. It should be read, pondered and understood.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a lot of needless detail but interesting

this book is highly detailed about the facts of the Vietnam War and the covert operations by the CIA. it drones on and on about specific Personnel moves and people who did one thing or another but it fails to really flow well. undoubtedly this is very important because it documents our government immoral and illegal killing and torture in foreign countries. it takes 33 chapters to get to the conclusions that this may be going on today which is probably not too far-fetched. good study for someone writing documentaries or papers maybe not so interesting for the regular person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The CIA has it's hand's in country shaping!

WoW, The more I learn about our government and the CIA. The more I understand our current situation. GREAT BOOK

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An Answer To My Unanswered Questions

If you were in the US Military between 1964-1975, I urge you to read this book. The combat soldiers of Vietnam surely must read it, as there was another war unknown to the foot soldier and regretfully you inherited the consequences of this mostly unseen war, where 27,000 Vietnamese were tortured and then killed. A government agency completely out of control, even up until today.
Americans must reevaluate the need for the CIA and other intelligence agencies as now common Americans are their innocent victims now that the USSR is no more.
Why is the book has gone unnoticed by the press is a true wonderment when the author was brave enough to tell it, and I thank Douglas Valentine's effort in purging maybe himself, if not the CIA.
No politicians are going to challenge this agency, so what do we do with this fourth branch of the government?
The book gives you the answer, but are we stout enough to disband the Brennans and Clappers of this country and no, Trump is not the man.
Sadly, it must start with one citizen and hopefully younger Americans might see the folly of it all. They have new victims as they have morphisised into an enemy of the common man in trying to change a national election.
Yes, up until this book I supported the intelligence world, but after this book, I have grave concerns.

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  • N
  • 03-13-19

Still here

Apparently reading is the most prominent threat to national security, otherwise why are you siting outside of my house? Shouldn't you be hunting down terrorists trying to infiltrate the United states in stead of conducting domestic operations on U.S. Citizens?

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Very Informative

This is a very well written and informative book. This book helps people understand why US troops sometimes did what they did in Vietnam which was to unwittingly carry out the master plan of the CIA who first became involved in Vietnam in the 50's. As the author eludes to, Phoenix type programs have gone on around the world ever since. This book brings the reality of US policy and war into view. Well worth listening to.

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DHS IS PHOENIX

A must-read to understanding the agenda behind Foreign Policy, the 'War on Terror' and the implementation of DHS, fusion centers across North America and policies now Incorporated by all level of law enforcement agencies. The Phoenix Program is a big puzzle piece that explains current events and where we're headed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I WAS A TEENAGER AND IN MY 20'S

It is SOOOO nice when someone tells the truth about what has/is going on! Vietnam was a FALSE FLAG (as in the Gulf of Tonkin) & it literally wiped out my generation of boys/men. So sad, so very sad!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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very detailed

this is an exceptionally well researched book. it does a nice job of echoing the roots of the use of torture and terror as an official policy seen used during our recent wars in the middle East. the book is detailed and a little heady.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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More aptly named "The Acronym Program"

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More concentration on the story and less on the minutia of using abreviated language and acronyms to a cloying extent.

What was most disappointing about Douglas Valentine’s story?

It read more like a military report than a novel.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Bob Souer?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Some sentences in this book seemed to have more acronyms than real words and I found this caused the story to drag and was annoying to the point of distraction. As a Vietnam vet I expected this book to both entertain and inform. It did niether.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Darryl Baker
  • 09-04-19

Bias shown from first sentence

Struggled to read it, returned book. Strong bias shown from beginning and could see the book was not going to weigh good and bad. Intent on painting a sensationally bad picture

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  • Alastair
  • 07-08-16

technically thorough, thoroughly terrifying

well researched and technically thorough; good foundational knowledge on the antics of the 'old boys'