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What ''Homeland Security'' is all about.

by John Smith Friday, Nov. 14, 2003 at 1:53 AM

Please circulate: WAR/DHS.htm


The Department of Homeland Security:

When The Phoenix Comes Home To Roost

By Douglas Valentine, =A9 March 2003

"The implication or latent threat of terror was sufficient to

insure that the people would comply." William Colby, RIP

On 12 December 1970, the big American brains running the Vietnam

War issued a report titled, Internal Security in South

Vietnam-Phoenix. The report was significant at the time insofar as

it recognized that, "the contest with the Communists has shifted


a new level." Main force operations had given way to political

proselytizing, terrorism, and penetrations into the Government of

South Vietnam, all of which were managed by the Viet Cong

Infrastructure, or VCI. The report described the VCI as, "the

political and administrative organization through which the

Communists control or seek to control the people of South


According to the report, defense against the new VCI strategy


depend on the ability of the CIA's Phoenix Program to provide the

corrupt Government of South Vietnam (GVN) with internal security.

Phoenix did this first by coordinating all US and GVN agencies


contributed to the identification and neutralization of the VCI.

("Neutralization" meant to kill, capture or make to defect, and


CIA went about this in typical corporate fashion: it imposed an

1800-per-month neutralization quota on its men in the field.)

Secondly, and more importantly, Phoenix provided the GVN with

Internal Security by compiling a computerized blacklist of

political opponents, which included anyone espousing peace. Those

who found their names on the Phoenix blacklist could be

assassinated, or kidnapped, detained, and tortured indefinitely on

the false accusation of one anonymous=20 informant.

Granted, the "war on terror" is unlike the Vietnam War, but based

on his innate illegitimacy, Bush is obsessed with internal

security, and has created the Department of Homeland Security


former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to pacify the American

people. It is the largest reorganization of the US government in


years, and according to Lawrence Korb at the Brookings Institute,

might, "bankrupt the country." But at a cost of billion in

taxpayer s money, it will provide Bush with the "internal


apparatus he needs to assure the continuity of political power in

his hands, indefinitely, at the expense of our democracy and


And it brings the Phoenix Program home to roost.

Phoenix As The Conceptual Precedent For Homeland Security

The Phoenix "concept" is that terror is an organizing principle of

society. This includes every type of terror, from the A-Bomb that

incinerated Hiroshima, to the "collective punishments" Israel uses

to deny Palestinians jobs, health, education, pride. It s National

Guardsmen patrolling airports, and hooded policemen armed with

automatic rifles, searching cars without probable cause. It is

color-coded warnings of terror attacks that never occur, and

unsubstantiated reports brought to you by Network News.

The concept also includes selective terror, which was perfected by

the Viet Minh and involved the murder and mutilation of French

colonial officials and their Vietnamese suppletifs. The Viet Minh,

like the Palestinians, were so incredibly out-gunned they had to

choose between submission, annihilation in an open rebellion, or

selective terror - including suicide bombers. The purpose of

selective terror was to psychologically isolate the oppressor,

while demonstrating the ability to strike small blows for freedom,

until a general uprising was possible.

In 1964 the CIA concluded that in order to win the Vietnam War, it

had to neutralize the VCI through selective terror, so it set in

place the foundation stones upon which Phoenix was built: 1)

Counter Terror Teams; 2) the Province Interrogation Center (PIC)

Program, which consisted of a US engineering firm building an

interrogation center in each of South Vietnam s 44 provinces, one

of which was managed in 1972 by Representative Rob Simmons (CT-R):

and 3) the Hamlet Informant Program (HIP), designed to identify


suspects at the grass roots level of society. The similarities are

between HIP and Attorney General John Ashcroft s short-lived

Operation TIPS (the Terrorism Information and Prevention System)

are obvious.

These programs worked in tandem. On the basis of a false


made by a single anonymous HIP informant, a Counter Terror team

would "snatch or snuff (assassinate)" a VCI suspect. If snatched,

the suspect was detained indefinitely under "administrative

detention" laws in a PIC, or one of the hundreds of detention

centers the CIA constructed across South Vietnam. VCI suspects


shuffled back and forth between PICs, detention centers, and

squalid jails until they died or defected. Otherwise they were


for "disposition" to a military tribunal or a CIA-advised Security

Committee. Disposition meant imprisonment on Con Son Island, 90

miles off the southern tip of South Vietnam. Referred to as Ho Chi

Minh University, Con Son Prison was the Phoenix version of Bush s

hideous detention camp in Cuba.

Administrative detention, detention centers, and military


are principal Phoenix-derived elements of the illegitimate Bush

Regime s homeland security apparatus.

In June 1967 these CIA programs were combined to form the Phoenix

Program, which coordinated all the existing US intelligence,


advisory, and military units in the attack on the VCI. Phoenix

ostensibly had no operational units of its own, but as is true of

homeland security personnel, Phoenix advisors organized and

participated in terror missions, even in countries outside South


Phoenix employed every weapon of terror available to it, including

assassins who performed what Israeli euphemistically refers to as

"targeted kills", military cordon and search operations like the

one that generated the My Lai massacre, massive round-ups of

civilians, and indiscriminate air and artillery strikes like the

ones in Afghanistan.

Under Phoenix, due process was non-existent, and corrupt US and

Vietnamese officials used the Phoenix blacklist to extort innocent

civilians as well as VCI. It was the greatest blackmail scheme


invented: if you didn t do what the President and his clique

wanted, your name appeared on the blacklist - and you were as good

as dead.

Be forewarned: the Bush Regime is already compiling its


the INS-State Department TIPOFF blacklist; the "No-Fly" blacklist

of peace activists, which is distributed to airlines by the FBI


the Transportation Security Administration; and local blacklists

like the one kept by the Denver police department.

The Method In Their Madness

After the uninvestigated terror attacks of September 11, Bush s

rationale for "eternal war on terror" evolved, 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 right to launch preemptive attacks on

any nation he can characterize as a terrorist threat. This First

Degree Murder strategy makes Americans feel safer, but it has a

sinister, unstated purpose: by generating more human misery and

terrorists around the world, Manifesto Bush will generate more

domestic dissidents, and provide Bush with the pretext he needs to

impose the internal security apparatus that will terrorize and

repress Americans, and allow his Regime to maintain its dominance.

Manifesto Bush is a function of Bush s paranoid belief - based on

his innate illegitimacy - that the American people must be


to ensure their support for his eternal war on terror. In fact,

homeland security is the lynchpin in the Bush Regime s plan for

world domination, for without political "internal security," it

cannot wage the eternal war on terror abroad (with all the


benefits to Bush and his clique that entails). There is no other

need for the Department of Homeland Security; it 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.

The Bush Regime is creating this fascist police state through the

Big Lie. Case in point: the Homeland Security website says that


threat of terrorism, "is a permanent condition," that "requires


country to design a new homeland security structure."8 In

"Metaphoric Entrapment In Time," sociologist Anthony Judge tells

how terror is the key to creating the new homeland "security

structure." "Personal violence is for the amateur in dominance,"

but, "structural violence is the tool of the professional. The

amateur who wants to dominate uses guns; the professional uses

social structure. The legal criminality of the social system and

its institutions, of government, and of individuals at the

interpersonal level is tacit violence. Structural violence is a

structure of exploitation and social injustice."

Now that the Department of Internal Security has been voted into

law, Bush has laid the groundwork for America s new "legally

criminal" social structure. And the Phoenix has landed in our


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. The Phoenix Committee

functioned like Bush s Homeland Security Council; as a board of

directors that advised the chairman and formulated policy.

Directly under the committee was a Directorate, which the CIA hid

in the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support

(CORDS) component of the Military Assistance Command/Vietnam

(MACV). A senior CIA officer served as Phoenix 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 200,000 Vietnamese civilians caught in the Phoenix

dragnet, and made sure that CORDS and its six divisions (for

defectors, security, refugees, public safety, civil affairs, and

psychological warfare) stayed focused on anti-VCI operations.

CORDS is the organizational model for the Department of Homeland

Security, which consists of directorates for Information Analysis

and Infrastructure Protection, Science and Technology, Border and

Transportation Security, and Emergency Preparedness and Response.

The critical Office of Intelligence, which will include 1000

analysts from dozens of contributing agencies, is hidden within


Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection.

Former CIA officer John Gannon will head this Office, which,

insofar as it will coordinate the other directorates in terror

operations, is the homeland security equivalent of the Phoenix


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 Province Coordinator was the main man in

the Phoenix chain of command. He managed the CIA s Counter Terror

teams, and its interrogation and informant programs. And just like

the Phoenix Directorate eclipsed CORDS, the CIA managed DHS

Intelligence Office unit will wag the homeland security dog - by

coordinating intelligence, sending warnings to state, local, and

private sector officials, and managing terror operations. The DHS

will employ close to 170,000 people and operate at an annual


of about billion, but, as Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) has

said, "(I)f we don t create a very strong coordinator and analyzer

of intelligence, we have not completed our work."

Employees from the CIA s Counter-Terror Center will fill the most

important positions within the DHS Intelligence Office. The

Counter-Terror Center has also posted officers within terrorism

task forces in 56 US localities, to "plan daily operations." These

56 CIA officers serve the same function as the 44 Province Phoenix


The involvement of CIA officers in domestic law enforcement means

the suspension of our civil liberties, for in their search for

opponents of the Bush Regime, the CIA will reach into every corner

of society, including our homes, workplaces, public facilities and


But worse abuses than blanket surveillance will occur. The problem

of internal security is tactical - sniffing out terrorists and

launching preemptive attacks that kill them before they strike.

That is what the Phoenix Directorate did, and the Department of

Homeland Security ostensibly will do. But just as the Phoenix

Committee managed the strategic "internal security" function in

Vietnam, Bush s Homeland Security Council will wage political

warfare against its domestic opposition in America, and this

operation will not appear on any organizational chart.

Phoenix As The Prototype Of Political Warfare

The greatest danger facing America is the Bush Regime s secret

political warfare program within its internal security structure.

The precedent is the Phoenix Program.

In 1968, through the Phoenix Program, 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 settlement that would allow

for majority rule. Thieu s actions led to Congressional

investigations, which in 1970 revealed that the CIA had used

Phoenix 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." Nowadays such "neutralizations" are made to look like

accidents, as in the Senator Paul Wellstone and Missouri Governor

Carnahans plane crashes. Like the anthrax letters mailed to

Democratic senators, it takes only a few such black propaganda

operations to silence Bush s political opposition.

The Bush Regime policy of using terror as an organizing principle

of society was clearly summarized by right wing pundit Michael

Ledeen when he said, "New times require new people with new

standards." These 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 Regime 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."

This is the maximum danger of homeland security, and it happened

here before, when Oliver North established his infamous "off the

shelf" Counter-Terror network to side step Congress and wage the

illegal Contra War, and enable Reagan to sell missiles to Iran

without notifying Congress. This Counter Terror network evolved

into the CIA s Counter Terror Center, which will staff the DHS

Intelligence Office, and, in liaison with 56 terror task forces,

will provide the Bush Regime with the same political "internal

security" it has provided right wing regimes since Eisenhower.

Blackmail is the key, and hundreds of businesses and institutions

across the country have already been placed on the CIA s homeland

security "Watch List." According to Bob Woodward, one Bush


said that merely being on the list "could destroy the livelihood


all those organizations&without a bomb being thrown or a spore of

anthrax being released."

According to Elizabeth Becker of the New York Times, "the leaders

of many federal departments and agencies have been scrambling to

figure out& how they can influence the outcome (of the impending

Department of Homeland Security) without appearing disloyal."

According to James Bamford, "pressure has been building on the

intelligence agencies to deliberately slant estimates to fit a

political agenda," and "a growing number of military officers,

intelligence professionals and diplomats &charge that the

administration squelches dissenting views..." What this boils down

to is mandatory self-censorship: no one will probe Bush s


with the bin Laden family, or ask why he whisked them and members

of the Saudi Royal family out of the country in the wake of

September 11. And no one will ask about Israeli spy rings in the

US, and their "false flag" relationship with the people who flew

the planes into the Twin Towers.

Phoenix As Psychological Warfare Precedent for Homeland Security

Information management is key in the Bush Regime s effort to make

terror the organizing principle in American society, while at the

same time making its homeland security apparatus appear to be

legal, moral, and most importantly, popular. And the way that is

done is through a concerted psychological warfare campaign. The

first step is organizing a political cadre to spread the word, and

again we look to Phoenix as a model. The soldiers slated to

participate in Phoenix were trained at a CIA-managed Special


motivational indoctrination school at Fort Bragg. These Phoenix

advisors were the first political cadres to infiltrate the


military. In return for adopting the right wing party line, a

successful career was guaranteed. Several former Phoenix officers

now enjoy important internal security posts, like Major General

Bruce Lawlor, Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland


At Fort Bragg, CIA unconventional 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

Regime 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


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."

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. They will "covertly identify" and watch these

people, until it becomes necessary to expose them in the media as

being under investigation. No one will want to be identified, even

falsely, as "inadvertent" or "malicious terrorist surrogates,"

knowing that once they have been defined in these terms they are

subject to being "stamped out," as right wing pundit Michael


has suggested.

The Bush Regime already has its political cadre, Ledeen s "new

people" who have been defeated by implicit threat and have


the fascist principles they were 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


will train kids at school to prepare for the disasters the

illegitimate Bush regime and its Timmy McVeighs will surely visit

upon America); the Neighborhood Watch Program that will allow the

Bush Regime 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 Guerrilla Warfare

manual, are the cadre trained "in techniques of persuasion over

control of target groups" to support the Bush Regime. In a


emergency, including the preordained war on Iraq and economic

depression, the cadre will be mobilized; they will attend mass

meetings, carry placards, shout slogans, and if necessary grab


and ropes and form lynch mobs.

As in Vietnam, only five percent of the people need to be


in this fashion in order to wield control over the indifferent

ninety percent, and defeat the five percent that form the


Again, we look to Phoenix for what s to come. In 1969 Phoenix

became a massive screening operation, and generating defectors

became its main objective through the Popular Information Program.

Under the banner of, "Protecting the People From Terrorism,"

Phoenix psychological warfare teams crisscrossed the countryside,

Michael Savage-style radio shows, leaflets, posters, and movies to

appeal to peoples cultural beliefs to get them to denounce

Communism and accept the corrupt Government of Vietnam. CIA

officers taught Vietnamese district chiefs how to teach classes on

government ideology: "problem individuals" were given a

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

accounted for 40% of the information used in Phoenix operations in

one province.

Psychological operations in support of the Phoenix 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 MACV PSYOPS priority."20 Likewise,


Bush publicly his proposed legislation for the Department of

Homeland Security on 6 June 2002, he stressed that the


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 the enemy within.

Phoenix As The Model For Maximum Abuses

In a national emergency, the CIA will form "special units" within

the 56 terror task forces around the country. And it will form hit

teams within the special units for political "internal security"

operations, just like Phoenix Coordinators formed hit teams under

cover of the security forces at their disposal.

Phoenix psyops also included "compromise and discreditation"

operations, like the one the FBI used against Martin Luther King

before they killed him. Information about his personal life was

leaked to discredit him; he was blackmailed about extramarital

affairs; and he was sent a message with the suggestion that he

should commit suicide. "There is only one way out for you," the

forged document read. "You better take it before your filthy,

abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

Forged documents like the one used against King are an important

facet of internal security. One political opponent jailed by Thieu

through the 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."

Forged documents and "compromise and discreditation" operations

will become a tool of the Bush Regime s homeland security

apparatus, just as they are in the eternal war on terror overseas.

We have already seen Network News broadcast "edited" videotapes of

Osama bin Laden, and in the Afghanistan war, captured documents

were routinely used as a form of black propaganda to justify

military actions that resulted in "collateral" damage.

We can also expect a slew of false rumors from the homeland

security cadre, designed to ruin the reputations of politically

incorrect families in their villages and towns, especially

environmentalists who pose a threat to critical infrastructure

corporations. The paranoia that currently infects the Arab-


community will spread nationwide, until no one is sure who is a


for the Thought Police. Midnight arrests and disappearances into

"administrative detention centers" will become commonplace, as the

definition of a "terrorist surrogate" achieves political

connotations, and, as happened in Vietnam, the definition 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."

No specific charge will be required; a homeland security cadre


simply accuse someone of disturbing the public order. The

definition of sedition will grow to include disseminating

information about government corruption, or undermining the will


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


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, and said that Cheney s refusal to investigate the

attacks proves that Bush did it?

A Final Word Of Warning

Already we passively permit paramilitary policemen in hoods to

search our cars, without probable cause, for snipers who may or


not be connected to Al Qaeda. 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, "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 Regime s local political cadre, who will

process "confidential" reports from concerned citizens about the

activities of terrorist suspects. These reports will pass through

an ideological filter as they work their way up to the DHS

Intelligence Office, 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 wing 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. 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."

So the definition of a terrorist suspect or surrogate is

deliberately left 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


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


Ashcroft was laying his meaning between the lines, but what he

meant was that the Bush Regime s political police will be


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


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


constituted court, were perfectly legal, because they were the

result of "administrative procedures" and did not involve a

"criminal sentence."

This is Phoenix, and it s what the Bush clique of crazies has in

store for America.

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