#AtoZ 1968 – “P” is for Phoenix Program

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

Phoenix_Program_(edit)

What you see above is the Vietnamese Phụng Hoàng, a word related to fenghuang, the Chinese phoenix. The Phoenix Program was designed and carried out by the US Central Intelligence Agency, with assistance from other governmental agencies and units.

The program was designed to identify and destroy the Viet Cong by means of infiltration, capture, interrogation, and assassination. The CIA described it as “a set of programs that sought to attack and destroy the political infrastructure of the Viet Cong.” Regional units within the program would capture suspected Viet Cong, as well as civilians who were thought to have information on Viet Cong activities. Many of these people who were captured were tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence. By 1972, Phoenix operatives had “neutralized” 81,740 suspected Viet Cong operatives, informants, and supporters. David Valentine wrote a book about the Phoenix Program, after gaining the confidence of former CIA Director William Colby and getting access to former agents. But when Valentine’s book was published, and the CIA learned that Valentine was not sympathetic to their crimes in Vietnam, the CIA used its influence with the New York Times to effectively kill the book. Valentine’s book is available at Amazon

“For it seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.” —Walter Cronkite in an editorial at the close of the CBS Evening News broadcast on February 27, 1968 reporting on what he had learned on a trip to Vietnam in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive.

A to Z badge 2

BONUS MUSIC!

Here’s the #21 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968

“The Horse” by Cliff Nobles

6 thoughts on “#AtoZ 1968 – “P” is for Phoenix Program

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