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MONARCH: THE NEW PHOENIX PROGRAM
The Phoenix Program, created by the CIA in 1967, was aimed at "neutralizing"
throughassassination, kidnapping, and torture, the civilian infrastructure that supported the VietCong insurgency in South Vietnam. It was a terrifying "final solution" that violated theGeneva Conventions. The Phoenix Program's civilian targets of assassination were VCtax collectors, supply officers, political cadre, local military officials, and suspectedsympathizers. Faulty intelligence often led to the murder of innocent civilians, rivalVietnamese would report their enemies as "VC" in order for US troops to kill them. In1971, William Colby, head of CIA in Vietnam, testified the number killed was 20,857.South Vietnamese government figures were 40,994 dead. CIA officer Ted Shackleymanaged (600 military and (40-50) CIA liaison officers) who were working with SouthVietnamese officers in 44 provinces. Ted Shackley and Robert Komer played key roles inrecruiting Phoenix Program personnel. Many Covert Action officers were Cubanrefugees from the Bay of Pigs fiasco. They ran the CIA's Counter-Terror (CT) Teams,which were in fact assassination squads. Colby, Komer, and Shackley reported to DCIRichard Helms and the White House.
From the beginning the Phoenix Program wasconceived by the White House and supported by the CIA.
Phoenix called for"neutralizing" 1800 targets a month. About one third of VC targeted for arrest weresummarily executed. Green Berets and Navy SEALs would assassinate suspected VCsympathizers or cadres, as well as South Vietnamese collaborators and double agents. In1982 an Ex-Phoenix operative revealed that sometimes orders were given to kill U.S.military personnel who were considered security risks. He suspects the orders came notfrom "division", but from a higher authority such as the CIA or the Office of NavalIntelligence.The following is testimony of Vincent Okamoto, combat officer (Lieutenant) in Vietnamin 1968, and recipient of Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest awardconferred by the US Army. Wounded 3 times. "The problem was, how do you find thepeople on the blacklist? It's not like you had their address and telephone number. The