The phoenix program


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i. Under Colonel Nicolas Carranza, who, according to the Center for National Security Studies, was recruited by the CIA in the late 1970's at a cost of ninety thousand dollars a year. [4]

ii. In 1983 Bush journeyed to El Salvador and arranged to have the most prominent death squad leaders sent to diplomatic posts abroad. By 1987 nine of eleven were back.


Addendum 1: Psyops Comic Book: "Phung Hoang Campaign"

The cartoon book titled Gia dinh ong Ba va Chien Dich Phung Hoang (Mr, Ba's Family and the Phoenix Operation) reads as follows:

Caption 2. Summary: Mr. Ba and his family are presently living in Phong Thanh village. This village is actually part of the nationalist territory but is still infiltrated by a number of Communist elements; therefore, Phoenix leaders have taken military action against them. They received enthusiastic cooperation from the villagers. As a result of this, and through accurate information provided by local people, many Communist cadres have been arrested. These circumstances help you follow the story of Mr. Ba's family.

Caption 3. The cruel Communists kill innocent people again!

Caption 4. Following is the news: "This morning at nine A.M., a Lambretta was blown up by a Communist mine five kilometers outside Phung Hiep village. Two children were killed, three women wounded. The Communists continue to terrorize people!"

Caption 5 ."Hello, sister Tu!"

"Why are you so late?"

"Hello, brother and sister. I am sorry I am late. I left early this morning, but we had to stop at the bridge because it was destroyed by a Communist bomb. We had to wait for the bridge to be repaired by a military engineering unit."

Caption 6. "Mr. Ba, you are asked to pay farm tax to to the Liberation Front!"

Caption 7. "This year the crop is poor, but the Communists still collect taxes. It is a miserable situation. I have heard there is much security in Phung Phu village. There taxes are not collected by the Communists any more thanks to the Phoenix operation. I wonder why such an operation has not come to our village?" "Perhaps because nobody provides them with information! This afternoon the Phoenix operation agents posted a notice at the intersection. I will go and see it tomorrow."

Caption 8. "What is new, my friends?"

"There are two dangerous Communist cadres hiding in our village."

Caption 9. Here are the two Communist cadres sought by the Phoenix Operation. The wanted poster says: "Dear compatriots, If you know the hiding place of the two above named Communist cadres, please notify the national police or the armed forces. You will be rewarded, and your name will be kept secret."

Caption 10. The radio broadcast says, "Compatriots, please help your government by providing information indicating the hiding place of two Communists, Ba Luong and Hai Gon. You will be rewarded, and your name will be kept secret."

"Did you hear that on the radio?"

"I knew it already. It is exactly the same as it has been posted on the wall at the intersection of the village."

Caption 11. "See, there are so many leaflets!"

Caption 12. "Honey, what do they say in those leaflets?"

They are the same as those wall posters, as well as the announcements on the radio yesterday. The two Communists Ba Luong and Rai Gon are presently hiding in our village in order to collect taxes. I am determined to report to the Phoenix Operation Committee because I know their hiding place."

Caption 13. "Where are you going so early?"

"I am going to the district headquarters to report about what happened last night."

Caption 14. "Dear Sir, the two Communists you want are hiding in my village. They are hiding in the house number 80/2 by my village boundaries. They only go out at night. If you succeed in arresting them, please keep my name secret!"

"Thank you, Mr. Ba, your name will be kept secret." (The Phoenix Operation provides security and prosperity to the people.)

Caption 15. "Why are so many soldiers entering our village?"

"Perhaps they are conducting a military operation against the Communists in hiding."

Caption 16. "The two Communists are very dangerous. We can only have peace and security when they are captured."

Caption 17. "Ladies, do you know that the two Communists are captured? From now on our village will be secure. There will be no more assassinations or tax collectors. The Phoenix operation is very effective!"

Caption 18. "Mr. Ba, since the two Communists are captured, our village is at peace. Too bad they are in jail! If they returned to our side beforehand, it could have been better for them!"

"They are obstinate indeed. Had they returned like Mr. Thanh from Long Dien village, they certainly would have enjoyed the government's clemency. Mr. Thanh is now reunited with his family."

Caption 19. "Mr. Ba, you have some mail."

"I wonder who sends you this mail?"

"Wait and see!"

Caption 20. "What does the letter say?"

"Dear Mr. Ba, Since you have helped the government by providing information and undermining the local structures of the Communists, you will be rewarded accordingly. You are invited to attend the coming meeting of the Phoenix Operation Committee to receive your award. Sincerely yours."

Caption 21. Poster says: "Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, former guerrilla at Long Dien village, Gia Rai District, Bac Lieu Province, has returned to the national side. He therefore is allowed to be reunited with his family."



Air America: subsidiary airline of the Central Intelligence Agency which was active in Asia during the Vietnam War


(Khu Tru Mat): garrison community into which rural Vietnamese were forcefully relocated in order to isolate them from the Vietcong.


Agency for International Development: branch of the U.S. State Department responsible for advising the government of Vietnam, including the National Police


Aid-in-Kind: nonmonetary aid

An Ninh

The Vietcong's internal security and propaganda service


Accelerated pacification campaign: pacification program begun November 1968 to increase the number of villages rated "secure" under the Hamlet Evaluation System


Armed propaganda team: platoon-size unit composed of soldiers with both a combat and psychological-warfare mission


Army of the Republic of Vietnam


Army Security Agency: branch of the National Security Agency working with the U.S. Army to locate the Vietcong through its radio communications

Biet Kich



Nucleus of trained personnel around which a larger organization can be built


Combined Action Patrol: platoon-size unit composed of U.S. Marines and Vietnamese Territorial Forces


Controlled American source: an employee of the CIA


Civilian detainee: Vietnamese civilian detained by U.S. or Vietnamese military forces


Combined Document Exploitation Center: formed October 1966 to support allied military operations primarily through the translation of captured enemy documents


Census Grievance: CIA coven action program designed to obtain information on the VCI through static agents in villages, or mobile agents in armed propaganda teams


Counterintelligence: that aspect of intelligence devoted to destroying the effectiveness of enemy intelligence activities


Combined Intelligence Center, Vietnam: created in 1965 to coordinate U.S. and South Vietnamese intelligence operations


Criminal Investigation Division: branch of the U.S. Army charged with investigating crimes committed by American soldiers


Civilian Irregular Defense Group: U.S. Special Forces-trained village and tribal security and reaction forces


Commander in Chief, Pacific: the U.S. military headquarters in Hawaii to which the commander of MACV reported


Central Intelligence Organization: formed in 1961 to coordinate South Vietnamese foreign and domestic intelligence operations


Combined Intelligence Staff: formed in November 1966 to manage the attack against the VCI in Saigon and its environs


Capital Military District Command: formed in June 1968 to coordinate military and pacification operations in Saigon and its environs


Combined Materiel Exploitation Center: formed in 1965 to coordinate intelligence gained from the analysis of captured enemy materiel


Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support: organization established in May 1967 under MACV, designed to coordinate U.S. military and civilian operations and advisory programs in South Vietnam


Central Office of South Vietnam: mobile headquarters of the South Vietnamese insurgency, created in 1962


Central Pacification and Development Council: formed in 1968 by William Colby, who was then chief of CORDS, as a liaison staff to the office of the prime minister of South Vietnam


Central Phung Hoang Permanent Office: formed in July 1968 to manage the South Vietnamese attack against the VCI


Combined Security Committee: formed in 1964 to protect U.S. government personnel and facilities in Saigon and its environs


Counterterrorist: mercenary soldier employed by the CIA to kill, capture, and/or terrorize the VCI


Cong Tac IV (also known as Counterterror IV): joint U.S.-South Vietnamese program begun in December 1966, designed to eliminate the VCI in Saigon and its environs


Combined Tactical Screening Center: formed by the U.S. Army in 1967 to distinguish prisoners of war from civilian detainees

Cuc Nghien Cuu

Central Research Agency: North Vietnamese intelligence service


Defense Attaché Office: U.S. military headquarters that replaced MACV in 1973 after the cease-fire


Director of Central Intelligence: U.S. official in charge of managing the affairs of the CIA


Deputy to the MACV commander for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support


Director General of the National Police: Vietnamese official in charge of the South Vietnamese police


District Intelligence and Operations Coordination Center: office of the Phoenix adviser in each of South Vietnam's 250 districts


Demilitarized zone: stretch of land along the seventeenth parallel, created in 1954 to separate North and South Vietnam


District senior adviser: senior CORDS official in each of South Vietnam's 250 districts


Foreign Intelligence: branch of the CIA charged with inserting agents within foreign governments

Free Fire Zone:

Area in South Vietnam where U.S. military personnel had the authority to kill anyone they targeted


Group administrative mobile organization: French-advised and -outfitted combat unit composed of South Vietnamese soldiers


Composite airborne commando group: French-advised and -outfitted antiguerrilla unit composed mostly of Montagnards


Government of Vietnam


Hamlet Evaluation System: computer system developed by the U.S. Defense Department in 1967 to measure trends in pacification


Hamlet Informant program: CIA-funded program managed by CIA officers in liaison with the Special Branch of the South Vietnamese National Police in which secret agents were paid to identify VCI in hamlets


Dwelling occupied by rural Vietnamese

Hop Tac:

Pacification Intensive Capital Area program, begun July 1964 to bring security to Saigon and its environs


High Values Rewards Program: bounty program proposed by the Phoenix Directorate in July 1971 to induce low- level VCI to turn in high-level VCI


Intelligence coordination and exploitation: original
name of the Phoenix program, formed in June 1967


Intelligence Operations and Coordination Center


International Police Academy: school in the United States where the Agency for International Development through its Office of Public Safety trained policemen from foreign countries from 1963 to 1974


International Security Affairs: office within the U.S. Defense Department responsible for supervising security assistance programs such as Phoenix in foreign countries, excluding NATO


Judge Advocate General: chief prosecuting general within the U.S. armed forces


Joint General Staff: command organization of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces


Personnel branch of the JGS or MACV


Intelligence branch of the JGS or MACV


Operations branch of the JGS or MACV


Logistics branch of the JGS or MACV


Joint U .S. Public Affairs Office: formed in May 1965 under the office of the U.S. Information Agency in South Vietnam, to manage MACV psychological warfare operations and public relations


Khmer Kampuchea Krom: Cambodian exiles trained by the CIA in South Vietnam


Kuomintang: official ruling party of the Republic of China (Taiwan), formed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1911


Luc Luong Duc Biet: South Vietnamese Special Forces


Long-range reconnaissance patrol: small team of U .S. soldiers sent to gather behind-the-lines intelligence on enemy troops


Landing Ship Transport: naval vessel in which troops are often quartered


Military Assistance Command, Vietnam: arrived in Saigon in February 1962 as a unified command under the Commander in Chief, Pacific, managing the U.S. military effort in South Vietnam


Military Assistance and Advisory Group: arrived in South Vietnam in November 1955 to provide support and training to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. Its function was absorbed by MACV in 1964.


Military Assistance Security Adviser: U.S. military officer who manages a security assistance program in a foreign country


Mobile advisory team: team of U.S. military personnel assigned to CORDS, charged with training and supporting the Territorial Security Forces of South Vietnam in a province or district

Mike Forces:

Mobile strike force commands: corps-level units under the command of the 5th Special Forces


Ministry of the Interior: branch of the GVN with authority over pacification, including Phung Hoang


Military Security Service: counterintelligence branch of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces


Michigan State University Group: employees of Michigan State University contracted in 1954 to provide technical assistance to the GVN


National Interrogation Center: CIA facility built in 1964 inside CIO headquarters in the naval shipyard in Saigon


National Liberation Front: formed in 1960 by the various insurgent groups in South Vietnam


National Police Command: organized in June 1971 to incorporate Phung Hoang within the existing National Police structure


National Police Criminal Information System: computer system designed to track identified VCI


National Police Field Force: paramilitary branch of the National Police


National Police Infrastructure Analysis Sub-Section: data bank containing biographical information on the VCI, used to plan countermeasures


National Police Interrogation Center: located at National Police headquarters on Vo Tanh Street in Saigon


North Vietnamese Army


Office of Civil Operations: formed in Saigon in November 1966 to manage U.S. pacification programs in South Vietnam


Office of the Special Assistant: code name for the CIA station in Saigon


Pacific Architects and Engineers: private company that did construction work for the GVN


Pacification Attitude Analysis System: computer system designed to assess the political effects of CORDS pacification programs


People's action team: CIA version of the standard Vietcong armed propaganda team


Phoenix Coordinators Orientation Course: begun November 1968 at Vung Tau's Seminary Camp to train Phoenix coordinators


Phung Hoang Management Information System: computer system containing biographical and organizational data on the VCI, created January 1969


Phung Hoang reexamination: study begun in 1971, designed to critique the Phoenix program

Phung Hoang:

The mythological Vietnamese bird of conjugal love that appears in times of peace, pictured holding a flute and representing virtue, grace, and harmony. Also the name given to the South Vietnamese version of Phoenix


Province Interrogation Center


Province Intelligence Coordination Committee: established by decree in November 1964 to serve as the senior intelligence agency in each province, but never put into effect


Province Intelligence and Operations Coordination Center: headquarters of the Phoenix adviser in each of South Vietnam's forty-four provinces


Potential intelligence recruitment lead: VCI removed from the Phoenix blacklist and approached to become an agent of the CIA


Paramilitary: branch of the CIA that obtains intelligence through unconventional warfare operations


Province officer in charge: senior CIA officer in a province, supervising both police liaison and paramilitary operations


Political and Psychological: branch of the CIA that manages black propaganda and political liaison activities


Provisional Revolutionary Government: formed in June 1969 by the NLF to negotiate the reunification of North and South Vietnam


People's Revolutionary party: created in January 1962 as the southern branch of the Vietnamese Communist party


Provincial Reconnaissance Units: mercenary forces under the control of the CIA in South Vietnam


Province senior adviser: senior CORDS official in each of South Vietnam's forty-four provinces


Province Security Committee: nonjudicial body charged with the disposition of captured VCI


Public Safety Division: branch of CORDS responsible for advising the National Police


Pacification Security Coordination Division: CIA component of CORDS


People's self-defense forces: South Vietnamese civilian militia


Psychological operations


Psychological warfare


Post traumatic stress disorder: stress that continues after the traumatic event that caused it


Revolutionary Development: CIA program to build support for the GVN in the provinces of South Vietnam


Revolutionary development cadre: South Vietnamese trained by the CIA at Vung Tau to persuade the citizens of South Vietnam to support the central government


Revolutionary Development Cadre, Operations: CIA officer in charge of paramilitary operations in a province


Revolutionary Development Cadre, Plans: CIA officer in charge of liaison with the Special Branch in a province


Regional Forces and Popular Forces: a National Guard under the control of district and province chiefs


Raymond Morrison Knudson, Brown Root Jorgansen: private company that did construction work for the GVN


Region officer in charge: senior CIA officer in each of the four corps and Saigon


Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces


Sector intelligence adviser: senior MACV intelligence adviser to the South Vietnamese forces in a province


Special Assistant (to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities: office within the Joint Chiefs with responsibility for Phoenix policy


Special airmobile resource control: method of interdicting VCI attempting to resupply armed Vietcong guerrillas


Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs: office in the CIA reporting directly to the Director of Central Intelligence on developments in South Vietnam


Saigon Capital Advisory Group


Sea-Air-Land: the U.S. Navy's Special Forces


Special Exploitation Service: formed in April 1964 as the JGS counterpart to SOG, renamed Strategic Technical Directorate in September 1987


Screening, interrogation, and detention of the enemy: ICEX program begun in September 1967 to resolve the problem of separating genuine VCI from innocent civilian detainees


Special Intelligence Force Units: small units formed in 1971 to replace PRU, composed of Special Branch and Field Police


Special Military Intelligence Advisory Team: formed in 1965 to mount sophisticated operations against the VCI


Saigon Military Mission: CIA office formed in 1954 to help the South Vietnamese conduct psychological warfare against the Vietminh

Snatch and snuff

Kidnap and kill


Special Operations Group: joint CIA-military organization formed in 1964 to conduct operations outside South Vietnam in support of MACV, but under the control of SACSA


Special Police: term used in reference to the CIA-advised and -funded Special Branch of South Vietnamese National Police

Trung-doi biet kich Nham dou:

people's commando team, formed by Frank Scotton in 1964


United States Army Republic of Vietnam: created July 1965 at Long Binh to control all logistical and administrative units of the U.S. Army in Vietnam


United States Information Service: branch of the U.S. government responsible for conducting psychological operations overseas


Temporary duty


Target Research and Analysis Section: created in January 1965 to develop targets for Strategic Air Command B-25s in support of MACV


Vietnamese Bureau of Investigation: precursor organization to the Special Branch, also known as the Cong An


Vietcong: Vietnamese Communist


Vietcong infrastructure: all Communist party members and NLF officers, plus Vietcong and NVA saboteurs and terrorists


Vietcong suspect: Viemamese civilian suspected of being VCI


Vietnamese Information Service: branch of the GVN responsible for conducting psychological operations in South Vietnam


Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang: Vietnamese branch of the Kuomintang


Vietnam Task Force: office within ISA responsible for Vietnam

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