FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Eye on Intelligence, an Interview with Douglas Valentine

by ADAM ENGEL

It may be a lot of fun to wave the flag and scowl and loudly “support our troops” and, when in the comfortable center of a mob, call for tar and feathers for those who don’t agree, but it’s not necessarily relevant to the issue at hand. For by the time “our” troops are overseas, fighting to defend the interests of people who live off interest, the CIA has already been there, done that, softened up the “enemy,” bribed or recruited their top officers, and more or less settled things. If it weren’t for the damn military marching in and breaking stuff, the CIA might have a relatively clean batch of dominoes to set up and knock down (clean for us TV viewers; for the natives of the “enemy” country nothing’s ever good).

Douglas Valentine knows about the CIA, having studied it intensely, on paper and in personnel, for over twenty years, culminating in his seminal book, “The Phoenix Program,” about the CIA’s infamous Phoenix Program in Vietnam.

TDY” is based on a true story told to Valentine by a photographer named Richard Finkle. Finkle is not “TDY’s” protagonist, Pete, per se, but his TDY account and Valentine’s years of research and interviews with CIA personnel provided the author with the material he needed to write an action story with punch, a parable that used as its literary model Hemingway’s short novel, “The Old Man and the Sea.”

“I wanted to write a book that told a linear story in as few words as possible,” said Valentine. “When Finkle told me his story in his darkroom, I knew immediately that I could write a book about it. The Old Man and the C…IA.”

The CIA operates by softening up a target through stealth operations, assassinations, propaganda and recruiting its top military officers and politicians. Unlike the regular armed forces, whose sizeable $400 billion dollar budget is dispersed through payroll, hardware, technology etc., the CIA operates on a $30 Billion budget but little accountability. CIA operatives are not expected to report weekly activities or fill out mountains of paperwork, and can thus be more deviously creative with their resources.

The CIA goes into a country and develops covert operations for the first couple of years. Once the country is “softened up” by assassinations, rebellions, guerrilla warfare, economic warfare etc., then the war becomes overt. That is, the military is sent in with masses of uniformed personnel and heavy equipment.

“In addition to the sanctions which would devastate any country, for the last ten years the CIA and Mossad have been recruiting officers in the Iraqi military,” said Valentine.

Thus, when it came time to fight, officers who fled would be remunerated with top positions in the new regime.

Unlike the career soldier in the regular military, who lives a life of routine, continual accountability to the chain of command, and has little but a modest pension to look forward to, a successful CIA operative has many perks and options, not to mention the black market.

“Once you’re a CIA agent, you’re not expected to report to headquarters all the time. The CIA doesn’t micro-manage. You have a lot more freedom,” said Valentine. “You work for the CIA and succeed, and everything’s possible. Sex, money, power, travel. You’re like James Bond. The regular army guy who fought to save his life in Vietnam, what did he have to come back to? A young, ambitious CIA agent, on the other hand, could really make a life for himself.”

Valentine’s next book, The Strength of the Wolf, will be published by Verso in the spring of 2004.

Click here to read Engel’s review of TDY.

ADAM ENGEL can be reached at: bartleby.samsa@verizon.net.

 

Adam Engel is editor of bluddlefilth.org. Submit your soul to bluddlefilth@yahoo.com. Human units, both foreign and domestic, are encouraged to send text, video, graphic, and audio art(ifacts), so long as they’re bluddlefilthy and from The Depths.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail