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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
Leslie Scott
Trump in the Middle East: New Ideas, Old Politics
George Wuerthner
Environmental Groups as Climate Deniers
Pauline Murphy
The Irish Dead: Fighting Fascism in Spain, 1937
Brian Trautman
Veterans on the March
Eric Sommer
Trumps Attack on Social Spending Escalates Long-term Massive Robbery of American Work
Binoy Kampmark
Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel
Christian Hillegas
Trump’s Islamophobia: the Persistence of Orientalism in Western Rhetoric and Media
Michael J. Sainato
Russiagate: Clintonites Spread the Weiner Conspiracy
Walter Clemens
What the President Could Learn from Our Shih-Tzu Eddie
May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail