FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

An Eye on Intelligence, an Interview with Douglas Valentine

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.

 

More articles by:

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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail