The new Special Forces operation is aimed instead at the broad middle of the Baathist underground.I thought that we were supposed to learn from history and not make the same mistakes.
But many of the officials I spoke to were skeptical of the Administration's plans. Many of them fear that the proposed operation, called 'preëmptive manhunting' by one Pentagon adviser, has the potential to turn into another Phoenix Program.
Phoenix was the code name for a counter-insurgency program that the U.S. adopted during the Vietnam War, in which Special Forces teams were sent out to capture or assassinate Vietnamese believed to be working with or sympathetic to the Vietcong. In choosing targets, the Americans relied on information supplied by South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs. The operation got out of control. According to official South Vietnamese statistics, Phoenix claimed nearly forty-one thousand victims between 1968 and 1972; the U.S. counted more than twenty thousand in the same time span.
Some of those assassinated had nothing to do with the war against America but were targeted because of private grievances.
Audio: Manhunt in Iraq: Israel Trains U.S. Assassination Squads. Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now!