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Douglas Valentine: the CIA Runs the Global Narcotics Trade—My “Novel” TDY Is a True Story
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Douglas Valentine just republished his classic action “novel” TDY—a barely fictionalized true story about an amazing Vietnam War era black op involving horrific blood, gore, trauma, and CIA drug dealing. Below is a transcript of the first 20 minutes of the interview, during which Valentine describes how he learned about the CIA’s domination of the global heroin trade directly from ex-CIA director William Colby and high-level associates—and how he met “Pete,” the photographer whose inadvertent plunge into the heart of black-ops darkness became the “novel” TDY.

Kevin Barrett Interviews Douglas Valentine About His “Novel” TDY

Kevin Barrett: Hello, I’m Kevin Barrett with an intelligence test. Did you know that our intelligence agencies led by the CIA are the world’s biggest drug dealers? Did you know that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad work together to blackmail our top politicians by filming them in sexual activities with children? Did you know that our intelligence agencies are tools of international bankers who lend vast sums of money to countries around the world that’s designed to never be paid back so that those bankers can grab those nations’ resources as described by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? Well, if you knew all of that, you pass the intelligence test. But if you didn’t, you’re not getting good enough intelligence. You need to listen to Truth Jihad Radio by way of Please subscribe to me, Dr. Kevin Barrett, on Open source intelligence at its best!

Kevin Barrett: Welcome to Truth Jihad audio visual. I’m Kevin Barrett, doing a radio show that sometimes turns into a video show, bringing on the most interesting people who have things to say that the corporate controlled mainstream doesn’t want to hear, doesn’t want to report and doesn’t want you to know. I’m here today with a legendary investigator of CIA— what do we call it?—drug trafficking, I guess. This is one of the dirty little secrets in Washington, D.C.. And Douglas Valentine has done just about as much to expose this as anybody, especially relating to the Vietnam War. And there’s a reissue now of his novel T D Y, which is a thrilling Vietnam War novel, very closely based on reality, apparently. Douglas Valentine is the author of the Phoenix program The Strength of the Pack and other books that we’re going to talk about. So let’s do it. Welcome, Douglas Valentine. How are you, Doug?

Douglas Valentine: I’m pretty good. Thank you. And thanks for having me on your show.

Kevin Barrett: It’s good to have you back. Well, this there are so many Vietnam veterans who have stories relating to these kinds of black operations, drug dealing and so on. And yet this is not part of the official version of the Vietnam War. So maybe you could talk about how how important this was and how you got interested in this issue.

Douglas Valentine: Well, there was a confluence of events, a lot of things were developing at the same time. And my first book had come out about my father that was called The Hotel Tacloban. And my father had been a prisoner of war in World War Two. But he was in a camp that the military didn’t want anybody to know about. There had been a mutiny there. This was in the Philippines in 1944. And when the camp was liberated, my father was made to sign a nondisclosure statement saying he would never reveal what happened in this camp.

So that book came out in 1984 and I was wondering, well what should I write about next? And I wanted to write about was what you were just talking about, the number of covert actions happening in the Vietnam war that nobody had ever heard about. The Vietnam War was just loaded with all sorts of secret operations. It was a counterinsurgency. And somebody told me about the Phoenix program, which was one of the most secret operations. It was a CIA operation in the Vietnam War that went after the leadership of the National Liberation Front, not the soldiers that were fighting the war, but the civilian leadership of the insurgency. The CIA found ways of identifying these people through informants and all sorts of different ways, intelligence operations. So then they would send out death squads to assassinate these people or to capture them and turn them into double agents or get them to inform on other people.

And so I started to write about that book in 1984. And through a bizarre set of circumstances, William Colby, who was a former director of the CIA, and a person that ran the Phoenix program from 1968 to 1971, decided to help me write this book, The Phoenix Program. And he actually got on the phone. I went to see him in Washington, D.C. at his law office. And I gave him the pitch. And, you know, I was nobody from nowhere. But he read this book about my father. And he said, well, you understand what it means to be a soldier and you understand that sometimes soldiers have to do things that they can’t really talk about to civilians. And you understand that aspect of war. So he decided to help me because he was looking to find somebody who was sympathetic for what happened to all these American soldiers who participated in the Phoenix program and did these reprehensible, horrible things. And so I was glad to pretend that I was sympathetic to him.

And he started actually getting on the phone and calling people, senior CIA officers who had worked for him, and he had known for many, many years. For example, he introduced me to a guy named Evan Parker, who was the first director of the Phoenix program in South Vietnam, a CIA guy from 1967 to 1969. Colby and Parker had known each other since World War 2. So they had been longtime friends. They had both been in the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, and they had both worked behind enemy lines in World War Two. Colby was in France, and this guy Parker was in Burma, where he worked for a general named Piers in what was called Detachment 101 in Burma. And these guys, you know, I saw I got to know Parker and he told me about himself. You know, these guys were actually working with the Kachan guerillas, in Burma. And the only way the Kachan indigenous tribes would help the OSS was if they gave them opium. They loved to smoke opium and they and they trafficked in opium. And the Japanese had occupied parts of Burma and cut them off from their opium supply.

So starting in World War II the OSS started trafficking in opium to help its allies. And then this guy, Piers, who Parker worked for, went on to to join the CIA along with Colby and partner up to the war. And Piers actually worked with these same opium smuggling tribes in Burma to run operations into China after World War Two. The only people that they could get to to run soperation into China were these drug trafficking Kachan guerrillas, as well as the Kuomintang Chinese who had relocated there. So I started hearing about opium and the CIA early on. And then William Colby also introduced me to one of his friends, a confidante, named Tom Donahue, who had run all the CIA’s covert action programs in South Vietnam from 1964 to 1966. And Colby called them up on the phone and said, “tell Valentine everything.” And like Parker, he actually thought that, you know, this meant everything! And these guys started talking about things that they were otherwise wworn to secrecy about. And one of the things Donahue said to me was that when he arrived in South Vietnam in 1964—this was right after the Diem coup where the CIA and South Vietnamese generals arranged for the assassination of the president of South Vietnam, a guy named Diem. That was in late October 1963. And this sent the government of South Vietnam into chaos. There were no firm leaders for about a year, during which time the National Liberation Front started making a lot of gains. Donahue arrived in early 1964 and he was telling me about how chaotic it was. And every month he said there was another general that he was in liaison with, another general from the South Vietnamese government who was working with Donahue to formulate covert action programs in South Vietnam. We were sitting in his living room and his wife was serving us coffee and cookies. And he said, “the first question every one of these generals asked me was how much opium is there in it for me? You know, I’ll go to go to work for you guys and I’m going to help you run covert action programs against the interests of my government here. So how much opium is there in it for me? Because basically the CIA was running the opium traffic out of the Golden Triangle, which was where Burma, Thailand, and Laos converged. And they were financing a secret war in Laos through the opium traffic. So I was talking right from the beginning about the Phoenix program, which had really very little to do with drug trafficking itself.

But everybody, including the senior CIA officers I was talking with, kept talking about it, and how and how the South Vietnamese generals wouldn’t do anything unless, you know, the CIA and the military and the State Department had divided South Vietnam into four regions, and every South Vietnamese general who was appointed to head one of these regions got the opium franchise for that region. And his subordinates would then arrange for the sale and distribution of opium in that particular region. And of course, Saigon, the same thing. And as American soldiers started arriving in South Vietnam in 1965 in divisions, several tens, hundreds of thousands of them, they all started to see that opium was available to them. And heroin. And it was just all over the place. So so then in the meantime, I read this book by Alfred McCoy called The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, that really opened my eyes to what was going on while I was researching this book about the Phoenix program. And I started putting things together that McCoy never did. Because I was interviewing all these senior CIA people. And I determined at that point that my next book would be about CIA drug trafficking.

Because the Phoenix program had nothing to do with it. I was wrapping up that (Pheonix program) book in late 1988 into early 1989. And I had a publisher, William Morrow, and they wanted photographs for the book. And I was living in Fitchburg, Massachusetts at the time, which is in the middle of Massachusetts up north. And it was coincidentally right near Fort Devens, where the 10th Special Forces were headquartered. And I had lived there for a couple of years and I met a bunch of these old Green Berets who were also all telling me all sorts of stories about how they worked very closely with the CIA. And they would mount operations into Laos. or illegal operations into Cambodia. And when they weren’t working, they would have get on what were called black flights, which would fly out of Saigon and into Laos. And from there these guys would be able to cross the border without anybody checking if they had a passport already. There’s these CIA planes and Air Force Special Operations planes going back and forth all the time from South Vietnam to Laos and then into Thailand. Then these Green Berets would laugh about how they would get on these black flights when they were working, when they were down, in their downtime, fly to Laos and buy opium or or jewelry or rubies, and then they would bring them back in to South Vietnam on these black flights, because they weren’t checked by customs. So there were just all sorts of things going on. And I had learned all about it.

And the photographer—the publisher wanted me to get photographs for the book, and I was living in Pittsburgh and I just looked for a local photographer, and I found a guy and he did family photography, weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduation, you know, just your mom and pop kind of a place, he ran it out of his house. And so I went there to get pictures taken for the book, the Phoenix program book. And we struck up a conversation and he said, I’m a Vietnam vet. And he read my book, The Hotel Tacloban about my father. And we started chatting as well as deciding what photographs we were going to use for the book. And he said one day, “I had a very interesting experience, just like your father had in the prison camp. I was involved in an operation that I was sworn to secrecy about, and I have never told anybody about it in my life. It was just so strange that we were standing in his darkroom in his house and we had gotten to know each other and struck up a friendship and he trusted me.

And he had read this book about my father and had been in Vietnam. And we knew that I knew Vietnam veterans had sympathized with them. And he told me the story that is TDY. And he was telling me the story. And of course, when you talk to somebody in these situations, and I had become adept at it by that point. I had learned how to interview people by talking to my father. And my father would break down and cry in front of me. I mean, and this was a hard ass guy. A disciplinarian, 70 years old, you know. All our fathers from those days who came out of the World War 2 generation were all hard guys. Most of them were, especially if they’d been in World War 2, disciplinarians and stuff like that. It was just wrenching to see my father break down and cry. And when I was talking with Vietnam veterans about their experience, even guys who’d been in the CIA or officers involved in the Phoenix program as well as enlisted men, it was the same thing. They would tell they would tell me things that they’d never told their wives about, And this was one of the themes of my book, is the damage that these secret operations caused people.

And this is the thing that I try to get across: the damage that covert operations, and being part of covert operations, does to people. Including people like William Colby and these senior CIA officers that I was talking with. They were they were revealing things that they had never revealed to anybody in their lives. And it’s just traumatizing for people. Veterans often suffer just from combat, from PTSD. And they have to go to therapy and talk about it and get it off their chest, because if they don’t and they just carry this burden, it makes them bad husbands, makes them bad fathers. They take out their anger on their families. And so there are just really important reasons on a very personal level to understand the damage that covert operations cause—not just that the Americans don’t understand their true history, and that they can’t understand who they really are as a nation. And that robs us of our self-knowledge. And thus we can’t realize who we really are as individuals. And we’re more easily propagandized and made to do things that we don’t want to do. The importance of covert operations in our history just makes us susceptible to all sorts of bad, unhealthy things. There are reasons to understand these covert operations beyond just the fact of understanding how they happen.

They have an effect on us as individuals and a nation that we have to expunge. And the only way you can expunge these these problems that we have as a country, and as individuals, is by revealing the truth. So it’s a cathartic event, too, for the people I was interviewing, to speak about the covert operations that they were part of. Just like it is for combat veterans to talk about the combat.

It was the same thing when I was talking to this photographer. He had never told anybody in his life about what happened to him, and what became the the the story of TDY. And he was remembering things that were just terrible and horrible. I remember his daughter walked into the darkroom and he just started. It was just like he’d been talking uninterrupted for an hour describing this operation. And his daughter walked into the room and it was…it’s just wrenching to go through this when people tell these stories. Anyway, that’s what I do. And by that, I was used to it. He told me the bare outlines of the story. I’ll let you ask me about the story itself. That’s the circumstances that brought me into a position where this guy was able to talk to me and to reveal something to me that he had never told anybody about before in his life.

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: CIA, Vietnam 
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  1. anarchyst says:

    I’ve known that for decades…

    “Intelligence agencies” are creatures of their respective governments, enjoy extra-legal “protections” and are responsible for most of the publicly deemed “criminal behavior” that the “rest of us” ordinary people are prohibited from engaging in.

    From international “drug smuggling”, to international “white slavery” and child prostitution, the intelligence agencies are in it to their heads.

    There is a two-fold reason for intelligence agencies involvement in these “criminal activities”.


    The intelligence agencies are pretty much self-funded by their criminal activities as stated above. Trillions of dollars and shekels changes hands while domestic “law enforcement” operations and the so-called “justice system” thrives on the results of these international operations. It is “the little guy” that “pays the price” for activities that are condoned and operated by these intelligence agencies.


    It is no secret that operations such as epstein’s “lolita express” and other “honeypot” operations are run with on specific purpose—to assure cooperation and “compliance” by those politicians, movers and shakers, and any others who get “caught up” in such intelligence operation “dalliances”.

    Whole countries policies and political directions are predicated on whims and “encouragement” of these intelligence agencies.

    Intelligence operations are extranational operations, owing allegiance to no one but themselves.

    One could safely argue that israel’s mossad is the most pervasive and successful “black-ops” system in the world today. They have infiltrated every country’s “intelligence operation” and do direct almost every country’s attitude towards israel.

    President John F. Kennedy was right about “smashing the CIA into a thousand pieces” and paid for his statement with his life. You can bet that israel’s mossad was involved. Israel could not afford to see its American “cash cow” slip the leash”.

  2. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s quite a stretch to say, the only way to get Kachin tribes to fight with allies in WWII was to give them opium. It makes the Kachin seem sluggish and useless when, in fact, they were some of the fiercest fighters in the theater. The Brits had to agree to let the Kachin take tropies, they were headhunters, afterall.

    Japanese soldiers feared the Kachin as much as they feared tigers – and they had good reasons to fear both. The Kachin were despised by the British since they mutilated their kills and collected ears. The Japanese feared mutilation after death since they believed they would not make it to the afterlife unless their body was pure and whole. Also, tigers routinely snacked on sushi at night time encampments, so much, so the Japanese took to sleeping in trees.

    But according to British historians, after Ord Wingate, the Kachin were one of the most effective fighters in Burma. They remains so today in their fight against the Tatmadaw.

    Now, that an American drug dealer living in Burma working for the oss made a deal with some Kachin fighters by plying them with opium, which was abundant even during the war, might have happened. He was probably making tons of cash moving opium from upper Burma over to India.

    And yes, the cia is a drug dealing organization – black money by the billions and no oversight, so it is a no-brainer.

  3. Wonderful show Kevin. You got one of the best interviews Valentine has done, which is saying something. The last seven minutes are particularly poignant. The book sounds very good, I’ll have to check it out.

    Amazing how many people Valentine has interviewed. Thank God he did so when he did — a huge thank you from current and future historians, who would lack this information without Valentine’s painstaking work. Thank you, Doug.

    His books use so many primary sources, that the sheer volume of evidence can’t be denied and usually isn’t; books like Pack/Wolf contain so much info that it can overwhelm the reader… but so what? All the books reward repeated reading. Lots of hidden pearls of info to find.

    There’s an audio depository of some of the P/Program interviews on a university page linked on Doug’s site, well worth checking out.

    • Replies: @Doug Valentine
  4. My best friend was in Special Forces and he told me about this in 1968. He was working with the Montyards on the Laotian border and he told me that Air America flew their opium out and used the money to buy weapons for them to fight the NVA

  5. Interesting … in my mind’s eye, Bush Sr merged the CIA and the MOB to run drugs as the Bush Crime Family. When caught in Iran/Contra, Bush Sr would have been impeached if Casper Weinberger had gone on trial and blow the lid off and exposed the truth. Bush NEEDED to lose so he could pardon Weinberger and the rest and BINGO, along comes William Clinton and the Bush/Clinton Crime Family was born and as hard as Trump tries, he may not be able to drain that swamp.

  6. Malla says:

    I have read Mr Valentine’s work before, very eye opening. I also remember the podcast of some other gentleman, whose father worked for military intelligence or the CIA during the Vietnam War. After retirement one day, his father spilled a bean about the Vietnam War, something like “Communism is a big scam, the Vietnam War was all about drugs”.

    Well one is not surprised as the elites are the descendants of the same lot who pushed opium in China. Folks like Sassoon who are deeply related to the Rothschilds by marriage and may be even more powerful than the Rothschild behind the scenes (like the Dangoors and Kaduris). A lot of Indians strangely made money in the Opium trade including the families of famous “freedom fighters” as well as big Indian conglomerates (like the TATAs for example). And so were many Americans involved like President FDR’s ancestors. And hell, Yale University made a lot of money on that and Yale gives us Skull and Bones.

    Operation Phoenix in Vietnam led eventually for drugs been pushed on the populations of the West itself, no doubt one of the aims being the destruction of traditional Western culture and family, in line with the ideology of Cultural Marxism/ Frankfurt School. LSD was pushed on celebrities and then their fans, Hindu gurus were frequenting the West (most of them close to the CIA). The whole hippy movement was a fake manufactured movement, created by the government “against itself’ or maybe it was genuine when it started but was infiltrated later. Many of the famous rockstars who appeared on the scenes were strangely all kids of U.S. navy personnel. The movement played a big part in destroying Western Society and its traditional mores with dire consequences, as seen today.

    • Replies: @Kevin Barrett
  7. Anon[104] • Disclaimer says:

    The sexual/drug blackmail of wealthy businesspeople and media owners is a strategem that I hope gets mentioned repeatedly in conservative circles and becomes well known.

  8. ANonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    So, what’s new here? read the history of the”OpiumWars”.

    • Replies: @Franz
  9. Every citizen running for high office should take a course from intelligence about the high risk of sexual blackmail of politicians.

    That said, the intelligence community may not want to share what it knows, because they may be the ones doing it.

    Currently, the Epstein blackmail racket remains off limits to the main stream media. Why?

    • Replies: @Anon
  10. Anon[233] • Disclaimer says:

    Ive got a hunch that the mark (bisinessman, media owner, general, politician, influencer) is spied on and followed (apps on your cell phone can give your location). Go to a strip club? Singles bar? This would be two potential locations for experienced actors to ply you with drugs and booze so you lower your guard for the pretty young girls they introduce into the equation later.
    If the mark likes to drink at particular resturaunt bar, or is having an affair on his wife (or her husband), this could give a professional organization some opportunities to get compromat on them.

    As you typed, prospected politicians need to take a class. Ron Unz had mentioned how the ADL kept files on one million Americans. Just imagine what data professional hackers could garner on any “new money” businesspeople before they’d even begin to suspect, a decade before they first ran for office.

  11. Franz says:

    So, what’s new here?


    “What’s new here” is: The USA is a narco-tyranny. Nothing they do or say regarding drugs can be trusted or even treated with a minimum of respect.

    When I got out of service in 1972 an Air Force buddy of mine whom I knew from high school gave me the scoop on the Golden Triangle and I got to Valentine’s book, years later. It verified all the rumors I’d heard at my last command. Since that was a US Naval air base, there were rumors by the ton.

    Add those archaic days to Iran Contra in the 80s, and to the Afgan drug trade now, and you got the reason the US is awash in illegal drugs while trying to make access to quite a few legal ones impossible.

    The difference is that in the 70s the target consumers were inner city dwellers. The CIA has moved on to the whole country since then.

    Why not? Never even got wrist-slapped for their earlier crimes.

    • Replies: @Mark12345
  12. Jimmy1969 says:

    This article explains nothing

  13. Mark12345 says:

    China White was in the white suburbs as well as on every military base in the US. It wasn’t just a ghetto thing.

    • Replies: @Franz
  14. Anonymous[131] • Disclaimer says:

    Did you know that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad work together to blackmail our top politicians by filming them in sexual activities with children?

    Does somebody expect anybody to feel aggrieved by the fact that top politicians having sex with children are blackmailed? Lol.

    • Replies: @Anon
  15. Anon[233] • Disclaimer says:

    Friend, they get compromised politicians to allocate tax monies towards wars (both declared and undeclared), to have lax oversight over corporate tax cheating, and all sorts of other things we the public would never approve of. I see it now as maybe the biggest weakness of represenative democracies. Ron Unz’s articles mention Dennis Hastert as a great example of a politician that may have been comprimised for years (he sexually abused wrestlers while teaching middle school). The blackmailers practically would own a politician after getting dirt like that on him.

    I think they probably get the marks drugged up beforehand unbeknownst to the mark. All they have to do is to get the mark to agree to have dinner and drinks one night, pop a powder into his or her booze, and wham…….in 20 minutes that business mogul/pol/tv persinality is like clay in their hands……..then they introduce the 17 year old honeys.

  16. Franz says:

    China White was in the white suburbs as well as on every military base in the US. It wasn’t just a ghetto thing.

    You are correct.

    My mistake is to make any sort of short list at all. What the CIA does gets into executive suites, movie star dressing rooms, the works.

    A short list of their crimes is impossible.

  17. @Malla

    “Many of the famous rockstars who appeared on the scenes were strangely all kids of U.S. navy personnel.” Indeed. Check out my interview with the late great Dave McGowan, author of “Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon.”

    Even if McGowan connects too many dots (like so many of us “paranoid conspiracy theorists”) he makes a persuasive case that the counterculture music scene was heavily infiltrated and steered.

    • Thanks: Malla
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