Apropos of today's revelations about the extent of America's involvement in Iraqi torture comes this wiki article about the ancestor of those Petraeus-run torture farms.
Over 80,000 Vietnamese people were tortured by us in Vietnam. And about a third of them were murdered afterwards. By our people. By us. And these weren't combatants. There weren't soldiers. These were just plain folks we decided we should spend tax money on seeing how many live rats we could stuff up inside them before they died.
Phoenix Program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Phoenix Program (Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Phụng Ho�ng, a word related to fenghuang, the Chinese phoenix) was a program designed, coordinated, and executed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), United States special operations forces, special forces operatives from the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), and the Republic of Vietnam's (South Vietnam) security apparatus during the Vietnam War.
Original unissued patch
The Program was designed to identify and "neutralize" (via infiltration, capture, terrorism, torture, and assassination) the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF or Viet Cong). Historian Douglas Valentine states that "Central to Phoenix is the fact that it targeted civilians, not soldiers". The major two components of the program were Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) and regional interrogation centers. PRUs would kill and capture suspected VC. They would also capture civilians who were thought to have information on VC activities. Many of these civilians were then taken to the interrogation centers where some were tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence on VC activities in the area. Few of the prisoners survived—most of them were tortured to death, and those that survived the torture sessions were generally killed afterwards. The information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders, who would use it to task the PRU with further capture and assassination missions.
The program was in operation between 1965 and 1972, and similar efforts existed both before and after that period. By 1972, Phoenix operatives had "neutralized" 81,740 suspected NLF operatives, informants and supporters, of whom 26,369 were killed.