How to Say "NO" to a 'False Flag' Operation - Cambodia, 1966
It may seem naïve to some, to offer pledge cards to the military asking them not to participate in a False Flag operation. However, sometimes the right message needs to get to the right person, and who is to say that a pledge card wouldn't be a good way to get the message delivered? It might help someone think over a decision that they may regret for the rest of their life.
In 1966, LTC USASF (Ret.) Daniel Marvin refused to participate in a False Flag operation. Now retired, Marvin revealed his story in a book called "Expendable Elite". The hardback was released in 2003, after nearly 20 years of searching for a publisher. Immediately following the release of the book, the Special Forces Association began a campaign to discredit the book's contents, and ultimately bankrolled a libel suit against Marvin and his publishers. Marvin won the legal battle, and the whole sordid tale is included in the softcover version of the book, which you can order directly from the publisher, TrineDay.
The chief claim in the book which set a legal battle in motion that has cost Marvin and TrineDay over $150,000 in legal fees appears to be this; in June of 1966, a CIA agent by the name of Walter Mackem approached Marvin with a plot to assassinate Prince Norodom Sihanouk, at the time, Cambodia's Head of State;
He very matter-of-factly told me that the agency had been asked to dispose of a very delicate situation... "We've been asked to terminate Prince Sihanouk. Yours is the closest Special Forces Camp to Phom Penh; you've got all Hoa+Hoa's in your CIDG and their record is good. We want you take care of it... because we believe you can get the job done." ...
"You want us to assassinate Crown Prince Sihanouk?" I asked, not really believing he'd come to ask us to kill Cambodia's Head of State. "Don't get me wrong, I've got no love for Sihanouk, but don't you have some of your own people in Cambodia who could make the hit?"
"Yes... we want you to do the job." Mackem went on to tell me their analysis had determined that the Cambodians would take up arms against VC and NVA forces and push them back into Laos or North Vietnam if their Prince was thought to have been killed by the Viet Cong. "Your job," he went on to say, "will be to bring about his death and make it appear to have been done by the VC."
- "Expendable Elite", 2nd Edition, p. 262.
Marvin was already engaged in covert work, attacking Viet Cong forces encamped in Cambodia from his base in the An Phu district of Vietnam. Marvin offered a quid pro quo, if President Johnson would put an end to the covert operation his unit was engaged in, (by publicly declaring the VC havens in Cambodia fair game for the regular military), then Marvin would do the job.
The CIA apparently did not appreciate the conditions attached to Marvin's offer, and would not negotiate. On Mackem's return trip a few days later, to see if Marvin would do the job with no strings attached, Marvin ordered Mackem off the camp. Within days, Marvin's camp was ordered closed, and when Marvin refused to close the camp without giving legal immunity to the Hoa Hoa's that fought in his CIDG, an ARVN unit was dispatched to wipe out the entire camp. I don't want to give too much away, but obviously, Marvin lived to tell the tale.
LTC Marvin's story is one of bravery and honor. Although he did covert work which he justified at the time as doing battle in the Cold War, ultimately, he would not become a mercenary assassin, tasked with a False Flag operation which could have had consquences that the planners did not foresee... particularly if Marvin or his team had been caught in the act, deep within Cambodian territory.
To lend credence to Marvin's tale, let's look at what Sihanouk had to say about the CIA and Cambodia, from his book, "My+War+With+the+CIA", published in 1973*, written while Sihanouk was exiled from his own country after a coup;
"My first experience with CIA intervention in Cambodian affairs dates back to late 1955, when Allen Dulles, then head of the CIA visited me in Phom Penh. Prior to this, his brother, the late John Foster Dulles, had called on me in his capacity of Head of State..." p.75
In 1959, a plot named after its chief conspirator was uncovered, the Dap Chhuon Plot. Chhoun fled Cambodia after being wounded, but left incriminating evidence behind in his villa;
"Seized also were 270 kilograms of gold in small ingots for paying agents and commando groups... On 26 March 1959, I conducted a group of some twenty diplomats - including those from the United States, Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, Britain and France - on a personal tour of the Dap Chhoun villa, so they could see for themselves. The exhibits included all sorts of American arms - not supplied within the framework of US military 'aid'... The Dap Chhoun conspiracy was based on two possibilities; a maximum and a minimum with subordinate alternatives based on circumstances. The maximum... was simply to seize power in a military coup... The minimum possibility, the success of which the plotters seemed to have had no doubts at all, was the separation of the northern provinces from the rest of Cambodia, and their merger with the southern provinces of Laos, to form a new secessionist state which would have been immediately recognized by the USA." p.109
Six months later, an attempt to assassinate the entire Cambodian Royal family failed, when a package traced to an Amerian military base in South Vietnam exploded in the Royal Palace;
"Hardly had the Prime Minister entered the throne room, when there was a tremendous, shattering explosion. Prince Vakrivan, the Chief of Protocol who opened the parcel, was killed immediately. A hole was blown through the thick concrete floor, killing King Norodom Suramarit's personal valet, and wouding two more. A bomb of exceptional explosive force had been concealed in a small lacquer box, and set to go off when the wrappings were removed... The CIA was in the forefront, (except, when it suited their purposes, to remain concealed) of every plot directed against my life and my country's integrity. From 1954, until diplomatic relations were broken in 1965, my intelligence services listed twenty-seven known CIA agents registered as 'diplomats' at the Phom Penh embassy, and the list was certainly incomplete. They were backed up by scores of others in the Saigon and Bangkok embassies, working hand in glove with them. For those who still question whether the USA, through the CIA, was involved in the March 18 coup, I can do no better than urge them to study the details of the Dap Chhoun plot and the lacquer-box attentat." pp.110-111
Here, Sihanouk notes the cases of Captains John J. McCarthy and Robert F. Marasco, also Special Forces men;
"As for the long arm of the CIA, there was a fascinating revelation by a CIA 'Green Beret', Captain John J. McCarthy, Jr., one of the accused in the case of the murder of Inchin Hai Lam, an alleged 'double agent' of Cambodian origin in the pay of the CIA. McCarthy resigned his commission in May 1971, disgusted at what he had had to do - not to mention the way in which he had been treated by the US Army for having obeyed CIA orders. He revealed at the time that he had headed a CIA team in an 'Operation Cherry', which involved leading a Khmer Serei unit deep into Cambodia...
Further information about the McCarthy case was unearthed by Richard A. Fineberg, whose report was published by Dispatch News Service International;
McCarthy was accused of killing a Cambodian interpreter, who was also a member of the Khmer Serei, a secret, right-wing rebel sect headed by Thanh and reportedly financed by the CIA... The ex-Special Forces Officer was convicted of murder and served two years of a 20-year sentence before his conviction was overturned on appeal in 1970... military officers met with members of the Khmer Serei... at a pagoda in Saigon shortly after the agent's death. At that meeting, the US paid an indemnity, reportedly 25,000 dollars, to the Khmer Serei for the death of their member... The transcript also indicates that Project Cherry was set up to conduct incursions into Cambodia from across the South Vietnam border. For this covert mission, the US hired Cambodian guides and interpreters, at least some of whom were members of the Khmer Serei. During the trial, McCarthy identified the Khmer Serei as an 'organization which in effect plans the political overthrow of the Cambodian government'...
Although Project Cherry ended prior to McCarthy's trial, Green Berets continued to conduct covert intelligence operations in Cambodia for the CIA... The 1969 death of another suspected double-agent employed on a secret Cambodian intelligence project caused a sensation in the press when the army attempted to court-martial the 8 Green Berets, including Col. Robert Rheault, the commanding officer of the Fifth Special Forces in Vietnam. The Army dropped the charges when the CIA refused to testify... Captain Robert F. Marasco, one of the Green Berets involved in the latter case, ran two intelligence nets in Cambodia during 1968 and 1969. His mission... ranged from 'pinpointing targets' and gathering information in Cambodia, to 'keeping tabs' on the whereabouts of Sihanouk when the Cambodian ruler visited the countryside. Marasco said he hired and trained Khmer Serei agents as well as other Cambodians for his missions. - pp. 64-66
Some further general notes, ultimately lending support to Sihanouk's notion that the coup which ousted him as Head of State was driven by the CIA;
"From sources in the United States, I learned later that the CIA had drawn up a directive a month earlier (August, 1969) recommending support for such a coup which a CIA contact on Lon Nol's staff had promised would take place in the 'near future'. By the time I flew off to Hanoi, the CIA had already assured Lon Nol of their support." p.37
"...the actual sackings of the embassies... was arranged through the Cambodian High Command and actually carried out by squads of military police in plain clothes under the command of Lon Nol. Here one must note that these squads were not just military police, but there were also CIA-trained commandos recruited from the Cambodian minority in South Vietnam and brought into Phom Penh a month before the coup to serve as strom troopers for the plotters." pp.44-45
Peter Dale Scott's "The War Conspiracy" (1972), preceded Sihanouk's memoirs. (Long out print, and privished when it was originally published by Bobbs-Merrill, there are rumors that it will soon be re-printed by a different company that won't send it "Into the Buzz-Saw".) Scott's research lends support to Sihanouk's claims, and some background to Marvin's claims;
President Nixon's covert operations against Cambodia in the first year of his presidency are part of a series dating back to the era when he was Vice President. In 1958 and 1959 the CIA financed, equipped, and advised the brief military uprising of the Khmer Serei, whose part-Vietnamese leader, Son Ngoc Thanh, had been premier of Cambodia under the Japanese. To show CIA complicity in the uprising, Sihanouk is said to have given as evidence the fact that a political officer from the US embassy, Victor Masao Matsui, was found in the Khmer Serei rebel headquarters. As far as I am aware, it was eleven years before this fact was even alluded to in the "responsible" US press;
South Vietnamese undercover agents who had directed the uprising subsequently explained that Matsui's presence on the scene was only accidental. They disclosed, however, that the CIA had financed the operation. - Stanly Karnow, Washington Post 28 March 1970, p. A10.
...Throughout the 1960s the CIA in Saigon continued to use its contacts with Son Ngoc Thanh and the Khmer Serei in at least three ways: for intelligence-gathering (in both Cambodia and South Vietnam), for special missions inside Cambodia, and for the recruitment and training of paramilitary forces from the large ethnic Khmer minority of the delta provinces of South Vietnam... Trained by US Special Forces, by the Khmer Serei, and later by Thai officers inThailand, these troops became part of the CIDG... who were controlled (along with US Green Berets and and the 34-A Ops teams working against North Vietnam) by the Saigon-based "Studies and Operations Group" (SOG or MACSOG), SOC in turn reported in theory to Generals Westmoreland and Abrams... but it is said to have reported in practice to the CIA, which originally set it up.
The US public was given a hint of the deep splits within both the US military and the intelligence communities in the wake of the two Green Beret murder scandals of 1969; some of the resulting leaks concerned Cambodia. Both of the murdered agents... had operated in Cambodia; at least one of them (Inchin Hai Lam) had been a member of the Khmer Serei. Shortly before Sihanouk's overthrow, a New York Times report revealed that the United States had used the Khmer Serei, an organization "dedicated to the overthrow of the legitimate government of Cambodia on covert missions into that country in 1967, according to testimony at the trial of a Green Beret captain convicted in 1968 of killing one of the members of the sect." 1967 was the year in which Sihanouk renewed his charges that the CIA was still plotting against him, as it had in 1959; and the year in which Khmer Serei harrassment, especially along the Thai border, markedly increased. The charges have been since corroborated: "A Green Beret officer says he took part in a secret mission in 1967 designed to aid in the overthrow of Cambodia's Prince Norodom Sihanouk... Capt. John McCarthy... said the clandestine operation in Cambodia was directed from South Vietnam by the Central Intelligence Agency... The mission was known as 'Operation Cherry'... and involved McCarthy, working under cover, and members of the Khmer Serei." pp. 158-159
So as you can see, there were plenty of other incidents that followed in the wake of Marvin's experience, but his preceded them all... at least the ones that we publicly know of, and can document.
Please help Marvin and TrineDay pay off their legal expenses, by purchasing a copy of Expendable Elite. That way, TrineDay can continue to bring the Truth to print.
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