Monday, August 31, 2009

John Prados on the CIA and Vietnam

On the August 31, 2009 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we talk with National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados, about his research into declassified CIA documents from the Vietnam War. He has just compiled the National Security Archive's new analysis, The CIA's Vietnam Histories which shows the extent of CIA intervention in Vietnam. He is also the author of numerous intelligence-related books, including the latest, Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War,
from the University Press of Kansas.

In the massive book, Prados weaves together U.S., South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese perspectives, as well as those from the anti-war movement. UCI is included in the book: Surveillance of UCI students protesting the war in the 1960s at the El Toro Marine base gets a paragraph, relying on Naval Intelligence surveillance files declassified to Subversity's host Dan Tsang which Tsang wrote up as: The Few, the Proud, the Spies: Spying on civilians was part of El Toro's mission, OC Weekly, 15 July 1999.

Prados was last on Subversity talking about then-CIA Director Robert Gates, George W. Bush's nominee as Defense Secretary in 2006.

To listen to that 13 November 2006 show, click here: .

Prados' bio:

John Prados is an analyst of national security based in Washington, DC. Prados holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and focuses on presidential power, international relations, intelligence and military affairs. He is a senior fellow and project director with the National Security Archive, leading both the Archive's Iraq Documentation Project and its parallel effort on Vietnam. His current book is Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (University of Kansas Press). Now out in paperback is Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Ivan Dee Publisher). In addition Prados is author or editor of sixteen other books, with titles on national security, the American presidency, intelligence matters, diplomatic history and military affairs, including Iraq, Vietnam, and World War II. Among them are Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War; Inside the Pentagon Papers (edited with Margaret Pratt-Porter); Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of U.S. Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II; Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby; White House Tapes: Eavesdropping on the President (written and edited); Valley of Decision: The Siege of Khe Sanh (with Ray Stubbe); America Responds to Terrorism (edited); The Hidden History of the Vietnam War; Operation Vulture; The Blood Road: The Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam War; Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II Through the Persian Gulf; Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council from Truman to Bush; and The Soviet Estimate: U.S. Intelligence and Soviet Strategic Forces. The works Keepers of the Keys and Combined Fleet Decoded were nominated by their publishers for the Pulitzer Prize. Combined Fleet Decoded was the winner of the annual book award of the New York Military Affairs Symposium and a 'notable naval book of the year' for the U.S. Naval Institute. The Soviet Estimate was the winner of the annual book prize of the Consortium for the Study of Intelligence. Valley of Decision became a 'notable naval book of the year' for the U.S. Naval Institute. Prados has chapters in thirty-two other books, and entries in six reference works. He is also an award-winning designer of board strategy games for many publishers. Prados is a contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and a former contributing writer to The VVA Veteran. His articles and op-ed pieces have appeared widely, including Vanity Fair, The Washington Post Outlook, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Naval History, The American Prospect, Scientific American, and elsewhere. His internet articles have appeared at,,, American Prospect Online, and elsewhere. His book reviews have also appeared widely.

To listen to the 31 August 2009 show, click here: .

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