“First Class” of the CIA-backed Phoenix Program, photographed in 1965. Overseen by odd characters such as Lucien Conein and Mitch WerBell III (bottom photo), the Phoenix Program was responsible for the detection and elimination of between 26,000 and 81,000 members of the Viet Cong. With membership ranging from Australian SASR, Green Berets, MACV-SOG, South Korean Marines and South Vietnamese Rangers, the Phoenix Program became notorious for use of torture, killings of dubious legality, and protection of the drug trade.