State Declassifies Documents on “Legendary Tony Poe” and his “Secret Army”

From Unredacted:

Tony Poe from  http://tueriesdubrabant.winnerbb.com/

The Department of State has declassified documents confirming the activities of Tony Poe, aka Anthony Poshepny, a CIA officer (cryptonym allegedly “UPIN,” cover allegedly “Air Operations Officer, Continental Air Services”) who conducted field operations in Thailand, Cambodia, and most prominently Laos from the 1950s to 1974.

Poe is frequently cited as a basis for Colonel Kurtz, Marlon Brando’s character in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a CIA operative who –far removed from western influence– had “gone native” and was running his own army deep into the jungle of Indochina.  Though both Poe and Coppola denied that he was the basis for Kurtz,  the similarities are pronounced –and Poe was certainly one of the most remarkable, flamboyant, and grizzly operators employed by the CIA during American’s war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

According to John Prados’s must-read biography of Poe for Unredacted, Poe went to Laos in March 1961 to train the Hmong  to fight against the Vietnamese Communists.

Hating paperwork and preferring the field, Po was content that a younger officer, Vincent Lawrence, served as base chief with himself as underling. He ran field missions with the Hmong partisans. After the Geneva Accords of 1962, which was to have removed all U.S. field operatives from the country, Lawrence and Po remained at Long Tieng anyway to coordinate with Vang Pao. Poshepny is said to have had shifting relations with Vang Pao and there were reportedly multiple incidents where the two almost came to blows or even drawn guns. Lawrence remained the head CIA man.

Poshepny had a checkered reputation with senior CIA officers for a number of reasons. One was that during the period of post-Geneva fictive neutrality, he reportedly continued to go out on field missions. During his career Po would be wounded …

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