Operation Silverlake pre-dated the United States' involvement in Vietnam and the wider South East Asia conflict, and was a CIA led program that was started during the Korean War. It belongs to the Bourne novels continuity.
Silverlake was conceived to infiltrate the regular army with a covert cadre of highly trained and motivated operatives drawn from elite regiments including the 101st Airborne and the Army Rangers. Their objective was to seek and destroy potential communist double agents operating in American uniforms but secretly loyal to the enemy.
Silverlake categorised the communist infiltrators into 4 categories, A through D:
- Cat A: Kill only (i.e., with little or no valuable interrogatable knowledge and whose value is only as an assassination target)
- Cat B: Interrogate for information if physically viable (and then assassinate)
- Cat C: Recoverable infiltrator (interrogate for information then remove from theater of operations - usually to a secure holding facility within mainland United States - Camp Silverlake, near Le Roy, MI)
- Cat D: Recoverable infiltrator (interrogate for information then return to theater of operations to work as a triple agent - a double double)
The film version of Operation Silverlake is Emerald Lake.