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Revealed: Government Report On “U.S. Aid for Ex-Nazis”

The New York Times has released a full unredacted version of the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) report, “Striving for Accountability in the Aftermath of the Holocaust.” According to NYT reporter Eric Lichtblau, “The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006.” A “heavily redacted” version was released last month to the private National Security Archive (NSA), and now a leaked version of the entire document has been released to the public.

According to a November 13 NSA press release:

The National Security Archive posted today its original FOIA request, the government’s response, our appeal by counsel David Sobel, the legal complaint in the case National Security Archive v. Department of Justice, the interim response from DoJ, the “Vaughn index” of withheld pages and alleged justifications for the withholding, and the 45 pages of partial and highly-redacted response.

The evocation of words like “accountability” in the context of suppressed documents, leaks, and war crimes has an eerie resonance in the context of the current struggle to gain accountability for current and recent U.S. war crimes surrounding the methods by which “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of invading Iraq, the widespread use of torture and extraordinary rendition by the government and its allies, and a policy of illegal human experimentation on “war on terror” prisoners.

The fact that DoJ would still be trying to hide information from decades-old files surrounding the U.S. recruitment of Nazi war criminals does not bode well for those trying to force the U.S. government from President Obama’s “Don’t Look Back” policy towards war crimes. In fact, it took almost fifty years to get a significant opening of U.S. archives to look at government actions at the close of World War II. The NYT leaked document is but the latest in a string of revelations about the use of both high and low ranking Nazis by the U.S. government. Author Christopher Simpson wrote the first major book, Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War, documenting this history in 1988, followed by Linda Hunt’s excellent Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990, and other books, many of them unfortunately now out of print.

Anyone wanting to become an archival researcher in Nazi or Japanese war crimes can begin at the National Archives webpage for the Interagency Working Group (IWG), where there are links to tens of thousands of documents and millions of pages from the files of the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, OSS and other agencies. The IWG issued their Final Report of the Nazi War Crimes and [Japanese] Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group in April 2007, and is available online.

Revelations on U.S. Recruitment of Nazis

The OSI report is not without its new revelations. According to Lichtblau:

The full report disclosed that the Justice Department found “a smoking gun” in 1997 establishing with “definitive proof” that Switzerland had bought gold from the Nazis that had been taken from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. But these references are deleted, as are disputes between the Justice and State Departments over Switzerland’s culpability in the months leading up to a major report on the issue.

Another section describes as “a hideous failure” a series of meetings in 2000 that United States officials held with Latvian officials to pressure them to pursue suspected Nazis. That passage is also deleted.

In its paranoia and animus against its former Soviet ally (a paranoia and animus that ran in two directions), the United States turned to the recruitment of former Nazis in an attempt to gain intelligence and military superiority over the Soviet Union. The Times article describes how the report details the stories of infamous Nazi war criminals protected by the United States.

There was Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist who used slave labor to operate Mittelwerk underground factories that produced the V-2 rocket. Twenty-five thousand slave laborers perished in the terrible conditions and treatment meted out at Mittelwerk. But Rudolph was protected from prosecution and went on to work for NASA as a primary designer of the Saturn rockets that took U.S. astronauts to the moon.

The article also notes the CIA’s recruitment of “Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolf Eichmann who had helped develop the initial plans ‘to purge Germany of the Jews.’” The Times article gentlemanly forbears the whole story, which was revealed in a 2006 UK Guardian story on new information found in a massive release in that year of CIA documents on its Nazi past. (CIA watchers should note the ironies entailed in the fact the release was approved by then CIA director Porter Goss.) Von Bloschwing, it turns out, had also been Heinrich Himmler’s representative in Romania.

According to the UK Guardian:

After the war Bolschwing had been recruited by the Gehlen Organisation, the prototype German intelligence agency set up by the Americans under Reinhard Gehlen, who had run military intelligence on the eastern front under the Nazis. “US army intelligence accepted Reinhard Gehlen’s offer to furnish alleged expertise on the Red army – and was bilked by the many mass murderers he hired,” said Robert Wolfe, a historian at the US national archives.

Of even more interest, perhaps, was the U.S. recruitment of Nazis and war criminals for its clandestine secret military groups after the war. Such secret armies were organized across Europe in the aftermath of World War II, and were later implicated in a number of right-wing terrorist actions and coups. The headquarters for this was ultimately centered in the NATO high command, and its various activities, including false flag operations to implicate leftists as terrorists became known as Operation Gladio.

Again, from the UK Guardian article:

Alongside the Gehlen Organisation, US intelligence had set up “stay-behind networks” in West Germany, who were supposed to stay put in the event of a Soviet invasion and transmit intelligence from behind enemy lines. Those networks were also riddled with ex-Nazis who had horrendous records.

One of the networks, codenamed Kibitz-15, was run by a former German army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Walter Kopp, who was described by his own American handlers as an “unreconstructed Nazi”.

A more detailed description of the U.S. organization of stay-behind networks is told in an essay by Timothy Naftali at the University of Virginia (PDF).

The New York Times is to be commended for the release of this important new document, whose 600-plus pages will take awhile to be fully digested. The Times also was one of four news outlets to release, against considerable government pressure, the Wikileaks war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Times editorial stance for accountability for torture has not been met with action by the U.S. President, Justice Department, or Congress. The Democrats had two years of full control of both houses of Congress and never brought any substantive hearings or investigations on the issue of torture or the machinations behind the invasion of Iraq. While there is no doubt that much was withheld from Congress by the Pentagon and White House, the Democrats demonstrated no appetite to press for accountability, and this will be their ignoble legacy.

We must not wait fifty, sixty, or seventy years for the truth about recent and ongoing war crimes to come fully out, and for accountability for these crimes. It appears that will only happen if the citizens of the United States take history into their own hands and form new political entities or parties capable of handling the truth and meting out justice. Such new political forces will be unlikely to stop there, and turn towards implementing the kinds of change we desperately need in this society.

Originally published on Firedoglake.

Jeffrey Kaye is a psychologist living in Northern California who writes regularly on torture and other subjects for The Public Record, Truthout and Firedoglake. He also maintains a personal blog, Invictus. His email address is sfpsych at gmail dot com.

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4 Responses for “Revealed: Government Report On “U.S. Aid for Ex-Nazis””

  1. Jesse Hemingway says:

    Hot dam if you do you’re research well you will figure out that from 1952 on the shadow government was growing exponentially. After WWII, this new industry was reviewing the mistakes made by both Germany and Japan via the intelligence avenue. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from the end of WWII to the new Eisenhower administration. Of course they would be flipping human intelligence to work for the Shadow government. Look at the political family tree emanating from the Eisenhower administration in the present day republican party. It was Thomas Dewey that convinced Dwight Eisenhower to run as a republican while the Democratic Party was courting him at the same time too
    .
    The Apolitical general Eisenhower is the prize for either of the Political parties (that are private corporations) for the 1952 presidential election Thomas Dewey wins Dwight Eisenhower over. For his efforts Thomas Dewey picks the majority of Dwight Eisenhower cabinet. The Dulles brothers create the foundation or the base (al Qaeda) Central Intelligence Agency the security arm of the showdown government. This is the importance of flipping ex-Nazis intelligence to figure out the mistakes made by fascism and where the loot is hidden. By 1960 Dwight Eisenhower goes to great lengths to warn the world about the shadow government. He identifies it as the Military Industrial complex by November 22, 1963 John F Kennedy becomes the next victim and the shadow government took control.

    Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George H Bush are first generation Military Industrial complex descendents an on September 11, 2001 the shadow government either lost control or performed their Machiavellian endeavor. The actions by the United States government proceeding 9/11 only reinforces that it was really a Machiavellian endeavor.

    And the beat goes on!!!!!!!!!

  2. craig batley says:

    We should write a dictionary.. of synonyms …
    in the S’s:
    Shock and awe = blitzkreig.
    Jim Marrs has a book titled “The Rise of the Fourth Reich”
    Guess what!!!
    We’re it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Judging from the attitude of the DOJ toward Holocaust victims and their insurance claims, it seems obvious whose side they are on. see: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/26/1944971/holocaust-survivors-struggle-for.html

    I don’t like people calling the US fascist though. It has it’s own special brand of hypocrisy and human rights abuses. Best to leave.

  4. Anonymous but Well Informed says:

    Diligent and objective examination of the non-redacted version of The Office of Special Investigations: Striving for Accountability in the Aftermath of the Holocaust by anyone who has followed the subject of Nazi war criminals and collaborators in the U.S. since the late 1970s and early 1980s (and there are only a hand full of us), reveals a stunning arrogance on the part its authors, both in terms of number and extraordinary significance of both the omissions edited out, and bias laden distortions written into what little OSI opted to reveal. A more comprehensive understanding of the total picture compels a conclusion that Report content is intended to cover more ass on the part of those mandated to identify, denaturalize and deport Nazi war criminals and collaborators in the U.S. and selectively defame one whose public disclosures brought unwanted attention to OSI, both in terms of its existence (widening the pool of potential critics) and more importantly, the limited scope of those whom it selectively pursued.

    Ultimate power resides with the story teller and their editors who collectively decide (based upon self promotion and job preservation), in light of an undisclosed, official agency editorial policy (intended for damage control), what subset of the total universe of evidence to reveal and how to best to couch it to the target audience.

    In the instant case, both elements find inspiration in an attempt to, on the one hand, defame one former OSI employee who sought a combination of heightened prosecutorial diligence and more, rather than fewer cases in light of the evidence and a history, revisionist in nature where necessary, to justify inaction in spite of that evidence. Only two of us fall into this category, one referenced by name in the Report and the other not.

    Those informed about the subject are left to ponder and identify virtue in the lesser of two evils. On the one hand there are those responsible for the underlying realities which catalyzed the OSI mandate, and then there are the career minded, pencil pushing bureaucrats who self assess and publicize their job performance. Through editorial license and slight of hand, OSI diminished the number of viable prosecutions by authoring its own Report, wherein it asserts the absence of viable targets and then withholds objective, independently verifiable and empirically based proof evidencing same. Package and peddle a product on official government stationary, engage some time tested, rubber band stretching theatrics (protracted public tug of war over disclosure, followed by the `reluctant release and surfacing of a redacted version (content otherwise available from public sources), and eventually followed by a `leaked’ unredacted version) and a naive public will seize upon and accept as gospel every word.

    Congress should release for public scrutiny the total of that which Loftus uncovered. The extent of the rhetorical gymnastics engaged in is nothing short of shameless. An undisclosed number of contributing authors and editors responsible for the content of this OSI Report makes it apparent that unfettered public access to the original files is the only means by which the truth on this subject shall ever see the light of day. If a former OSI director is capable of ordering the destruction of 40 plus archive boxes in the context of the Demjanjuk case, rather than hand them over pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, there exists no basis upon which to conclude the OSI Report at issue is complete and reliable, let alone factually accurate.

    The public has no idea how many individuals OSI failed and was unwilling to pursue in an effort to deny, both Loftus and others credit for what they found and publicly disclosed. Nor is it aware of just how sloppy it is with the facts upon which it built any number of cases. Paranoia, ineptitude and self preservation, both institutionally and as individuals, motivated OSI leadership to develop an `enemies list’ of those it mercilessly targeted for character assassination. Critics, both for what OSI did and failed to do, failure to feed and limit finding disclosures to the agency, and going public with any information which they, either had and were unprepared to disclose, or did not have, earned you a spot on the `list’ and made you a target. This is the overarching theme of the instant OSI Report and Loftus is clearly the target. But Loftus is in good company because Eli Rosenbaum (analysis of phraseology and editorial stylistics reveals him to be the author of the instant OSI Report) also went after and viciously attacked, both Simon Wiesenthal in his last book and others on any number of his publicly funded, nation wide, closed attendance, lecture tours.

    Report content reveals accountability by its author(s) to institutional leadership (themselves) of what is now a defunct agency, those who cut their pay checks, but most certainly not to history. In an office of so few, concurrently claiming so many and so few viable cases, with so little time left to act, one is left to ponder where they found the so much free time to craft a 600 page report quantifying that which they already knew, nerve to rewrite history through the distortions written into and significant omissions edited out of it, or viciously attack one who identified merit in and remained true to their congressional mandate.

    /s/ Anonymous by Extraordinarily Well Informed

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