Sunday, November 14, 2010

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... oh, and your Nazis too

This certainly gives new meaning to what comes next in "The New Colossus" -- that is, to "wretched refuse":

A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad...

Perhaps the report's most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.'s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

The Justice Department report, describing what it calls "the government's collaboration with persecutors," says that O.S.I. [the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, "created in 1979 to deport Nazis] investigators learned that some of the Nazis "were indeed knowingly granted entry" to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. "America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well," it said. 

(Read the whole piece for specific details.)

Obviously, the U.S. wasn't pro-Nazi, but it is rather troubling that the CIA provided such aid and comfort to Nazis (regardless of what those Nazis provided in terms of intelligence). And this wasn't just back in the 50s. Nazis were being protected well into the '80s.

Hypocrisy? Sure, although the U.S. played nicely with right-wing dictatorships throughout the Cold War, so it hardly comes as much surprise that it would also protect Nazis. And of course it's much worse than hypocrisy or a failure to abide by America's supposed principles and values.

No, the U.S. wasn't overtly pro-Nazi, but it certainly found common cause with Nazis after the war, and was more than willing to work closely with (or use) Nazis (ex- or otherwise) to advance its objectives.

It was a time of widespread anti-Soviet paranoia, but America's priorities were clear, and they had nothing to do with bringing significant figures in Hitler's regime to justice or with ensuring that the truth would come out.

(For more, see Jeff Kaye at FDL.)

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  • This only reveals that the US Government were engaged in other anomalous activities since they allowed Nazis to enter the US. No wonder there were crimes committed by perpetrators who still remain unidentified until now.

    By Anonymous Mark @ Israel, at 3:36 AM  

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