Although it’s not revelatory to discuss the various ways in which the United States aided and abetted members of the Nazi elite after the war (not to talk of the various capitalist factions that did little to hide their willful collusion with the Nazis during the war), recently declassified documents present a more disturbing picture than even I was prepared for. A new report detailing the documents, Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War, shows the myriad ways in which yet again, waging war against leftists is to trump all else- even atrocities. I would like to give the references to Klaus Barbie a shot in the arm though, specifically that the CIA likely met with him (after facilitating his escape to Bolivia) to discuss how best to murder Che Guevara. The slaughter of leftists as a national priority? No…
From Declassified Documents Show U.S. Recruited Ex-Nazis, appearing in the December 11th online edition of The New York Times:
After World War II, American counterintelligence recruited former Gestapo officers, SS veterans and Nazi collaborators to an even greater extent than had been previously disclosed and helped many of them avoid prosecution or looked the other way when they escaped, according to thousands of newly declassified documents.
Like earlier reports generated by the group, this one paints a grim portrait of bureaucracy, turf wars and communication gaps among intelligence agencies. It also details blatantly cynical self-interested tactical decisions by Allied governments and a general predisposition that some war crimes by former Nazis and their collaborators should be overlooked because the suspects could be transformed into valuable assets in the more urgent undercover campaigns against Soviet aggression.
“Tracking and punishing war criminals were not high among the Army’s priorities in late 1946,” the report says. Instead, it concludes that the Army’s Counterintelligence Corps spied on suspect groups ranging from German Communists to politically active Jewish refugees in camps for displaced people and also “went to some lengths to protect certain persons from justice.”