URL for this article:


(Note: Mr. Lee's article continues here)


Members of the Gehlen Org were instrumental in helping thousands of
fascist fugitives escape via "ratlines" to safe havens abroad --often
with a wink and a nod from U.S. intelligence officers. 

Third Reich expatriates and fascist collaborators subsequently emerged
as "security advisors" in several Middle Eastern and Latin American
countries, where ultra-right-wing death squads persist as their enduring
legacy. Klaus Barbie, for example, assisted a succession of military
regimes in Bolivia, where he taught soldiers torture techniques and
helped protect the flourishing cocaine trade in the late 1970s and early

CIA officials eventually learned that the Nazi old boy network nesting
inside the Gehlen Org had an unexpected twist to it. By bankrolling
Gehlen the CIA unknowingly laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign
intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet spies. Gehlen's habit
of employing compromised ex-Nazis -- and the CIA's willingness to
sanction this practice -- enabled the USSR to penetrate West Germany's
secret service by blackmailing numerous agents. 

...Slow to recognize that their Nazi hired guns would feign an
allegiance to the Western alliance as long as they deemed it tactically
advantageous, CIA officials invested far too much in Gehlen's spooky
Nazi outfit. "It was a horrendous mistake, morally, politically, and
also in very pragmatic intelligence terms," says American University
professor Richard Breitman, chairman of the IWG review panel. 

More than just a bungled spy caper, the Gehlen debacle should serve as a
cautionary tale at a time when post-Cold War triumphalism and arrogant
unilateralism are rampant among U.S. officials. If nothing else, it
underscores the need for the United States to confront some of its own
demons now that unreconstructed Cold Warriors are again riding top
saddle in Washington. 


*** (C) 'San Francisco Bay Guardian,' Reprinted for Fair Use Only *** 

by Jared Israel

Mr. Lee writes that General Gehlen passed Washington false information
about a supposed Soviet buildup and adds that: 

"Gehlen's disinformation strategy was based on a simple premise: the
colder the Cold War got, the more political space for Hitler's heirs to
maneuver. The Org could only flourish under Cold War conditions; as an
institution it was therefore committed to perpetuating the
Soviet-American conflict."

First, this is speculation presented as fact. Who knows whether Gehlen
invented any particular piece of misinformation, or whether someone in
the CIA instructed him to 'invent' it.

Second, so what if CIA Nazis sometimes made false reports to heighten
tensions or make themselves look good. That sort of thing is always
possible in intelligence organizations. (Graham Greene's wonderful
novel, 'Our Man in Havana,' is about a British intelligence 'asset' in
Cuba who manufactures an entire spy network to keep himself employed.)

Indeed, the CIA is itself famous for telling tall tales about the
misdeeds of those resisting U.S. domination. Such statements help create
a provocative atmosphere in which aggressive policies seem justified.

The question is not whether the Nazis sometimes misled Washington, or
whether Soviet intelligence could sometimes use the Nazis against
Washington. The question is: what were and are Washington's plans?

Did Washington want to crush the Soviet Union and install puppet
governments throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans? Does Washington
now wish to turn the Balkans into a safe rear while it moves NATO bases
up to Russian borders in order to facilitate 'low intensity war' against
Russia? I would argue that the answer to both questions is: yes. 

The Nazi apparatus was and remains useful in carrying out these


Mr. Lee writes:

"Slow to recognize that their Nazi hired guns would feign an allegiance
to the Western alliance as long as they deemed it tactically
advantageous, CIA officials invested far too much in Gehlen's spooky
Nazi outfit. 'It was a horrendous mistake, morally, politically, and
also in very pragmatic intelligence terms,' says American University
professor Richard Breitman, chairman of the IWG review panel."

'Feign allegiance'? What evidence is there that the Nazis were feigning?
The problem is Mr. Lee is proceeding from his assumption that Washington
made a mistake in recruiting the Nazis. This assumption is wrong; that
is, it is plainly contradicted by the evidence he presents. Like many
people, he finds it awkward to change his assumptions; so instead he
offers, by way of compromise, this notion that the Nazis were insincere.
(Am I alone in finding that the mind boggles at the notion of the
insincere Nazi?)

And what if these Nazis did sometimes feign loyalty? Many employees
'feign allegiance.' The question the employer asks is: are they getting
the job done.

Says Mr. Lee, "CIA officials invested far too much in Gehlen's spooky
Nazi outfit." Earlier he refers to the "Gehlen gambit." And elsewhere he
comments that this was "more than a bungled spy caper"! 

This language suggests that that Mr. Lee, like so many Americans, does
not fully grasp what is involved here. The 'people' whom Allen Dulles
and Co. rescued and recruited into the CIA were not spooky. This was not
simply 'more than a bungled spy caper.'

These unimaginably vicious thugs were rescued to do a job. 

Therefore the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had at the core of its
field staff, from the time of its creation, mass murderers. They were
used all over the world to do what they had done during World War II.

What had they done during World War II? What skills did they bring to
the CIA? 

Let us consider the Croatian Ustashe. These henchmen of a
clerical-fascist regime (the term "clerical" is used to describe the
Ustashe because the Catholic clergy controlled this fascist movement)
carried out the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and

"The Ustasa regime in Croatia and particularly this drive... to
exterminate and dispossess the Serbs, was one of the most horrendous
episodes of World War II. The murder methods applied by Ustasha were
extraordinarily primitive and sadistic: thousands were hurled from
mountain tops, others were beaten to death or had their throats cut,
entire villages were burned down, women raped, people sent on death
marches in the middle of winter, and still others starved to death..."
('Encyclopedia of the Holocaust,' Macmillan Publishing Company, 1995)

Members of the Ustashe were among those whom U.S. intelligence 'rescued'
and whose ranks swelled the CIA and other U.S. covert and semi-covert


Mr. Lee quotes IWG panel member Professor Richard Breitman to the effect
that the CIA-NAZI marriage was a:

"horrendous mistake, morally, politically, and also in very pragmatic
intelligence terms."

What does it mean for Professor Breitman to describe as a mistake
something that was elaborately planned? The recruitment of Nazi's
required the movement of thousands of war criminals, setting them up
with new identities and financing them for half a century at a
cumulative cost of billions of dollars. In the late 1980s and early
1990s they were dispatched with their children to install fascist
regimes in power in Croatia and Bosnia; these regimes were universally -
and amazingly - described in the Western media and by Western leaders as
'democratic'. Repatriated Nazis were used to install a government in
Lithuania that honors pro-Nazi Lithuanians who during World War II
massacred local Jews, Orthodox Christians and Bolsheviks. 

By what standard can all of this be described as a 'mistake'? Was it a
misake because it didn't work? 

But it did work. 

Or perhaps Breitman and Lee think it was a mistake because it was evil? 

But what makes an evil policy a mistake?

Professor Breitman is using sloppy reasoning in order, one suspects, to
achieve a political effect. By labeling the Nazi-CIA marriage, with its
'ratlines' and 'captive nations', a mistake, he lets Washington off the
hook. "This was counter-productive," he tells us and we think, "Well, if
it was counter productive then in a sense Washington as suffered a
fool's punishment." 

But in fact the U.S. Establishment never paid a price for the monstrous
crime of saving the Nazis and then unleashing them, once again, on the

Quite the contrary. It gained mightily from the ruthless use of Nazi
monsters. It gained a ready-made apparatus in Eastern Europe and the
Balkans. It gained the use of an army of covert operatives ready to
carry out any crime any place in the world. 

Among other things, this apparatus helped destroy the Soviet Union,
which had been a major obstacle to the U.S. drive for world domination. 


The author concludes with the following comment:

"If nothing else, it [that is, the revelations about CIA-Nazi ties]
underscores the need for the United States to confront some of its own
demons now that unreconstructed Cold Warriors are again riding top
saddle in Washington."

First, why should "nothing else" be done? Why does Washington have the
right to set up War Crimes Tribunals to punish people (for instance,
Serbian leaders like Milosevic) whose only crime is that they resisted
Washington, but when it comes to Washington's own very real war crimes -
such as rescuing and unleashing these Nazi monsters - "confronting some
of its own demons" is sufficient? (8)

And second, what about this "now that unreconstructed Cold Warriors are
again riding top saddle in Washington"? 


If by "Cold Warriors" Mr. Lee means advocates of empire, then pray tell,
when did they leave the saddle? Does Mr. Lee mean that William Clinton
was not an Imperial warrior, but Mr. Bush is?

For all or part of its eight years in office, the Clinton administration
waged unrelenting proxy military wars against the people of Yugoslavia,
the former Soviet Union, Colombia, Congo, Rwanda, waged a war of
sanctions against 70 countries, routinely bombed Iraq while starving its
children, and so on. It continued to employ 'captive nations' Nazis in
Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe. It greatly developed the use of the
National Endowment for 'Democracy', USAID and other government and
semi-private agencies and NGOs to create a Fifth Column apparatus in
countries around the world.

To be sure, the Bush administration is continuing these efforts. But the
notion that Bush's foreign policy represents some sea change from
Clinton's foreign policy is without foundation in fact.

-- J.I. 21 May 2001


(1) Concerning Allen Dulles and the Nazis, see: "Nazis in the Attic."
The article is broken into 6 parts. Parts 3 and 5 deal specifically with
Mr. Dulles. 
The article begins at 

The sections that deal specifically with Allen Dulles are part 3, at
and part 5 at:
Part 5 also deals with involvement of the Bush family, since the 1920s,
in helping the Nazis. 

(2) For a brief introduction to the ratlines see 'The Vatican, Croatia
and the Nazi Gold' by Seán Mac Mathúna at 

(3) See excerpts from 'Blowback' by Christopher Simpson which can be
read at

(4) For more on U.S. support for Nazi butchers after World War II, see
the book, "Blowback: America's Nazis and Its Effect on the Cold War" by
Christopher Simpson, April 1988. You can find it on For more
on the Nazi-like state re-created in Croatia during the early 19900s,

(5) Washington was a key force in creating the Albanian secessionist
movement in Kosovo. The evidence is there, every step of the way. We
will soon post an article, 'Dole Does Kosovo', which documents
Washington's open attempt to foster secessionism in Kosovo in 1990.
Eight years later, Washington used the cover of the Kosovo Verification
Mission to import intelligence operatives and military experts to
(attempt to) train the Kosovo Liberation Army so it could function as a
modern Army. See:
* 'The Cat is Out of the Bag' by Jared Israel at 
* 'Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During NATO Bombing' at 

This interview includes information unavailable elsewhere. It is well
worth reading if you want to understand just how sophisticated and
ruthless 'poor, mistake-prone' Washington really is.

(6) For more on General Gehlen, see 

(7) The assault on Yugoslavia has occasioned perhaps the most extreme
examples of the Washington's foreign policy doctrine, which might be
paraphrased as follows: "The lie is mightier than the sword." 

Case in point: the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The U.S. and Germany created this terrorist group. It's strategy, as
described by the pro-NATO publication, 'Jane's Defense Weekly', was and
remains: to commit acts of terror in order to provoke a government
response which can be misportrayed as ethnic repression and thereby used
to justify NATO intervention. 

In other words, the KLA is openly terrorist. In addition it is openly
racist - it appeals to and encourages hatred of Slavs (especially Serbs)
and 'Gypsies.'

Here's the point: At a rally two years ago, Senator Joe Lieberman
described this bunch of terrorist-Nazis as follows:

"[The] United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for
the same human values and principles ... Fighting for the KLA is
fighting for human rights and American values." ('Washington Post,'
April 28, 1999)

The lie is mightier than the sword.

For more on Senator Joe Lieberman, see 'SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN -

8) On Slobodan Miloshevich, see 'KLA Attacks Everyone. Media
Attacks...Miloshevich?' Can be read at 

and "Statement of President Slobodan Milosevic on The Illegitimacy of
The Hague 'Tribunal'" Can be read at


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