Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Apr 27 14:03:59 MDT 2001 

Documents Show Nazis' Role in U.S. Intelligence

By George Lardner Jr. Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, April 27, 2001;
3:28 PM

U.S. intelligence agencies used a rogue's gallery of Nazi war criminals
after World War II, some of whom cleverly ingratiated themselves with the
West, to help cope with the new threats posed by the Soviet Union and its
communist allies.

The collaboration, rarely questioned on moral grounds, was detailed today
in the unprecedented release of 20 long-secret CIA "name files," the first
of several hundred that are to be made public under the Nazi War Crimes
Disclosure Act enacted by Congress in 1998.

The 10,000 pages, outlined in a news conference at the Holocaust Museum and
released later at the National Archives in College Park, include files on
Adolf Hitler and other notorious Nazis, from Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller
to former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.

In some cases, they serve primarily to refute lingering rumors, such as
unfounded talk that Mueller and Waldheim may have been U.S. intelligence
assets. In other instances, as Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), one of the
authors of the law suggested, they tell us more "about ourselves: what we
knew and when we knew it."

The most striking disclosures were about the "second tier" of Nazis who
used their intelligence expertise, often directed against the Soviet Union,
to align themselves with western powers. As a panel of historians enlisted
by government officials to study the records concluded:

"Many lesser-known Nazis committed serious crimes, but in the postwar
period received light punishment, no punishment at all, or received
compensation because western intelligence agencies considered them useful
assets in the Cold War."

Expressing her dismay, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N. Y.), one of the
presidentially appointed members of the interagency working group in charge
of the law, pointed out that three Nazis charged with war crimes, Emil
Augsburg, Wilhelm Hoettl and Klaus Barbie, were all employed by the U. S.
Army's Counterintelligence Corps [CIC] or the Office of Strategic Services.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company

Louis Proyect
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