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How Was The CIA Formed?
By absorbing the Nazi war criminal infrastructure
by Jared Israel
Oct 8, 1998, the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act became US law. This
“...calls for the establishment of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group [IWG] to locate, identify, and make available to the public Nazi war criminal records.” 
IWG’s task was to organize previously classified documents from the OSS,
predecessor of the CIA, as well as from the CIA and other intelligence
sources, and to make these documents available to the public. These were
to include documents relating to possible collusion between US government
organizations and Nazi war criminals.
of pages have been released but very little information has trickled down
to the broad public. And this trickle has been presented in a way
calculated to minimize public awareness of the
extent to which the Nazi apparatus was recruited in order - literally - to
*become* the US covert operations and intelligence apparatus (the CIA
story centers around the figure of Reinhard Gehlen.
Who was Reinhard Gehlen, and how did US intelligence use him?
April 1942 on, Gehlen was head of German Armies East, the Nazi Army’s
intelligence corps in conquered Soviet territory. Commenting on the
release of some previously classified documents concerning Gehlen, the IWG
above paragraph includes not one false statement; yet it is completely
misleading. This suggests that the IWG’s talent may lie in
disinformation rather than research.
1) The statement that the Gehlen organization was “working...with Army Intelligence” is misleading because “working with” implies equality of power: one does not “work with” men hiding from the law. The Nazis recruited by US intelligence were wanted for the worst war crimes; they were “employees” whose alternative was the hangman's noose. Surely they did what they were told.
The use of “working with” is also misleading because it suggests
that Gehlen’s Organization (the 'Org’) was
separate from the Strategic Services Unit and later from the CIA. This is
not true. Gehlen’s Org became a decisive, perhaps *the* decisive
component of the CIA’s worldwide apparatus. Its thousands of highly experienced operatives, much older than incoming CIA
recruits, had to have a big effect on the culture of the CIA. Thus,
US intelligence was Nazified.
The statement that, “As the Cold War developed during 1946, American
intelligence officials found themselves lacking recent experience with
Soviet intelligence activities and decided to use German experts on the
Soviet Union - even though some may have been war criminals,” is false
for three reasons.
The IWG's statement that the CIA
“continued the relationship until 1956”
is a bad joke.
is a bad joke.
it, one might get the impression that the CIA broke with Gehlen and company
in 1956, but that is not true.
1956 the US intelligence group known as Gehlen’s Org
became the BND, the Western German equivalent of the CIA.
And it was run by Reinhard Gehlen.
[2C] And it was run by Reinhard Gehlen.
"Thus, the US reinstated in Germany the apparatus that had planned and
carried out Nazi foreign operations during the World War." These men had
vast experience of war and racist mass murder and they had the knowledge
that the US was sponsoring them. When the BND, for example, conspired with
Croatian fascists in the late 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, the people
doing the conspiring were the same Nazis who had butchered Yugoslavia
during World War II.
me note, for the record, that this re-creation of the Nazi foreign
operations apparatus was an outrageous betrayal of the hundreds of
thousands of US and Allied
troops who fought and died believing they were ridding the
world of the horror of Nazism.
and then German covert operations - obviously the most critical expression of the foreign
policy of any country - were built out of the criminal Nazi apparatus. This information
is staggering. But what is just a staggering is that *ordinary people have
no idea that these damning records have been released.*
I have been reading media coverage of the release of the Gehlen documents and two things are striking: there is very little coverage, and what does exist is a whitewash. Consider for example an article that appeared in the 'alternative' newspaper, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, entitled “The CIA’s Worst Kept Secret." 
this article the author, Martin Lee, portrays the creation of the CIA via
the recruitment of thousands of Nazis as a ‘mistake’. But how could such a
mistake be made?
According to Lee, the US spymasters were fooled by Gehlen and/or didn’t ask too many question because they preferred not to know the answers.
April 1, 1942 on, Gehlen was head of the so-called ‘Foreign Armies
East,’ the infamous intelligence service of the Nazi Army within the
Soviet Union. Martin does
state that before the war ended, Gehlen arranged with the U.S. that the
Americans would adopt his entire staff.
of the US officers with whom Gehlen met was General Edwin L. Sibert,
chief of military intelligence in the American zone in Germany. Another
was Allen Dulles, a top official at the OSS, predecessor of the CIA.
During the latter half of the war, Dulles ran the OSS station in Berne,
Switzerland, conducting espionage operations in Nazi Germany. In the 1950s
he was director of the CIA.
to Lee, Gehlen fooled Dulles:
support of this thesis, Lee quotes Richard Breitman, an historical
consultant and the main public voice of the IWG:
did General Sibert make a “horrendous mistake”? Was spymaster Allen
Dulles fooled? Is it possible that American spies who spent the war
fighting German intelligence did not know what Gehlen and his Foreign
Armies East had done in conquered Russia?
This way of writing guarantees that the small amount of information that reaches the public concerning the Nazi origins of the CIA is framed so as to suggest that it was all a blunder.
But how could US officials use Nazi war criminals 'by mistake'? These people were responsible for the worst crimes in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, slaughtering millions of Jews, Serbs, Roma ('Gypsies') and others. How could such well-known monsters be recruited as the building blocks of US foreign operations 'by mistake'?
By reconstructing the Nazi apparatus, the US
Establishment put a Nazi stamp on US foreign policy, spat in the face of
the victims of the Holocaust, guaranteed maximum hostility in the USSR,
and had a major impact on domestic US politics as well. Such a huge
effort, with such far-reaching implications, carried out with painstaking
attention to detail, cannot have been a blunder.
But Gehlen's boys were not just spies. As we shall see,
they were the worst war criminals of the century.
An Ideology of Racism
to Lee, Gehlen fooled US spymaster Allen Dulles into believing he had
never been a ‘sincere’ Nazi.
what is a Nazi?
is common in the US these days to use ‘Nazi’ to describe someone who
is mean or repressive. Sometimes the word is even used to describe a harsh
comic figure, as in Seinfeld’s ‘Soup Nazi.’
the Nazis were not just brutal. The central feature of Nazism, which
attracted supporters from Cairo to New York, was fanatical racism,
especially towards Jews. That racism derived false intellectual
justification from the pseudo-science of Eugenics, which originated in
Britain and gained prominence in the US in the first half of the century,
and was adopted by Hitler’s Nazis.
posits the existence of supposedly inferior, imagined
“races”. Coincidentally, these groups coincide with existing
objects of bigotry - Black people, Jews, Slavs, American Indians, Mexican
Americans, ‘Gypsies’ and so on. According to Eugenics, these groups,
and also people with physical or mental disabilities or whose behavior is
considered anti-social, must (according to Eugenics) be eliminated from
the gene pool, one way or another. In this way, a Master Race is to be
Eugenics was financed by pillars of the US Establishment, such as the Rockefeller and Carnegie Institutes and the Ford Foundation. Eugenics was endorsed by the US State Department and the Supreme Court.
Nazis took to eugenics like ducks to water.
World War II, the Nazis incorporated Eugenics in all their military plans.
The Nazi troops had been indoctrinated with the idea that it was necessary
to kill off these "inferior specimens" in order to save first Germany and
in April 1942, Reinhard Gehlen was in charge of the Nazi military
intelligence organization in the Soviet Union, Foreign Armies East. What
did the Nazis do in the vast areas they conquered?
part of the USSR was populated mainly by Slavs, with a large Jewish
minority, and many Roma (‘Gypsies’). The Nazi goal was to destroy what
they bizarrely called “Jewish Bolshevism.” They aimed to eliminate all
Jews and Roma and to reduce the Slavic population by 30 million, enslaving
those who survived. This plan created hell on earth. According to Prof.
Christopher Simpson, a member of the Historical Advisory Panel of the IWG
and the author of Blowback, a study of the Nazi-CIA marriage:
note of General Manstein’s words: “a large part of the population will
*have to* starve.” He speaks of these people as if they were
disease-carrying animals whom public health officials must put to sleep.
Those who object to withholding food from “the population” suffer from
“mistaken humaneness”... Thus the entire Wehrmacht, not just the SS or Gestapo, was
enlisted in a slaughter which was “without equal in world history.”
about Reinhard Gehlen? His intelligence group, Foreign Armies East, was
responsible for evaluating information obtained from the interrogation of
POWs. These POWs were mostly Slavs or Jews. As part of the general plan
for so-called ‘racial purification,’ Gehlen and his people helped to
formulate a sub-plan for POWs which used mass torture and mass murder to
extract maximum information, with the result - beneficial to those with a
eugenics ideology - that millions of Slavs and Jews were killed in the
[Excerpt from "Blowback" starts here]
Gehlen derived much of his information from his role in
one of the most terrible atrocities of the war: the torture,
interrogation, and murder by starvation of some 4 million Soviet prisoners
of war. Even Gehlen’s defenders - and there are many of them, both in
Germany and in the United States - acknowledge he was instrumental in
organizing the interrogations of these POWs. The success of this
interrogation program from the German military’s point of view became,
in fact, the cornerstone of Gehlen’s career. It won him his reputation
as an intelligence officer and his major general’s rank. [That is, it
was because of these monstrous interrogations
that in 1942 Gehlen was put in charge of
Foreign Armies East, Nazi military intelligence in the USSR
But these same interrogations were actually a step in the
liquidation of tens of thousands of POWs. Prisoners who refused to
cooperate were often tortured or summarily shot. Many were executed even
after they had given information, while others were simply left to starve
to death. True, Gehlen’s men did not personally administer the
starvation camps, nor are they known to have served in the execution
squads. Such tasks were left to the SS, whose efficiency in such matters
is well known.
Instead, Gehlen’s men were in a sense like scientists
who skimmed off the information and documents that rose to the surface of
these pestilent camps. Now and again they selected an interesting
specimen: a captured Russian general ready to collaborate, perhaps, or a
Ukrainian railroad expert who might supply the locations of vulnerable
bridges when given some encouragement to talk. Gehlen’s officers were
scientists in somewhat the same way that concentration camp doctors were:
Both groups extracted their data from the destruction of human beings.
[Excerpt from "Blowback" ends here]
Gehlen and his organization were involved in the monstrous crimes on the
Eastern front in the same way that Eichmann and his men were involved in
the death camps: as planners, and also in the same way as people like Dr.
Mengele, as gatherers of information. Moreover, this information was then
processed and provided to the Nazi Army in order to help them “pacify”
the conquered areas. Thus Gehlen and Co. also aided in carrying out the
mass murder of civilians. To this end, they employed a vast network of
spies, corrupt government officials, Nazi sympathizers, Soviet officers
and troops who had gone over to the Nazi side, willing thugs, and so on.
Foreign Armies East intelligence apparatus was organizationally distinct
from the SS and the Gestapo, who actually carried out the organized
killing. During official US interrogations, with stenographers present,
Gehlen stated that he would never use SS or Gestapo men. The SS and
Gestapo had been declared criminal organizations at the Nuremberg Tribunal
and the US officials who employed Gehlen were required to arrest
anyone whom they knew had been a member of either organization. So in
order to protect his hosts, Gehlen had to say, on record, that he would
never employ men who had been in the SS.
But despite Gehlen’s supposedly ‘plausible denial,’ in fact the Org was full of SS killers.
Foreign Armies East had only dealt with the occupied USSR. By recruiting
members of the SS and Gestapo, Gehlen and his US backers extended the
Org’s reach directly to Eastern and Southeastern Europe. For example,
Willi Krichdaum, mentioned above, was the senior Gestapo official in
Southeastern Europe. That includes Yugoslavia, where the Nazis committed
some of their worst crimes.
like Krichdaum would know the names of members of
Waffen SS divisions from their areas. The Waffen SS was recruited
from Volksdeutsche (people of German descent living outside Germany)
and non-German Nazi volunteers from all over Europe. The more extensive
Gehlen’s Org became, the more ties it had to these Nazis - these Waffen
SS volunteers who had quietly returned to their countries of origin (the
UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Italy and so on). Thus
Gehlen’s Org gave US intelligence a readymade political apparatus all
Gehlen and the US representatives worked out the details for Americanizing
his Nazis, the next step was to reconstitute the whole structure,
including middle leaders and the rank and file. For that purpose,
Gehlen’s Org screened displaced persons arriving in Germany. Gehlen
chose Franz Six to oversee the screening:
Six and his underlings knew what they were looking for:
people were the all-important link between Gehlen’s people and the
local Nazi apparatus on the ground in Russia and Eastern and Southeastern
Europe. With their recruitment, a huge part of Hitler’s foreign operations apparatus
had been recreated.
Did the Americans know?
noted, one of the men who spoke to Gehlen was General Sibert, head of
military intelligence in the US occupation zone in Germany. As Christopher
Sibert was not the only top US intelligence man involved.
There was Allen Dulles, the famously cunning station chief of US
intelligence in Berne, Switzerland. His
*job* was to work with intelligence sources in Germany. Gehlen wasn’t a
minor figure. He was the head of German intelligence in the main theater
of operations - the Soviet Union. One didn’t have to be in intelligence
to know that the Germans were committing monstrous war crimes in Russia -
this was shown on newsreels in every theater in America. And of course
Dulles, a shrewd intelligence chief, would be aware that
Gehlen’s organization took part in planning and providing intelligence for these war crimes.
group set up to plan Gehlen's Org:
“...included Richard Helms, for example, who was later to become CIA Deputy Director for Clandestine Operations and eventually Agency [that is, CIA] director under Presidents Johnson and Nixon, William Casey, CIA director under President Reagan...” 
is simply absurd to believe that men like Sibert, Dulles, Helms and Casey
were fooled. And in any case, what did it matter whether Gehlen was a
‘sincere’ Nazi or not? He
was reconstituting the Nazi apparatus, and the US was using that
apparatus as the crucial European section of its intelligence operation.
And that, quite obviously, was no mistake.
In conclusion, a word about Dr. Breitman
Earlier I wrote that Richard
Breitman has been the main public voice of the IWG, "the Interagency
Working Group to locate, identify, and make available to the public Nazi
war criminal records." (see above). On the IWG Website, Breitman is listed
as one of five "IWG Historical Consultants".
But he is not one of five. He is the IWG person most consistently quoted by the mass media and it is his reports and comments that dominate the IWG presence on the Internet.
These comments consistently serve to muddy the waters, negating the very facts he is reporting! An example of this is Breitman’s report, published on the IWG Website, concerning the relationship between US counter-intelligence officers and Hermann Julius Hoefle.
Here is the first paragraph of Breitman’s report: 
"Hermann Julius Hoefle, a major Nazi war criminal who went unpunished after 1945, served briefly in 1954 as a paid informant for the U. S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. According to a newly declassified Army Investigative Repository Records (IRR) file on Hoefle, the CIC was aware of Hoefle's SS background but failed to discover what Hoefle had really done during World War II. "
The key phrase is "failed to discover", which implies that the intelligence officers avoided digging into Hoefle’s past lest they discover something they didn’t want to know. Breitman is suggesting that, by not knowing Hoefle was a war criminal, the CIC people rationalize employing him for intelligence purposes.
Since the above-quoted excerpt is the first paragraph of a 1000 word report, it is the part that people are most likely to read. It tells them how to view the rest of the text.
A bit later in the report, Breitman reinforces this view, that the American officers sinned by avoiding knowledge, when he states that:
“A CIC assessment of Hoefle's character in February 1954 did not penetrate beyond the surface:
‘Subject is punctual, militant in action, truthful and trusting in a person only after his trustworthiness has been proven. Subject has been found to be most appreciative and courteous….’”
Notice the phrase, “did not penetrate beyond the surface.” Again, the impression is created that the CIC did not want to know too much.
It is only after the first half of the report - constructed
so as to give
"Hoefle had told CIC officials that during the war he had served in the Waffen-SS, that he was affiliated with the organization of partisan groups in fighting the Russians, and that he had taken part in security work in Poland in regard to German personnel. ‘Security work’ involved the murder of some two million Polish Jews. Anyone with some knowledge about Nazi Germany and with access to his SS file in the Berlin Document Center could have exposed these falsehoods and evasions.”
Were the CIC officers *not* people with some knowledge about Nazi Germany? Did they not know that “security work” in Poland involved the murder of two million Jews? Did they not know that the partisans whom Hoefle helped organize were involved in mass murder in Russia?
Of course they knew. After all, these US officers hadn’t just wandered in off the street! They were intelligence experts with the job of interrogating Nazis! Moreover, a bit later Breitman mentions that:
So: CIC knew “security work” in Poland involved the killing of two million Jews; they knew Hoefle was involved in security work; they knew what Hoefle's so-called partisans did in Russia and they knew that Hoefle was wanted for war crimes in Poland.
Given what the CIC *did* know, their description of Hoefle:
“Subject is punctual, militant in action, truthful and trusting in a person only after his trustworthiness has been proven. Subject has been found to be most appreciative and courteous…”
- is not, as Breitman suggests, noteworthy for its superficiality; rather, it suggests a friendly relationship with a man whom the CIC officers knew perfectly well was a racist mass murderer.
In one of the excerpts quoted earlier, Breitman false-criticized the CIC because, “Anyone… with access to his SS file in the Berlin Document Center could have exposed these falsehoods and evasions.”
I call this false criticism because it clearly implies that the CIC erred by *failing* to consult Hoefle’s file at the Berlin Document Center when, as we have seen, they did not *need* to consult Hoefle’s file. This is already damning evidence that Breitman is trying to cover-up - but in fact, it is worse, for near the end of the Hoefle report, Breitman mentions that:
“ … there apparently was a cursory check of Berlin Document Center records about him…”
So the CIC *did* consult the Berlin Document Center file!
It took a lot of hard work for Breitman to produce a report whose conclusion, that the CIC acted in willful ignorance, so obviously contradicts the very facts he presents. These facts prove that the CIC knew exactly who Hoefle was!
The IWG membership includes, on the one hand, five people representing the intelligence community and the State Department. On the other hand, it includes Elizabeth Holtzman, who has crusaded for the exposure of Nazi war criminals, and Eli Rosenbaum, the legendary Director of the Office of Special Investigations at the Department of Justice, who has led the prosecution of Nazis for illegal entry to the US.
The presence of Holtzman and Rosenbaum suggests that part of the IWG sincerely wants to get out the whole truth.
However, the fact that Breitman, who tries to hide the truth, is the effective spokesperson for the IWG suggests that the forces of cover-up are in control.
Indeed, the IWG's attempt to hide the truth, so obvious in Breitman’s writing, tells us that not only did the US foreign policy Establishment recreate the Nazi’s race-driven foreign operations machine and put it back in power in Germany, but the powers-that- be remain loyal to these monstrous policies to this day.
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There is nothing shameful about poverty; some of the finest people have tried it. So we at Emperor's Clothes are not ashamed of our condition. And we are Deserving. We refuse to adjust our conclusions to fit anybody's correctness. Rather, we study and we base our analyses on the facts we uncover. When studying the Middle East led us to change our views on the Israel-Arab issue, some expected us to tone down our criticisms of US foreign policy. We didn't. We are stubbornly honest therefore we are poor.
Our only income comes from readers' donations. If you approve our unfashionable approach, even if you sometimes disagree with us, then as you enjoy this holiday season, think of us: poor but honest. We have several projects hindered by lack of cash. Your donation will be a great help, and much appreciated!
Footnotes and Further Reading
[2B] The first link, from the
Wiesenthal Center, summarizes the Nuremberg Tribunal's finding that
the Gestapo and SS were "criminal organizations." The second link give
the actual text of from the Tribunal, which states that members of the
SS and Gestapo were by virtue of membership war criminals as long as
they knew that these organizations were involved in war crimes.
[2C] It is interesting to
note that. apparently after Gehlen's Org was turned into the BND,
"Allen Dulles...asked Gehlen to work to improve the Egyptian secret
The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Extra, May 7, 2001. “The CIA’s
worst-kept secret: Newly declassified files confirm United States
collaboration with Nazis.” By Martin A. Lee
 Black, Edwin (2003). “War against the weak: Eugenics and America's campaign to create a master race.” by Edwin Black. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows.
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.12)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.44)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.45)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.47)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.46)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.45)
 Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (fn. bottom of p.43)
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