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TBR News July 29, 2018

Jul 29 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8

Washington, D.C. July 29, 2018: Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. The United States is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and over 1 million just since 2003 in Iraq. –U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List

Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)

  • China 1949 to early 1960s
  • Albania 1949-53
  • East Germany 1950s
  • Iran 1953 *
  • Guatemala 1954 *
  • Costa Rica mid-1950s
  • Syria 1956-7
  • Egypt 1957
  • Indonesia 1957-8
  • British Guiana 1953-64 *
  • Iraq 1963 *
  • North Vietnam 1945-73
  • Cambodia 1955-70 *
  • Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
  • Ecuador 1960-63 *
  • Congo 1960 *
  • France 1965
  • Brazil 1962-64 *
  • Dominican Republic 1963 *
  • Cuba 1959 to present
  • Bolivia 1964 *
  • Indonesia 1965 *
  • Ghana 1966 *
  • Chile 1964-73 *
  • Greece 1967 *
  • Costa Rica 1970-71
  • Bolivia 1971 *
  • Australia 1973-75 *
  • Angola 1975, 1980s
  • Zaire 1975
  • Portugal 1974-76 *
  • Jamaica 1976-80 *
  • Seychelles 1979-81
  • Chad 1981-82 *
  • Grenada 1983 *
  • South Yemen 1982-84
  • Suriname 1982-84
  • Fiji 1987 *
  • Libya 1980s
  • Nicaragua 1981-90 *
  • Panama 1989 *
  • Bulgaria 1990 *
  • Albania 1991 *
  • Iraq 1991
  • Afghanistan 1980s *
  • Somalia 1993
  • Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
  • Ecuador 2000 *
  • Afghanistan 2001 *
  • Venezuela 2002 *
  • Iraq 2003 *
  • Haiti 2004 *
  • Somalia 2007 to present
  • Honduras 2009 *
  • Libya 2011 *
  • Syria 2012
  • Ukraine 2014 *

 

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

The Table of Contents

  • Trump threatens U.S. government shutdown over immigration
  • Queen Esther on the Rio Grande
  • Colorado capitol prankster places Putin portrait where Trump’s should be
  • Conversations with the Crow
  • Nazis and the CIA

 

Trump threatens U.S. government shutdown over immigration

July 29, 2018

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would allow the federal government to shut down if Democrats refuse to back major changes to immigration laws his administration wants.

“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump wants Congress to pass legislation that addresses immigration issues. Although Republicans control Congress, disagreements between moderates and conservatives in the party have impeded a speedy legislative fix.

An immigration bill favored by conservative Republicans failed to pass the House last week. Trump has requested $25 billion to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week that $1.6 billion has already been appropriated for the wall and lawmakers were considering another request for $5 billion.

Lawmakers met with Trump last week to discuss the appropriations process to fund the government.

“We’re going to talk to him about a whole slew of issues but mainly how to get this appropriation process back on track so that at the end of the year we don’t have one giant omnibus appropriations bill,” Ryan said Wednesday on Fox News.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

 

 

Queen Esther on the Rio Grande

Reunited With Their Children, Immigrant Mothers Find Themselves in a Strange and Unforgiving Land

July 28 2018

by Debbie Nathan

The Intercept

When I first met Cruz she had not seen her 10-year-old daughter for 73 days. Cruz is from Honduras and a dead ringer for the terrified but brave Queen Esther, wife of Ahasuerus, the Old Testament king of the Persians. On the advice of Mordecai, a kindly man from her family who worked at the palace, Esther interrupted the king to implore him not to slaughter her people, the Jews. She stood before Ahasuerus even though doing so might provoke him to put her to death. It goes without saying that Esther was scared stiff. A few thousand years later in Texas, standing before an eminent man in robes, so was Cruz.

Cruz admitted as much last week, the day after her release from “zero tolerance” immigration detention. By then, she was preparing for reunification with her young daughter, from whom she had been separated in early May.

I discovered her during the first week of her and her little girl’s separation. I live in Brownsville, Texas. There, on May 10, Cruz had been one of dozens of immigrants who clanked into my city’s federal courthouse, in handcuffs, leg irons, and waist chains, for one of those “mass trials” that people were just starting to talk about. Cruz and her chain-mates had — as the assistant U.S. attorney intoned during the mass trial — “waded, swam, or rafted across the Rio Grande” in violation of U.S. Criminal Code Title 8 Section 1325, a misdemeanor, which made Cruz and her fellow defendants accused criminals. One by one in 34 minutes, all pleaded guilty — Culpable. Culpable. Culpable. The word transformed them into convicts.

Their children already had been taken from them, on the day before the trial.

On the books, the maximum penalty for violating USC 1325 is six months in jail. In practice, most people are penalized with only “time served,” which amounts to the day or so they’ve been locked up since getting caught at the river. But until they are actually sentenced, the immigrants cannot be sure what their punishment will be. Before sentencing, they have a chance to stand in their chains and speak to the judge. Many are barely literate; almost all are tired, hungry, and miserable. Very few say anything; to do so requires unusual bravery. Cruz stood and spoke — though she was quaking with fear, she later told me — and her words were recorded as part of the proceedings of the day.

“Is my little girl going to go with me when I get deported?” she asked the judge. The King of Persia in his crown looked kindly on Esther and did not behead her. The judge of Brownsville in his robe also responded with sympathy. He told Cruz and the other parents that he thought they would be reunited with their children in “immigration camp,” though he wasn’t really sure if this was so. His uncertainty caused him audible distress, and he delivered a brief, impromptu speech to the assistant attorney. If it were not true that parents would be “joined” with their children, the judge said sternly, then the government was surely creating for their parents a species of “hell.”

The judge gave his hell speech on Thursday, May 10. Immediately afterward, Cruz was sent to immigration detention. She was released from hell on Monday evening, July 16.

I’d found her while she was still detained, by reviewing court and ICE records, which located her at the Port Isabel Service Processing Center, a federally run immigration detention facility about 45 minutes from Brownsville. I sent her a letter referencing her stand-up interaction with the judge and asked to speak with her. I had outfitted my phone number with an account that accepted calls from Port Isabel, and she started calling. I got personally involved with her, especially after she called in early July to excitedly announce that she had passed her “credible fear” interview — a session in which she took an oath to tell the truth and told a hearing officer why she was afraid to return to Honduras. She recounted how her partner was a hit man who raped, kidnapped, and tried to kill her. The hearing officer believed her, and she had qualified to be released on bond. After that, she would await a full hearing in immigration court, two or three years in the future. She planned to settle with her daughter in North Carolina while she waited.

On the phone  I referred her to RAICES, the immigrant assistance organization that raised over $20 million on social media during the weeks after “zero tolerance” infuriated the country. RAICES said they would immediately pay her $1,500 bond. I then directed Cruz to a group of Brownsville-area women who call themselves the “Angry Tías y Abuelas” (tías means aunts; abuelas are grandmothers). They are mostly middle-aged and older women.

Like many similar groups nationally, the Tias and Abuelas came together spontaneously in the wake of “zero tolerance.” Meeting in each others’ homes and churches, and communicating via Facebook messages, they surround refugee mothers with U.S. citizen motherliness, arranging bond, picking up the newly released from detention centers and driving them to church shelters — or, if the shelters are full, putting them up in hotels. They buy hundreds of backpacks and get together to stuff them with shampoo, underwear, blankets, toothbrushes, and big bags of snack foods for the road. They distribute the goods to parents and children preparing to travel to their chosen communities of resettlement.

The Tias and Abuelas want to make these sojourners as comfortable as possible, to welcome them to America. One of their big projects is accessing funds, including one administered by Facebook, that purchase airplane tickets for the travelers — no repayment necessary. Several such funds now exist, and the Tias and Abuelas think that using this money is far more decent and civilized than what ICE does, which is to demand that the immigrants’ families and “sponsors” buy bus tickets. Once the bus tickets are purchased, ICE takes traumatized, disoriented, and non-English-speaking people straight out of detention, sometimes to shelters run by religious organizations like Catholic Charities, which in South Texas has for years handed out the bus tickets pre-purchased by relatives, then dropped the refugees off at the station without food, water, or money. Or ICE bypassed the shelters and takes the released detainees directly to the bus, again with no travel supplies or spending money — and sometimes even without bus tickets. People in the community talk about immigrants who’ve spent days at the stations, begging for doughnuts and quarters until they scrounge enough to leave town.

A plane trip from South Texas to North Carolina, Miami, or Boston takes six to eight hours, with free soft drinks, coffee, and pretzels. The same trip on a bus lasts up to 50 hours and includes sleeplessness, cramping, dehydration, and hunger, with traumatized children in tow. The government, which has just finished inflicting immigrants with weeks of torture in detention, now adds a dollop of post-release torture.

Cruz did not have to suffer ICE-style travel, because she had the Tias and Abuelas, and she had me. The moment she was released from detention, a retiree and grandmother named Madeleine Sandefur picked her up and drove her halfway to Brownsville, where I met them at a convenience store. For the next three days, I treated her, as she said, “Como una reina!” Like a queen. “I’m eating chicken,” she excitedly told a relative in Honduras whom she called on my cellphone. “The mattress is so good! I have my own bathroom! She bought me clothes.” (Cruz had come out of detention with prison-issue cloth shoes split down the middle of the soles, and the one pair of underwear, regulation T-shirt, and pants she was wearing. I invited her to roam the women’s clothing section at Target: She was especially happy with her new $23 sandals.)

Cruz was so easy. I’d been taking calls for weeks from detainee women at Port Isabel. Often their voices were so muffled that I could hardly hear them — and this was not solely due to the atrocious quality of the prison phone transmissions. The women sounded as though they’d lost volume from the effects of stress and horror. Many cried half way through the call, or right at the beginning. It was always about their kids and how they were rarely allowed to speak with them. There was little I could do to help beyond journalism. “I’m not a lawyer,” I would say, “I’m a reporter.” They called and called, and I ended up seeing three of them just after they got out of detention and had people like the Tias and Abuelas looking after them. With all three, I felt submerged. They grabbed onto my body suddenly, frantically, and with sobs. If they’d been drowning in a lake and I’d been a lifeguard, I would have had to be specially trained not to be pulled down by them in their sorrow.

Cruz was so different. On the phone, her voice was always bell-like, with animated clarity. And after her release, no hanging-on-for-dear-life hugs, no tears — just big smiles, repeated thank you’s, and, it seemed, a preternatural ability to know what I needed from her to feel comfortable while hosting a refugee — not just the noble principle of it, but also the dayslong, domestic reality.

I wanted her to tell me all about Port Isabel, of course: the schedules, the guards, the food, the dorms, the visit of Homeland Security head Kristjen Nielsen when the women were hidden from Nielsen by being removed to a faraway ball field for hours (“The worst day for me of all,” Cruz said. “It was terrible to be treated that way.”

She knew I wanted to know. She understood that I was a periodista. She knew that rich people — i.e., anyone with a lot more money than she — make demands. She was used to providing domestic help. She told me that on the journey north, she stopped for two weeks in Guatemala and went door to door in a well-to-do neighborhood, asking señoras to take her in with her child. (One did take her but didn’t pay her, so she hit the road northward again.) She’d been raised since age 4 by the head of her household, a 9-year-old sister, after their mother abandoned them; she had a sixth-grade education; and since age 14, she had made her living cleaning houses. She hoped to do that in America. (I suggested that eventually, she could own her own cleaning company: Her face lit up, then I was sad to see it quickly deflate at what, perhaps, was her sense of the plan’s improbability.) She saw me trying to juggle my 9-to-5 journalism in my home office, but also attend to her needs. Those needs included phone calling and doing paperwork to get her a lawyer, have her child returned to her, and arrange travel for her to North Carolina. Though I doubt she’d use the word, she saw that I have trouble multitasking.

She tasked back. She asked if she could clean. “Never,” I said, but she insisted until I said, “You’re washing your clothes? Put mine in with yours.” I went back to work and paid no more attention. Within an hour, with a broom, she had swept every cranny, gathering snaking stripes of dust bunnies, some dirty raisins, a dead water bug, and big, fat clots of gunk. She did all the dishes. She wiped my counters. Next day, Wednesday, I took her to the zoo just to get her out for a bit. July is unbearably hot in Brownsville, and the gorillas, males and females, lay on their backs in a patch of shade, stock still, bored and desolate. She lost her cheer then. “We lay on our beds all day at Port Isabel,” she said. “Like these gorillas. So many women so depressed, and all we did was sleep.” I rushed her to the baby animal petting farm, thinking that touching an immature creature, even if just a goat, might help. She stroked the kids but didn’t really seem to need to. She was more interested in the marine life house, with its water that smells like a cold sea, and its luminous, flowery jellyfish. She’d never visited a zoo, but we had to leave precipitously because her child’s social worker called from the East Coast, then her newfound lawyer. If she left the next day, Cruz learned, she could be reunited with her daughter the day after that. With the Tias and Abuelas’s connections, I got her a plane ticket. She left on Thursday morning, as cheerfully as she’d arrived.

Cruz got a welcome with heart, but many, if not most, released victims of “zero tolerance” continue in the nation’s underbelly. At 2 p.m. last weekend at the Brownsville bus station, I met a young, very dark-skinned, Central American woman with long, lank black hair, who was so cavernously thin that if she’d been a model, she would have been admonished by her agency to gain weight. She had recently passed her credible fear interview, in which she told the officer about her partner mercilessly beating her and justifying his violence with the fact that “you look like an Indian.”

She, too, was en route to North Carolina, where she would reunite with a child taken from her during the family separations.

In a just and civilized country, the government would have acknowledged the mass disaster that “zero tolerance” created for this woman and the others. It would have given her a private bathroom, a good mattress, chicken, summer sandals, and a plane ticket. Instead, ICE had dumped her at 7:30 the previous evening with no food, water, or money. Her bus didn’t leave until 2:45 p.m. the next day. She was expected to spend the night and many hours next day at the bus station.

The clock ticked. It was after 10 p.m., and a Greyhound clerk grew concerned that the station was about to close for the night, and the woman would be moved to an outdoor waiting area that was overrun that evening with rowdy men. Afraid for the women, the clerk called a Tias and Abuelas member who earlier had left her number at the counter. She rushed to the station, took the woman to a hotel, and provided her with breakfast and clothing the next day, as well as a backpack with blanket and snacks. This was accidental aid, dependent on the kindness of the clerk — and the chancy resources of a group of generous but random citizens.

The government is no longer a government. Instead, it is a centralized blanket of loathing and sadistic xenophobia, overlaid with an erratic national patchwork of private conscience. That luminous conscience blooms everywhere, including in the country’s underbelly.

That underbelly is the Greyhound bus, from which I got a call last weekend. It came from Lorena, another former Port Isabel detainee whom I had spoken with while she was locked up. Lorena, too, passed her credible fear interview, but she did not call to tell me. Nor did she make connections with the Tias and Abuelas. Instead, she was reunited with her 16-year-old son, whom she’d brought to America after gangs in Honduras had insisted he join them, and had beaten and threatened him with murder when he refused. The gangs had also left Lorena without house after tearing it apart, starting with the windows and doors.

ICE took Lorena and her son to a church-run shelter in San Juan, Texas. There, she was provided with bus tickets, but no money, no water, no food. Oddly, the one thing she did get was a burner phone. She looked at it askance, puzzled. (Among the immigrants, rumors were flying that the government was tapping these phones.) She and her son left for Miami at 6 a.m. on Saturday. By 6 p.m. they were suffering severely from thirst and hunger. They called me on the burner phone. “No one on the bus speaks Spanish,” Lorena said. She had no idea where they were.

“Do you see someone who looks kind? Maybe a middle-aged woman?” I asked.

“Yes,” Lorena said. “My seatmate.”

“OK. Hand the phone to her and I’ll talk.”

The woman had a Midwest accent mixed with Southern. She said her name was Tara. I began imploring with keywords: “refugees,” “very hungry,” “her son,” “help?”

I hadn’t finished my sentence before she interrupted me. “No problem. I understand! Totally! These poor people. I’ve got cookies, crackers, peanut butter sandwiches! Twenty-five sandwiches and I’m going to take care of them all the way to Alabama!”

I thanked her profusely and asked about her own life. It was then I realized that Tara and Lorena, if they’d spoken a common language, would have had much to commune about.

“I was smashed in the face in Christopher, Illinois, with a baseball bat,” Tara said. “I ended up in a hospital in St. Louis. There I got spirited away by a Christian cult. The cult took me to Beaumont, Texas, but I got away. I am escaping as we speak, back to Christopher.”

“I’m schizo-affective,” Tara continued. “And clairvoyant. But I just got my shot two days ago. So right now, I’m OK.”

Lorena later told me that Tara shared the peanut butter sandwiches and water just as she promised, all the way into Alabama. “I will never forget her,” Lorena said.

One of our country’s defining stories, our national fantasy and romance, is the road trip. The highway is our individualist libido, the Greyhound our unchurched confessional — though the intimate conversations that occur between seatmates often touch on the Bible, from the New Testament to the Old. The journey is as drifting as the ocean, as dreamy as escape, as weighty as the past and light as the future — but only when traveled by choice.

These days, traveling the highway by choice is a privilege of the citizenry. When it comes to our newest Americans, “On the Road” is just additional “zero tolerance.” More mandatory suffering, with a latrine stinking at the back of a bus.

Cruz has phoned me a few times since arriving in North Carolina and getting her 10-year-old daughter back. At first, she was her usual self: brimming with positivity. But this week was different. The child is having severe night terrors, Cruz tells me. She bolts up in bed at 2 a.m. screaming, crying, and shaking. When wakened, she can’t remember the dreams.

In addition, the little girl jumps out of bed in the morning and obsessively starts wiping counters, sweeping, and washing dishes.

It turns out that at the shelter where she stayed, the children had morning chores.

Cruz wants to get her daughter therapy for the night terrors — and for the repetitive cleaning behaviors. But then, Cruz herself has cleaned repetitively since she was a girl. Will she and her daughter “choose” to do the same in America? That question is, perhaps, their fear.

Meanwhile, mother and daughter are grateful they did not have to take the bus. And they remember with pleasure their plane ride through the clouds.

Comment: Let’s hear it for Fat Donald the Groper, America’s Pennance.ed

 

Colorado capitol prankster places Putin portrait where Trump’s should be

Space was intended for portrait of Trump – but officials have not received any donations towards cost of painting him

July 28, 2018

by Martin Pengelly and agencies

The Guardian

An unidentified prankster struck the Colorado state capitol this week, placing a portrait of Vladimir Putin in a space intended for a picture of Donald Trump.

Putin’s portrait was placed on an easel underneath a wall of portraits of Trump’s presidential predecessors, up to Barack Obama. State senator Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, tweeted a picture of the impostor before it was removed by an alert tour guide.

According to Colorado Citizens for Culture, the group that pays for the presidential portraits, the pictures cost about $10,000 and are paid for through donations. Local TV stations reported the group had not received a single dollar towards the cost of painting and hanging Trump’s picture.

The president of the group, Jay Seller, told local TV it had taken about four months to collect the money for the portraits of Obama and George W Bush.

Trump has been in office for 18 months. He took the White House in 2016, in a contest intelligence agencies say was subject to Russian interference directed by Putin and meant to help him win.

Last week, Trump and Putin staged a private meeting and joint press conference in Helsinki. The American president was subject to withering criticism at home, over his refusal to make public what was discussed behind closed doors and after he took the Russian leader’s side in answer to questions about election interference.

Back in Washington the day after the summit, Trump said he accepted the conclusions of US intelligence agencies, though he added: “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”

He has since taken a number of contradictory positions, while inviting Putin to the White House. On Friday, Putin said he had invited Trump to Moscow.

In Helsinki, Putin was asked two questions by an American reporter: “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election?” and “And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?”

According to the instantaneous English translation, Putin replied: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the US–Russia relationship back to normal.”

The exchange was initially missing from the White House transcript of the meeting. This week, it was restored – and its meaning fiercely contested.

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Conversations with the Crow

 

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy.

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired.

Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks.”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

One of Crowley’s first major assignments within the agency was to assist in the recruitment and management of prominent World War II Nazis, especially those with advanced intelligence experience. One of the CIA’s major recruitment coups was Heinrich Müller, once head of Hitler’s Gestapo who had fled to Switzerland after the collapse of the Third Reich and worked as an anti-Communist expert for Masson of Swiss counterintelligence. Müller was initially hired by Colonel James Critchfield of the CIA, who was running the Gehlen Organization out of Pullach in southern Germany. Crowley eventually came to despise Critchfield but the colonel was totally unaware of this, to his later dismay.

Crowley’s real expertise within the agency was the Soviet KGB. One of his main jobs throughout his career was acting as the agency liaison with corporations like ITT, which the CIA often used as fronts for moving large amounts of cash off their books. He was deeply involved in the efforts by the U.S. to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, which eventually got him into legal problems with regard to investigations of the U.S. government’s grand jury where he has perjured himself in an agency cover-up

After his retirement, Crowley began to search for someone who might be able to write a competent history of his career. His first choice fell on British author John Costello (author of Ten Days to Destiny, The Pacific War and other works) but, discovering that Costello was a very aggressive homosexual, he dropped him and tentatively turned to Joseph Trento who had assisted Crowley and William Corson in writing a book on the KGB. When Crowley discovered that Trento had an ambiguous and probably cooperative relationship with the CIA, he began to distrust him and continued his search for an author.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.

In 1998, when Crowley was slated to go into the hospital for exploratory surgery, he had his son, Greg, ship two large foot lockers of documents to Douglas in Wisconsin with the caveat that they were not to be opened until after Crowley’s death. These documents, totaled an astonishing 15,000 pages of CIA classified files involving many covert operations, both foreign and domestic, during the Cold War.

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Müller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

He has.

 

Conversation No. 4

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 1996

Commenced: 9:32 AM (CST)

Concluded: 10:08 AM (CST)

 

RTC: Hello, Gregory. Sorry I was out the last time you called but we were off on family business. My son’s family. By the way, I have some information for you that might interest you. You know, there are a number of people here who are not happy with you and they are certainly not pleased that I am talking with you. Not at all. This morning I had a call from some shit at Justice who wanted to warn me, being a friendly and caring person of course, that you were a very bad person and I would ruin my reputation by telling you anything. He had a similar talk with Corson yesterday. Bill called me last night about this and we both laughed about it. This is a sure sign that you must be right. Both of us know you were friends with Müller and the thought of him loose in America is something the Company, and now Justice, does not want talked about. First off, they don’t know what name he used while he was here.

GD: Are you serious, Robert?
RTC: Oh yes, very. You see, the CIA and don’t forget the Army, used high-level Nazis after the Cold War broke out. We especially went after the Gestapo and SD[1] people because they had the most to do with fighting the Communists, both in Germany in the ‘30s and then during the war.

GD: I knew Gehlen very well and met some of them. I agree. His top recruiter was old Willi Krichbaum who was a Colonel in the SS and a top Gestapo person. I talked many times with Willi who had been in the Freikorps after the first war and he was quite a fellow. He was Müller’s top deputy in the Gestapo and in charge of the border guards at one time. And, don’t forget, Willi was head of the Wehrmacht’s Geheime Feldpolizei who had a terrible reputation with the troops. Hanging deserters at the end of the war. Yes, Gehlen told me the SS intelligence men were his best people.

RTC: You have a grasp of this from the time, don’t you? So, of course no one now wants to infuriate the rah-rah patriotic idiots and most especially the Jews by letting anyone know about this. You see, they brought Müller and others over here and gave them new names and identities. The higher they had been, the more they concealed them. Now your friend Müller’s name was known to Truman, Beetle Smith, Critchfield, Gehlen and about three others. Now that everyone is dead and you are tearing open old caskets, they are absolutely frantic to find out what name Mueller was here under and actually so they can run around the files and burn anything with that name on it. Then they can say, like the pious frauds they are, that Oh no, we never heard of that person. We searched our records, sir, and believe us, there was no such person anywhere. That’s what they want. Smith is dead, Truman is ditto, Critchfield will never talk because he ran Müller and still has his pension to consider. I know the name but they have never brought the subject up to me. They think you’re a loose cannon, Gregory, with no loyalty to the system and they think I am getting daft in my old age and marginalize me.

GD: Think they’ll shoot me? A boating accident? Something like that?

RTC: When I was in harness, yes, they would. A bungled robbery or a rape like Kennedy’s lady friend but not now. Besides, they don’t know what you have on them and if you were crushed to death by an elephant falling out of a plane, who knows what might come out? I have to send you some documentation which you then have to let them know you have. But in a safe place, not in a local storage locker under your name or in your attic or garage. A gentle hint of joys to come. I have hinted at that and very strongly. The Justice oaf today got an earful from me and when I told him I would tell you about this, he got scared and hung up on me. Now, I can expect Tom Kimmel to call me and try to find out if I’ve told you or given you anything. You know, you got some rare documents that were very helpful to his case to clear the Admiral but now he’s a torn person. The family wants desperately to accept these as genuine but are furious that you, a terrible person in their eyes, had them. No gratitude. I suppose if that awful Wolfe had found them and passed them along, he would be a great hero to the Kimmel family but you are one whose name is never to be mentioned. You know, Gregory, I find this very entertaining. And Kimmel is horrified that Bill and I like you and talk to you. Both of us have been warned, I by people from the Company I haven’t seen since I retired and Bill by the fringe wannabees like Trento and others. I think it’s time we nailed Critchfield, don’t you?

GD: I’m game, Robert. If he ran Müller, he must be scared.

RTC: Will be scared shitless. In the old days, he’d have had you killed at once but those days are no more. You knew Gehlen and that will be my approach. You are quick enough with in house terms so that I can convince Jimmy that you were once part of his operation. You’ll have to play it by ear but you are about ten times smarter than him so you should have fun. I want you to convince him that you were really there and knew some his people. And most important, convince him you knew Mueller. Oddly enough, Jimmy never met Mueller because he operated him out of Switzerland through Willi and later, Müller moved up the ladder to the point where Jimmy had no access to him. Let’s keep his bowels open, Gregory, what do you say?

GD: I have no problem. Should I tape him?

RTC: Why not get him on a speaker phone with both a tape recorder going and a reputable witness? That way, if something comes of this and they get to the witness, you have a backup.

GD: I have a retired colonel acquaintance who was with your people in ‘Nam. He’d be perfect as a witness. Just let me know. Is Justice going to do something nasty to me?

RTC: God no. They just want to scare me off of you, that’s all. They’re all such pinheads, Gregory. They chatter like old whores at a tea party and I can remind you that gossip is king here. Everyone inside the Beltway runs around like the little self-important toads that they are, pretending to be really important. They see a Senator in a restaurant, wave at him and get waved at back. This impresses their client who does not realize that the Senator will always wave back on the assumption that the waver might be someone important he might have forgotten. And they tell you that the President, or the Secretary of this or that said this to them when no one knows them at the White House or anywhere else. This jerk from Justice is a small, malformed cog in a big and brainless machine. Typical. I had to deal with these punks for years and I have more respect for a black tart, believe me. At least they don’t try to hide the fact that they fuck for money.

GD: (Laughter)

RTC: It really isn’t funny. If the public was aware of the crooked, lying sacks of shit that run this country, they would be boiling the tar and preparing the chicken feathers.

GD: You know, speaking of Gehlen, he told me in ’51 that his famous ’48 report about the Russians being poised to invade Europe was made up at the Army’s specific request. Gehlen told me that far from moving hundreds of armored units into the east zone, the Russians had torn up all the railroad tracks after the war and shipped them back to Russia. And most of the armored divisions were only cadre.

RTC: But it did work, didn’t it? Big business got to gear up for a fictional coming war and the military got a huge boost.

GD: Ever heard of General Trudeau?

RTC: Oh yes, I knew him personally. What about him?

GD: He found out about Gehlen and bitched like hell about what he called a bunch of Nazis working for the CIA and inventing stories about fake invasion threats.

RTC: Now that’s something I didn’t know. You know they shipped him out of the European command and sent him to the Far East? Yes, and I met him when I was in Hawaii. I’m surprised they didn’t do to him what they did to George Patton. A convenient truck ran into his car and shut him up.

GD: Why?

RTC: George found out that the top brass was stealing gold from the salt mine and many generals and colonels were getting very rich. And then the accident and with George dead, they just went on stealing.

GD: I can use that.

RTC: I can get you some paper on that out of my files. Patton was strange but one of our better generals. Lying thieves. Gold has a great attraction for people, I guess.

GD: A few years ago, one of your boys, Jimmy Atwood and I went down into Austria to dig up some Nazi gold. Atwood is a terrible asshole but very useful. I think he viewed me the same way. Anyway, we had a former SS officer and a Ukrainian camp guard along. What a wonderful adventure, Robert.

RTC: Were you successful? Treasure hunts rarely are.

GD: Oh, very. And we brought most of it back with us.

RTC: How ever did you get it through customs?

GD: Boat. Brought it in by boat. I’ll tell you about this some time. Did you ever hear about it?
RTC: No, I didn’t. Should I have?

GD: Probably a rogue operation. Two Limeys got knocked on the head and put over the side on the way to the Panama Canal but other than that, it was an uneventful trip.

RTC: Well, someday, I’ll discuss the Kennedy assassination and you can tell me about the gold hunt. Sounds fair?

GD: Oh yes, why not?

RTC: I remember the time we had to fly the KMT general out of Burma with an Air America transport full of gold. He was our boy out there but he had a hankering to make more money so he began to raise opium and used our weapons to kill off the locals. Thirteen million in gold and twelve trunks full of opium. Quite a problem getting it all into Switzerland and into a bank. But he performed and we kept our word. That fucking Colby was into drugs as well.

GD: William?

RTC: Yes, our beloved DCI. A nasty piece of work, Gregory. Was working in SEA doing the drug business when he was tapped for PHOENIX. And just kept on going when he got to Saigon. PHOENIX[2] got to be a really nasty business and Bill set up torture centers all over our part of the country. Regional Intelligence Centers they called them. Well, Church got his hands on some of the goings on and guess what? Colby snitched on all his co-workers. I know for a fact from some of the old ones that they’re going to kill him for that. I remember he has some kind of a telephone device hidden in his glasses. Princeton man. You can always tell a Princeton man, Gregory, but you can’t tell him very much. Watch the papers pretty soon.

GD: How will they nail him? Run down in a crosswalk? A stampede of elephants flatten him in his garden?

RTC: You have an overheated imagination. I don’t know the how but I do know the why. Give it six months and the Dictator of Dent Place will be another stone in the cemetery.

GD: What about the one who killed himself by tying weights to his legs and shooting himself in the back of the head before jumping off his boat?

RTC: John Arthur Paisley. He used to be the deputy director of the Office of Strategic Research. Paisley. Tragic. Shouldn’t have sold out to the Russians. He was such a rotten mess when they found him that it took weeks to do an ID on him. There’ve been more.

GD: I have a packet coming in from overseas and the mail truck is at the end of the block. Let me ring off now, Robert and I can call you back later today.

RTC: Make it tomorrow. OK? Things to do.

 

(Concluded at 10:08 AM CST)

 

Nazis and the CIA

June 19, 2018

by Christian Jürs

The agency that initially interviewed Heinrich Müller, once head of the German Gestapo, in 1948 was the newly-formed CIA. The CIA, or the Company as it was known in the intelligence community, won a bidding war against British intelligence for Müller’s services only to lose him to the U.S. Army’s military intelligence after 1952 following a furious interdepartmental campaign.

Heinrich Müller was not the only German general officer involved in the intelligence game who worked for the CIA. Another general was Reinhard Gehlen, former head of the German Army’s Fremde Heer Ost  or Foreign Armies East.

In 1944, Admiral Nicholas Horthy, Regent of Hungary, secretly negotiated with the Soviets to surrender and prevent a Soviet invasion of Hungary, a country which is difficult to defend from a geographical point of view. German intelligence caught wind of this and in a quick coup, removed Horthy and replaced him with Ferenc Szalasi, head of the pro-Nazi and violently anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party. Szalasi formally requested Himmler, through his senior officer in Budapest, to remove the Jews from Hungary. Ever eager for more free labor, Himmler readily agreed and informed Heinrich Müller, whose Gestapo oversaw such transports, that as many of the Hungarian Jews as possible were to be deported as slave labor to Auschwitz.

Müller, in turn, passed this unpalatable mission on to his chief deputy and friend, SS-Oberführer (Senior Colonel) Willi Krichbaum. Krichbaum then went to Budapest along with Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo official directly in charge of the human shipments which eventually totaled over 350,000 Jews. Most of these Jews did not survive the war.

Müller, Krichbaum and Eichmann survived the war and went their separate ways. Müller and Krichbaum found new careers with the victors. Eichmann escaped to South America where he was later kidnapped. After a trial, he was found guilty and executed by the State of Israel.

On May 22, 1945, a German Wehrmacht General, Reinhard Gehlen, the former head of the German Army High Command’s Foreign Armies East, surrendered along with his key staff members to the United States military at Fischhausen in southern Germany.

Gehlen’s unit was responsible for gathering and analyzing military intelligence on the Soviet Union, His staff accomplished this by interrogating prisoners in army POW camps—captured Soviet military personnel and, in their headquarters—Soviet defectors. They also studied battlefield intelligence from captured Soviet documents, maps and code books. Further material was obtained by signals intelligence which listened to Soviet non-coded, low-level combat unit radio traffic. These methods of gathering combat intelligence are standard procedures still used by all armies.

During the war, Gehlen did not have intelligence agents in the Soviet Union. The General was not accustomed to gathering and analyzing Soviet political data. Unlike Müller, whose radio playback section had direct contact with very high-level Soviet intelligence agents inside Russia, Gehlen dealt strictly with combat intelligence.

Reinhard Gehlen was born in 1902 in Erfurt, Germany, the son of a publisher in Breslau. In 1920, he joined the Reichswehr, rising slowly through the ranks as an artillery officer. In 1933 he was sent to the General Staff college, and in 1935, Gehlen became a captain, the lowest rank in the General Staff.

Except for a brief period in 1938 when he was posted to the 18th Artillery Regiment as a battery commander, Gehlen spent his entire career in the German Army as a General Staff officer. On April 1, 1942, Lt. Colonel Gehlen of the General Staff was appointed head of Foreign Armies East in the High Command of the Army (OKH), a position he held until April 9, 1945 when he was fired by Hitler.

Like Müller, Gehlen had microfilmed all his files before the end of the war and he offered them, plus himself and his staff, to U.S. Army intelligence. The offer was accepted. On August 26, 1945, Gehlen and four of his closest assistants were flown to Washington for substantive talks with U.S. authorities. Gehlen was the subject of an inter-agency struggle when Allen Dulles of the OSS, once their station chief in Switzerland during the war, and General William Donovan, commander of the agency, attempted to secure Gehlen and his files for themselves. Dulles eventually won and his assistant Frank Wisner was appointed to oversee the former head of Foreign Armies East.

The Gehlen team was based at Fort Hunt, near Washington. Gehlen began his new career by preparing a series of reports which were well received. In July of 1946, Gehlen returned to Germany, and set up shop at Pullach, a former housing project for elite Nazi officials such as Martin Bormann. Gehlen was instructed to build an intelligence agency capable of conducting the highest level surveillance of the Soviets. His microfilmed files were sold to U.S. intelligence for $5 million. Considering that these files only contained material on Soviet military units that had long been disbanded or were no longer combat ready, Gehlen was very well paid for very cold coffee.

Since Gehlen had no experience with internal Soviet intelligence or with their foreign intelligence, he was hard-pressed to use his former army staff officers to supply the United Stateswith relevant material. In 1946, Gehlen hired Willi Krichbaum, formerly the deputy chief of the Gestapo, as his senior agent recruiter. While Gehlen had no experience with Soviet spies, the Gestapo certainly did, and Krichbaum immediately sought out to hire many of his old associates.

At the same time, Krichbaum contacted his former chief, Heinrich Müller, who was now a resident in Switzerland, and a respected and wealthy citizen. Müller was, by no means, inactive in his enforced retirement and was in contact with Krichbaum almost from the beginning of his exile. Lengthy handwritten reports from Krichbaum to Müller spanning nearly three years exist and, while Müller’s correspondence to Krichbaum is not in his files, the Krichbaum correspondence indicates without a doubt, that “Gestapo” Müller was supplying his former deputy with reams of information on prospective employees for the new Gehlen organization, as well as a flood of concise directives on the structure necessary to implement the needs of the US intelligence.

In 1946, Gehlen began the construction of his new agency, while the Soviet military machine in the East Zone of Germany was in the process of downsizing. The Second World War had proven to be a terrible economic disaster to Stalin. His troops were in the process of dismantling German factories which were still intact, ripping up the railroad system, and sending their spoils back to Russia.

The American armed forces were also being sharply reduced, since the war in the Pacific had ended in 1945. Military units were disbanded and their soldiers returned to civilian life as quickly as possible. On the economic front, businesses that had enjoyed lucrative government military contracts found themselves with empty assembly lines and tens of thousands of laid off workers.

It has been said that there never was a good war nor a bad peace. While the latter was certainly beneficial to the Soviets and permitted them to rebuild their economy, it certainly was not beneficial for either the rapidly-shrinking military or business communities in the United States.

This situation permitted the development of the Gehlen organization and secured its position as a vital American political resource. The U.S. had virtually no military intelligence knowledge of the Soviet Union. But the Germans, who had fought against them for four years, had. Gehlen and his military staff only had knowledge of wartime Soviet military units which were either reduced to cadre or entirely disbanded. However, this was of no interest to the senior officials of U.S. intelligence. Gehlen was to become a brilliant intelligence specialist with an incredible grasp of Soviet abilities and intentions. This preeminence was almost entirely fictional. It was designed to elevate Gehlen in the eyes of American politicians including President Truman and members of Congress, and to lend well-orchestrated weight to the former General’s interpretation of his employer’s needs.

In 1948, Stalin sent troops into Czechoslovakia after a minority but efficient communist coup that overthrew the Western-oriented government. This act, in February of 1948, combined with the blockade of West Berlin, then occupied by the British, French and Americans in June of the same year, gave a group of senior American military leaders a heaven-sent opportunity to identify a new and dangerous military enemy—an enemy which could and would attack Western Europe and the United States in the immediate future.

To facilitate the acceptance of this theory, Gehlen was requested to produce intelligence material that would bolster it in as authoritative a manner as possible. This Gehlen did and to set the parameters of this report, Gehlen, General Stephen Chamberlain, Chief of Intelligence of the U.S. Army General Staff, and General Lucius D. Clay, U.S. commander in occupied Germany met in Berlin in February of 1948, immediately after the Czech occupation but before the blockade.

After this meeting, Gehlen drew up a lengthy and detailed intelligence report  categorically stateingthat 135 fully-equipped Soviet divisions, many armored, were poised to attack. General Clay forwarded this alarming example of creative writing to Washington and followed up with frantic messages indicating his fear that the Soviets were about to launch an all-out land war on the United States.

Although the sequence of events might indicate that Clay was involved in an attempt to mislead U.S’ leaders, in actuality, he was misled by Chamberlain and Gehlen. They managed to thoroughly frighten General Clay and used him as a conduit to Washington. He was not the last to fall victim to the machinations of the war party.

The Gehlen papers were deliberately leaked to Congress and the President. This resulted in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. This was not a historical first by any means. Elements in England at the beginning of the 20th century, alarmed at the growing economic threat of a united Germany, commenced a long public campaign designed to frighten the British public and their leaders into adopting a bellicose re-armament program based on a fictional German military threat.

Gehlen and his organization were considered vital to U.S. interests. As long as the General was able to feed the re-armament frenzy in Washington with supportive, inflammatory secret reports, then his success was assured.

The only drawback to this deadly farce was that the General did not have knowledge of current Soviet situations in the military or political fields. He could only bluff his way for a short time. To enhance his military staffs, Gehlen developed the use of former SS Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and Gestapo people, brought to him by Krichbaum, his chief recruiter.

At the same time, a joint British-American project called “Operation Applepie” was launched with the sole purpose of locating and employing as many of the former Gestapo and SD types now being employed by Gehlen. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. During the course of this hunt, the prize was considered to be former SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, then in Switzerland. Contact with the former Gestapo Chief was through Krichbaum, acting on Müller’s specific instructions.

In the resulting bidding war, the Americans easily defeated the British, and the British public was spared the possible discovery of Müller appearing, under a new name, on their New Year’s Honors List instead of being made a Brigadier General of Reserve in the United States Army under a new name.

The recently uncovered files on “Applepie” are of such interest that they will be the subject of a further in-depth publication. Other document series of equal importance will include the so-called Robinson papers and a series of reports on the British use of certain former Gestapo and SD personnel in Damascus, Syria by John Marriott of the Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME). Robinson (or Robinsohn as he was known to the Gestapo officials) was a high-level Soviet agent captured in France as a result of the Rote Kapelle investigations. Robinson’s files came into Müller’s possession and reveal an extensive Soviet spy ring in Great Britain. Such highly interesting and valuable historical records should also encompass the more significant intercepts made of Soviet messages by the Gestapo from Ottawa, Canada to Moscow throughout the war. These parallel the so-called Venona intercepts which have been fully translated and are extraordinarily lengthy.

In 1948, control of the Gehlen organization was assumed by the new CIA and put under the direction of Colonel James Critchfield, formerly an armored unit commander and now a CIA section chief.

At this point, Gehlen had a number of powerful sponsors in the U.S. military and intelligence communities. These included General Walter Bedell Smith, former Chief of Staff to General Eisenhower and later head of the CIA; General William Donovan, former head of the OSS; Allen Welch Dulles, former Swiss station chief of the OSS and later head of the CIA; Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, first head of the CIA; General Edwin Sibert of U.S. Army military intelligence and Generals Chamberlain and Clay.

American military intelligence officers were well aware that the Soviet Army threat was hollow and that the Soviets’ act of dismantling the eastern German railroad system was strong proof that an attack was not in the offing, but they were strongly discouraged by their superiors from expressing their views.

In 1954, General Arthur Trudeau, chief of U.S. military intelligence, received a copy of a lengthy report prepared by retired Lt. Colonel Hermann Baun of Gehlen’s staff. Baun, who had originally been assigned to the German High Command (OKW) as an Abwehr specialist on Russia, eventually ended up working for Gehlen’s Foreign Armies East which was under the control of the Army High Command (OKH). Baun was an extremely competent, professional General Staff officer who, by 1953, had taken a dim view, indeed, of the creatures foisted on him by Gehlen. Baun detested Gehlen who had forced him out of his post-war intelligence position with the West. Baun’s annoyance was revealed in a lengthy complaint of Gehlen’s Nazi staff members which set forth, in detail, their names and backgrounds.

General Trudeau was so annoyed with this report that in October of 1954, he took West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer aside as Adenauer was making an official visit to Washington, Trudeau passed much of this information to the horrified Adenauer, who had spent time in a concentration camp during the war. Adenauer, in turn, raised this issue with American authorities and the matter was leaked to the press. Allen Dulles, a strong Gehlen backer and now head of the CIA, used his own connections and those of his brother, John, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, to effectively silence Trudeau by transferring him to the remote Far East.

Trudeau’s warning to Adenauer did not have a lasting effect and on April 1, 1956, former General Reinhard Gehlen was appointed as head of the new West German Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachrichtendiesnt or BND. In this case, as in so many other similar ones, virtue is certainly not its own reward.

 

 

[1] SD: Sicherheitsdienst  Security Service of the SS, headed by Reinhard Heydrich. Heinrich Müller worked under him in Berlin.

[2] Operation Phoenix was a military, intelligence, and internal security program designed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency and US Special Operations Forces such as the Navy SEALs, United States Army Special Forces and MACV-SOG (now Special Operations Group in the CIA’s Special Activities Division) during the Vietnam War. The Program was designed to identify and “neutralize” or assassinate any suspected supporters

 

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