“Although she understandably questions the morality of the decision to hire Nazi SS scientists, Jacobsen balances her judgment with an understanding of the perceived threat of the Soviet Union under Stalin and the communists’ dialectical determination to prepare for total war with the West.”
Operation Paperclip — Book review by CIA Jay Watkins
Hildegard Martha Lächert (20 January 1920 – 1995) was a notorious female guard, Aufseherin, at several German World War II concentration camps. She became publicly known for her service at Ravensbrück, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Despite her crimes, she was recruited by the CIA and the BND after the war. I take this opportunity to raise a very simple but extremely important question. Why did the US Government handle the de-Nazification of Germany and the de-Baathification of Iraq in completely opposite manners? A very good documentary — Enemy of Enemies: The Rise of ISIL — discusses some of the background related to this issue. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: The Secret History of ISIS
After the war, Hildegard Martha Lächert was sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison for her brutal treatment of inmates during her camp service of which she only served close to ten. [WIKIPEDIA]
According to documents recently discovered, the former SS later worked for the CIA and then for the West German spy agency the German Federal Intelligence Service : the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst).
Considering the magnitude of the crimes she committed during the war, this case is certainly shocking. Perhaps it is also an opportunity to reflect on the different choices the US made in Germany and in Iraq.
Operation “Paper Clip”: Recruiting Former NAZI
Operation Paperclip was the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which more than 1,500 Germans, primarily scientists but also engineers and technicians, were brought to the United States from Nazi Germany for government employment starting in 1945 and increasing in the aftermath of World War II.
It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War.
One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as to inhibit post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities.
A related course of action was taken by the US with regard to Japanese human experimenters employed from Unit 731. [WIKIPEDIA]
“Operation Paperclip:The CIA and the Nazis”
De-Baathification in Post-Saddam Iraq
The de-Baathification of Iraq is widely recognized as one of the key mistakes that led to the creation of ISIS. (The establishment of ‘Camp Bucca’ is another one.)
In order to ensure that Saddam loyalists had no stake in the new, democratic Iraq the US sought to create, thousands of members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party were expelled from the Iraqi army, government and intelligence agencies.
Out of work, humiliated, and resentful of perceived injustices against the Sunni minority in Iraq by the new Shia-dominated government, the Baathists were prime targets for recruitment by radical jihadists in Iraq, including Isis forerunner Al Qaeda in Iraq. [Isis: Five US mistakes which led to the rise of Islamic State]
‘A Great Scandal’ ?
The hiring of former world war 2 criminals by US Intelligence Agencies is often described as a great scandal in modern History. And it is probably true. Was the de-Baathification of Iraq a huge mistake? Certainly. Engage or enrage? That is the question. Not an easy one to answer…
Featured Documentary – Enemy of Enemies: The Rise of ISIL (Part 1)
ISIL has been truly devastating to those it comes in contact with and bloody to those under its control. Its sudden rise and expansion in 2014 has perplexed many. It has humiliated its enemies, including those in Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran and Washington.
Armed with extensive weaponry, boasting an international fighting force and adept in the art of digital media propaganda, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has become the de facto authority across an area the size of the United Kingdom.
This two-part series peels back the rhetoric to examine how a volunteer organization managed to rise up from the ashes of post-invasion Iraq and defeat standing armies many times its size and capacity.
How did it begin? How did it grow so astonishingly quickly? And how is it being used by global and regional powers to change the geopolitical map of the Middle East?
With critical testimony from informed insiders and experts from across three continents, as well as original footage from Syria and Iraq, this series mixes documentary and discussion to unravel the interweaving nexus of events and alliances, at once aligned and conflicting, that have given rise to the world’s most notorious, and powerful, insurgent group.
Featured Documentary – Enemy of Enemies: The Rise of ISIL (Part 2)
Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America — Annie Jacobsen. (Little, Brown & Company, 2014). Book review by Jay Watkins : CIA Website
CIA and BND Employed Former SS “Bloody Brigitte” – Reflections on Nazis and ISIS
One Year Ago — CIA and BND Employed Former SS “Bloody Brigitte” – Reflections on Nazis and ISIS
Two Years Ago — CIA and BND Employed Former SS “Bloody Brigitte” – Reflections on Nazis and ISIS