Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Godwin Sunday: a Nazi Open Thread

Today, the New York Times reports: Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S.

A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

This report, uh, reportedly details the triumphs and travails of Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.  People have long acknowledged the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi scientists with regard to postwar intelligence, but per the NY Times, “this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.”

For decades, stuff like this has made great fodder for conspiracy theorists, who like to suggest that US collaboration with Nazi technokrauts after WWII marked the beginning of fascist domination of the upper echelons of the US establishment and the military-industrial complex.

Shocking, right? Well, not especially. It’s not like Operation Paperclip is exactly a secret anymore.  Per Wikipedia:

Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II (1939-45). It was executed by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Soviet-American Cold War (1945-91), one purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific knowledge and expertise to the USSR and the UK.

Although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the European Allied victory (8 May 1945), US President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism.” Said restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”.

To circumvent President Truman’s anti-Nazi order, and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the scientists’ Nazi Party memberships and régime affiliations. Once “bleached” of their Nazism, the US Government granted the scientists security clearance to work in the United States. Paperclip, the project’s operational name, derived from the paperclips used to attach the scientists’ new political personæ to their “US Government Scientist” JIOA personnel files.

Pretty shady stuff, and all completely true. Apparently, these truths aren’t quite shocking enough.  Operation Paperclip has become linked to conspiracy theories on everything from the Illuminati to the Freemasons, from MK Ultra to UFO cover-ups. This being America, there is always room for more. Per the NY times piece:

The secrecy surrounding the Justice Department’s handling of the report could pose a political dilemma for President Obama because of his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history. Mr. Obama chose the Justice Department to coordinate the opening of government records.



This is an open thread, so use the space provided below to discuss Nazis, Zombies, conspiracies, or whatever else suits your fancy, but please remember to assign all blame where it rightfully belongs…with the sitting President of the United States.


  1. I thought about turning it into an open-thread diary until I saw this one. It fits perfectly here.

    That Lions loss today opened my eyes. I see things so much more clearly now that I’ve broken out of the thrall of Obamainia. For instance, I now see that the Lions poor record this season and their abysmal play today are obviously Barry’s fault. As proof, I would point out that, as anyone that watched the game could tell, the Lions were lackluster today. That lackluster attitude can be traced directly to the ineptness of the Obama administration.

    The current economic mess has had a really negative affect on already struggling urban areas, like Detroit. Due to the FACT that the One’s administration failed to take an aggressive approach to improving the outlook in such areas, the attitude in the affected areas has gone downhill. The negative attitude and despair in the general populace has obviously carried over to the players who live amongst them.

    To be fair, the inability of the administration to improve inner-city attitudes isn’t the only problem for the Lions. They have also had to deal with key injuries. However, the injuries may also be partly the fault of the Marxist/Leninist/Muslim sitting in the WH. Who can say that those injuries might not have healed faster if Obambi had pushed harder for the public option?

    One has to wonder if the WH will apologize to the Detroit fans or whether we will be left no option than to push for a primary opponent for the Black Coolidge?

  2. Has formed the basis of some great dramas in the UK for many years, Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective is just one of the more memorable.

    But it was an open secret through most the Cold War. I’ve just been in Poland with moia luba, and ended up watching Ice Station Zebra for only the second time in 42 years. I first saw it in London on its opening week in 1968.

    As the British spy makes clear to Rock Hudson, they’re trying to reclaim US film (built by Germans working for the US), from a British Camera (built by Germans working for the UK), from a Russian Satellite (built by Germans working for the USSR).

    All three WW2 allies were pretty assiduous in prosecuting SS men who conducted acts of genocide, or reprisals against civilians, or who broke the Geneva conventions.

    But when it came to military advantage – all three sides turned a blind eye to Nazi involvement.

    It’s horrible but true to say that many German/British/American companies owe some of their wartime  success to slave labour. They’ve only paid reparations on this in the last few years.

    And even now, most of the information on hypothermia comes from horrible experiments conducted by Nazi doctors in death camps and concentration camps.

    Travelling as I do, a couple of times every month to Poland, I’m always pitted against these terrible realities of our history. Poor Poland, divided up so many times between German and Russia, virtually destroyed by Germany 70 years ago, and then suppressed by the USSR, is now a thriving vibrant country. But the scars are there, still so vivid. The destroyed towns. The empty spaces. The abandoned synagogues. The smashed cemeteries.

    This is all within living memory, just, still.

    And it feels like another world. A nightmare world. One some of us just escaped. And others didn’t.  

  3. How long do you think it will take before the people of Poland or the rest of Europe begin to believe that it can’t happen again? Or have they learned enough from history to remain vigilant?

  4. creamer

    in regard to Nazi scientist and our defence and space industry. I doubt that this will cause much of a ripple.

      We have a lot of dirty little secrets from the last 60 years. Assasinations, Iran-Contra,El Salvador come to mind.

    I’ve often wondered if a country as powerful as ours always took the high ground what kind of world would we  have?  

  5. DTOzone

    How does Obama “message” to this lady?

    Still, making an effort to change the ways of Washington could score him points with some independents.

    “He is a progressive president, but he just doesn’t have the chance to put his policies into effect because of the old ways that government works,” said Sheree Sifferath, 67, an independent from Gold Canyon, Ariz.

    She backed Obama in 2008 but voted for Republican John McCain for the Senate and GOP Rep. Jeff Flake in the midterm elections. She’s open to supporting Obama in two years but hopes that he and Republicans can figure out a way to compromise.

    “They can make it better if they just work together. They’ve got to change with the times,” she added.

  6. historyfog

    I told my girlfriend of 45 years that it was time to clean the crevices of the roof before winter comes.  Our house was built in 1881 and is a classic example of a cape cod style.  Very pitched roof!!!  As it was 28 degrees (thats below freezing) I suggested that I wait until that afternoon to climb up on the roof.  She felt it would be better to get it done early so up on the roof I went.  All the leaves, muck, pine needles etc. were frozen to the roof due to the rain two days earlier.  I ended up scraping several areas of the roof with my knife.  Skinned up my knuckles more than once.  When I recounted how much fun I had doing this task both my wife and I jumped on the “blame Obama” wagon.  We decided to share the wealth so we are going to blame john boner (sic) and eric cantor instead.    

  7. louisprandtl

    last week I was at MSFC’s Space and Rocket Center admiring the magnificence of the imposing Saturn V. Huntsville is home to several German restaurants (try Ol’ Heidelberg) stemming from the era of German rocket scientists conglomerating at Redstone (the Army’s Ballistic Missile Agency later integrated within MSFC) to help boost US Space and Rocket Engineering. Operation Paperclip had been known to outside World for a while (the father of German V-2 rocket Wernher Von Braun wasn’t exactly hiding as MSFC’s first Director along with the rest of Peenemünde staff).

Comments are closed.