US employed ex-Nazis to develop interrogation methods

Allen DullesBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
The United States relied on the assistance of dozens of German scientists to develop invasive interrogation techniques targeting the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War, according to a new book on the subject. The book, entitled Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, by American journalist Annie Jacobsen, is to be published this week. Operation PAPERCLIP was initially set up during World War II by the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its aim was to recruit scientists that had previously been employed by the German Third Reich, with the primary goal of denying German scientific expertise to the USSR. Hundreds of former Nazi scientists were brought to the US under secret military research contracts during the second half of the 1940s. Eventually, the recruited scientists were used to augment an entire array of American government-sponsored endeavors, including the space program and several intelligence collection techniques. Jacobsen’s book details Operation BLUEBIRD, a program run by the CIA under PAPERCLIP, which employed former Nazi biological weapons experts, chemists and medical doctors. The latter were tasked with employing lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, in order to involuntary extort confessions from Soviet intelligence targets. In several cases, the hallucination-inducing chemical substance was dispensed on Soviet captives, who were also subjected to hypnosis and other methods of psychological manipulation. According to the book, the techniques were developed under the primary supervision of Dr. Walter Schreiber, Germany’s Surgeon General during the Third Reich. Schreiber helped the OSS set up an experimentation facility at Camp King, a CIA site located near Frankfurt in the American sector of Allied-occupied Germany. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #440 (USA edition)

Documents detail history of previously unknown US spy agency

John V. Grombach

J.V. Grombach

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A collection of tens of thousands of documents discovered in a barn in a small Virginia town, have brought to light the history and operations of a previously unknown US spy agency that competed for prominence with the CIA during the early stages of the Cold War. The secrecy-obsessed agency was known at various times as the Secret Intelligence Branch, the Special Service Branch, the Special Service Section, or the Coverage and Indoctrination Branch; but insiders referred to it simply as “the Lake” or “the Pond”. It was created in late 1942 by the then newly established US Department of Defense, whose officials did not approve of the civilian character of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. In its 13-year existence, the Pond operated on a semi-autonomous base under the Departments of Defense and State, but maintained a poor relationship with the CIA, which it considered too “integrated with British and French Intelligence and infiltrated by Communists and Russians”. This information is contained in the files, which were stored in several safes and filing cabinets by the organization’s secretive leader, US Army Colonel John V. Grombach, who died in 1982. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #373 (CIA edition)

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News you may have missed #0159

  • US Congress wants to change locks in document safes. Some Congress members have revived “a decade-old debate” on replacing security locks on government safes for storing classified documents with new electromechanical locking mechanisms. According to one independent security consultant, existing mechanical locks in classified document safes “can be penetrated surreptitiously within 20 minutes”, and older barlock containers still in use “can be penetrated within seconds”.
  • A US spy in wartime Ireland. The interesting story of Major Martin S. Quigley, one of three US spies sent by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, CIA’s forerunner) to Ireland, on a mission to find out whether the country’s government, which was officially neutral in the War, was actually siding with Nazi Germany.

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News you may have missed #0142

  • Egypt assisting Yemen in alleged Iranian spy infiltration. Egypt has allegedly provided Yemen with information on Iran’s intelligence activities targeting it and other Arab and African states in the region, according to Egyptian daily Akhbar Al-Youm. Meanwhile, the appeals of two Yemeni nationals convicted last October of spying for Iran are to be heard Monday in Yemeni capital Sana’a. Yemen, a major intelligence center in the Arab world, is probably the most underreported front in Washington’s so-called “war on terrorism”.
  • New book examines Operation GREENUP. A new book, They Dared Return, by Patrick K. O’Donnell, examines the operations of five German Jews, who returned to WWII Germany for Operation GREENUP, an espionage project funded by the German Operational Group of the US Office of Strategic Services –forerunner of the CIA.

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News you may have missed #0012

  • New book on KGB activities in the United States. Based on archival material, authors John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr estimate that from the early 1920s more than 500 Americans, including many Ivy League graduates and Oxford Rhodes Scholars, were recruited to assist Soviet intelligence agencies, particularly in the State Department and America’s first intelligence agency, the OSS (forerunner of the CIA). 
  • South Korean spy agency launches video game. “Spot the Spy” video game is offered online by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) “to promote public awareness about security”. But pro-unification activists complain the game demonizes them. 
  • 2006 spy satellite failure a mystery, says NRO. The secretive US National Reconnaissance Office claims it still doesn’t know what caused the 2006 failure of one of its most expensive spy satellites, despite “an exhaustive formal failure investigation and three different independent review team investigations”. 
  • Memoir of fourth Cambridge spy soon to be unsealed. In early July the British Library will permit public access to the 30,000-word unfinished autobiographical manuscript of Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of Pictures for Queen Elizabeth II, and a member of the Cambridge Five, a group of spies working for the Soviet Union from the 1930s to the early 1950s.

US, Soviet intelligence murdered General Patton, new book alleges

Target PattonOn December 9, 1945, a chauffeur-driven US military vehicle carrying US Army General George S. Patton was involved in what appeared to be a minor collision with another US military vehicle. The collision fatally injured General Patton a day before he was scheduled to leave US-occupied Germany and return to the United States. On December 21, 1945, Patton mysteriously died from his injuries, even though he appeared to be recovering. Now a new book by military historian Robert Wilcox claims that General Patton was assassinated in a combined operation by the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS, forerunner of the CIA) and the NKVD (forerunner of the Soviet KGB). Read more of this post

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