By John Stanton
Unbeknownst to most Americans the United States is presently under thirty presidential declared states of emergency. They confer vast powers on the Executive Branch including the ability to financially incapacitate any person or organization in the United States, seize control of the nation’s communications infrastructure, mobilize military forces, expand the permissible size of the military without congressional authorization, and extend tours of duty without consent from service personnel. Declared states of emergency may also activate Presidential Emergency Action Documents and other continuity-of-government procedures which confer powers on the President, such as the unilateral suspension of habeas corpus—that appear fundamentally opposed to the American constitutional order. Although the National Emergencies Act, by its plain language, requires the Congress to vote every six months on whether a declared national emergency should continue, Congress has done only once in the nearly forty year history of the Act. — Patrick Thronson, Michigan Journal of Law (2013, Vol 46).
A bit of irony, perhaps, that on November 4, 2014—as Americans go to the polls to cast their ballots for a slate of politicians at the local, state and federal levels—the august citizens of the United States will also celebrate the birth of the National Security Agency (NSA).
On November 4, 1952 the NSA was created by a Presidential Executive Order signed by then president Harry Truman. Earlier that year, in January 1952, Truman’s state of the union address focused on the Korean War, the global Soviet-Communist threat, the “Iran oil situation”, and the need to increase the production of US military equipment for use by American forces, and for transfer to Western European Allies. Truman called on Americans to seek guidance in the God of Peace even as a brutal shadow war was being waged by the United States to eliminate popularly elected “leftist” governments.
In 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected to the American presidency and with him came John Foster and Allan Dulles, two political appointees who would, it turns out, seek the counsel and expertise of “former” Nazi executioners, scientists and intelligence operatives. J Edgar Hoover, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was already on the case using whatever resources were at his disposal—including Nazis–to hunt down unionists, communists, dissenters and radicals wherever they might be. According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Truman had this to say about Hoover and his FBI, “We want no Gestapo or secret police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail… Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”
From 1953-1961, Eisenhower, as Commander in Chief, constructed a nascent military-intelligence-law enforcement-industrial complex influenced directly by Nazi ideology and technological know-how. No wonder he warned the world about his creation, the military-industrial complex. At one time in the early 21st Century it was uncomfortable to call out America’s ties to the Nazis. But that has changed particularly with the release of Eric Lichtblau’s The Nazis Next Door (2014) and “The Collaboration” by Ben Urwand. It has also been confirmed by the overthrow of a nationally elected leader in Ukraine—Victor Yanukovych–and the open support of neo-Nazi groups largely responsible for that event. Is it a coincidence that the head of the CIA, John Brennan, visited with the neo-Nazi usurpers not long after the coup given the CIA’s history?
Do You Want to Know a Secret, do, da, do?
According to Lichtblau, writing in the New York Times:
“The full tally of Nazis-turned-spies is probably much higher’, said Norman Goda, a University of Florida historian…but many records remain classified even today, making a complete count impossible. U.S. agencies directly or indirectly hired numerous ex-Nazi police officials and East European collaborators who were manifestly guilty of war crimes, he said. Information was readily available that these were compromised men. The wide use of Nazi spies grew out of a Cold War mentality shared by two titans of intelligence in the 1950s: Mr. Hoover, the longtime F.B.I. director, and Mr. Dulles, the C.I.A. director.”
Over at Antiwar.com, in “Federal Agencies Just Doing Whatever They Want Now”, Lucy Steigerwald comments wryly on Lichtblau’s findings:
…the CIA hid their precious assets from Nazi hunters and prosecutors trying to deport then-old men in the 1980s and even into the ‘90s. Most disturbing, one of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann’s little buddies, Otto von Bolschwing, was protected until 1982, when he conveniently died of a brain disorder before he could be deported or prosecuted. Famously, Nazi rocket scientists were picked up by America to prevent their expertise from falling into Soviet hands. Maybe an exception to the prickly feeling that letting heinous war criminals off the hook is not what America was supposed to be doing when it won the good war in a heroically-sepia montage could be made for geniuses like Wernher Von Braun. Von Braun was a rocket scientist and “honorary” SS member under the Nazis, and he helped America get to the moon (which is neat, so that apparently makes his debated level of involvement/enthusiasm for the party acceptable.) What exactly did von Bolschwing contribute to America after happily joining the SS in 1933 to make ignoring his crimes worthwhile? What’s the purpose of this kind of grim revelation? There are several.
One, they diminish the moral high ground about the Second World War that the US clings to desperately to this day. Yes, everyone who isn’t literally Adolph Hitler gets to feel pretty good about themselves, so anyone not allied with Hitler must be doing the right thing. Yet, helping to plan the Final Solution is forgivable if the CIA really wants you around. Another more contemporary reason to be horrified by this revelation is that it is just one outrage of many. Sharing the CIA’s dark corner is most of the other big-name, secretive agencies. For the past 18 months, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive campaign of spying has been big news. Less prominent were stories that suggest the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are also playing the part of secretive, unaccountable rulers.
Welcome to the Reich, American Style
William Binney, former NSA employee and whistleblower, stated that the NSA had gone “totalitarian”. In an interview with DW he likened the NSA and the US government to the Third Reich.
Binney: “Sure, they haven’t gone that far yet [as the Nazis and East German Stassi], but they tried to shut down newspaper reporters like Jim Risen…Look at the NDAA Section 1021, that gave President Obama the ability to define someone as a terrorist threat and have the military incarcerate them indefinitely without due process. That’s the same as the special order 48 issued in 1933 by the Nazis, [the so-called Reichstag Fire Decree]. Read that – it says exactly the same thing. These were totalitarian processes that were instituted…Totalitarianism comes in the form first of knowledge of people and what they’re doing, and then it starts to transition into using that power against people. That’s what’s happening – in terms of newspaper reporters, in terms of crimes. That’s a direct violation of our constitution.
DW: But surely the difference is that there was an ideological regime behind the Stasi and the Nazis.
Binney: You mean like putting people like John Kiriakouin prison for exposing torture and giving the torturers immunity? That’s what our country’s coming to. That’s what we did. That’s disgraceful. The motives of totalitarian states are not exactly the same every time, but they’re very similar: power, control and money…We’re focusing now on everyone on the planet – that’s a change from focusing on organizations that were attempting to do nasty things. When you focus on everybody, you’re moving down that path towards population control.”
Ingeniously Produced from Concentration Camps: Data “Comes to Light”
Many advances in warfare can be traced to Nazi innovations built on the backs of tortured souls. For example, air and ship crew survivability in frigid seas is just one of them:
…the Germans noted the terrible loss of critical personnel in sudden cold water immersion accidents. The sinking of the Bismarck and loss of airmen who bailed out alive and well into the cold North Sea during the Battle of Britain caused their physiologists and aviation medicine physicians to examine the problem. They commenced a large Research and Development program, which in part was the cause for the infamous Dachau experiments. They were the first to observe the “after drop” or continuation in reduction of body core temperature after being withdrawn from the cold water. They also experimented with survival suits and the Deutsches Textilforschunginstitut in München-Gladbach, ingeniously produced one that provided the insulation using soap bubbles which appears to have gone into limited service.
Another example is the development of the military aircraft “ejection seat”. InAchtung! Schleuder-Sitzaparat by Chris Carry, German engineering was far afield of American efforts in pilot safety.
With the acquisition by the US of both German databases in egress research and actual examples of the German Heinkel explosive cartridge ejection seat immediately after the war had ended, the US began to vigorously attempt to gain greater knowledge in this overlooked area of aviation technology. The new American developmental research spurred on by acquisition of German wartime data branched off into two distinctly different approaches towards the same end, one taken by the US Air Force and one by the US Navy.
Exceptionalism and Innovative Torture Techniques Led to Technological Advances
How could human beings engage in such hideous experiments on other human beings? Well, that is a time tested formula: Indoctrinate the masses into thinking that all others besides, say, Americans, are inferior, unexceptional, demons and insects. The world is witnessing just that as the US government, its allies and its media and academic proxies seek to reduce the Russians, Arabs, Chinese, Iranians, and the immigrants, unemployed and impoverished in the United States, down to the level of parasitic microbes.
Just how does that mentality work?
For that answer we turn to the UK’s Telegraph for an article written in 2008 by Richard Evans:
The answer springs from the fact that medicine was both dominant in the world of science under the Third Reich, and closely allied to the Nazi project… After all, German medical science had uncovered the causes of several major diseases and contributed massively to improving the health of the population over the previous decades. Surely, therefore, it was justified in eliminating negative influences as well? What underpinned this behavior was a widespread belief that some people were less than human, relegated to a lower plane of existence by their inherited degeneracy – or their race. For German doctors, a camp inmate was either a racially inferior subhuman, a vicious criminal, a traitor to the German cause, or more than one of the above. Such beings had no right to life or wellbeing – indeed, it was logical that they should be sacrificed in the interests of the survival and triumph of the German race, just as that race had to be strengthened by the elimination of the inferior, degenerate elements within it.
Evans continues on describing the torture:
SS doctors used inmates to test treatments for injuries sustained in battle, cutting open their calves and sewing bits of glass or wood or gauze impregnated with bacteria into the wounds, sometimes even smashing the prisoners’ bones with hammers to create a more realistic effect; again, the results were presented to scientific conferences without anyone offering any criticism of the methods employed. Perhaps the most enthusiastic user of human guinea pigs was the ambitious young SS doctor Sigmund Rascher, who employed camp inmates at Dachau to test the human body’s reactions to rapid decompression and lack of oxygen, in an attempt to help pilots forced to parachute out of their planes at high altitudes. He called some of his research sessions “terminal experiments”. He measured the time it took his subjects to die as their air supply was gradually thinned out. He showed his work, which led to the deaths of between 70 and 80 prisoners, to a conference of Luftwaffe medical experts in September 1942. The following month, Rascher presented the results of another experiment to a conference of 95 medical scientists in Nuremberg. This time, he showed how long inmates dressed in Luftwaffe uniforms and life jackets could survive in cold water, simulating conditions in the North Sea. The average time that elapsed before death, he reported, was 70 minutes. None of those listening to him raised any ethical objections.
Albert Camus offers a sort of prayer for these dark times:
All I ask is that, in the midst of a murderous world, we agree to reflect on murder and to make a choice. After that, we can distinguish those who accept the consequences of being murderers themselves or the accomplices of murderers, and those who refuse to do so with all their force and being. Since this terrible dividing line does actually exist, it will be a gain if it be clearly marked. Over the expanse of five continents throughout the coming years an endless struggle is going to be pursued between violence and friendly persuasion, a struggle in which, granted, the former has a thousand times the chances of success than that of the latter. But I have always held that, if he who bases his hopes on human nature is a fool, he who gives up in the face of circumstances is a coward. And henceforth, the only honorable course will be to stake everything on a formidable gamble: that words are more powerful than munitions.
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in political and national security affairs. He wrote The Raptor’s Eye, and his latest book is US Army Human Terrain System. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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