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snopes
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The CIA organized Cold War spy networks that included former Nazis and failed to act on a 1958 report that fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was living in Argentina, newly released CIA records show.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/06/AR2006060601555.html

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Archangel
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While it seems clear with hindsight, the question of what to do about fugitive Nazis in S.America was not so easily answered in the 1950s.

Mengele for example was also not well hidden, yet the Israelis elected not to pursue him. So overall, I would hesitate to disparage.

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Don Enrico
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From the article:
quote:
In a March 1958 memo to the CIA, the West German foreign intelligence services (BND) wrote that Eichmann, a top Gestapo official who helped orchestrate the mass murder of Jews, "is reported to have lived in Argentina under the alias CLEMENS since 1952." The memo also mentioned a rumor that Eichmann lived in Jerusalem.

In fact, Eichmann was in Argentina and was using the name Ricardo Klement -- but apparently neither the CIA nor the West Germans acted on the information, Naftali said.

"Tragically, at the moment the CIA and the BND had this information the Israelis were temporarily giving up their search for Eichmann in Argentina because they could not figure out his alias," Naftali wrote in an analysis of the documents.

It has been reported here (quoting Naftali as well) that the German Administration didn't persue the information about Eichmann because they wanted to protect Hans Globke. Globke, who had been a high-ranking official in Nazi Germany and had written a law commentary for the Nuremberg Laws, was Director of the Federal Chancellory of the Federal Republic of Germany between 1953 and 1963 and as such was one of the closest aides to Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, advising him - among other topics - on national security.

Don "post-war Germany should hang it's collective head in shame" Enrico

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Delta-V
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quote:
"Tragically, at the moment the CIA and the BND had this information the Israelis were temporarily giving up their search for Eichmann in Argentina because they could not figure out his alias," Naftali wrote in an analysis of the documents.[/QB]
Does anyone else find the use of the word 'tragically' a bit overdramatic here? I mean, unless he was doing horrible things in those extra two years before the Israelis illegally abducted him, it's not exactly tragic. Besides, if the CIA had told the Israelies, they'd be looking all over Jeruselem for a guy named Clemens.

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Latiam
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I wasn't really listening, but someone was interviewed about this on the CBC radio show "As It Happens" and they said that a lot of the lack of information sharing had to do with not wanting West Germany to know who their operatives were, and that had to do with it. If you want to find out, it's on the cbc.ca site somewhere. I just remember being vaguely angry and they accepting that their reasoning was somewhat sound if possibly a little paranoid.

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DesertRat
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It was very sound reasoning; during the Cold War, practically all of our NATO allies, most notably Britain (but also West Germany) were thoroughly penetrated with Soviet agents, thus preventing us from sharing with them oft-critical information in order to safeguard a particularly important source or method. It's the Catch-22 of the intelligence world.

ETA: For clarity's sake, let me add-we did not neccesarily have concrete awareness of the specific nature and degree of the penetration of our allies (had we knowledge that specific, we likely would have acted on it); rather in many cases it was healthy suspicion, the wisdom of which has been borne out by the historical record.

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Mycroft
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Don't forget, spies are sneaky!!
One of the reasons the Ultra secret (that we had broken German Enigma codes during the war) remained secret for several years was that we had sold Enigma machines to post war allies as unbreakable, and we were secretly reading all their embassy messages.

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Ralph
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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
[qb] From the article:
It has been reported here (quoting Naftali as well) that the German Administration didn't persue the information about Eichmann because they wanted to protect Hans Globke. Globke, who had been a high-ranking official in Nazi Germany and had written a law commentary for the Nuremberg Laws, was Director of the Federal Chancellory of the Federal Republic of Germany between 1953 and 1963 and as such was one of the closest aides to Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, advising him - among other topics - on national security.

Hi. I'm the new kid here.

I'm not sure that the Adenauer administration was devoting any major efforts to diverting attention from Globke, who wasn't that big a fish. (A lot of the attention he did get was generated by the East-German Ministry of State Security, which was at that time also busy forging documents to show that President Lübke had designed the crematoria for Auschwitz.)

My sense (I lived in Germany for 21 years and went to law school in Mainz) is that the BND really didn't know for certain where Eichmann was, and if they had, they would have told the Israelis because Israel had the death penalty and Germany didn't.

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Ralph

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medtchva
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I'm just wondering why anyone is actually surprised they knew.
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Ophiuchus
Deck the Malls


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The whole war crimes trials after the war were kind of ridiculous if you take it from a historical or legal perspective. It isn't surprising they didn't do anything about it right away.

First of all, notice that ONLY the people from Axis powers got punished. No one came after the guys who locked up all the Japanese-decended American citizens.
Secondly, since when can you punish someone for a crime that wasn't a crime when they did it? (The same hold true for Sadam on trial now.) Retrospectively punishing people for a new law is about as unjust as one can do.
And, of course, thirdly... nations don't have any juristiction over each other.

And its not like there is a military in the world that doesn't have people who have done horribly inhuman things under orders. We have people who have slaughtered entire villages of people in the US and are never punished because they were just following orders.

Now, maybe there was some justifiable need for revenge, but there was no legal, fair or just way to go about doing so. Letting him sit out there and get assasinated or bringing him in and charging him with nonexistent crimes and then killing him... it really doesn't make a difference.

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