U.S. intelligence involvement with German and Japanese war criminals after World War II

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While the United States was involved in the prosecution of war criminals, principally at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo, the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, and other judicial proceedings, US military and intelligence agencies protected some war criminals in the interest of obtaining technical or intelligence information from them, or taking part in ongoing intelligence or engineering (e.g., Operation Paperclip). Multiple US intelligence organizations were involved (the Central Intelligence Agency was not created until 1947 and in control of its clandestine services until 1952). The relationships with German war criminals started immediately after the end of the Second World War, but some of the Japanese relationships were slower to develop.

The concealment was not always deliberate, but simply because the records were scattered among a huge volume of government records. In some cases, prosecutors actively developed cases against individuals, yet were unaware the US had detailed records on them. The US Congress required an interagency working group (IWG), under the auspices of the National Archives and Records Administration to report on the big picture.[1] Since the CIA was formed in 1947, and did not have full control of its clandestine HUMINT functions until the formation of the "Directorate of Plans" (DD/P) in 1952, where relationships were formed with individuals suspected of war crimes, other intelligence agencies obviously established the relationship. Many of these relationships were formed before the creation of the CIA in 1947, but the CIA, in some cases, took over the relationships and concealed them for nearly 60 years. Most often, when these were established before the formation of the CIA, they were done by United States Army Military Intelligence, or by its traditional name of the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC). In General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's commands, the intelligence service was called G-2. Under the direction of Major General Charles A. Willoughby, it was fairly autonomous of Washington, DC.

Containment and anticommunism[edit]

Several doctrines affected the postwar policy under which these relationships were formed, although not all historians agree that all applied. Containment, general anti-Communism, and so called McCarthyism were generally accepted.

Containment, as a concept in US foreign policy after World War II, was intellectually given support by George F. Kennan, first in an internal document called "the long telegram"[2] and then the "X article" in Foreign Affairs, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" published under the pseudonym "X".[3] While Kennan advocated a nuanced implementation of limiting Soviet options, US policy became increasingly absolutist: that which was bad for communism was good, and preventing modifications of democratic capitalism was considered important enough to justify co-work with war criminals.

The actions of Senator Joe McCarthy, however, were more reflexively anti-communist. The mere accusation of communism was often sufficient grounds to act against individuals or organizations.

Searching for order or opportunities?[edit]

"Our goal,” the US State Department’s Henry A. Byroade asserted in fall 1951, “is to obtain the type of German nation which . . . will not again cause the United States to be plunged into war, but will instead freely cooperate with the West.” The newly established German Federal Republic had so far resisted “extreme Right” and “extreme Left” belligerence. But protracted Allied control now risked German “irritation.” This unproductive emotion, Byroade warned, could foster “extremist nationalism” in Germany. Byroade recommended that the Western powers accord “full control over foreign and domestic affairs” to Germans themselves.[4] According to Kisatsky, Byroade's comment, "Only by “[convincing] the Germans that they are equals” could the United States “retain . . . power” and achieve its global objectives." showed that U.S.-German policy, in a broader policy of Atlantic politics, had multiple dimensions and multiple time periods. A subtle but important point is not that the US was concerned both with right-wing nationalism, which might or might not be a Nazi resurgence, and Communism.[5] Right-wing nationalism could be present anywhere in the world, and possibly provide a haven for Nazis.

  • During the occupation, "American leaders during the Allied occupation (1945–55) worked to transform the former Nazi dictatorship into a reliable partner of the West. Denazification and related programs helped expunge totalitarian practices and promote democratic governance.
  • West German economic and military integration with Europe (1955-1990) minimized risk of a third World War by enhancing mutual interdependence among the major continental states. Nationalism potentially undermined US goals. Growing resentment of Germany’s occupation and division roused competitive national urges inimical to peace. Allied leaders could best ensure the Federal Republic’s allegiance to the West by granting full autonomy and by treating West Germans as equals.
  • After German reunification in 1990, cooperative Allied-German relations facilitated progress and enabled the United States to “retain power” in Europe.

She suggested US leaders, in the period following the Second World War and through the Cold War, followed a "moral pragmatism" that led to authoritarian governments who supported the economic order desired by the United States, as well as directly countering perceived Soviet and sometimes Chinese influence. While the purpose of this article is not to examine worldwide US policy toward authoritarian governments, it is relevant to consider situations where a government might provide sanctuary to Nazi war criminals.

Internal to the US government, and by its critics, is a constant debate between absolute morality and the perceived needs of realpolitik with respect to communists and allies. "Elizabeth Holtzman, a former US Congresswoman from New York and member of the panel, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, said the documents showed that the CIA "failed to lift a finger" to hunt Eichmann and "force us to confront not only the moral harm but the practical harm" of relying on intelligence from ex-Nazis.

The United States government, preoccupied with the cold war, had no policy at the time of pursuing Nazi war criminals. The records also show that US intelligence officials protected many former Nazis for their perceived value in combating the Soviet threat. But Holtzman, speaking at a news briefing at the National Archives on Tuesday, said information from the former Nazis was often tainted both by their "personal agendas" and their vulnerability to blackmail. "Using bad people can have very bad consequences," Holtzman said. She and other group members suggested that the findings should be a cautionary tale for intelligence agencies today."[6]

Evaluating the intelligence process[edit]

Naftali and others have suggested that a useful, if amoral choice, is to consider whether the results of the use of tainted resources produced good results:

"...People are now welcome to look at the operational records of these tainted individuals, and they can come to their own conclusions about whether making the moral compromise was operationally useful. And more often than not, these people were not productive.

His response to an interview question of "Is it still important to look at documents about the Nazi era?" was "It's healthy for a society to have the tools to evaluate the performance of its intelligence community -- even if the performance involves activities that are 50 years old. And I would also hope that the intelligence community itself will take lessons from the past. "[7] In another article, he writes of the experience with Iraq, in using tainted sources.[8]

Did these criteria, at least, help contain communism? Hans-Georg Wieck, head of the German BND intelligence organization between 1985 and 1990, responded "With the disclosure of documents on the U.S. Army's and the CIA's relationships with Gehlen, the downside of that cooperation has become known. The upside-the quality of the intelligence project-remains undisclosed. Hence even with righteous, detached hindsight, a cost-benefit analysis of hiring Gehlen and his people remains far more difficult to make, even today, than Naftali thinks. He concedes that contacts with unsavory characters sometimes prove beneficial. This was the case with Gehlen's organization."[9]

European Policy[edit]

Not only British sensitivities were involved, but others, including German. "That's not up to us. Our mandate is to declassify US government records, not the records of other countries. I would assume that is something for the German press, German scholars, and German people to demand. I find it interesting that when the US releases information about Eichmann, it gets a lot of play in Germany. But there's no follow-up with the German government. After all, German scholars should be asking their government, "Why can't you do the same? Why can't you be as open as the US government? What are you hiding?" Why doesn't the BND release materials to have an open history of its past? What is it afraid of?"[7]

Occupiers also acquiesced in the appointment to leading positions in the new West German government of such former aides to Adolf Hitler as Hans Globke, who had co-authored the antisemitic Nuremberg Laws of the 1930s and then went on to become one of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s closest advisors. The motivation here seemed again to be harmony with an ally, in this case West Germany,[5]

Gehlen Organization[edit]

Much of the immediate postwar activity, until the mid-fifties when it became part of West Germany's BND intelligence agency, was the Gehlen Organization. Reinhard Gehlen approached US Army intelligence shortly after the end of the war, and offered his files and staff on the Eastern Front and Soviet Union. Gehlen himself was not considered to be a war criminal, but some of his staff were far more likely to have been so.[10]

Originally, Gehlen had an excellent reputation in intelligence, but more recent information has brought this into question. At the GHI[disambiguation needed] symposium, Michael Wala, managing editor of the German publication, Journal of Intelligence History, said Gehlen was assumed to have transformed German intelligence during the war. Wala, however, said it was less that Gehlen was so good as a Soviet analyst, but that his predecessors, prior to his taking over the Fremde Heere Ost (FHO, English "Foreign Armies East") had been so bad. Prior to 1942, according to Wala, Nazi racism caused FHO to deprecate Soviet strength and equipment, such as the T-34, widely believed to be the best tank of the Second World War. Even though Gehlen was not able to keep Nazi ideology out of estimates, leading to such things as a failure to predict the Soviet resistance at Stalingrad, he remained highly regarded by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, English: High Command of the Armed Forces).

In his essay reviewing James Critchfield's book Partners at the Creation,[11] Timothy Naftali [8] devalues and disparages the early postwar cooperation between the CIA and what later became West Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND, English: federal intelligence service). Naftali said Gehlen's organization and its successor, the BND, was of "questionable" value.[9] Wieck responded, "At no time during my tenure as president of the BND (1985-90) was the significance of its assessments of Soviet bloc developments doubted within NATO. This was true during the time of my predecessors and successors as well. With the disclosure of documents on the U.S. Army's and the CIA's relationships with Gehlen, the downside of that cooperation has become known. The upside-the quality of the intelligence project-remains undisclosed. Hence even with righteous, detached hindsight, a cost-benefit analysis of hiring Gehlen and his people remains far more difficult to make, even today, than Naftali who agreed that "contacts with unsavory characters sometimes prove beneficial."

Rather than accept Wieck's contention that the "upside" of the cost-benefit analysis could not be done, Naftali argues "CIA records show that Gehlen was insubordinate, his organization was insecure, and the entire operation provided intelligence of questionable value. Fifty years later, the German government still refuses to declassify its own records on the subject. Until it does, and unless those documents paint a dramatically new picture of the situation, the account of the Gehlen organization in the early Cold War will remain damning."

"Such assertions, it should be noted, are not simply casual opinions, but scholarly conclusions based on analysis of more than 800 "name files," including a multivolume "Gehlen file," released by the CIA from 1999 to 2004, pursuant to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998. An extensive interpretation of this material can be found in the study "U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis," issued in May 2004 by the Nazi War Crimes and Imperial Japanese Records Working Group, and co-authored by Richard Breitman, Norman J.W. Goda, Robert Wolfe, and myself."[9]

Naftali said US intelligence underestimated the extent to which Gehlen had hired war criminals, and overestimated the value of Gehlen and his organization. Wieck asked which other Germans could have provided the United States with intelligence in the early Cold War period, to which Naftali contends that the correct approach would have been to recruit and train anticommunist Germans, "who could have done a much better job with far fewer tradeoffs." Elsewhere, Norman Goda describes as "catastrophic" the Soviet penetration of the Gehlen Organization, sponsored by CIC and CIA.[12]

Wieck said that the Gehlen Organization "recruited some former SS men (around 100) possibly guilty of war crimes-great weight must be given to the desperate need of the United States in the 1940s and early 1950s for information about the Soviet Union, its forces in Europe, and the communist regimes east of the Elbe. The United States had almost no agents of its own in the area during those years. Alternatives to Gehlen's group and remnants of other German espionage organizations from World War II capable of collecting such information simply did not exist." Wieck suggests that Critchfield, the US liaison with Gehlen from 1948 to 1956, "had in mind a good greater than intelligence collection: assuring that the security elite of the new German state would be firmly Atlanticist. This contributed in no small way both to the development of mutual trust between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States and to the preclusion of a domestic neofascist or nationalist threat to the former."

Schmitz, a member of Critchfield's staff from 1949 to 1954, and his deputy in 1953 and 1954, said "the implication is that these former SS personnel-indeed, all former SS personnel-were unexposed war criminals and, as such, were subject to blackmail by the Soviets. The German Army General Staff, of which Gehlen and many of his subsequent co-workers had been a part, was by no means a haven for war criminals. Indeed, Gehlen did not have a high standing with Hitler, who had him fired after Gehlen produced estimates on Soviet military capabilities that exceeded what Hitler wanted to hear"[9]

Planning Stay-Behind Networks[edit]

Alongside the Gehlen Organisation, CIC had set up "stay-behind networks" in West Germany, who were supposed to stay put in the event of a Soviet invasion and transmit intelligence from behind enemy lines. Certain of these networks included ex-Nazis.[13] These networks were separate from those that have been called Operation Gladio, which refers specifically to Italian stay-behind networks.

Most of the networks were dismantled in the early 1950s when it was realised what an embarrassment they might prove. Those were the least of their flaws as would-be anti-communist agents. They had not risen in the Nazi ranks because of their respect for facts. They were ideologues with a keen sense of self-preservation.[13] "The files show time and again that these people were more trouble than they were worth," Mr Naftali said. "The unreconstructed Nazis were always out for themselves, and they were using the west's lack of information about the Soviet Union to exploit it."

One example of a network later dismantled was an apparent equivalent to the East German Freie Deutsche Jugend (Free German Youth), the Bund Deutscher Jugend (BDJ, League of German Youth) seemed, at first, to be a youth group that countered Communist movements.[14] Its increasing militancy and secretiveness about its financing, however, brought it to the attention of Georg August Zinn, the Socialist Minister President of Hesse.

Zinn discovered that BDJ was US-funded, and inside BDJ was a covert operations service, Technischer Dienst ("Technical Service") made up of former German officers, some Nazis and SS men, between 35 and 50 years old. Their mission was to wage guerilla warfare against a Soviet invasion. "The BDJ affair demonstrated that at least some agencies of the U.S. government willingly worked with undemocratic elements in service to American power."[5]

Beyond the direct anti-Soviet activity, according to Zinn, the Technical Service had prepared long lists of West German "unreliables" to be "put on ice" on Invasion Day. Only a handful were Communists; the rest were Socialists, including such prominent anti-Reds as West Germany's No. 1 Socialist Erich Ollenhauer, the mayors of Hamburg and Bremen, and the Minister President of Lower Saxony.

After Zinn's presentation, the US High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG), Walter J. Donnelly, asked the West German government and Socialist Party to join in a U.S.-German investigation of the whole affair: "Let's get to the bottom of this. Let the chips fall where they may." Donelley and the United States Department of State were correct in that senior HICOG personnel had refused to meet with BDJ. John J. McCloy, the previous HICOG, refused to meet with BDJ, but US intelligence organized BDJ after becoming concerned by the invasion of Korea. US intelligence seemed to have been unaware of the BDJ blacklist and tried, too late, to denounce it and avoid Soviet propaganda. The Communists, however, termed it a proof of US-Nazi conspiracy. The independent Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized: "One would like to assume that the secret American sponsors knew nothing of the assassination plans. However, their support of a fascist underground movement is bound to produce distrust of American officials. We refuse to fight Stalinism with the help of fascism." No one seemed to want to understand, according to Time, that the U.S. had not been sinister, just silly.

Subsequent CIA operations involving German and associated war criminals[edit]

The CIA had been aware of the location of some high-profile Nazi war criminals, including the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann two years before he was captured by Israeli agents, but the agency did not publicize this information, as it did not have a policy of pursuing Nazi war criminals at the time.[12]

Several former Nazi operational agents were recruited as U.S. secret agents, yet formed just a minor portion of the agents at that time; they were induced financially and promised exemption from criminal prosecution and trial for war crimes committed during World War II.[15]

CIA name file analysis[edit]

The IWG analyzed CIA name files as they became available. In an article by Richard Breitman, professor of history at American University and IWG Director of Historical Research, Nazi name files studied were broken into two categories of criminal. The process here involved analysis of the name file mechanism, not necessarily protection, since some of the criminals did not survive the war or its immediate aftermath.[16]

Tier 1 Tier 2, contact with GO Tier 2, no contact with GO
Adolf Hitler Emil Augsburg Eugen Dollman
Klaus Barbie(1) Horst Kopkow(2) Franz Goering(3)
Adolf Eichmann Wilhelm Krichbaum(4) Wilhelm Harster (3)
Josef Mengele Franz Six(4) Wilhelm Hoettl(5)
Heinrich Mueller Hans Sommer Michel Kedia(6)
Kurt Waldheim Friedrich Panzinger(4) Wilfried Krallert(7)
Guido Zimmer(8) Martin Sandberger
  • (1)CIC but not CIA
  • (2)The GO information did not come from the CIA name file
  • (3)BND but not GO
  • (4)Probable Soviet asset
  • (5)OSS & CIC but not GO or BND
  • (6)OSS & CIA, no GO or BND
  • (7)BfV (West German domestic intelligence)
  • (8)OSS, World War Two only

A CIA document, dated 19 March 1958, from the Munich station chief to headquarters, stated that German intelligence had provided a list of former Nazis and their locations. Eichmann was third on the list. The memo passed on a rumour that he was in Jerusalem "despite the fact that he was responsible for mass extermination of Jews", but also states, matter-of-factly: "He is reported to have lived in Argentina under the alias Clemens since 1952."[13]

There is no record of a follow-up in the CIA to this tip-off. The reason was, according to Timothy Naftali, a US historian who has reviewed the freshly declassified archive, it was no longer the CIA's job to hunt down Nazis. "It just wasn't US policy to go looking for war criminals. It wasn't British policy either for that matter. It was left to the West Germans ... and this is further evidence of the low priority the Germans gave to hunting down war criminals."

It was not just a question of bureaucratic inertia. But it was not just Globke. When Eichmann was captured the CIA combed files it had captured from the Nazis to find information that might be useful to the Israeli prosecution. The results caused near panic among the CIA's leadership because, unknown to the junior staff who had looked through the files, a few of Eichmann's accomplices being investigated had been CIA "assets", and who might be discovered through Soviet knowledge of the Israeli prosecution records.

Individuals not in name files[edit]

Several Nazis were not evaluated in the preceding name file analysis, but are significant examples of the complications of accepting Nazis: Soviet counterespionage in the case of Heinz Felfe and smoothing US-German relationships with Konrad Adenauer, to whom Hans Globke was a key advisor.

Heinz Felfe[edit]

In particular, the recruitment of Heinz Felfe, an SS officer who rose through the ranks of West Germany’s Gehlen organization to become its counterintelligence chief in 1955 did not only raise questions of ethics, but produced a major security failure, since, in 1961, Felfe was identified as a Soviet spy. According to Norman Goda of Ohio University, Felfe was "the West German official most knowledgeable about CIA operations in Eastern Europe", which let him sabotage one of the CIA’s most important spy operations, against the KGB base in East Germany.[17] The CIA subsequently estimated that Felfe had compromised 15,000 items. The article cited an unidentified CIA officer as saying, in 1953, "Clear evidence of a war crimes record might also serve as a possible control."[12] Christopher Simpson claims that these agents had a long-term corrosive effect on American intelligence agencies.[18]

Handling Nazis outside Germany[edit]

A "rat-line" is a term of art in clandestine operations, which deals with the methods used to get a human asset physically away from a dangerous environment, remove threats to that individual, or both. While the term is used in multiple contexts, it has been used in the specific context of protecting Nazis, either by getting them to welcoming countries or improving their security. It also has been used for specific postwar resources for escaping Nazis, which, in their entirety, may make up what has been dubbed the ODESSA support system.

In one known case and possibly a few others, relatively few cases, CIC personnel, may have directly participated in the evacuation of a Nazi that was not to work directly for US engineering or intelligence. It is possible that there was a quid pro quo for such evacuation, such as protecting a more valuable asset by removing a source of denunciation, or protecting an ally from embarrassment and making that joint effort more difficult (see Hans Globke and working with Adenauer).

Erhard Dabringhaus, a U.S. Army (CIC) intelligence officer in post-war Germany from 1946 to 1952 (i.e., the year that the OPC clandestine service was brought under CIA control), and later a language professor at Detroit's Wayne State University, was Klaus Barbie's case officer. Dabringhaus said he was ordered to house and pay Barbie, and did inform his command of Barbie's past actions. [19] According to Dabringhaus, "They told me to forget it for now. When he was 'no longer useful, they would deal with him." They never did. In 1951 Barbie turned up in Genoa, Italy, before escaping to Bolivia with documents issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Bill Moyers quoted Dabringhaus as saying "[Barbie] was wanted by the French as their number one war criminal and somehow we employed a man like that as a very secretive informant." According to Moyers, Barbie worked with ex-Nazi Germans reporting on the Soviets. Once his work was done, the US did not turn him over to the French, but helped him escape, via Italy, to Bolivia.[20] An analysis of Barbie's U.S. Army file, by the IWG,[21] recounted that in May 1949, the French Ministry of Interior pressed the U.S. military government of Germany, HICOG, for Barbie's extradition. The CIC, however, was concerned both that Barbie knew too much about CIC espionage networks, but also about the adverse publicity if it became known he had been recruited. From the HICOG file,

To have exposed BARBIE to interrogation and public trial would not have been in consonance with accepted clandestine intelligence operational doctrine. . . . [H]e was knowledgeable of high level operations and operational procedures, which would have been compromised. Through procedures in effect at that time, BARBIE was therefor [sic] assisted in 1951 in leaving Europe for resettlement. U.S. Army Intelligence has had no further contact with BARBIE subsequent to his departure from Europe

CIC, therefore, arranged for Barbie to reach South America through a "ratline" in Italy. Barbie, using an alias but otherwise living openly in Bolivia, was extradited to France in 1983. While in Bolivia, he was also a security advisor to Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay from 1954 to 1989.[21] Since CIC involvement clearly would become public, the United States Attorney General ordered the Office of Special Investigations of the United States Department of Justice to produce an investigative report. Alan Ryan, outgoing head of OSI, detailed the use by U.S. intelligence of Barbie, including his escape using a line that included assistance from a Croatian priest in the Vatican. Ryan concluded that "no other case was found where a suspected Nazi war criminal was placed in the rat line, or where the rat line was used to evacuate a person wanted…" But, he did find, "that officers of the CIC engaged in obstruction of justice… although "prosecution is moot because of the statute of limitations")[22]

A copy of a Guardian citation quoted Dabringhaus about Barbie.[23] "Barbie was so well in with my superiors that he did not ask me for orders, but just told me what he was going to do. In fact he was so well thought of that I was more like his chauffeur."

Weitzman referred to a 22 May 1999 report, in The Times, which painted a much larger scope. It cited Dabringhaus as personally having recruited hundreds of Nazis, operating at least into the 1960s. Some SS men may have worked for the CIA in Latin America, and may have taught methods of torture.[22]

Pacific Policy[edit]

OSS, however, had a much more limited role in the Pacific, primarily in China. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur essentially banned the OSS from his South West Pacific Area (SWPA), while OSS simply was less relevant to the naval and "island hopping" operations in Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz's Pacific Ocean Area (POA; Nimitz was referred to as CINCPAC [Pacific] /CINCPOA) theater. Since there was no postwar alliance to be preserved for US intelligence, there were few reasons to keep matters classified due to the sensitivities of a key ally. While the US did work with Australia and New Zealand, MacArthur had essentially subordinated their commands.[24]

The number and types of Japanese who formed relationships with U.S. intelligence differ from their Nazi counterparts. The Japanese were fewer in number than the Germans who were directly to collect HUMINT from the Soviets or take part in stay-behind networks after invasion. Some of the Japanese were imprisoned for investigation, or actually served prison time for war crimes, perhaps being released early. Far more of the Japanese were later at a much higher level of authority than were the Germans.

U.S. intelligence conflict in postwar Japan[edit]

MacArthur's distaste for the OSS continued into an equal reluctance to allow the CIA to operate in the Occupation, until he was relieved of duty. Until his relief, MacArthur used his own intelligence organization, G-2, headed by Major General Charles A. Willoughby (a confidante of MacArthur).[25] Japanese ex-officers and nationalists, immediately after the war, created an informal network intended to preserve, as far as possible, the Imperial system and eventually to reestablish the military. Subsequently, the CIA referred to these as "underground" groups, although not in the sense that they were resistance organizations.

Most US contacts with the underground groups were combat rather than intelligence specialists. With the exception of Arisue Seizo and a few key others, most of the links established by U.S. authorities to the Japanese “underground” groups, as the CIA called the Japanese networks, were to highranking officers with operational and combat experience. Another significant intelligence specialist, with an extensive network of contacts among officers, was Lieutenant General Kawabe Torashiro. Kawabe joined with Arisue in providing the services of former Japanese Army personnel to occupation authorities, particularly G-2. Kawabe’s last headquarters assignment gave him informal authority over many groups and individuals within the army. His network was made up primarily of former high-ranking army general staff members and their subordinates. These individuals were in networks of subordinate organizations, called kikan, that would carry out actual operations.[25]

In one important case, that of Ishii Shiro, the intelligence cooperation was not for shaping the political destiny of postwar Japan or for obtaining future intelligence, but as a trade of immunity for technical data.

Since the relationships often were established after a convicted or investigated Japanese left prison, the working relationships started later than did those with Germans. Some of the Japanese eventually reached Cabinet or Prime Ministerial level. In at least one case, that of Kodama Yoshio with Kishi Nobusuke, the close working relationship grew when they were cellmates.

Japanese who worked with US intelligence[edit]

A variety of relationships existed, first with G-2 and then with the CIA. Characteristic of the G-2 relationships was a significant amount of delegation of both planning and execution to Japanese, since SCAP did not itself have the manpower for detailed monitoring, nor would it work with CIA in the theater or in the US.

After his rehabilitation in 1950, Tsuji Matsonubu received U.S. finding through the G-2’s Historical Branch under Willoughby. Through Arisue, G-2 recruited and employed some 200 former Japanese officers to assist historian Gordon Prange’s work on the history of MacArthur’s Pacific campaign. A central figure in this effort was Colonel Hattori Takushiro. One of the most important members of the Hattori kikan, known in some CIA documents as “Willoughby’s Stable,” was Hattori’s close friend Tsuji Masanobu.

Arisue Seizo[edit]

The key individual in the "undergrounds" was Lieutenant General Arisue Seizo, chief of the intelligence department at Imperial General Headquarters at the end of the war. Shortly before the end of the war, Arisue began collecting intelligence documents to use as a bargaining chip with the Occupation.

SCAP sentiment toward Arisue was mixed, and officers outside G-2 considered indicting Arisue as a Class A war criminal. Willoughby, however, had met and liked Lieutenant General Kawabe Torashiro who had been head of intelligence for the Kwantung Army, military attaché to Berlin, deputy chief of staff for Imperial GHQ, and the leader of the surrender delegation to Manila.

Willoughby asked Arisue, in September 1945, to set up a domestic intelligence network to warn of a potential Communist coup. Ironically, Willoughby was unaware that Arisue and some of his associates, at various times, considered right-wing coups against the Japanese government.

Hattori Takushiro[edit]

Hattori, a staff colonel, had served as a senior operations staff officer in the Kwantung Army during the Nomonhan Incident. Shortly afterwards, Hattori, became Chief of the Army General Staff Operations Branch, making him one of the principal planners of the successful Japanese Army offensives of 1941–42. He does not appear to have been under investigation for war crimes, but he had significant involvement with SCAP G-2 after the war. Hattori believed, along with his friend Tsuji, that the rearmament of Japan could not be achieved “through democratic methods,” and advocated a revival of the disbanded army, in which he would be Chief of Staff.[25]

According to an AP article, the plot was developed after the U.S. postwar occupation of Japan ended in April 1952, by which time the US was no longer funding Hattori. Two CIA documents said the plot reportedly had the support of 500,000 people in Japan, and that the group planned to use a contact who controlled a faction inside the National Safety Agency - a precursor to the Defense Ministry - to help launch the coup.[26] The article reinforces the lack of cooperation and common policy between SCAP G-2 and the CIA.

"Since the beginning of July 1952, plans for a coup d'etat have been initiated among a group of ex-purgees including former military officers. The leader of the group is ex-Colonel Hattori Takushiro," said an Oct. 31, 1952, report, which claimed "this report is the first to mention a definite rightist plan involving violence." "The original plan of the group was to engineer a coup d'etat, including the assassination of Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru on account of his hostile attitude toward depurgees and nationalists," the CIA document said. "The group is considering the possibility of some minor assassination attempt in lieu of a coup d'etat," the Oct. 31, 1952, document said.

Ishii Shiro[edit]

Perhaps the most blatant violator the Lieutenant General Shiro Ishii, head of the Japanese biological warfare program based at Unit 731 in Pingfan, China. Ishii, who had presided over human experimentation perhaps on a greater extent than the Nazis, and waged biological warfare against the Chinese, was given protection by CIC in exchange for data.

Tsuneini Keiichi, a professor at Kanagawa University, found two significant documents from Willoughby, dealing with the Japanese biological warfare research and operations by Unit 731. One, titled "report on bacteriological warfare" was for the chief of staff of the Far Eastern Commission and was dated July 17, 1947.[27] The other, dated July 22, went to Major General SJ Chamberlin, director of intelligence of the US War Department General Staff, to illustrate the need for continued use of confidential funds without restrictions to obtain such intelligence.

Willoughby described the achievements of his unit's investigations, saying the "information procured will have the greatest value in future development of the US BW (bacteriological warfare) program". Citing a US War Department specialist in charge of the investigation, Brig Gen Willoughby wrote in the report that "data on human experiments may prove invaluable" and said the information was "only obtainable through the skilful, psychological approach to top-flight pathologists" involved in Unit 731 experiments.

Tsuneishi said it had been thought that the US had gathered the information high-handedly by making unit members choose between cooperating or facing war crime charges, "but it has become clear that this was done by winning (unit members') hearts with money and rewards". In 1947, SCAP G-2 tried to obtain the experimental data but "because war crime charges against the Unit 731 officers had been waived by then, the GHQ was apparently forced to offer monetary rewards to access the information."

Kaya Okinori[edit]

Department of State records refer to Kaya Okinori, a Class A war criminal, and wartime Finance Minister.[24] Kaya had been the finance minister in Japan's wartime cabinet. Convicted as a war criminal, he was sentenced to life in prison. Paroled in 1955 and pardoned in 1957, he became one of Kishi's closest advisers and a key member of the LDP's internal security committee.

Kaya started to work for the CIA around the time of his election to the Diet in 1958. After his recruitment, he wanted to travel to the United States and meet Allen Dulles in person. Kaya came to visit Dulles at CIA headquarters in 1959, and asked the director to enter into a formal agreement to share intelligence with his internal security committee. "Everyone agreed that cooperation between CIA and the Japanese regarding countersubversion was most desirable and that the subject was one of major interest to CIA", say the minutes of their talk. Dulles regarded Kaya as his agent, and six months later he wrote him to say: "I am most interested in learning your views both in international affairs affecting relations between our countries and on the situation within Japan".[28]

Kaya's on-and-off relationship with the CIA reached a peak in 1968, when he was the leading political adviser to Prime Minister Eisaku Sato. Kaya was instrumental in a CIA action intended to swing the Okinawan election to the LDP, an action that failed. Okinawa was a key U.S. base, both for Vietnam operations and nuclear basing. Kaya played a key role in the CIA's covert actions aimed to swing the elections for the LDP, which narrowly failed. Okinawa itself returned to Japanese administration in 1972, but the American military remains there to this day.[28]

Kishi Nobusuke[edit]

In 1941, Kishi was a Cabinet member who co-signed the declaration of war against the United States.[24] During the war, he had held portfolios for Commerce and Industry and later Munitions, and directed forced labor by Koreans and Chinese. In 1945, he was arrested as a suspected Class A war criminal, and spent three years, in Sugamo Prison, being investigated. Eventually, he was not charged.[29] His cellmate was Kodama Yoshio.[28] His political rehabilitation led to his becoming Prime Minister in 1957.

While the Occupation originally had bold goals to restructure and democratize Japanese society, ambitions became more modest as the Cold War chilled. Kennan's containment doctrine was the priority of the Truman Administration. United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal said that real security against communism required the "restoration of commerce, trade and business" worldwide. This meant putting "Japan, Germany and other affiliates of the Axis back to work."

Before the war, Kishi had been a friend of U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Grew. Grew, along with journalists, diplomats and lawyers, all of whom had had prewar ties with the Japanese elite. They opposed the SCAP policies calling for the renunciation of military capability.

After the end of the Korean War, and economic repercussions for Japan, the Yoshida government fell. The U.S. Ambassador in 1954, not intelligence officials, urged the conservative parties to name Kishi as Prime Minister. Another official who had been purged after the war, Hatoyama Ichiro, was selected. Hatoyama was reluctant to rearm, and wanted peaceful relations with China and the Soviets. These positions infuriated John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration, whose brother Allen was Director of Central Intelligence. The Eisenhower Administration's support of Kishi became more and more obvious, when he made a state visit in 1957, addressing Congress and played golf with Eisenhower,

While detailed documentation has not been declassified, if it esists, indicates that early in 1958, Shaller states that Eisenhower, making what he and his aides earlier called a "big bet," authorized the CIA to provide secret campaign funds to Kishi and other members of the Liberal Democratic Party. The Administration agreed to renegotiate the 1951 security treaty and end the Occupation. In return for the right to use Okinawa as a base for nuclear forces, the U.S. renegotiated the treaty. While the Kennedy administration continued the secret payments, Although the Kennedy administration in 1961 continued secret payments to the LDP and other parties, "it viewed trade expansion as a better way to stabilize Japan and bind it to the United States."[29]

Kodama Yoshio[edit]

Kodama was Kishi's cellmate in Sugamo Prison, from which they were released in 1948, before other convicted criminals were executed.[28] In 1928, he founded a right-wing group, the Dokuritsu Seinen Sha (Independence Youth Society). It tried to assassinate both opposition leaders and Prime Minister Saito Makoto, for which Kodama was sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment.

By the 1930s, he had been rehabilitated by the Japanese and formed both an intelligence network in Manchuria and an extensive system for purchasing strategic materials, such as cobalt, copper, nickel and radium, sometimes bartering drugs for materials. Kodama called it "an organization with no thought of profit," but, by the end of the war, it was worth $175 million and the Japanese government made the former prisoner a rear admiral. .[30] After the war, Kodama began to pour part of his fortune into the careers of Japan's most conservative politicians, and he became a key member of a CIA operation that helped bring them to power. He worked with American businessmen, OSS veterans, and ex-diplomats to pull off an audacious covert operation, bankrolled by the CIA, during the Korean War.[28] This operation obtained tungsten needed for U.S. munitions, for which the United States Department of Defense paid $10 million, with underwriting of $2.8 million from the CIA.

According to Weiner, the operation left Kodama in bad odor with the CIA's Tokyo station. "He is a professional liar, gangster, charlatan, and outright thief", the station reported on 10 September 1953. "Kodama is completely incapable of intelligence operations, and has no interest in anything but the profits". The relationship was severed, and the CIA turned its attention to the care and feeding of up-and-coming Japanese politicians - including Kishi - who won seats in the Diet, Japan's parliament, in the first elections after the end of the American occupation."[28]

Tsuji Matsunobu[edit]

The recently declassified CIA documents explain why one of the most notorious Japanese war criminals was never indicted or even held. Arisue recruited Colonel Tsuji Matsunobu into clandestine U.S. service.[25] Tsuji, claiming the authority of Imperial General Headquarters, ordered a wide range of atrocities including the Bataan Death March.

"U.S. officials also investigated the possibility that, late in the war, the Japanese Army expropriated three tons of gold from French Indochina with the idea that it would be used at a later date to finance the resurgence of the Japanese military establishment. Reports indicated that Tsuji, who spent a great deal of time in Southeast Asia, had distributed part of this haul to his officers and told them to hide it away from Allied hands.

CIA documents released through the IWG explained the puzzlement of many Japanese, who wondered why Tsuji was never charged for crimes sometimes worse than those that led to the gallows for others. Even after his release, he remained a "person of interest", but was not found to be interrogated. "He avoided capture first by hiding in Southeast Asia, later sheltered by Chang Kai-shek on mainland China, then secretly in Japan, including as a guest of Kodama. When the United States dropped its war crimes charges against him in 1950, he returned to the public scene, publishing two books about his wartime and postwar experiences that quickly became best sellers." [25]

Before his rehabilitation, he was involved in G-2 planning of covert activities to assist the Chinese Nationalists against the Peoples Republic of China.[25] Note that direct confrontation with China, even through Chiang Kai-Shek as a proxy, was against Truman Administration policy, a conflict that led to MacArthur's (and Willoughby's) dismissal.

By 1950, when there were no charges outstanding against Tsuji, Arisue asked him to expand Japanese intelligence operations into Southeast Asia. Tsuji had met many of the former Imperial Japanese Army officers associated with this operation while he was in Singapore.[25] Many of the other officers would not work with Tsuji and lobbied successfully to have Arisue replace him with former Shanghai kenpeitai Chief Tomita Bunichi.[28]

Through Hattori, Tsuji became involved in planning one of Willoughby’s most ambitious operations, a Chinese Nationalist invasion of mainland China. In January 1951, G-2 began toying with the notion of encouraging Chang Kai-shek’s forces to invade south China and establish contact with Chinese anti-communist resistance forces. Willoughby’s subordinates approached Hattori and requested that he and Tsuji prepare the operational details of such a plan. Hattori, whom the CIA believed was a key figure in getting the war crimes charges against Tsuji dropped, now sought to put Tsuji’s military expertise to work for G-2. Planning proceeded through early March, with Tsuji taking the lead.[25]

From the CIA’s perspective, Willoughby put undue trust in both Hattori and Tsuji. Tsuji, who had himself become enmeshed in rearmament plans, purportedly stated in 1951 that it was necessary to “deceive the ally prior to the enemy.” The agency’s analysts also saw “a serious danger that American military personnel in G-2, GHQ will be taken in by [Hattori’s group].” In any event, the planning came to very little, as Willoughby learned in March 1951 that news of the preparations leaked to the Communist Chinese, and the idea was shelved.[25]

By 1952, Tsuji and Hattori decided that cooperation with the Americans was the best way to rapidly rearm Japan, a position unpopular with many other ex-officers. Backed by Kodama and others, they disagreed with Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru’s policy of exclusively relying on U.S. military protection instead of rebuilding Japan’s own army. ...In July 1952, Hattori hatched a plot to conduct a coup by murdering Yoshida and replacing him either with the more sympathetic Hatoyama Ichiro or Ogata Taketora. While Tsuji initially supported a coup, Tsuji convinced Hattori to hold off his coup d’etat as long as the conservatives ( ironically with the name Liberal Party) were in power. In other words, SCAP's staunchest political ally in Japan was protected by one of Japan’s most well-known alleged war criminals. Nevertheless, the group did consider murdering other government figures to send a message to Yoshida . Hatoyama succeeded in deposing Yoshida in 1954, but it is unclear what role, if any, Hattori and Tsuji played in this. In 1952, Tsuji was elected to the Diet and began a flamboyant career in politics, until his mysterious disappearance in 1961 during travel in Southeast Asia.

Ryuzo Sejima[edit]

Ryuzo Sejima was intimate with the group of Hattori Takushiro, Tsuji Masanobu and Kodama Yoshio, etc.. After Ryuzo Sejima returned from the Soviet Union to Japan on August 18, 1956, he worked with them.[31]

Kodama Yoshio and Ryuzo Sejima became intimate with Park Chung-hee and the Korea Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) of South Korea in 1960's. Especially, because Ryuzo Sejima and Park Chung-hee were the relations of the senior and the junior at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, Ryuzo Sejima became intimate with Park Chung-hee. By the way, Hisayuki Machii was also intimate with them.[32] Hisayuki Machii cooperated in kidnapping of Kim Dae-jung.[33] Ryuzo Sejima was able to become intimate with Chun Doo-hwan from the relations of Ryuzo Sejima and Park Chung-hee in 1980 because Chun Doo-hwan had been worshiping Park Chung-hee.

When Yoshio Kodama died on January 17, 1984, Ryuzo Sejima was also intimate with the U.S. Government and the CIA as if Ryuzo Sejima succeeded the work of Yoshio Kodama.

Ryuzo Sejima became the honorary post to govern NTT in June, 1986. Ryuzo Sejima managed the telephone records etc. of users of NTT and offered those information to the United States side.

Brent Scowcroft etc. had come in contact with Ryuzo Sejima.

The Japan Forum For Strategic Studiesscandal[34] was established on March 1, 1999. Ryuzo Sejima became the chairman of the Japan Forum For Strategic Studiesscandal.

References[edit]

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