In late 1942, Washington received an improbable offer from the Vatican.
A high Papal Secretariat offered to furnish first hand information on strategic bombing targets in Japan. The roundabout transfer of documents took only days and became known as the Vessell project. In Rome, the project was headed by Cardinal Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI. On the OSS side the project was headed by Earl Brennan, a State Department veteran and Republican member of the New Hampshire legislator. Brennan had befriended the leaders of the powerful Italian Masonic Order when he was assigned to the American embassy in Italy during the first year of Mussolini’s rule.
Brennan had also befriended some of the leaders of the Italian Mafia that had been exiled in Canada. David Bruce, the OSS chief in London and the husband of Paul Mellon’s sister, Ailsa thought Brennan’s connections would be useful and was the one who recruited Brennan into the OSS.
Following the Torch landings in North Africa Brennan decided to send some of his agents into Algiers to begin planning for the infiltration operations of Italy. One of his agents was denied a passport by the State Department because of his past subversive activities. Brennan then checked with Martin Dies, the chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee as to why the passport was rejected. On investigation, it was determined that the agent had been labeled as a subversive because he had provided legal counsel for a union strike in which the management had labeled as communist inspired. Once the offending remark was removed Brennan’s agents then departed for North Africa in early 1943.
Following their departure for North Africa, Brennan’s remaining staff became occupied with the Vessell project. However, OSS responsibilities for Italian espionage were preempted by the Office of Naval Intelligence. A mysterious deal had been reached with the American Mafia. The notorious mobster, Lucky Luciano would be paroled, in return for which the Mafia agreed to use its criminal syndicate in Sicily. This deal was arranged by Assistant New York District Attorney, Murray Gurfein. Gurfein would later become an OSS colonel in Europe. Brennan was kept only partially informed of the developments at the insistence of Major George White, director of counter espionage training and a veteran official of the federal Narcotics Bureau.32 Was the OSS setting up a drug smuggling operation here as they did in Southeast Asia?
While much interest was put forth on the Vessel Project, but the source was never checked out thoroughly, and was proven later to be false, causing much embarrassment to the OSS. On March 13, 1945, the House military affairs committed announced it was investigating the loyalty of fourteen soldiers who were labeled as communists. Among the fourteen was Lt. Irving Goff. Goff had left wing sympathies and had been ordered to make contact with the communist cells after the fall of Naples in late 1943. Once the contact was made, following orders, he turned it over to his commanding officer. The Goff mission was to set up contacts with the communist cells in northern Italy and to obtain OSS safe houses. By all standards, this was an outstanding success. Some concerns arose in 1945 in military circles that Goff’s agents were using the clandestine network to pass communist propaganda although no evidence of such surfaced. Charges and counter charges flowed back and forth between the military and the OSS. In the end Donovan was forced to have Goff and his men sent back to the United States in June although no evidence ever existed that they allowed communist propaganda to flow on the network they had set up.130
Of all the behind the lines missions in northern Italy the communist cells were the most active and fiercest. Mussolini was captured by a communist cell. Networks in northern Italy aligned under other political lines were less effective and in many cases inactive. The participation of the communist cells was crucial for the success of the last offensive launched in northern Italy on April 1, 1945. This offensive involved first a massive bombardment followed by and assault by the Fifth Army. A massive insurrection by partisan forces was crucial to the success of this plan.
Many of those forces were first contacted and armed by Goff's group. Over 180,000 partisans had been trained by allied forces to attack the rear of German forces once the offensive started. The success of the offensive allowed allied forces to drive into Austria ahead of Soviet forces.
The communist witch-hunt in congress risked the success of the invasion, the lives of thousands and also risked prolonging the war in northern Italy. Donovan did the honorable thing in the Goff affair by standing by his men and seeing to it that they were awarded the metals they deserved.
In France General de Gaulle’s Bureau Cebtral de renseignements et d’Action (BCRA) accused the OSS of scheming to weaken and divide the underground forces all for the benefit of Giraud. The BCRA traced the plot to Switzerland and Allen Dulles. Early in 1943, Dulles had made contact with Guillain de Benouville, a conservative Catholic once active in right wing circles. De Benouville declared himself a Guallist however; the BCRA remained suspicious dues to his previous membership in a Giraud organization. While there were factions in both the Untied States and England that preferred Giraud over de Gaulle, de Gaulle had emerged as the leader of the French underground.
However, one additional hurdle had to be overcome before the Normandy invasion. Before the launching of Operation Overlord agents had to be placed inside of France. In May 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt had committed themselves to the 1944 invasion plan. However, one thorn remained in the side of the OSS, the British MI6 intelligence unit regarded the OSS as an upstart junior partner. It wasn’t until May 29, 1943 at the urging of David Bruce and SI chief, William Maddox that the OSS was granted equal partnership with MI6.
In October 1944, the allied forces had overtaken the Jedburgh and SUSSEX groups implanted in France by the OSS and MI6. With Allied forces stalled at the Siegfried line, allied headquarters was demanding intelligence reports from inside Germany. Amazing, as it may seem the OSS had only four men inside Germany at the time of the Battle of the Bulge. The OSS then had to rely on the work of Arthur Goldberg and his labor branch. As an emergency measure William Casey, a former Wall Street Attorney was given overall control of all German projects. By the spring of 1945, the OSS had managed to place 150 men inside Germany at such rail centers as Leipzig. 33
While Dulles primary mission in Berne was German espionage, he worked closely with forces in Italy. The Allied army would have been devoid of any German intelligence had it not been for the SI branch in Italy ran by Alfred Ulmer a former Florida newspaper correspondent and advertising executive. In Italy, Ulmer had set up a special section to handle German-Austria intelligence.
Dulles traveled to Washington in October 1944 for a top-level conference. There Dulles met an attractive Swiss born OSS analyst, Mrs. Emmy Rado the wife of a Hungarian psychiatrist. Dulles was somewhat of a lady’s man and had several affairs throughout his career. Mrs. Rado proposed that the Catholic and Protestant churches could be used as a base for German political reconstruction. She thought the OSS could work effectively through the World Council of Churches to aid anti-Nazis clergymen. Dulles thought the idea had merit and invited the Mrs. Rado to join him in Berne.34 Reliance on the German clergy shortly proved to be a catastrophic failure as well as a major embarrassment for Dulles and Mrs. Rado. In post-war Germany, the clergy proved to be mostly pro-Nazi. The clergy that had opposed Hitler and his henchmen had been sent to the concentration camps.
On his return to Berne, Goldberg’s labor unit was being disbanded and absorbed by the SI branch of the OSS. Dulles entire staff had been replaced during his trip to Washington. Russell D’Oench, scion of the Grace Shipping Line had left London and was now posted to Zurich. William Mellon had been transferred from Madrid to Geneva. Russian émigré Valerian Lada-Mocarski was now serving as liaison officer to the Italian resistance. The Russian émigré also served on the board of directors of the Nazi-affiliated Schroeder Bank along with Allen Dulles.34
On V-E Day, J Russell Forgan, the New York financier who had
replaced David Bruce as OSS commander in Europe submitted his
resignation to Donovan and suggested that Allen Dulles be named
instead. Donovan refused declaring Dulles a poor administrator. Forgan
and others continued pressing for the appointment of Dulles. Instead,
Donovan divided the OSS operations into single country operations
rather than under a central office and control. Dulles was appointed to
head the German office.
Unlike the British, Washington had failed to integrate the OSS into plans for post war Germany. Many of the OSS agents were appointed as high level advisors to the military government. Moreover Dulles' detachment faced formidable competition as there were no less than a score of American intelligence teams representing a dozen military and civilian agencies all working at cross purposes and searching for the same strategic information. To further hinder the OSS operation many of their agents were being siphoned off to the Pacific.
Some of the remaining personnel lacked integrity. In the fall of 1945, Army investigators exposed an incredible black market operation in Berlin. The investigation rivaled the M&M Enterprises of Catch 22 fame. Everything could be found for a price, oil, fine porcelain, cigarettes, etc. This operation was ran by an OSS major and captain. None of the operational officers were involved; it had been organized strictly by top level administrative personnel of the OSS.
In post war Germany the OSS was burdened with the denazification program. The military government authorities wanted a list of Nazi officials who should be arrested or barred from office and lists of respectable Germans who could be employed in administrative positions during the occupation.
Heading the Counter Intelligence Branch tasked with interrogating Gestapo and Abwehr officers was Andrew Berding, who later served as assistant secretary of state under Eisenhower. Berding had been stationed in London through most of the war. More recently, his name surfaces in an article in the June 27, 2000 edition of the Guardian entitlted "Britain could have saved Italian Jews" written by Julian Borger. The Guardian article relates that MI6 had detailed knowledge of the Holocaust since, it had broken the German code and was decoding German radio messages throughout the war. In particular the Guardian looks at the case of 8,000 Jews deported from Rome to the gas chambers. The document essential to this operation was intercepted from German headquarters in Italy to Berlin on October 6 and follows below.
"Orders have been received from Berlin by Obersturmbannfuhrer Kappler to seize and to take to northern Italy the 8,000 Jews living in Rome. They are to be liquidated."35
According to the article MI6 had intercepted a German message concerning the deportation and would have circulated it to Whitehall and Washington by October 11. The roundup occurred on October 16. The information should have been passed through Andrew Berding before reaching Washington. It is unknown when the message reached Washington or who may have received it. Certainly there was ample time during which the Allies could have warned the Jews in Rome of what was in store for them. However, there were factions in both Whitehall and Washington that ignored many of the atrocities of the Holocaust labeling them as exaggerated.
Eli Rosenbaum, the director of the US justice department office of special investigations, has stated that a number of Nazi officers could have been prosecuted on the strength of the intercepts alone and in particular Karl Wolff. Dulles was instrumental in Wolff' surrender of German forces in Italy and in protecting him from prosecution as a war criminal.
Perhaps, the best summation of the problems facing the denazification program was summed up by the OSS officer, Sterling Hayden. Hayden observed that as allied forces advanced across Germany:
"there came squirming into the light millions of anti-Nazis. It was tough, they said, waving handkerchiefs and wringing their hands with joy, to have lived under Hitler. But, only the night before they had heated water that would quickly yield this democratic douche. The real anit-Nazis were dead or in exile, or in Besden, Auschwitz, Buchenwald. Names we thought at the time that would teach us a lesson we’d never forget."36<
Pressed with incessant demands from the military government for anti-Nazis, Dulles and Hans Gaevernitz seized the opportunity to promote the political futures of those with whom they had worked. Gaevrnitz was a collaborator of Dulles in Switzerland and was involved with the many so-called peace offers discussed in the previous chapter. Dulles had only one criteria for promoting anyone--- extreme anti-communist views. Former Nazis were not excluded.
On June 6, the Mrs. Rado drove Wilhelm Hoegner, Dulles’ handpicked choice to head Bavaria from Switzerland to Germany. With the support of Dulles Hoegner soon was installed as the minister-president of Bavaria. Hoegner was an extremely anti-communist, but would soon prove to be an embarrassment to American officials.
To continue Mrs. Rado’s church project, Dulles granted OSS favors to Dr. Stewart Herman, a Lutheran minister who had been the minister of the American Church in Berlin before the war. Herman joined the OSS in 1943 as an advisor on German propaganda. After V-E Day Herman left the OSS and joined the staff of the World Churches in Geneva. He was given the task of rebuilding the Protestant church in Germany. Dulles believed the church could be used as a bulkhead against communism. The Mrs. Rado soon expanded her activities to include a project code-named "Crown Jewels." The Crown Jewels was designed to counter the Soviet’s return to Germany of Walter Ulbrichts, a German communist. Rado’s object was to return to German as quickly as possible other political leaders opposed to communism.
As allied forces advanced beyond the hedgerows of Normandy and started racing across France towards the Rhine, Donovan began planning a post-war role for the OSS. Although, the agents first objective was spying on the Axis he advised them to also begin spying on both Britain and the Soviets. In August 1944, Donovan began planning an operation that evolved into "Casey Jones" and the associated "Ground Hog" operation. One of the largest problems allied forces faced was the lack of good maps. The Casey Jones and Ground Hog projects were joint ventures with the British. The operations were ambitious in proposing to photomap approximately 2,000,000 square miles of Eastern Europe including Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and all of Russian occupied Germany.
Sixteen squadrons of American and British heavy bombers were modified for the photomapping operation. The project did not get underway until the spring of 1945. While American planes carried markings, however there is evidence that many British planes were without any markings identifying the craft.
Russia noticed the purpose of Casey Jones, presumably from their spies within British and American intelligence. The Russians were quite sensitive about violations of their airspace. On April2, 1945, General Nathan Twining commander general of the Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force reported six engagements of Russians who reportedly attacked the modified bombers. In one encounter a Mustang was shot down, the pilot was believed to be safe. On the same day the Soviets grounded all allied aircraft in Russia and refused any to enter or land within its borders. The ban was lifted only to allow a single DC3 flight to shuttle diplomats and freight between the USAAF base in Poltava and the Ukraine and Teheran.
In all Casey Jones succeeded in photographing all two million square miles of Europe and North Africa west of the line 20 degrees longitude. There could be little doubt that the Russians knew what was afloat considering the size and scope of the mission. Additionally, the Soviets were asked for permission by the State Department on three occasions to photomap Berlin, Vienna and Prague. The operation certainly increased the tensions between the east and west in the waning days of the war.131
Moreover, near the end of the war when the negotiations were taking place in San Francisco to establish the United Nations Donovan ordered his agents to infiltrate the talks. Such an action was technically against the OSS charter as the OSS was banned from operation inside the United States.
Those recruited for this job relied primarily on hosting parties
after hours judging from the liquor bills submitted by the agents.
Heading up the operation was Edward Buxton a longtime associate of
Donovan’s and the OSS. On April 26, 1945 Buxton wrote to Donovan of a
frank discussion of a conversation among Shepherd, Stalin and Molotov
concerning Yugoslavia. A short passage from that letter follows
Shepherd related to me that he told them frankly that he is having difficulties in Yugoslavia where the prevailing sentiment is that all the brains are Moscow and all the power in the Red Army, that furthermore there is a tendency to rely on Soviet only disregarding completely America and Great Britian.
Molotov told Shepherd that the approach is wrong and that although Russia will try to help as much as she can after the war is over, she, Russia herself will have to seek assistance from the United States to rebuild the devastated cities and ruined economy, that they themselves will seek loans up to 10 billions to assist in her post war rehabilitation.
Stalin told Shepherd explicitly not to try to imitate Soviet Russia. Yugoslavia is a small country in comparison to Russia and not to carry on experimentation by establishing a Soviet regime, that they will have to get along with western democracies and to arrange a democratic regime where the representatives are not appointed but elected by….133
Two bits of substantial intelligence lie buried in the passage above. First and most significant was the description of Russia’s true condition. Such an admission should have became key to post war relationships between the US and the USSR. Unfortunately, the message fell on deaf ears. The fascist right had gained power and was aching for a new war. It should have alerted the US that General Clay’s war warning message two years later was folly. Instead the message of Russian weakness was lost in the propaganda coming from right wing voices and Clay’s message was taken as serious threat.
Furthermore, this was not the only source of information about the weakness of the Soviet Union. Eisenhower observed that a war in Europe was highly unlikely because the Russians were too busy pulling up the track from the railroads to send back to the homeland. Without the railroads Russia lacked any means to move massive amounts of equipment and troops forward. Secondly, the U.S. had captured the latest Russian coding equipment as reported earlier in this chapter.
The second bit of intelligence explains the geopolitical post
politics in the Balkans. Yugoslavia did go communist under Tito.
However, Yugoslavia always remained alienated and independent of
Russia. The CIA failed to recognize the significance of the power Tito
held until after his death and the country crumbled into various
warring factions that present a threat to the peace in the area
Donovan should not be view as above suspicion. It is well known that when Donovan thought the Republicans would have a good chance in the election he packed the OSS with Republican recruits earning the OSS the derisive moniker of the Republican Club. Donovan had his own ties with Wall Street and big money. While still in Buffalo, Donovan represented J. P. Morgan and during the Nye Senate investigations of the 1930s on war profiteering during WWI Donovan was the attorney for the du Ponts. During the war and in its’ aftermath Donovan could have overlooked the connections of his former clients with the Nazis, perhaps in the belief of his former clients' innocence. However, the one factor that sets Donovan apart from others in the OSS hierarchy that were connected with Wall Street--- such as Allen Dulles--- is Donovan certainly did not base his overlook on personal gain. Unlike Dulles and the rest of the OSS hierarchy from Wall Street, Donovan died with only modest means. After his estate was settled, his wife received a check for the remaining balance of thirty eight thousand dollars.
The academicians within Dulles’ branch of Research and Analysis were held in suspect by both Dulles and their superiors. Donovan’s use of those on the left had always infuriated the FBI, factions within the State Department, and some members of congress. The FBI frequently demanded the dismissal of members of the Research and Analysis unit. As the end of the war approached more agents with leftist views were purged. Only weeks before the end of the war in Europe the House Un-American Activities Committee found a red herring in the Russian born economist, Paul Baran. Once the leftist had been purged from the Research and Analysis unit the focus shifted to the preparation for the war crimes trials. Donovan was assigned as .the US Deputy Prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials until he resigned in a dispute over policy with the Chief Prosecutor, former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. Ralph Albrecht a former New York international lawyer and the OSS assistant Director was also on the prosecutor team.
While the purging of anyone from the leftists in the OSS hindered the investigations and prosecution of Nazi war criminals, it also set the stage for the disbanding of the OSS. In 1944, Donovan submitted a memo to FDR outlining the creation of a permanent American intelligence agency. The top-secret memo was leaked to a Washington reporter with the Chicago Times. The Times printed a series of articles written by Walter Trohan critical of the establishment of a permanent intelligence agency. Trohan had presented the draft proposal verbatim even though the document was classified as top secret. Trohan, however, was close to J. Edgar Hoover. Once again no charges or investigation would follow, some fascists were too large to be prosecuted.
Once again the Chicago Times was the recipient of top secret documents and publishing any part of the content would be an act of subversion. The Times benefactor that provided Donovan’s memo to them is known with certainty--- It was leaked by J. Edgar Hoover. A congressional uproar soon followed led by the same pro-fascist faction that sought to keep America out of the war. At the time Roosevelt tabled the whole matter only to revive it in April 1945, a week later Roosevelt died.
No other agency had so much ridicule, embarrassment and criticism heaped on it during the war than the OSS. The fate of the OSS was as predetermined as if it had been created under a dark star. The embarrassing incidents, the criticism and congressional investigations all served as fuel for its final demise. At the center of this controversy was Bill Donovan, an intensely loyal and honest man. &
None of this, however, addressed the controversy of actually maintaining an intelligence agency. Truman facing increasing wrath from the Republican Party and an uphill election for the Democrats in 1946 had little use for an agency that had been referred to derisively as the Republican Club throughout the war. Donovan was a Republican, was not immune to playing politics, and he recruited Republicans heavily before an election in the first days of the OSS.
On the other hand, Donovan had angered conservatives and Republicans by hiring liberals, socialists and even some communists. From the day Donovan was appointed to the position as head of the OSS, he had but one job--- to destroy the Axis war machine and he would hire anyone who was able to aid him in that cause. Donovan did the honorable thing and stood by his men, even in the case of a congressional investigation labeling some of his agents as communist in the Goff affair. They had done an admirable job in helping to defeat the Nazis in northern Italy and Donovan saw to it that they received appropriate citations and medals for their work despite the congressional accusations. Lesser men would have stood idly by. Therein, lies the root cause for the short-lived fate of the OSS.
Donovan had came with too much political baggage. As the assistant attorney general in the 1920s, Donovan had almost cost J. Edgar Hoover his job. However Hoover was not the only heavy weight enemy Donovan had made. During the same time, Donovan approved a case to go to trial that charged Senator Burton Wheeler with using his influence to obtain oil and gas leases for a friend and client. Wheeler was acquitted of the charges, and when he returned to Washington he was embittered and never ceased to attack Donovan.127
FDR believed Herbert Hoover had treated Donovan badly in passing him by for a cabinet position, and this was one of the factors in Roosevelt’s selection of Donovan to head up the OSS. Hoover had informed Donovan that he would have a cabinet position but not as the Attorney General. However, Hoover would only offer Donovan the position of Governor-General of the Philippines. While the position was considered the stepping stone Taft used on his way to the White House,128 Donovan refused the position. A myriad of reasons have been given for Hoover's passing Donovan over for a cabinet position but, it seems most likely due to Donovan’s first hand knowledge of the Belgium Relief Fund. This fund was merely a front to supply Germany with food and prolong the war. Donovan had been of the investigators the US had sent to Belgium to investigate the fund.
Donovan’s lack of administrative experience (Donovan was a poor administrator as he preferred being in the field.) and his opposition to prohibition were advanced as reasons for being passed over. However, Donovan’s record on upholding prohibition was well known from his days as city prosecutor in Buffalo. There he had raided an elite club of which he was a member. The city fathers were less than pleased. But to Donovan if an Irish railroad worker could be arrested for prohibition so could the city fathers. The law was the law and to hell with the commotion; it applied equally to the rich was Donovan’s view.
It is more likely that Donovan's knowledge of the Belgium Relief Fund caused Hoover to pass him over. Not only did Hoover pass Donovan over for a cabinet position he wanted to isolate him outside of the United States in case any of Hoover’s past dealings with the Belgium Relief Fund or stock swindles surfaced. Donovan would have been relentless investigating his boss if he had been appointed Attorney General.
Donovan also, had incurred the wrath of William Howard Taft by 1928. The former President and Chief Justice at that time had wrote a letter to his son that found its way to Hoover’s hand that Donovan would be an unsuitable candidate for Attorney General. 129 Besides these heavyweight enemies, Donovan and the OSS also faced opposition from the State Department and military intelligence units that viewed the OSS as infringing on their territory. Facing abundant political foes the OSS would be disbanded shortly.
The final blow to Donovan’s aspirations to head up a peacetime intelligence service came from the pen of Drew Pearson, the well-known columnist. Attorney General Francis Biddle was engaging in a dangerous game of passing secret documents to Pearson in an effort to discredit both Donovan and the OSS. On April 27, 1945 Pearson wrote:
"By the thread of one man's life hung personal relationships which affected nations. Prime Ministers and potentates, once close to Franklin Roosevelt, now must learn how to get along with an unknown gentleman in the White House. Certain Army-Navy officials, who always knew how Roosevelt would react on this and that, now must do business with a man they once criticized. To illustrate how the pendulum of fate has swung, here are some of those who will miss Franklin Roosevelt most. .
Gen. "Wild Bill" Donovan-of the Office of Strategic Services, sometimes called the "Cloak and Dagger Club," or "Oh So Social," will miss Roosevelt terribly. Donovan ran the giant espionage outfit which tried to find out what was going on behind enemy lines, and he had accumulated the most bizarre assortment of female spies, social register bluebloods and anti-Roosevelt haters ever seen in Washington. As an old personal friend, Roosevelt gave him free reign [sic], including grandiose plans for a postwar espionage service. Truman does not like peacetime espionage and will not be so lenient."134
A few days later Pearson wrote:
". . the Russians are probably most suspicious of the mysterious United States espionage organization called OSS. The OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, has, strangely, distributed some of the most powerful bankers' representatives in the U.S.A. at key points where they can influence United States policy in occupied Germany.
The roster of OSS men who have been or are operating in Europe reads like a blue-stocking list of the first 60 families. It includes: Paul Mellon, son of Andrew Mellon; Junius and Henry Morgan of the House of Morgan; Alfred du Pont, Lester Armour of the Chicago Armours, Gordon Auchincloss, John Auchincloss, Warwick Potter, Harold Coolidge, William Van Allen of the Astor family, and Allan [sic] Dulles, attorney for various international bankers with previous connections in Germany.
Some of these may not deserve the suspicion focussed upon them. But others more than make up for it. And anyone listening for more than 30 minutes to their conversation about the next war and building up Germany as a partner in that war can understand why the Russians wrongly accused us of a deal to permit the American Army to enter Berlin first.
This is the kind of underlying suspicion which must be killed immediately and permanently if the machinery of San Francisco is to bring about permanent peace. "134
As the world diplomats were gathering in San Francisco to form the Untied Nations. Pearson charged Donovan with planning a war against Russia. In reality no plans for war with the Soviets was existed until March 1946. Even then the Pincher series were not real war plans. The first formal war plan against Russia was devised on July 29, 1947.
Pearson was not concerned with the truth of the situation. However, his broadcast confirmed the worst fears of the Soviets and only fanned their distrust of the allies further. Excerpts from the broadcast follows below:
"Washington: General William J. Donovan, Office of Strategic Services, has Just received from his overzealous aides a detailed plan for American war on Russia. I am sure that General Donovan himself and the more responsible members of his super-spy organization had nothing to do with these plans, but I suggest that stupidity like this which, if it leaks to me, will also leak to others, including the Russians, causes distrust between the Allies just as we are trying to end this war and build up a plan to end all wars.
A series of secret cables sent by General William Donovan, of the Office of Strategic Services (nicknamed "Oh-so-Secret"), to Russell Forgan, former Chicago banker, now in Paris, is intriguing other U.S. officials. Donovan wired Forgan to interrogate directors of the giant Nazi cartel I. G. Farben, now seized by the United States Army. <
This is the company which collaborated with Standard Oil of New Jersey and the Aluminum Corporation of America to keep vitally important patents for synthetic rubber, magnesium, and high octane gasoline from the American public at a time when it was essential to use those patents for war.
One cable from Donovan to Forgan in Paris reads:
"I have already asked you to send names of I. G. Farben now in custody. From now on these men should be kept from one another, particularly when the interrogation begins. Files of I. G. Farben should be seized and sent to Paris at once in our custody. This is most important. Essential that we keep control of these men."
What intrigues other U.S. officials is that Donovan's OSS is dominated by actions of the Mellons, the J. P. Morgans and big banking and industrial houses, some of them interested in German patents. . . . Other Government officials are also puzzled as to why the OSS, rather than the Justice Department, should pounce upon I. G. Farben executives. There might be quiet probing of this.
Note-Attorney General Biddle recently told senators: "Many cartel arrangements necessarily disrupted "during the European phase of the war are now being resumed. Meetings have been held, plans have been held, plans have been laid [sic], and in some cases agreements already entered into. As to some of these agreements, my department will have something to say before long." Reaction of senators is that big business never learns."134
The quoted telegram was almost the exact text of a secret signal sent to Donovan. It had been sent to Donovan on April 30, 1945 over the ultra secure Telekrypton circuit. Donovan once again assigned Doering to investigate the leak. All evidence pointed towards Biddle, however, no charges were ever filed. Note how soon after Roosevelt’s death that Biddle passed this information to Pearson.
On September 20, 1945, President Truman issued an executive order disbanding the OSS. The OSS organization was then dispersed among other agencies. The Secret Intelligence and Special Operations branches were transferred to the War Department and placed under the command of former OSS General John Magruder. This was nothing more than a caretaker body to dismember the unit. Magruder, protesting the wholesale dismembering of his unit resigned in February.
The Research and Analysis branch headed by Aldred McCormack, a New York corporation lawyer was transferred to the State Department. Congressional critics of the OSS simply decimated McCormack’s budget with the help of current State Department officials. The Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Spruille Braden led the charge to disband the group. In front of a congressional committee, Braden stated.
"We resisted this invasion of all these swarms of people…mostly collectivists and do gooders and what-nots."37
Later in the 1950s Braden became a devotee of the John Birch Society.
In March 1946 while McCormack struggled for funding from congress, the chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee charged that a person with strong Soviet leanings had joined the State Department. McCormack demanded a retraction. Instead, congress cut the entire appropriation for his unit. The pro-fascist faction within the State Department had convinced enough influential congressmen that ex-OSS officers were far to the left and committed to a socialization of America and the redistribution of wealth on a global basis.
By mid 1946, Donovan’s OSS had been completely dismantled. The United States would be without an intelligence service. At first, it was suggested that private enterprise could provide the government with intelligence. A former OSS Deputy Director proposed to Watson of IBM the formation of a private intelligence service. The two men raised the initial venture capital. The venture was in vain as President Truman and congress created the CIA in 1947.
In the short space of a year, the government had dissolved the OSS only to recreate it under a new name. This wasn’t a case of a vacillating government. If President Truman had not signed the executive order dissolving the OSS, congress would simply have eliminated any funding for it as it did to the remnants of it in the State Department.
The disbanding of the OSS had an express purpose. The leftists within the OSS would serve as the sacrificial lambs to atone du Pont’s new feckless goddess on the altar of free enterprise. Those that had served their country gallantly during war and who were dedicated to stomping out the last vestige of fascism would now become victims to the fascists within the United States. The American industrialists who willingly supported Hitler during the war had to be protected.
The political climate by the war’s end had undergone a tremendous shift to the right. This change was not abrupt. Throughout the Roosevelt administrations, each successive administration was more conservative than the preceding one. In 1944, Truman replaced Wallace as the vice president. In 1946, the Republicans gained control of both chambers of congress. The stage was now set for a wholesale purging of the government of leftists who were dedicated to wiping out fascism.
The new CIA was a mixture of old OSS agents and military officers. The old OSS veterans soon became the dominating force within the new agency. The CIA was created with two principal divisions: Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) and the Office of Special Operations. Frank Wisner and Allen Dulles headed up the OPC branch. The Special Operations division was headed up by James Angleton and William Harvey. The CIA had but one agenda anti-communism. The fourth director of the CIA appointed by Truman was General Walter Bettle Smith. Smith in all seriousness once warned President Eisenhower that Nelson Rockefeller was a communist.
The CIA was led by three individuals who harbored no qualms about working with Nazi war criminals. Angleton, Dulles and Wisner all worked with and helped Nazi war criminals to escape from Europe. Many immigrated to the US after having their records sanitized by Dulles and others within the intelligence community.
Additionally, the CIA was given the exclusive responsibility for intelligence in South America. The FBI held this responsibility previously. Given the ambitious Hoover’s propensity to protect and expand his domain, the FBI remained cool if not frigid in its dealings with the new agency. In fact in some South America embassies, the FBI agents there destroyed their records rather than giving them to the CIA.
Although the CIA had
been created in an effort
to purge all
from the intelligence agency, it would soon feel the wrath of
McCarthyism. Loyalty oaths would soon follow. Once again following a
war, America would embark on a red scare. The resulting Cold War would
serve as a smokescreen to cover up the crimes of fascists within the
United States. No American corporation would face charges of trading
with the Nazis. None would be even charged. Dulles was adamant on that
point. He had used his post in Switzerland to protect his own dealings
with the Nazis and those of his clients. He was now in a position to
further protect those American corporations that had willingly
supported and traded with the Nazis during the war. Roosevelt’s pledge
to bring all war criminals to justice had died with him.