This book would not exist were it not for the Freedom of Information Act. I am grateful to attorneyElaine English, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, attorneys Lee Levine and GregoryBurton from the Washington, D.C., law firm of Ross, Dixon and Masback, and Robert Gellman of Congressman Glen English’s Government Information Subcommittee for helping me with FOIArequests.Government agencies’ responses to my FOIA requests ranged from helpful to outrightobstructionist. On the helpful side, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, theFBI, and Army intelligence deserve the highest praise for upholding the spirit of the FOIA. The U.S.Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, was a major source of information; many INSCOM dossiers are cited in the endnotes. My research was helped immensely in1986 when I won an FOIA appeal in which the Department of Army counsel ruled that I could receiveINSCOM files of living Paperclip scientists because the public’s right to know outweighed thescientists’ privacy rights under the law. I thank FOIA director Robert J. Walsh, former FOIA directorTom Conley, Marcia Galbreath, and others at INSCOM for working so conscientiously on myrequests through the years.I am especially grateful to the archivists and declassifiers at the National Archives and RecordsService in Washington and the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland, whohelped me get thousands of Paperclip records declassified under the FOIA. John Taylor, the lateJohn Mendelsohn, Ed Reese, Richard Boylan, George Wagner, William Lewis, Will Mahoney, JoAnn Williamson, Terri Hammett, Harry Rilley, and Sally Marks generously shared their knowledgeand their humor while helping me locate documents to piece together this story.At the other end of the scale lies the U.S. Army Materiel Command. I obtained six thousandEdgewood Arsenal documents in
but it took more than a year, two attorneys, and athreatened lawsuit to get the records. My FOIA request was filed in May
for documents heldin Army custody at the Washington National Records Center. A month later I was told that I couldinspect the records. However, when I arrived at the WNRC, an Army employee showed me formsthat indicated that seven boxes had been checked out to Edgewood’s historian and twelve additionalboxes were “missing.” Then Army Materiel circled its wagons, denied that the records existed, andlater tried to charge me
in “search fees.” The Army counsel’s answer to my formal appealof those charges was as outrageous as the fee. “The Army’s funds were appropriated for the nationaldefense, not to aid aspiring authors,” counsel Thomas F. Kranz replied. The documents were finallyreleased after numerous meetings between attorneys on both sides. I am grateful to attorneys LeeLevine and Gregory Burton for helping me obtain the documents.Other government agencies, archives, and libraries that provided assistance include the U.S.Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, the Library of Congress, the Harry S. TrumanLibrary, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, the Franklin Roosevelt Library, the Hoover Institute atStanford University, the Center for Military History in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Army MilitaryHistory Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, the history offices at Brooks, Maxwell andBolling Air Force bases, the Office of Naval History, the National Institutes of Health, the Inter-American Defense Board, the Department of Commerce, NASA’s history office,and the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. Private organizations include the National SecurityArchives, the AntiDefamation League of B’nai B’rith, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.I am especially appreciative of those who encouraged my research from the beginning: MichaelJennings for providing invaluable assistance with research and interviews; Len Ackland, editor of the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
for publishing my coverup story in
theInvestigative Reporters and Editors for honoring that story with its prestigious award; Yaffa Eliach
and Brana Gurewitsch from the Center for Holocaust Studies in Brooklyn; Albert Arbor, EddieBecker, Jerry Eisenberg, Benjamin Eisenstadt, Jack Eisner, Shirley Eisner, Samuel Indenbaum,Dennis King, Hanna Klein, Frank Kuznik, John Loftus, Abram Medow, the Memorial Foundationfor Jewish Culture, Dan Moldea, Eli Rosenhaum, Martin Salinger, Julius Schatz, and CherylSpaulding; and Jerry Fitzhenry, my agent Leona Schecter, and my parents, Fred and Winifred Hunt,for their unwavering belief that the American public has a right to know this story.
AMERICAN soldiers fighting in World War II had barely laid down their guns when hundreds of German and Austrian scientists, including a number implicated in Nazi war crimes, beganimmigrating to the United States. They were brought here under a secret intelligence project code-named “Paperclip.” Ever since, the U.S. government has successfully promoted the lie thatPaperclip was a short-term operation limited to a few postwar raids on Hitler’s hoard of scientifictalent. The General Accounting Office even claims that the project ended in
All of which is sheer propaganda. For the first time ever, this’ book reveals that Paperclip wasthe biggest, longest-running operation involving Nazis in our country’s history. The projectcontinued nonstop until
longer than was previously thought. And remnants of it arestill in operation today.2
At least sixteen hundred scientific and research specialists and thousands of their dependentswere brought to the U. S. under Operation Paperclip. Hundreds of others arrived under two otherPaperclip-related projects and went to work for universities, defense contractors, and CIA fronts.The Paperclip operation eventually became such a juggernaut that in
one Americanambassador characterized it as “a continuing U.S. recruitment program which has no parallel in anyother Allied country.”3
The lie that Paperclip ended in the
has conveniently concealed some of the most damninginformation about the project-in particular the shocking revelation that one of the intelligence officerswho ran it was a spy. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Whaler, was the highest-placedAmerican military officer ever convicted of espionage. Despite the extensive publicity devoted toWhalen’s trial in the 1960s, exactly what he did for the joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was not disclosed.This book reveals that in 1959 and 1960 Whalen was at the helm of the joint Intelligence ObjectivesAgency (JIOA)-which means he was running Paperclip at the same time he was selling America’sdefense secrets to Soviet intelligence agents.
The full extent of the Soviet penetration of Paperclip remains unknown, since Whalen shreddedthousands of documents. But this much is clear: justified as being run in the interest of nationalsecurity, Paperclip instead posed a serious security threat. In addition to Whalen’s activities, there isevidence that the Soviets had penetrated the project almost from the beginning. Almost anything waspossible, given the JIOA officers’ lax investigations of the foreign scientists’ backgrounds
The legacy of Paperclip is said to be the moon rockets, jet planes, and other scientificachievements that were a product of postwar research in this country. This is true-as far as it goes.What the project’s defenders fail to mention is that its legacy also includes the horrificpsychochemical experiments conducted on American soldiers at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, theU.S. Army center for chemical warfare research. In this book you’ll meet eight Paperclip scientistswho worked at Edgewood between 1947 and 1966 developing nerve gas and psychochemicals such asLSD. But Edgewood’s contribution to the Paperclip legacy could not have been made by the Germansalone. The disturbing truth is that American doctors were the ones who sifted through grimconcentration camp reports and ultimately used Nazi science as a basis for Dachau-like experimentson over seven thousand U.S. soldiers.6
Paperclip’s legacy has its roots in the cold war philosophy espoused by the intelligence officerswho ran the operation. Their motives, schemes, and coverup efforts are a logical focus for this book,since those are what shaped Paperclip from the beginning. Moreover, the military’s secret agendawas far different from the one foisted on the American public. At its heart was an unshakableconviction that the end justified the means. The officers who ran Paperclip were determined to use
any means necessary to keep Nazi scientists out of Russian hands, even if that meant violating U. S.laws and foreign policy.There may be no better example of the officers’ brazen disregard for U.S. policies than the actionthey took in 1948. As first revealed in an article in the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
JIOAofficers simply changed the records of those scientists they wanted, expunging evidence of warcrimes and ardent nazism. Though this meant directly defying an order given by President Truman,JIOA Director Bosquet Wev excused the action by asserting that the government’s concern over”picayune details” such as Nazi records would result in “the best interests of the United States[being] subjugated to the efforts expended in beating a dead Nazi horse.”7The repercussions of the JIOA officers’ actions are still being felt today. One example is retiredNASA rocket engineer Arthur Rudolph, who left this country in 1984 rather than face war crimescharges. His case has attracted a bizarre assortment of defenders bent on bringing him back to theUnited States -including a U.S. congressman with alleged organized crime connections. On May14, 1990, Congressman James A. Traficant of Ohio told a group of Rudolph’s friends inHuntsville, Alabama, that the rocket scientist’s problems were caused by a “powerful Jewishlobby” and warned: “If tonight it’s Rudolph, who is it tomorrow?” That question undoubtedlymade several of Rudolph’s colleagues in the audience uncomfortable, since their wartime Naziactivities are also being scrutinized by justice Department prosecutors.
Other activities covered in this book that have not been
examined up to now or that take onnew significance in light of Paperclip’s true history include:• the expansion of JIOA’s intelligence operation in 1948 to include Project National Interest,which brought a convicted Nazi war criminal, an ex-Nazi spy, and other ardent Nazis to theUnited States to work for universities and defense contractors;• how the CIA used National Interest as a cover to slip covert CIA operatives overseas into theUnited States;• how another JIOA project, called “63,” signed up Nuremberg defendant Kurt Blome, convictedNazi war criminal Eduard Houdremont, and other notorious individuals while the JIOA ran theoperation out of a New York hotel;-details of a scheme by U.S. Air Force General Robert L. Walsh, Director of Intelligence,European Command, to intervene in court decisions involving ex-Nazi intelligence officersworking for postwar U.S. intelligence in Germany;• details of another scheme by Walsh, who, as head of the Inter-American Defense Board,relocated notorious German General Walter Schreiber from the United States to Argentina; • howWhalen’s Paperclip recruits in 1959 included a former Wehrmacht soldier who was working as adishwasher in Canada;• how an alliance formed in 1985 between political extremist Lyndon LaRouche and formerPaperclip scientists tried to shut down the justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit;• details of another scheme in 1986 to squelch the Justice Department’s investigations of formerPaperclip specialists Guenther Haukohl and Dieter Grau;• how NASA publicly honored those same men in a 1987 ceremony commemorating Wernhervon Braun;• how Rudolph’s friends tried to bring him back in 1990 to attend a NASA moon walk celebration, despite laws barring his entry into the United States.In essence this book deals with a hauntingly familiar and contemporary subject: a small groupof men in the Pentagon who decided that they alone knew what was best for the country. “Andthat, I think, is the real danger hen,” said former U.S. congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, whoauthored the 1978 immigration law that bars Nazis from our shores.
“We have agencies that think that they are a law unto themselves, that regardless of what the law of the land is, regardless of what the president of the United States says, they’ll do whatever they think is best for themselves.
And that’s very dangerous. “
1. General Accounting Office,
Nazis and Axis Collaborators Were Used to Further U.S. Anti-Communist Objectives in Europe-Some Immigrated to the United States
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 28 June 1985).2.
Federal Register, 10
August 1989.3. Ambassador James Conant to Secretary of State, 13 July 1956, State Department “Operation Paperclip” microfiche,Civil Reference Branch, RG 59, NARS (hereafter cited as State fiche).4. U.S. v.
CR 4360 (E.D. Va., 1966) (hereafter cited as
5. One example was Soviet mole Donald Maclean’s influence over which scientists were hired. See John Loftus,
The Belarus Secret
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982).6. For a good overview of the Edgewood experiments see Colonel James R. Taylor and Major William Johnson,Inspectors General, “Research Report Concerning the Use of Volunteers in Chemical Agent Research,” pre pared for theDepartment of the Army, 21 July 1975 (obtained under the FOIA). See also U.S.
483 U.S. 669 (1987) (hereaftercited as
7. Linda Hunt, “U.S. Coverup of Nazi Scientists,”
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
April 1985, p. 24.8. Traficant’s speech at the Huntsville Holiday Inn, 12 May 1990, was sponsored by the Friends of Arthur Rudolph;for information on Traficant’s Mafia ties see Dan Moldea, “Mafia and the Congressman,”
19 April1985.9. Author interview with Elizabeth Holtzman.