DOJ Report: Striving for Accountability in the Aftermath of the Holocaust

America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors.” (DOJ Report. Striving for Accountability in the Aftermath of the Holocaust, 2006)

In 2010, a secret 600-page Department of Justice report by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the DOJ’s Nazi-hunting unit of DOJ, providing previously undisclosed evidence about the level of CIA’s complicity and deception in shielding Nazi war criminals, and the effort by high level officials in the CIA and within the DOJ to sabotage the OSI prosecutions. The report is posted on The New York Times website here.

The DOJ report was initiated by Mark Richard, senior lawyer at the DOJ in 1999, and was completed in 2006. It was approved by Attorney General Janet Reno, but her successor, Eric Holder stamped it “classified” and refused to allow public access. Mr. Richard died of cancer in 2009 broken hearted at the denial of public access. Only after David Sobel filed a lawsuit for its release on behalf of the National Security Archive did the DOJ begin processing the report for release. This meant that it was heavily redacted of “embarrassing” segments. A heavily redacted version of the report was released to the Archive – 1,000 passages are whited out. (Compare texts at NYT website and at the National Security Archive).

Embarrassment suffered by public officials is the price they pay for public power. It goes with the territory, but here, their coverup is not nearly as bad as the crime, which was to shelter Nazi war criminals in the name of national security. This the public needs to know and has a right to know.” Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.

Following the NYT article about the content of the report by Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Lichtblau, CIA’s Director of Public Affairs, George Little wrote a letter to the editor in which he denied the evidence documented by the Justice Department:

“We would like to make clear that the agency at no time had a policy or a program to protect Nazi war criminals, or to help them escape justice for their actions during the war….The CIA has cooperated for decades with the [ ] Office of Special Investigation.”

Previously unexamined documents are the source of Pulitzer Prize winner, Eric Lichtblau’s new book, The Nazis Next Door (2014). These show that Nazi intelligence agents whom officials in the CIA and the FBI so admired and paid highly for their services, were untrustworthy:

There are all sorts of files that I examined showing that they—not shockingly in hindsight, that the Nazis were found to be liars and cheats and embezzlers, and in a couple cases they were even found to be Soviet double agents. So, not only do they have the incredible baggage of being Nazis, but they were not even good spies.”