A new book by Eric Lichtblau, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men
, apparently details how the FBI and CIA hired over 1,000 Nazis during the height of the cold war
, forgiving them their past sins, so long as they might help spy on the Soviet Union.
At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.
The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.”
You can argue whether or not this moral cost-benefit analysis was reasonable, but it appears that the CIA further sought to block investigations into those Nazis for some of their war crimes -- which seems to tilt the balance pretty strongly in favor of immoral.
And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official.
Meanwhile, the FBI was carefully hiding those Nazis from the Justice Department (which the FBI is a part of), even though the DOJ had a department trying to find them:
In 1980, F.B.I. officials refused to tell even the Justice Department’s own Nazi hunters what they knew about 16 suspected Nazis living in the United States.
The bureau balked at a request from prosecutors for internal records on the Nazi suspects, memos show, because the 16 men had all worked as F.B.I. informants, providing leads on Communist “sympathizers.” Five of the men were still active informants.
Oh, and then there's the fact that Hoover not only protected the Nazis, but he went after journalists who were investigating the US's hiding of those Nazis:
In 1968, Mr. Hoover authorized the F.B.I. to wiretap a left-wing journalist who wrote critical stories about Nazis in America, internal records show. Mr. Hoover declared the journalist, Charles Allen, a potential threat to national security.
John Fox, the bureau’s chief historian, said: “In hindsight, it is clear that Hoover, and by extension the F.B.I., was shortsighted in dismissing evidence of ties between recent German and East European immigrants and Nazi war crimes. It should be remembered, though, that this was at the peak of Cold War tensions.”
Kinda thinking that we shouldn't even bother with comments on this article, because the CIA and FBI have already hit Godwin's Law