Saturday, October 22, 2016
the US unwittingly played into Soviet propaganda that the US was really no different than the Nazis themselves.
In addition, as Simpson make very clear, much of what these former Nazis fed the OSS and CIA as information on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe turned out to be baseless, and in many cases their spy networks turned out to have been deeply compromised by the USSR. The spy networks consistently overestimated the actual military threat posed by the USSR. But as Simpson points out, these CIA paid assets had ever incentive to overstate the danger. They were on the payroll, and as long as the Soviet menace appeared imminent, they would remain so. But start to say that there was no threat and the gravy train might come to an abrupt halt. Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, anyone?
Finally, because they fed the CIA, which admittedly had few Company assets on the ground in Eastern Europe after the war, a steadily hawkish line about the USSR and its intentions, they helped to contribute to the shrill political hysteria that emerged. I don't want to be misunderstood: the Soviet Union was evil, its methods vile and I don't weep any tears for its demise. But in our fear and in our ignorance, we made serious policy errors in those post-war years, and in doing so, we relied to a significant degree on people we should have known better than to trust: a group of ex-Nazis and collaborators who we knew were guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Further, as I have suggested here, we helped inculcate our national security apparatus with a view that the ends always justified the means, and that as intelligence gatekeepers, the CIA was not bound by US law or public policy, but merely by its own secret determination of what was in the country's best interests.