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New Book on Reinhard Gehlen in the works
#11
The CIA’s Worst-Kept Secret: Newly Declassified Files Confirm United States Collaboration with Nazis
Pried loose by Congress, which passed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act three years ago, a long-hidden trove of once-classified CIA documents confirms one of the worst-kept secrets of the cold war--the CIA's use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a
May 1, 2001
Martin A. Lee
Originally in Foreign Policy In Focus
“Honest and idealist … enjoys good food and wine … unprejudiced mind …”
That’s how a 1952 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessment described Nazi ideologue Emil Augsburg, an officer at the infamous Wannsee Institute, the SS think tank involved in planning the Final Solution. Augsburg’s SS unit performed “special duties,” a euphemism for exterminating Jews and other “undesirables” during the Second World War.
Although he was wanted in Poland for war crimes, Augsburg managed to ingratiate himself with the U.S. CIA, which employed him in the late 1940s as an expert on Soviet affairs. Recently released CIA records indicate that Augsburg was among a rogue’s gallery of Nazi war criminals recruited by U.S. intelligence agencies shortly after Germany surrendered to the Allies.
Pried loose by Congress, which passed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act three years ago, a long-hidden trove of once-classified CIA documents confirms one of the worst-kept secrets of the cold war–the CIA’s use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a clandestine campaign against the Soviet Union.

The CIA reports show that U.S. officials knew they were subsidizing numerous Third Reich veterans who had committed horrible crimes against humanity, but these atrocities were overlooked as the anti-Communist crusade acquired its own momentum. For Nazis who would otherwise have been charged with war crimes, signing on with American intelligence enabled them to avoid a prison term.
“The real winners of the cold war were Nazi war criminals, many of whom were able to escape justice because the East and West became so rapidly focused after the war on challenging each other,” says Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations and America’s chief Nazi hunter. Rosenbaum serves on a Clinton-appointed Interagency Working Group (IWG) committee of U.S. scholars, public officials, and former intelligence officers who helped prepare the CIA records for declassification.
Many Nazi criminals “received light punishment, no punishment at all, or received compensation because Western spy agencies considered them useful assets in the cold war,” the IWG team stated after releasing 18,000 pages of redacted CIA material. (More installments are pending.)
These are “not just dry historical documents,” insists former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the panel examining the CIA files. As far as Holtzman is concerned, the CIA papers raise critical questions about American foreign policy and the origins of the cold war.
The decision to recruit Nazi operatives had a negative impact on U.S.-Soviet relations and set the stage for Washington’s tolerance of human rights abuses and other criminal acts in the name of anti-Communism. With that fateful sub-rosa embrace, the die was cast for a litany of antidemocratic CIA interventions around the world.
The Gehlen Org
The key figure on the German side of the CIA-Nazi tryst was General Reinhard Gehlen, who had served as Adolf Hitler’s top anti-Soviet spy. During World War II, Gehlen oversaw all German military-intelligence operations in Eastern Europe and the USSR.
As the war drew to a close, Gehlen surmised that the U.S.-Soviet alliance would soon break down. Realizing that the United States did not have a viable cloak-and-dagger apparatus in Eastern Europe, Gehlen surrendered to the Americans and pitched himself as someone who could make a vital contribution to the forthcoming struggle against the Communists. In addition to sharing his vast espionage archive on the USSR, Gehlen promised that he could resurrect an underground network of battle-hardened, anti-Communist assets who were well placed to wreak havoc throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Although the Yalta Treaty stipulated that the United States must give the Soviets all captured German officers who had been involved in “eastern area activities,” Gehlen was quickly spirited off to Fort Hunt in Virginia. The image he projected during 10 months of negotiations at Fort Hunt was, to use a bit of espionage parlance, a “legend”–one that hinged on Gehlen’s false claim that he was never really a Nazi, but was dedicated, above all, to fighting Communism. Those who bit the bait included future CIA director Allen Dulles, who became Gehlen’s biggest supporter among American policy wonks.
Gehlen returned to West Germany in the summer of 1946 with a mandate to rebuild his espionage organization and resume spying on the East at the behest of American intelligence. The date is significant as it preceded the onset of the cold war, which, according to standard U.S. historical accounts, did not begin until a year later. The early courtship of Gehlen by American intelligence suggests that Washington was in a cold war mode sooner than most people realize. The Gehlen gambit also belies the prevalent Western notion that aggressive Soviet policies were primarily to blame for triggering the cold war.
Based near Munich, Gehlen proceeded to enlist thousands of Gestapo, Wehrmacht, and SS veterans. Even the vilest of the vile–the senior bureaucrats who ran the central administrative apparatus of the Holocaust–were welcome in the “Gehlen Org,” as it was called–including Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann’s chief deputy. SS major Emil Augsburg and gestapo captain Klaus Barbie, otherwise known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” were among those who did double duty for Gehlen and U.S. intelligence. “It seems that in the Gehlen headquarters, one SS man paved the way for the next and Himmler’s elite were having happy reunion ceremonies,” the Frankfurter Rundschau reported in the early 1950s.
Bolted lock, stock, and barrel into the CIA, Gehlen’s Nazi-infested spy apparatus functioned as America’s secret eyes and ears in central Europe. The Org would go on to play a major role within NATO, supplying two-thirds of raw intelligence on the Warsaw Pact countries. Under CIA auspices, and later as head of the West German secret service until he retired in 1968, Gehlen exerted considerable influence on U.S. policy toward the Soviet bloc. When U.S. spy chiefs desired an off-the-shelf style of nation tampering, they turned to the readily available Org, which served as a subcontracting syndicate for a series of ill-fated guerrilla air drops behind the Iron Curtain and other harebrained CIA rollback schemes.
Sitting Ducks for Disinformation
It’s long been known that top German scientists were eagerly scooped up by several countries, including the United States, which rushed to claim these high-profile experts as spoils of World War II. Yet all the while the CIA was mum about recruiting Nazi spies. The U.S. government never officially acknowledged its role in launching the Gehlen organization until more than half a century after the fact.
Handling Nazi spies, however, was not the same as employing rocket technicians. One could always tell whether Werner von Braun and his bunch were accomplishing their assignments for NASA and other U.S. agencies. If the rockets didn’t fire properly, then the scientists would be judged accordingly. But how does one determine if a Nazi spy with a dubious past is doing a reliable job?
Third Reich veterans often proved adept at peddling data–much of it false–in return for cash and safety, the IWG panel concluded. Many Nazis played a double game, feeding scuttlebutt to both sides of the East-West conflict and preying upon the mutual suspicions that emerged from the rubble of Hitler’s Germany.
General Gehlen frequently exaggerated the Soviet threat in order to exacerbate tensions between the superpowers. At one point he succeeded in convincing General Lucius Clay, military governor of the U.S. zone of occupation in Germany, that a major Soviet war mobilization had begun in Eastern Europe. This prompted Clay to dash off a frantic, top-secret telegram to Washington in March 1948, warning that war “may come with dramatic suddenness.”
Gehlen’s disinformation strategy was based on a simple premise: the colder the cold war got, the more political space for Hitler’s heirs to maneuver. The Org could only flourish under cold war conditions; as an institution it was therefore committed to perpetuating the Soviet-American conflict.
“The agency loved Gehlen because he fed us what we wanted to hear. We used his stuff constantly, and we fed it to everyone else–the Pentagon, the White House, the newspapers. They loved it, too. But it was hyped-up Russian bogeyman junk, and it did a lot of damage to this country,” a retired CIA official told author Christopher Simpson, who also serves on the IGW review panel and was author of Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War.
Unexpected Consequences
Members of the Gehlen Org were instrumental in helping thousands of fascist fugitives escape via “ratlines” to safe havens abroad–often with a wink and a nod from U.S. intelligence officers. Third Reich expatriates and fascist collaborators subsequently emerged as “security advisors” in several Middle Eastern and Latin American countries, where ultra-right-wing death squads persist as their enduring legacy. Klaus Barbie, for example, assisted a succession of military regimes in Bolivia, where he taught soldiers torture techniques and helped protect the flourishing cocaine trade in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
CIA officials eventually learned that the Nazi old boy network nesting inside the Gehlen Org had an unexpected twist to it. By bankrolling Gehlen, the CIA unknowingly laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet spies. Gehlen’s habit of employing compromised ex-Nazis–and the CIA’s willingness to sanction this practice–enabled the USSR to penetrate West Germany’s secret service by blackmailing numerous agents.
Ironically, some of the men employed by Gehlen would go on to play leading roles in European neofascist organizations that despise the United States. One of the consequences of the CIA’s ghoulish alliance with the Org is evident today in a resurgent fascist movement in Europe that can trace its ideological lineage back to Hitler’s Reich, through Gehlen operatives, who collaborated with U.S. intelligence.
Slow to recognize that their Nazi hired guns would feign an allegiance to the Western alliance as long as they deemed it tactically advantageous, CIA officials invested far too much in Gehlen’s spooky Nazi outfit. “It was a horrendous mistake, morally, politically, and also in very pragmatic intelligence terms,” says American University professor Richard Breitman, chairman of the IWG review panel.
More than just a bungled spy caper, the Gehlen debacle should serve as a cautionary tale at a time when post-cold war triumphalism and arrogant unilateralism are rampant among U.S. officials. If nothing else, it underscores the need for the United States to confront some of its own demons now that unreconstructed cold warriors are again riding top saddle in Washington.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#12
An older thread on Carl Oglesby can be found here on the Forum https://deeppoliticsforum.com/fora/thread-7648.html
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#13
a pdf on the Oglesby papers, now archived....

Carl Oglesby Papers
ca.1965-2004
96 boxes 67.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 514
Digital (+)
Finding aid
Part of: Famous Long Ago Archive
[Image: mums514-i001-001.jpg]Carl Oglesby, 2006. Photo by Jennifer Fels
Reflective, critical, and radical, Carl Oglesby was an eloquent voice of the New Left during the 1960s and 1970s. A native of Ohio, Oglesby was working in the defense industry in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1964 when he became radicalized by what he saw transpiring in Vietnam. Through his contacts with the Students for a Democratic Society, he was drawn into the nascent antiwar movement, and thanks to his formidable skills as a speaker and writer, rose rapidly to prominence. Elected president of the SDS in 1965, he spent several years traveling nationally and internationally advocating for a variety of political and social causes. Oglesby died of lung cancer on September 13, 2011.
In 1972, Oglesby helped co-found the Assassination Information Bureau which ultimately helped prod the U.S. Congress to reopen the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A prolific writer and editor, his major works include Containment and Change (1967), The New Left Reader (1969), The Yankee and Cowboy War (1976), and The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories (1992). The Oglesby Papers include research files, correspondence, published and unpublished writing, with the weight of the collection falling largely on the period after 1975.

Background on Carl Oglesby
An activist, writer, lecturer and teacher, Carl Oglesby has participated in, written about, and analyzed some of the most important events in the recent history of the United States. His experiences before, during and after the Vietnam War as a political activist changed the trajectory of his own life and contributed significantly to the American political discourse on many subjects such as Vietnam War, Watergate, World War II, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. In his long career as writer and activist he has addressed many issues, spoken at hundreds of universities and protests as well as traveled the United States debating various political issues.
Oglesby was born in 1935, an only child living first in Kalamazoo, Michigan and later in Akron, Ohio. He was raised in a deep-South Christian Fundamentalist environment, one he both revered and resented, later in life referring to himself as a “silent Christian.” He attended Kent State University for almost four years in the mid-fifties during which time he married Beth Rimanoczy in Kent, Ohio. In 1957, he left the university without receiving a degree. During this time, Oglesby began writing plays. His first play Season of the Beast, produced in Dallas, Texas in 1958, was promptly shut down for being a “Communistic Yankee atheist’s attack on down-home religion.” Although Oglesby didn’t know it at the time, this was not the last time he would be accused of being a Communist or an atheist.
Despite his interest in playwriting, Oglesby sought out steady work. He became a copy editor for Goodyear Aircraft Corporation for a year before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1958. There, he headed the Technical Writing Division at Bendix Systems, a defense contractor, until 1965. Although he befriended many people in Ann Arbor who were politically active, Oglesby shied away from engaging in much activism. He felt proud of his middle class home on Sunnyside Road, his family and secure job, and was reluctant to challenge the establishment that employed him. Even though Oglesby knew that Bendix was designing systems to distribute chemicals and poisons over the Vietnamese jungle, he “was not above” his work at Bendix. He and Beth were fully prepared to raise their children in the American, middle-class tradition, even if it meant not being as politically active as they would have liked.
In 1964, Oglesby began working as a writer for the Wes Vivian Congressional campaign. At a meeting, he was asked to produce a position paper on the Vietnam War in the event the issue came up during the course of the campaign. The paper Oglesby crafted not only provided him a crash course in Vietnamese history, but it also found its way into the University’s literary magazine, Generation, along with his new play The Peacemaker. The play depicted the classic feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, and the inclusion of Oglesby’s position paper in the same magazine gave his play about an age-old family feud a modern, political twist. More importantly, the unexpected publication of his position paper led him to his first introduction to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), an introduction that would change the course of his life and force him to choose what role activism would play in it.
Oglesby’s first real ideological struggle with his middle-class lifestyle and career, however, came the previous year when President Kennedy was assassinated. Despite the fact that he and his colleagues faced a looming deadline, Oglesby was concerned that the flag had not been lowered as a sign of respect to the fallen president. When he tried to urge management at Bendix to lower the flag to half mast, he encountered a strange scene in which the executives seemed actually to be celebrating Kennedy’s death. Although Oglesby continued working at Bendix for several more years, he became more and more aware that his political sensibilities might be in conflict with his safe, middle-class lifestyle. In particular, as the Vietnam War was becoming more an issue of public debate, Oglesby was forced to acknowledge that his nice, secure job in the defense industry might actually be contributing to it. Indeed, his friends in Ann Arbor began to challenge him, asking how he could reconcile his job at Bendix with his own sense of values. As it turns out, he couldn’t.
In 1965, Oglesby went with a friend to a meeting of the local SDS chapter. At the time, SDS was in desperate need of literature to distribute in response to the many requests they received for information about Vietnam, and Oglesby’s position paper soon became their official response. Later that same year he traveled to Kewadin, Michigan to attend a national meeting of SDS. At this meeting, members hotly debated whether to eliminate the offices of president and vice president on the grounds that such roles were elitist. Oglesby spoke out against the measure claiming that an elected national leader speaking on behalf of the group would be held accountable by its members, ensuring that the SDS message would not become diluted or confused. Oglesby further argued that SDS needed a unified, national identity in order to ensure that all SDS chapters were working towards the same goals and the public was hearing the same consistent message.
After voting to keep the national officers, the members moved to elect a new president for SDS. According to Oglesby, he was nominated along with about a dozen other people. After many of the nominees declined their nominations and two rounds of balloting, Oglesby was finally elected. Although he had only attended a few meetings, he was now the national president of SDS. Having no idea of the drastic turn his life was about to take, Oglesby returned home and began his year-long tenure as the president of the most radical student organization in America.
This unexpected turn of events caused great upheaval for the Oglesby family. As president of SDS, Oglesby traveled constantly giving speeches, attending meetings, and organizing political protests. He even traveled to Cuba and North Vietnam with SDS. Within months of his appointment as president, the F.B.I. began following him and building an extensive file on him, his family, friends and fellow SDS members. SDS was often accused of being a communist organization because of their political beliefs and the way they chose to organize themselves. It was a huge transition for Oglesby to go from having a secure, white collar job in the defense industry to being the spokesman for a radical student organization. The stress only intensified as Oglesby was away from home more and having a hard time balancing his lifestyle as the president of SDS with his family’s needs. He and Beth moved from Ann Arbor to San Francisco hoping to alleviate some of their stress, but the pressure was too much and they ultimately divorced in the late-sixties.
In addition to his family problems, Oglesby had a hard time understanding the accusations leveled against SDS, later observing, “I was never a radical, I just believed in democracy.” For Oglesby, the government’s refusal to even debate the issues that SDS and other organizations were raising demonstrated sheer hypocrisy. How could the U.S. be so aggressive in trying to spread “democracy” in Vietnam while actively silencing their own citizens? He was appalled that the government spied on him and other members of SDS, while also attempting to infiltrate the organization. Oglesby recalls that many members grew distrustful of one another as it became more apparent that some SDS “members” were actually FBI agents. In many cases these agents were the ones who advocated for a violent response or protest, and over time this became the tell-tale sign that someone was working for the government.
Although Oglesby only served as president of SDS for fifteen months, he remained active in the organization for several years. He grew very close to fellow SDS member Bernadine Dohrn and was unhappy in 1969 when she, along with other key members of the group, decided that SDS’s principle of engaging only in non-violent protest was no longer an effective way to achieve their goals. Dohrn thought that the antiwar movement had embraced nonviolence long enough, and that “symbolic violence” was the only way to make the government pay attention. She and others, including her future husband Bill Ayers, seized control of the SDS national office and formed the Weather Underground Organization. The Weathermen, as they were known, began to bomb post offices and other government properties. Despite their adamance that their use of violence was meant to bring attention to their cause by harming buildings and not people, their plan backfired in 1971 when three of their own members died in an explosion in a Greenwich Village safe house.
For Oglesby, the Weatherman’s actions were synonymous with the death of SDS. Although, the individual chapters of SDS continued to grow, the national office, now under the control of the Weathermen, ceased to exist. Oglesby vehemently disagreed that SDS had lost its power, but with the core organizers leaving, there was little he could do to save SDS on a national level. Over the years, Oglesby wrote several articles about the decline of SDS in which he defended the group not only for leading the way on important issues of the day, but for promoting debate and discussion as a means of educating people about the United States government, the Vietnam War, and the political ideology of the New Left.
As Oglesby moved away from SDS, he was not interested in resuming his secure, middle-class lifestyle. In 1972, he co-founded the Assassination Information Bureau (AIB), which led a successful public campaign urging Congress to revisit the investigations into the assignations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also involved in AIB efforts in Washington, D.C. to force the release of government documents relating to the assassinations. During this period, Oglesby continued to write, working for the Boston Phoenix and Boston Magazine as a regular contributor and editor. Indeed, Oglesby was a prolific writer throughout the 1970s, publishing The Yankee and Cowboy War: Conspiracies from Dallas to Watergate in 1976, and writing numerous other articles that appeared in magazines such as Playboy, The Washington Post, The Nation, Life, the Saturday Review, Dissent and the Boston Globe. In addition to his political and social commentary he also served as the annual report writer at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1981-1988.
By the late 1980s, Oglesby was fully immersed in research relating to the end of World War II, research he first conducted while writing The Yankee and Cowboy War. In 1988, he formed the Institute for Continuing De-Nazification aimed at organizing efforts to bring full public disclosure to top-secret government documents containing information about the relationship between the Gehlen Organization, formerly the intelligence network of West Germany, and the U.S. government. Oglesby filed suit against various agencies in the federal government claiming the intelligence documents should be publicly available under the Freedom of Information Act. With the help of attorney James Lesar, this lawsuit has been moving through the federal court system for over two decades, resulting in the release of thousands of pages of classified, top-secret government documents. These documents form the backbone of Oglesby’s research on the Gehlen Organization and the post-World War II settlement between Germany and the United States. Although, Oglesby has yet to publish a full-length book on this topic, he has lectured and written several extensive articles in this subject.
Oglesby continues to write and speak about political issues, often drawing parallels between the current political controversies and those that SDS faced more than three decades ago. His experiences have proved invaluable to a new generation of political activists who are asking many of the same questions that Oglesby faced when he joined SDS in 1965. After many years of silence, new SDS chapters are popping up across the country drawing the old ideals of “New Left” to push their political agenda forward.
Contents of Collection
Much of Carl Oglesby’s life has been spent considering and commenting on the political climate. From his 1962 play The Peacemaker to his extensive research on the Gehlen Organization, Oglesby has never been shy voicing his opinion about our government and the people who work in it. His papers chronicle the various issues and topics in which he has taken an interest over the past forty years, including the Gehlen Organization, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and America’s post-World War II struggle for political power between the established elites of the North and the emerging ruling class of the South and West, which he defined as the “Yankee and Cowboy War.”
The collection contains Oglesby’s drafts, notes, outlines, correspondence, writing fragments, manuscripts, and research materials like articles, book excerpts, newspaper clippings, and interviews. F.B.I. and C.I.A. documents pertaining to the Gehlen Organization and Oglesby’s work with SDS are included as are the legal papers that document the lawsuit he filed to obtain these classified materials. Also present are notes, research materials and drafts relating to his memoir, referred to early on as “Ravens on the Wing,” but published as Ravens in the Storm in 2008. Finally, correspondence, family histories, and photographs provide some insight into Oglesby’s personal life.
Series descriptions


Series 1: Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
1965-2005

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the most radical student organization of the 1960s, held its first meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1960. Two years later SDS adopted as its manifesto the Port Huron Statement drafted by Tom Hayden, which identified poverty and civil rights as the group’s primary concerns, and the Cold War and peace, issues that would later take on a more central role, as secondary concerns. The group’s commitment to “participatory democracy” quickly catapulted them to the forefront of the New Left political movement, resulting in aggressive surveillance by the F.B.I. In fact, the bulk of this series consists of F.B.I. files documenting Oglesby’s every move during his time with SDS and continuing for many years after. Individuals who associated themselves with the New Left, in particular members of SDS, were often accused of being Communists. Frequent trips to Cuba by SDS members, including Oglesby, did little to dispel this notion.
The bulk of this series is made up of copies of F.B.I. surveillance records tracing Oglesby’s movements both during and after his term as SDS president. Also included are articles about SDS and the Weatherman by Oglesby and others, newspaper clippings, correspondence, interviews with former SDS people, speeches given by Oglesby, and notes.
Series 2: John F. Kennedy Assassination
1964-2005

An internationally recognized authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Oglesby has written and lectured on the topic extensively. As a founding member of the Assassination Information Bureau (AIB) in 1972, he played a critical role in raising public awareness about the inconsistencies among eyewitness accounts, film evidence, and published reports of the assassination, most notably in the findings of the Warren Commission released in 1964. After the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation in 1974, the AIB continued to demand the release of previously restricted documents, calling for the accountability of U.S. intelligence agencies. Indeed, the group is often credited with prompting the 1976 Congressional reinvestigation into the assassinations of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
A large portion of the series consists of materials relating to the AIB, including correspondence, bibliographies, reports, and the group’s newsletter, Clandestine America. Oglesby was one of a few AIB members to travel throughout the country as a part of the group’s “Who Killed JFK?” program, which sought to inform the public, especially college students, of inaccuracies and inconsistencies found in published reports of the assassination. Documenting his involvement in this program are lecture scripts, notes, and publicity flyers promoting speaking engagements. Oglesby’s typescript drafts and published articles are central to understanding the evolution of his thoughts about the assassination and its cover up. The various versions of articles and books included among these materials can be seen as culminating in the book proofs for Oglesby’s 1992 work, Who Killed JFK?. Finally, his personal correspondence received after the December 1991 release of Oliver Stone’s film JFK and the numerous articles by other authors submitted for his review illustrate Oglesby’s central role in uncovering the truth about the JFK assassination.
Series 3: Yankee and Cowboy War
1970-2002

In one of Oglesby’s most widely known political theories, referred to as the “Yankee and Cowboy War,” he depicts Northern, old money “Yankees” and Southern and Western, new money “Cowboys” in a struggle for power and dominance in post-World War II America. His book named for the theory traces the effects of this political struggle from the Bay of Pigs incident in 1961 to Watergate in 1973-1974.
In the book, Oglesby claims that the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion was the result of internal conflict in Washington, namely the shaky coalition between President John F. Kennedy (Yankee) and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (Cowboy). Oglesby further claims that this uneasy alliance between the North and South resulted in the escalation of the Vietnam War, as well as other foreign policy disasters that plagued the administration before and after Kennedy’s death. Oglesby refers to the Vietnam War as a “Cowboy War,” which ultimately resulted in such high level pressure from “top class Yankee gunslingers,” such as Defense Secretary Clark Clifford, that Johnson was unable to seek re-election. He also examines events such as the suspicious Watergate plane crash that killed Dorothy Hunt, the wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, the possibility that James McCord, also a Watergate conspirator, was a double agent, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Howard Hughes’ relationship with the United States government.
The series contains materials relating to Oglesby’s book, such as drafts of the manuscript, research materials including articles and newspaper clippings, correspondence concerning its publication, and published reviews.
Series 4: Gehlen Organization
1945-2005

For more than three decades, Oglesby researched the Gehlen Organization and its role in post-World War II America. As the war came to a close, top-ranking Nazi officials scrambled to find a way out of Germany. One such official was Reinhard Gehlen, the head of the Former Armies East (FHO) in the German Army Headquarters, also known as the Gehlen Organization. This was an important branch of the Nazi intelligence system that oversaw all intelligence and military operations throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This arm of Soviet intelligence was particularly powerful because of Gehlen’s close association with and influence over Foreign Armies West and the Odessa. The Odessa was arguably the Nazi’s greatest organizational achievement because it not only controlled the SS and Gestapo but also set up “rat lines” which allowed thousands of Nazi officials to escape Germany after the war.
The U.S. government, anxious to achieve a reliable intelligence network to spy on the Soviet Union, was not opposed to making a deal with Gehlen to acquire his West German intelligence network in exchange for allowing Nazis to quietly escape Germany after the war. The FHO, after all, was the only organization in the Third Reich that gained power and recruits even as the war was winding down. On August 24, 1945, one week after the Nazi’s “unconditional surrender,” Gehlen arrived in Washington D.C. to sell his organization to the United States and buy himself a way out of Germany.
The meeting in Fort Hunt, Virgina, ended with a “gentleman’s agreement” to employ Gehlen as an official in the newly formed C.I.A., for which Gehlen worked until 1968. Gehlen himself spelled out the terms of this agreement in his book, The Service: The Memoirs of Reinhard Gehlen, which has come under intense criticism for being inaccurate. Nonetheless, according to Gehlen, “The Secret Treaty at Fort Hunt” essentially merged Nazi Gehlen Organization and U.S. intelligence with the understanding that although the Germans and Americans would be working “jointly,” the United States would provide complete funding for all activities. Interestingly, according to Gehlen, it was also understood that should German and American interests come into conflict with each other, the Gehlen Organization would “consider Germany first.” This conflict of interest presented itself almost immediately as the post-war hunt for Nazi war criminals began and tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States escalated.
Oglesby’s interest in the Gehlen Organization ultimately resulted in a lawsuit against the federal government. In the suit (Carl Oglesby v. Department of the Army, et al), he claims the government refused to release documents that should be open to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. This lawsuit has been circulating through the court system for almost twenty years and has forced various governmental agencies to release thousands of pages of previously “classified” and “top secret” documents to Oglesby. Oglesby’s counsel in this matter, James Lesar, specializes in litigation pertaining to the Freedom of Information Act, and has logged thousands of hours over the years fighting for the release of documents pertaining to World War II, the Gehlen Organization, and former Nazi government officials and military officers.
Numerous drafts of articles, book excerpts and lectures are included in this series, although it should be noted that Oglesby has yet to publish a complete book on this topic. An extensive article by Oglesby, “The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt,” was published in Prevailing Winds magazine. A considerable portion of his research materials are also included in this series. These consist of articles, newspaper clippings, book excerpts, correspondence, charts drawn by Oglesby explaining the complicated connections between the various government agencies and people, government reports, and intelligence documents obtained by Lesar under the Freedom of Information Act.
Series 5: Other Writings
1959-2004

Ravens on the Wing
1959-2003

This subseries contains drafts and research material for Oglesby’s memoir, “Ravens on the Wing.” In it he covers, in detail, the move away from his middle class life as a technical copy editor in the defense industry, his experiences as president of SDS, which include his relationship with Weatherman founder Bernadine Dohrn, trips to Cuba and North Vietnam, and his travels around the country giving speeches for SDS. He also discusses the painful period when the Weatherman split from SDS and his own experiences with SDS after.
Included in this subseries are numerous drafts of the memoir, published in 2008 as Ravens in the Storm. Also included is correspondence concerning the book, newspaper clippings, articles, writing fragments, notes, and some photographs from Oglesby’s trip to Cuba.
Miscellaneous Writings and Research
1961-2002

This series, more than any other, chronicles Oglesby prodigious writing career. He has written extensively on SDS, the New Left, the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, and his theory of the Yankee-Cowboy war. Although the bulk of Oglesby’s writing is political in nature, he has written about many things that range from discussions of the New Left, the war in Vietnam, critiques of teach-ins, literature, Cuba, Boston public transit, Boston University, genetic engineering, farms in America and many verses of unpublished poetry. Also included in this subseries is correspondence with people like Noam Chomsky, academic papers from Oglesby’s undergraduate career and Oglesby’s 1965 paper, “The Vietnam War: World Revolution and American Containment,” which ultimately became the SDS position paper for the Vietnam War.
Religion
1971-2004

Although Oglesby has not written as extensively on religion, he has maintained his interest in it over the years, publishing two articles on the subject, “Rescuing Jesus from the Cross” (1983) and “Art at the Apocalypse” (1982). His unpublished manuscript “The Sermons of Judas” is also included along with research materials relating to this manuscript and other religious items such as church programs, flyers, and eulogies.
Series 6: Personal
1942-2003

Oglesby’s personal correspondence with various family members, business associates, and friends, as well as documents relating to his publishing contracts, photographs, announcements, invitations, and various printed materials and newspaper clippings. Also contains materials relating to Oglesby’s work with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Series 7: Audio-Visual
1966-2000

Both as president of SDS and later as a founder of the Assassination Information Bureau, Oglesby traveled around the country meeting people and giving talks. His 1966 lecture at Antioch College is included here as are the numerous slides he used when delivering his presentations on the assassination of Kennedy. Oglesby used audio and video recordings as part of his own research, compiling a collection of documentary’s on the JFK assassination and Reinhard Gehlen and the Nazi connection to U.S. intelligence agencies.


Attached Files
.pdf   scua.library.umass.edu-Carl Oglesby Papers.pdf (Size: 310.37 KB / Downloads: 0)
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