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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 135,408

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Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "Butcher of Lyon" and his association with Bolivia's Hugo Banzer.

This is information I just stumbled across, and want to share with DU'ers I respect. It comes from an investigation by Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Holzman and Joshua Eilberg:

RECRUITING NAZIS

GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS. Numerous allegations about collaborating with the German Nazis -- during and after World War II -- have been leveled at the CIA.

~snip~
Fifth, the CIA evacuated Nazi war criminals and collaborators through "rat lines" in southern Europe, allowing them to escape justice by relocating them in South America.

~snip~
Seventh, the CIA covered up its these activities from congressional and other federal investigators.

The congressional investigations were launched by Congressmen Joshua Eilberg and Elizabeth Holtzman. After the INS's investigation appeared to be at a standstill. Congress demanded that the GAO determine whether the INS or any other government agency had conspired to obstruct legal action against alleged Nazi war criminals living in the United States. Congress made this request in January 1977, marking the beginning of the first GAO investigation. The Special Litigation Unit, a new office within INS and the immediate predecessor to the OSI, also started its separate investigation at the same time. (www.cia.gov/csi/studies/97unclass/naziwar)

~snip~
KLAUS BARBIE: THE BUTCHER OF LYON." The greatest asset to American security forces was Nazi officer Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon." He worked his way up the Gestapo ladder during World War II. After the German occupation of France in 1942, Hitler named him commander of the SS office in Lyons in 1942 where he ordered the murder of 4,000 Jews. After the war concluded, Barbie was charged with war crimes at Nurenberg. Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy, formerly a Wall Street attorney, intervened in the executions of some convicted Nurenberg criminals. He arranged to have Barbie sheltered from prosecution by the 970th Counterintelligence Corps at Oberamergau. McCloy's motives were clear. He represented Standard Oil and Chase Manhatten Bank which were big investors in Nazi Germany. Before the war, McCloy was the legal adviser to I.G. Farben, the German chemical conglomerate, many of whose officials were elevated to high positions by Hitler. The company also prospered from Jewish slave labor at Auswitz and other concentration camps.

Barbie was quickly picked up by the CIC and put on their payroll. According to Klaus' CIA file which was declassified on April 27, 2001, his job was to keep track of communists. The CIC protected him from French prosecution. A 1967 American Army document, declassified on April 27, 2001, said, "Exposure of Counterintelligence Command's role in evacuating him from Germany to avoid prosecution would have serious consequences for the U.S. government."

~snip~
By the early 1960s, the CIA recruited Bolivian General Rene Barrientos Ortuno who, in turn, launched an attack on the presidential palace in 1964. Paz fled the country, and the CIA placed General Rene Barrientos Ortuno in power. The American government sent in troops to assure control as well as bringing 1,600 military officers back to the United States for training. This group included the top 23 Bolivian Army generals. The French continued their hunt for Barbie, but the United States government denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. Barrientos placed Barbie on his Department 4, his internal security force, and Barbie was put in charge of planning counterinsurgency operations. When Bolivian tin miners walked out and struck again, Barbie quickly responded by using Nazi techniques of interrogation, torture, and murder. Over 100 miners were killed by Department 4 troopers. Barbie extended his terrorist tactics when he launched an attack against Bolivian Indian tribes whom he considered genetically and culturally inferior.

~snip~
In 1969, Barrientos ironically was killed when his Gulf Oil helicopter crashed, and he was succeeded by General Ovando Candia and after one year by General Juan Jose Torres. However, Torres turned out to be a populist and exiled Cuban refugee Che Guevara and nationalizing foreign multinational corporations which included Gulf Oil. Therefore, the CIA had to strike once again. In a 1970 coup, Torres was overthrown and was replaced with Hugo Banzer Suarez who had been trained at the School of the Americas in Panama. Immediately, Bolivia's universities were shut down and violent methods were carried out against leftist resistors.

In 1970, Hugo Banzer Suarez seized power, and Barbie stayed on to run his security division. In addition, Barbie continued to pocket millions of dollars from his drug enterprise and well as from his lucrative arms business. While Suarez oversaw a fast growing billion dollar drug trade, former Nazi Hugo Banzer and two top Army generals were actively involved in the trade. By the early 1970s, Bolivia controlled 80 percent of the world's coca fields, and most was exported to Colombian cartel laboratories including Barbie's Transmaritania.

More:
http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/jphuck/Book14Ch.3.html

(Some of you may recall our excellent DU friend "rabs", who lived and studied and worked all over South America for many years, who has close and extended family living there still, and maintains contact with them all, and with friends there, had a LOT of information about this subject when he used to post here. He knew a great deal about them.

He is completely rare, wildly more informed than any poster on this subject I have ever known.)


More:
http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/jphuck/Book14Ch.3.html

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In pursuit of Bolivia's secret Nazi

After the second world war many high-ranking Nazis fled to South America. Among them was the head of the Gestapo in the French city of Lyon, a man responsible for the deportation of Jews to the death camp at Auschwitz and the torture of members of the French Resistance. Hiding in Bolivia, Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, changed his name to Klaus Altmann and made himself helpful to drug lords and dictators alike. Bolivian journalist Gustavo Sanchez explains what happened when he tracked Barbie down in 1983

Weekly, Wednesday 10 September 2008 04.00 EDT


[font size=1]
German SS officer and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie.
Photograph: Gabriel Hackett/Getty[/font]

For decades here in Bolivia we had an infamous tradition of ruthless dictators. In the early 70s General Hugo Banzer siezed power. He turned to the ex-Nazi Klaus Barbie to help him with the repression. It was not the first time that Barbie, a war criminal wanted by the French and German authorities, had mingled with hardliners. Here in Bolivia he used to do big business with the drug lords. He had his own team of assassins, some from Italy and others from Argentina, called the Grooms of Death. He also sold them weapons.

American intelligence officials helped Barbie to become established in Bolivia as part of their crusade against communism. He acted as a sort of counter-intelligence official. Under the alias of Klaus Altmann he worked primarily as an interrogator and torturer. He also helped in the same way in Peru. He did the same things here as in Germany and France. For him the word communist meant "dead". Many Bolivians died during that dictatorship; one that was prolonged for more than 10 years. Barbie was in charge of the murders of many Bolivian citizens, including priests and members of the opposition.

So some of us felt that we had to do something about it. But in 1980, after General Banzer, an even bloodier dictator, Luis García Meza, rose to power in what was called the narco, or cocaine, coup. Barbie was a key aide then. He was the main ideologue of that coup; he organised absolutely everything. He was even given the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Bolivian armed forces, and was then able to move around with total impunity. Today Bolivians know all about Barbie, but for a long time many even doubted that such a criminal could be here.

I was kind of obsessed with Barbie since the beginning. In the 70s, when I was in Chile with the Marxist Régis Debray and the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, we masterminded a plan to kidnap Barbie. But we failed. Back then I was a simple leftist journalist, who was on very bad terms with the dictators' regimes – I knew that if I stayed I would be killed. I was in Chile until General Pinochet took over, then in Argentina until the junta took over, and finally in Cuba, until Bolivia's return to democracy in 1982 under Hernán Siles Suazo.

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/10/bolivia-germany

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There's so much to learn if and when you might decide to launch your own search on this absolute monster, and right-wing mass murderer, Klaus Barbie, and his connection to the right-wing goblins in the US-assisted reigns of terror in Bolivia.
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