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Triumph of criminal lunacy

Last update - Thursday, July 30, 2009, 13:07 By Gearóid Ó Colmáin

As the world celebrates 40 years since the first moon landing, our Irish columnist Gearóid Ó Colmáin highlights the Nazi connection to the US space programme

The 40th anniversary of the Nasa moon landings was universally celebrated this month, with much praise bestowed upon the USA’s technological superiority in furthering human enlightenment. But there is another side to the lunar story that is usually hidden from the public’s attention, one which raises deep questions concerning the historical narrative of human progress.
When Germany lay in ruins after the Second World War, American officials gained access to the secrets of the Third Reich’s military-industrial complex. While many soldiers and officials were horrified by the savagery of the concentration camps, certain commanders saw an opportunity to profit from the research and technological knowledge of the Nazi war machine.
With the Red Army triumphant in East Berlin, military strategy to contain the advance of communism took precedence over moral integrity. The Cold War had already begun. The Americans were overwhelmed by the superiority of Nazi technology and feared such knowledge passing to the Soviets.
The Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), which encompassed all branches of US military intelligence, was determined to track down and employ former Nazi researchers in the interests of the United States. When the CIA was founded under President Truman in 1947, the drive for Nazi expertise became a covert plan known to history as Operation Paperclip.
However, when the Nazi documents were initially presented to the US State Department, they were rejected as the dossiers proved that the scientists were ardent Nazi war criminals. This infuriated Bosquet Wev, director of the JIOA, who commented: “The best interests of the United States have been subjugated to the efforts expended in ‘beating a dead Nazi horse’.”
Wev’s dead horse would soon gallop across the fruited plains of America, corrupting it from within – unbeknownst to its own people. The CIA proceeded to falsify the files of those Nazis they wished to smuggle into the US. Many of the scientists were located when a Polish lab technician discovered a list kept by Werner Osenberg, a University of Hanover engineer–scientist and head of the Wehrfor-schungsgemeinschaft (Military Research Association), the scientific research section of the Gestapo – a list he had recovered from a toilet bowl!
Among the beneficiaries of the CIA’s operation were Werner Von Braun, Hubertus Strughold and Arthur Rudolf. These were to be the men who would lead the Apollo programme, putting the first man on the moon in August of 1969.
In the summer of 1947, Operation National Interest was launched. Now Nazi war criminals were to be recruited into the highest echelons of US business. One example is Otto Ambros, director of IG Farben – the US-financed producer of Zyklon B, a deadly poison used in the holocaust – who was awarded with executive positions in Dow Chemicals, WR Grave Company and the US Medical Corps. There were hundreds if not thousands more.
The Nasa Nazis would later be given the highest awards from the US Government. Strughold would even receive the Americanism Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Others, such as Rudolf, were later indicted for war crimes, but few were ever convicted.
Ultimately, the lunar landing in 1969 was the triumph of a Nazified America, the triumph of criminal lunacy.

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