When James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June about the National Security Agency’s top-secret program to spy on U.S. citizens, he did Americans a favor. He reminded us that government officials habitually lie, then hide behind the shield of national security. They get away with their deception for years, if not decades.
One of the biggest U.S. whoppers began in May 1945, just three days after Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces. It lay buried in classified documents until the mid-1980s.
When the Allies began trying Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg in late 1945, Americans were proud of their country. What we didn’t suspect, however, was that the U.S. military-intelligence complex was simultaneously obstructing that very same justice system.
On May 10 of that year, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) sent a top-secret, 10,000-word directive to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander in chief of the Allied Forces in Western Europe. In it, the JCS ordered Eisenhower to “search out and arrest ... all persons who have participated in the planning or carrying out [of] Nazi enterprises involving or resulting in atrocities or war crimes.” The JCS went on to direct Eisenhower not to grant any “special consideration” to those arrested for war crimes.
Nothing could have been clearer or tougher.