NEW YORK (Aug. 18)
Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman today called on the United States “to appoint a special independent commission to investigate U.S. government ties to alleged Nazi war criminals.”
Holtzman, who served as the chairperson of the House Judiciary Committee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law, and was the author of legislation that authorized the deportation of Nazi war criminals living in the U.S., said on the Cable News Network “Crossfire” program, that such a commission has become imperative in light of the report by Allan Ryan, Jr. on the ties between U.S. intelligence agencies and Klaus Barbie, the wartime gestapo leader in Lyon, France.
Ryan, a special assistant in the criminal division of the Justice Department, released a 216-page report along with more than 600 pages of supporting documents on Tuesday, officially confirming that American intelligence agencies utilized Barbie’s services and concealed his whereabouts, thereby helping him evade French justice for 35 years.
SAYS BARBIE IS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE
Holtzman said that in light of the Ryan report, “there is more of a need than ever for an independent commission to investigate whether the U.S. government protected other Nazi war criminals.” She said she knew that the Barbie case “is not an isolated incident …. In fact, it is only one of many disturbing cases in which U.S. authorities aided suspected Nazi war criminals.”
She noted that the General Accounting Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, found in a 1978 report that more than 20 alleged Nazi war criminals living in this country after World War II were hired by government agencies which knew of the allegations against them. Holtzman cited the State Department, the CIA, the Defense Department and the FBI as agencies that “put suspected Nazi war criminals on their payrolls.”
In addition, she said, hundreds of alleged Nazi war criminals were permitted to enter the U.S. after the war and many of them became U.S. citizens. “Only by fully exploring this sordid chapter in our country’s history can we expunge the disgraceful story of our government’s relations with Nazi war criminals,” Holtzman said.