Saturday, 30 October 2010

Empire Builders: The Stasi's Influence on American Organized Crime and Politics

Medawar has been kindly (and probably quite bravely) invited by ML to contribute an article on this subject.

The Stasi was the secret police and intelligence service, all rolled into one, of the East German Communist regime. Many officers and agents of its Nazi predecessors, the Abwehr, Sicherheitsdienst and the Gestapo, joined, and the secret police methodology was a refinement of inherited Gestapo techniques, with a few learned from the Russian NKVD and later, KGB, thrown in for good measure.

It is highly relevant to the story of the Stasi, that the Gestapo was originally created to reassure the German people that the various political armed militias, and every political party had its own during the twenties, would all be curbed. It only became an explicitly Nazi tool when it was infiltrated by the Sicherhetisdienst (SA), effectively the intelligence arm of a party-political militia. But there was a reason why German people at one stage would have regarded the Gestapo as a source of protection: they did get the militias off the streets in the early days of Nazi rule. Again, when the Stasi first started, there were many gangsters and black marketeers in both East and West Germany and many Germans desperately wanted something to exist that would make the criminals as frightened as they were. Since the Stasi would come to have half a million full and part time agents on its strength, or getting on for one in thirty of the East German population, a measure of public acceptance was needed and indeed existed, throughout what the outside world saw only as the vilest oppression.

To this day, therefore, there are hundreds of thousands who see the Stasi as a good thing, protecting society from deviants -and potential deviants. Those hundreds of thousands were heavily outnumbered by those who hated the political regime the Stasi supported, and in the aftermath of the Berlin Wall falling, they largely kept a low profile or emigrated from Germany altogether. Leading to a diaspora of the Stasi, throughout the world, but mainly in communities formed by earlier waves of German emigration, in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Namibia, South Africa and even Australia. There were even a handful, including the Stasi-sponsored and trained Baader-Meinhoff terrorist, Astrid Proll, who settled in London. Her brother, Thorwald, having been trained by the Stasi in financial crime, lives in Switzerland.

In recent years, there has been a steady return of the Stasi diaspora to Germany, with many of them using skills gained in other countries to gain influential posts in vital industries, particularly German railways, manufacturers of railway equipment (in Austria as well as Germany) and in German telecoms companies as well as Deutsche Post. This powerful community has been christened the Deutschland Clan by the journalist Jurgen Roth. One of its functions, seems to be to continue the persecution of those who were dissidents before the wall fell, and who had hoped that a united and democratic Germany would be a place of freedom and opportunity for them. It is a bitter thing indeed that it has not.
This link is to a blog with ample material on the continuity of Stasi activity from the communist regime to the criminal enterprise of the Deutschland Clan.

Alongside its secret police functions, though, the Stasi gathered foreign intelligence, and ran agents of influence in Western countries (and quite possibly other communist countries, too.) Again, the established ethnic German communities in the United States, Argentina and Brazil would have been natural starting points for Stasi agents infiltrating Western society, as they had been for agents of Nazi Germany, and Imperial Germany before that. The most open attempt to employ the German-American community against their American fellow citizens was in the first world war rather than the second, this largely stopped when President Wilson pointed out that there were enough lampposts in the United States to hang them all, if they insisted on making it necessary.

During the Second World War, the Abwehr's attempt to land sabotage agents, with the help of German-American gangsters on Long Island and in Florida, came pretty swiftly to naught. But there was a very successful spy ring at the start of the war (when America was still neutral) reporting shipping movements to German Naval Intelligence (separate from the Abwehr and somewhat better led.) This cost many lives, American as well as Canadian and British.

Most important of all, were the more political agents of influence (possibly run by the political SA rather than the military Abwehr or Naval Intelligence) , for whom Henry Ford and Joseph Kennedy were witting or unwitting mouthpieces, who kept America out of the war for as along as possible, and threw every possible obstacle in the path of American companies seeking to supply the British war effort in the meantime. The agents of influence were able to manipulate Congress to place various bizarre restrictions on exports to Britain, which led, for example, to aircraft being hauled from an American airfield near the Canadian border, to one on the Canadian side, by two cart horses, so they could be exported as "aircraft parts" rather than airworthy machines. All of the obstacles could be got around by this kind of dodge, but it all took time and effort, and every one of them was ultimately inimical to America's vital interests, not withstanding the fact that Congress willingly passed them all.

Even in the nineteen thirties, German manipulation of American politics was often being worked through organized crime, notably the very powerful German-American gangs on Long Island.

Between 1945 and 1947, American intelligence services ran something called Operation Paperclip, which sought to apprehend as many recently ex-Nazi scientists, economic and intelligence experts as possible and get them to work in the United States. The Russian NKVD had an identical programme, while Sweden and Switzerland managed to snaffle most of the Nazi's nuclear weapon designers between them. British Intelligence has been criticized for not really competing for Nazi experts, however, they had a different perception of the usefulness of these men, and particularly the risks of employing them in what would, inevitably, be key strategic areas. Perhaps we have Peter Wright and Airey Neave to thank for the UK's fortuitous indifference to this particular gift-horse!

The net effect of Operation Paperclip was to insert potential German agents into key jobs throughout American government and big business -and then endow many of them with bounteous and often secret budgets as a result of the cold war. A golden hello to the Stasi, which had a head start over other Communist intelligence services as far as America was concerned almost from the day it was founded. There were inherent opportunities here for German-American mafia groups as well, who suddenly discovered lost and lonely Germans in important jobs all over the country. They needed only to help them feel at home...

As well as using German-American criminals as ready-made agents in place to assist incoming penetration agents, the Stasi, like its predecessors, also cultivated criminals and terrorists in the West for their own sake. The purpose of this was destabilization, and it is a tactic which intelligence services only use in a country where they want the whole political system to change. Anytime that it appears that America's intelligence or law enforcement agencies are supporting a destabilization campaign on their own soil, it must be presumed that someone in a controlling position wants the system, and not just the party, of government to change.

As well as obvious points of interest for the Stasi, such as Los Alamos and NASA, Operation Paperclip's experts were in the universities and banks, formulating economic policies and, in time political ideologies. Nearly all of the thinkers behind the Neo-Conservative movement have ethnic German roots, although there are some Anglo-Saxon and Irish-American figureheads, some of whom are not noted for thinking particular deeply at all.

The twin trends, of the Deutschland Clan running Germany and the Neo Cons gaining control of American economic and especially foreign and defence policy, caused some French Intelligence officers and high ranking civil servants to coin the phrase "The Holy German-American Empire." However, President Francois Mitterand, who as a junior minister of the Vichy Government had obliged Reinhard Heydrich by signing an order to the French police to deport French Jews to the death camps, appears to have seen The Holy German-American Empire as something that it was his duty to appease and collaborate with, and French Intelligence wasn't allowed to interfere or even continue to monitor, what appeared to be en-train. As in 1942, Mitterand's order seems to have been obeyed, with heavy hearts, no doubt.

Despite the popular impression, that the Nazis were a complete aberration in the peace-loving history of Germany, there's more than just the continuity between the Nazi intelligence services and the Stasi to consider. When the Nazis came to power, many of the policies for which Hitler is credited/blamed, such as covert re-armament, war-planning, and "Lebensraum" had already been put in place by previous governments. "Lebensraum" having been in place since the foundation of "The North German Federation" as a Union of 25 previous independent states and principalities in 1871.

Two important asides:

1/ that foundation was an act of pure subterfuge: the Prussian leader, Bismark, had planted misleading intelligence material on the French, who undertook a pre-emptive war in 1870, which led both to the destruction of French military and economic power in what amounted to a huge ambush, and to all the smaller German states feeling very threatened by the modern world, and suddenly willing to shelter under Prussia's mighty wings.

2/ the very name heavily suggests that the whole of Modern Germany was just the Northern part of something bigger and mightier, which is supposed to include Switzerland and Slovenia, as well as Austria and large parts of the Czech Republic. Hitler and Albert Speer may have worked on this concept, but they didn't actually conceive it.

Lebensraum as a policy was inherent to the hasty formation of a German Empire in Africa from 1870 onwards: earlier ethnic German colonizations in the Americas had no such backing from then-independent German states, and many of them were effectively expulsions by governments, especially Bavaria, which feared the social engineering ideology of certain secret societies and political movements. Bismark's North German Federation was an expression of many of those, and the outcasts were outcasts no longer. However, they were not a party to the sort of thing that happened in the new German colonies, and many of their founders would have been appalled by the way in which their social engineering idealism had evolved in the space of just two generations. What happened, in Namibia, was Genocide. In camps, and by death march and expulsion into uninhabitable areas.

There is continuity, both between successive German intelligence services, as the political system has gone through several huge upheavals, and in the long-term strategic policy which has been followed.

Although German Intelligence, and German-American organized crime, have been present in America since the late 19th century, it has only been since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the resulting Stasi Diaspora, that stalking as flourished as a tool of organized crime and political change-seekers in the United States. Because not even the Gestapo or the SA had evolved and perfected the techniques, not deployed them on such a scale, using such a high proportion of the nation's resources, as the Stasi did. One in the thirty of the population was a full or part time Stasi agent.

This meant that anyone even suspected of being a dissident could be watched, pretty well round the clock, and systematically bullied and harassed, without the need for incarceration, or, indeed, the slightest evidence of any wrong-doing or evil intent. This represented a level of social control beyond anything which the Gestapo and NKVD had ever attempted, or ever thought necessary merely to keep the population as a whole obedient. It served a whole new level of social engineering, another evolution in the theory, which would take East Germany, and via the Deutschland Clan, the new re-Unified Germany, to a point where the mass reactions of the population at large were no longer an issue, and the behaviour of individuals could be effectively controlled.

Although many tyrannies and totalitarian regimes might appreciate and seek this level of control, others would see it as a waste of time and resort to cruder methods. (Ie: China in June 1989.) But the type of regime that needs this level of individual control, is not so much a tyranny, as a kleptocracy.

In a "government of thieves" nothing is so strictly prohibited as stealing, except by those at the top, who see themselves as owning everything and everyone, already anyway. A kleptocracy sees every last thing, and every last person, even officers of the regime itself, as property. It can be tremendously cruel and kill at will, and yet will attempt to control those an ordinary tyrant would be tempted to kill, simply because it sees them as property of the state rather than as enemies of the state. The ultimate despot is not a Communist, nor is he a Nazi. He is a gangster before whom all the judges and all the policemen have bowed. Only a Kleptocrat needs to make one in thirty of the population into secret agents.

In East Germany, every citizen was watched, and any who even appeared to diverge from the accepted norm (and accepting everything was the norm that was accepted!) was followed everywhere. He would be jostled in every queue in every shop, he would rarely be able to buy what he wanted, or earn his living doing his normal trade. People whom Lenin would have shot and buried in a night, would effectively be subjected to living torture for years on end, to make them conform. Some victims of the Stasi might have thought Lenin merciful.

In East Germany, this took enormous manpower, and it didn't happen from the beginning of the communist regime, both for this reason and because the techniques had not been developed. But the system did evolve, and with it great manpower and great expertise. Then the wall fell, and both manpower and expertise were exported, the world over, but especially to America and Canada. Where the temporarily exiled Stasi agents soon discovered that a combination of the drugs trade, some of it already in the hands of ethnic Germans, vigilantism and other forms of meddling do-goodism, could all be harnessed to make the services of the requisite one in thirty of the population available to their cause. Many of whom don't know that they are working with people on the "opposite" side of whatever the relevant social divide happens to be. And America has a lot of social divides. Tying all these threads together to make an unwitting Stasi machine in America and Canada would have taken tens of thousands of expert agents, but they had tens of thousands of expert agents who'd better stay out of Germany for a few years, so it simply wasn't a problem.

The Holy German-American Empire has America all but completely in its clutches and is looking for other victims. The Stasi, having outlived the political system it once served, is now above and beyond the control of any state. It has become the gangster to which all American and German Judges and Policemen will bow. And whilst it might spray the rhetoric of freedom around like machine-gun fire as it consolidates its hold on power, it is a kleptocracy and these cannot co-exist with any measure of personal freedom at all.

Unless America wakes up very smartly indeed, it will find that the Gestapo and the NKVD would have been easy-going compared to their new masters in the rest of the 21st century.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Puttock Hill Wood

To understand what this article is all about, see this link.
Any suggestions as to who the fourth man, found in blue overalls in a wood near Welwyn in March 1994, was?
As anonymous as you like.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Comments Working!

Medawar's apologies to anyone who has tried, and failed, to post comments to this blog.

He foolishly stuck with the blogger defaults throughout, thinking this would be foolproof, and, of course, this produced comment forms that let one type long comments, then failed to send them anywhere for Medawar to moderate and publish them.

This has now been fixed, by selecting the "pop-up window" option on the comments page, which may be annoying for some, but which works, whereas the default, embedded option, does not work. And not for the reason advanced by blogger, neither.

Anyway, ladies, gentleman, comment at will, and once again, Medawar's profound apologies for having spent a fortnight waiting for comments that you may all have been busily typing.

Never, ever, trust a default setting without checking that it works!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Introduction and Explanation

First of all, this link shows how to remain reasonably anonymous online. It is worth a read.

This blog is all about the comments.
Comments that give information and ideas, that is. Comments that abuse, denigrate and vilify won't be published, unless it is necessary to show the world how unreasonable or abusive someone is being.

Medawar intends to use this blog as a reporting tool, so he can research how and why extremist (and criminal) groups cross-pollinate with other extremist groups, mainstream pressure groups, major political parties and even government itself.

Pretty well every entry urges readers to post comments anonymously unless they are confident that their web identity isn't traceable back to their real identity. A couple just tell readers to post comments anonymously. This isn't melodrama, it really is possible to find oneself being stalked, merely for expressing an opinion.

Although this exercise arose out of a particular discussion in comments to Medawar's Cornflakes about a specific movement being infiltrated by neo-nazis, it occurs to Medawar that there was no reason why infiltration is practised only by neo-nazis, and neither is there any reason why they should seek to join one pressure group and not others, even those directly opposed to the first. If what they are doing is advancing their own cause and agenda rather than those of the groups they join.

This has widened (and hardened) into a wary interest in infiltration and political manipulation generally. Please read through the posts, each post describes a category of political extremist and/or criminal, and see if you have anything to add. Medawar gives examples of some groups perhaps attempting some specific things, and others doing something else. But it's always possible that someone will have experience of one group using a tactic that Medawar ascribes to another, and that would be interesting, so your comments (on appropriate categories), please.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Racist Post-Apocalyptic Utopians

The same as non-racist post apocalyptic utopians, except that either the utopia will be built from survivors confined to one ethnic group (at least in a given geographical region), or where the holocaust will be confined to one or perhaps several, ethnic group(s).

Troy Southgate would appear to be an example of the former, and Heinrich Himmler ended up in the same sort of place. (He definitely didn't start from that kind of position.)

An example of the latter would be William Pierce, the late author of the "Turner Diaries". It is possible to regard Pierce (and some of his Russian counterparts) as more extreme than Southgate, Himmler or even Hitler. Southgate seeks only a sparsely-populated rustic British Isles free of ethnic minorities, Himmler wanted a sort of rustic utopia with an exclusively Germanic population and the Fourth Reich was really only to create a secure environment for this Arcadia. (Assuming that there was anything in their ideology at all and it wasn't merely cooked up to please potential supporters.) Pierce appeared to want a world in which no negros or jews existed, anywhere at all. Never quite official Nazi policy.

Otherwise, Medawar invites comments from readers who can cite instances of RPAUs in government, political think tanks and pressure groups, whether mainstream or extreme.
Anonymous comments only for this topic, and be wary of using work computers unles you're really sure that nobody has put a data-miner on them.

Non-Racist Post-Apocalyptic Utopians

A real mouthful of a category! Examples would include William Morris as well as Richard Hart.
Those who envisage some natural or artificial catastrophe wiping away the major part of the human race, allowing a "fresh start" and some kind of utopia.

In some cases, such as "Earth First!" and the "Earth Liberation Front" the utopia appears to be "ecological" and in others the human race needs to be wiped out and rebuilt, primarily to heal or rectify its social structures or mores. Medawar suspects that this distinction may prove cosmetic and that even the animal rights and "deep ecological" extremists who want a massive reduction in human population* really want human society, to conform to a particular template and for everyone left alive to dance to the activist's tune.

* The massive reduction varies, from those who say that the Earth can only support two billion people (ie: they want a 70% cull) to those who want something over 90% to go, culiminating in those who want so few human survivors (one to three million, worldwide) that it's hard to express the intended/hoped-for cull as a meaningful percentage!

Medawar invites comments from readers who can throw light on NRPAUs joining mainstream pressure groups of absolutely any kind, and especially, on the presence of those holdings these views in political think tanks. (Think tank members can influence politics at a very high level without revealing their objectives, let alone winning a democratic mandate.)

If anyone knows of a NRPAU in policy-level civil service post, or serving on a formal advisory committee (more directly part of the policy process than a think-tank) then it really is important that this become known.

Medawar thinks that all comments giving information on this topic should be anonymous. Even then, do not make them on work computers unless you're really sure no-one monitors what's done on the work computers. (The MoD may be the only branch of government where this is ever true.)

Animal Rights Extremists

Medawar invites comments from any reader who can cite a specific instance of an animal rights extremist being an active member of a non-extremist animal welfare group, such as the RSPCA, or a less-extremist animal rights group, such as the BUAV. Medawar would also like to know if anyone has noticed less likely-sounding infiltrations, such as into organic gardening groups?

Were they attempting to change the agenda of the more mainstream organization?
Or were they simply trying to amass information, perhaps on the members and donors?

Does anyone feel that they have been forced out of a local group of a national mainstream "animal" organization by an influx of people to that group, with extreme or militant views?

As always, post anonymously unless you are confident that your web identity does not track back to your real identity, and be wary of using a work computer if you share a workplace with an apparent extremist. Firewalls only stop data-miners being installed over the net: they don't stop someone with a supervisor password installing one on your work machine directly.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Neo Nazis

Medawar would be interested to see comments from anyone who can cite incidences of persons with neo-nazi connections, joining other radical or campaigning groups. Especially if several neo-nazis, perhaps from a variety of named groups (and there are several), all happen to join the same local campaigning group. More especially still, if this happens when the local group's normal core membership is in jail for "civil disobedience" or actual criminal offences. (If you know of somebody other than the neo-nazis doing this, please feel free to post a comment, but look through the blog for the right, or nearest, category post, first.)

It is possible that some local chapters of national campaign groups might become effective colonies of the far right in one or more regions, even if nationally neo-nazism is the last thing the movement wants to represent.

There has been debate about neo nazis joining the animal rights movement, but Medawar knows that the Nazis themselves latched onto whatever the local cause was in different parts of Germany, and happliy supported diametrically opposed causes in different German states (Lander), for the sake of having uniform support and influence across the country.

Comment, too, if your knowledge is not as specific as all that, but if you have noticed the political colour of a national campaign vary markedly from one locality to another. That could be a useful clue.

Post as "anonymous" unless you are certain that your web identity does not readily trace back to your real identity.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Opus Dei

Medawar would welcome comments from anyone who can cite an instance of an Opus Dei member joining a political pressure group, of any kind. Is it possible to identify and describe their influence on that pressure group?

Did the feel of the group change?
Did its direction change?
Did its methods become more lawful, more ethical, or was there actually a trend towards unlawful or improper methods?

For readers who work in public service, or other large and powerful organizations (you are not going to find many Opus Dei members where there are no levers of power) Medawar would welcome any comments concerning Opus Dei members, but especially those concerning the impact of the Opus Dei member on the appoinment and subsequent careers of others within the organization.

Does the Opus Dei member systematically favour persons from a particular profile?
Do they set out to disadvantage certain others, perhaps Baptists, Quakers or Elim Pentacotalists?

Do they gather more information on colleagues than they properly should?

Readers interested in Opus Dei should read the post on "Common Purpose", because members of one might be mistaken for graduates of the other.

As always, post comment anonymously if you're not certain that your web identity is secure and does not allow you to be easily identified. If an Opus Dei or Common Purpose person shares your workplace at any level, don't use your private web identity with any workplace computer.

Islamic Extermists

Medawar invites comments from anyone who can cite instances of a confirmed Islamic militant joining another form of political pressure group, or even a quite different form of extremist group.

Likewise, has anyone known to have a background in another form of extremism, tried (or succeeded) in joining an Islamic militant group of any description.

What did readers think was going on?
Or was it too baffling to tell?
Did the link change the behaviour of either group, and in what direction?

Does the inclusion of a person who's been radical in another cause, simply inject skill and experience, or do they make the objectives and ideals change, or do they attempt this?

Common Purpose

Common Purpose is a company limited by guarantee in the United Kingdom, which claimed to be a charity some time in advance of having a valid charity number. It does now appear to have a charitable registration, mainly in response to accusations from its opponents, that it was a bogus charity.

However, it is a training organization, being paid almost entirely by public sector organizations to train their personnel. It is also a highly political organization, arguably unsuitable either to train public servants, who ought to be professionally impartial, or to receive public monies, or to hold charitable status.
The political orientation of "Common Purpose" is communitarianism. American readers will doubtless read this as communism, but in fact communitarians could be mistaken for Mussolini just as easily as they might be mistaken for Lenin.

One of the important skills which taxpayer's money allows Common Purpose to impart to its "graduates" (it doesn't allow anyone to be called a member, because that would force it to comply with any laws pertaining to a membership organization!) is known as "Leading Beyond Authority". Lawyers amongst the readership would probably recognize this as "acting ultra vires".

Basically, any CP graduate holding a public post (and nearly all of the 80,000+ "graduates and trainees" do hold posts in government, local government, government quangos or agencies, charities or public interest corporations such as the BBC) is encouraged to use to use that position to implement changes that go beyond their remit, job description or any expectation of those who appointed them.

Since this is almost a dictionary definition of subversive behaviour, Medawar would welcome comments describing any CP graduate or trainee who has joined an obvious pressure group, such as an animal rights group or even an opposing group supporting scientific research or country sports.

Only identify them if they already have some measure of public prominence (likely, as they all seem to get important jobs in public service!) but Medawar's main interest is in what they are doing by joining pressure groups or political organizations.

Did the group start to feel different after the CP person joined?
Did its objectives or methods change?
As a non CP member of that group, did this feel good or bad?
Does the CP person try and determine the outcome of meetings, or attempt to sum up what other people have said, in a way that twists what they meant or puts words in their mouth?
Has anyone left a pressure group or political organization because they didn't like what happened after CP appeared?

Do readers working in public services recognize colleagues as possible CP graduates, based on the above? Are they good to work with, or could staff do a better job if the CP people went away, never to return? Do CP people cause resources to be wasted or misdirected to improper purposes?

Since Common Purpose reportedly acts as a contact and favours network as well as a political training cadre, would comment posters please ensure that their web identity does not lead back directly to them, and that they do not use their web ID from any work computer if they work in public service in any form. Post anonymously if you cannot meet these precautions.


The Deutschland-Clan can be defined as a coalition of new and existing organized crime and loosely political groups, rejuvenated and brought together by an influx of "ex" Stasi agents after the fall of communism (1989 onwards.) Operating mainly in Germany, of course, but also Canada to a surprising extent and the United States. (Think railroad companies.) Presumably, the Clan must have links with Argentina and Uruguay, but Medawar has no definitive information on this.

Medawar would welcome comments on the groups and processes involved in the creation of the Deutschland-Clan, but he is more concerned with what protest groups, political movements or even commercial companies, members of the Deutschland-Clan have subsequently joined or tried to join, and whether and in what direction, clan members have attempted to influence those groups. If readers know of a company infiltrated by the Deutschland-Clan, what did the agenda appear to be?

For example; did they want to take the company over, or run it into the ground so it didn't compete with something else?
Or did they attempt to completely redefine what the company did, its commercial or geographical area of business, or radically alter its internal culture?
Did the company become a tool of political influence (or was it one already), or did money appear to be the clan's sole interest?

Much the same applies to pressure groups or political movements: What did they do, what did they want, was there a wholesale change in the way everything was done? If readers were members of an organization, of absolutely any sort, including police departments, which acquired Deutschland-Clan infiltrators or influence, did it feel bad, or was there anything good about it? (Perhaps greater efficiency and sense of purpose, even if it's not wholly clear to non-insiders what the new purpose is!)

Anyone using a web identity to post comments, is urged to make certain that this does not lead directly back to their real identity, before posting comments on this subject.