War Crimes, the Holocaust, and Today’s National Security State

In the sixty-seven years since the ending of the Second World War it is indeed shocking to find that some persons have a peculiar view of the Holocaust, who believe the systematic mass murder of millions never happened and is a historical hoax. You’ll find this hard to imagine but there are still people in 2013 who hold such ahistorical beliefs. They generally fall into two broad categories: the arrogantly agnostic (“How do you know it happened? You weren’t there!) and the willfully ignorant motivated not by objective historical evidence but by a predetermined conclusion based upon prejudicial hatred of Jews which they couch in anti-Semitic or feigned ideological language. I raise this issue because of its relevance to the case of Edward Snowden and the NSA. Vocal defenders of the National Security State loudly proclaim that such extra-constitutional intrusions into the privacy of Americans, indeed the whole egregious array of invasive and belligerent actions the State has taken since September 11, 2001, are justified on the grounds of “national security” because we are at total war with Radical Islam and its alleged supporters. 9/11 changed everything. The rule of law and constitutional safeguards are to be suspended during this national emergency. Everything is to be permitted. Operating outside the norms of previously impermissible conduct has become the new standard operating procedure. The Constitution is not a “suicide pact.” Survival of the state is the only thing that counts. These are precisely the very arguments used by Otto Olendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D, and his fellow defendants in their Nuremberg War Crime Trials following World War Two. The Einsatzgruppen were “special action groups” or SS mobile death squads which accompanied German military forces in the June 22, 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. They systematically butchered over one million persons in this first phase of the Holocaust. The defendants claimed that they acted under the assumption that the National Socialist Third Reich had been under a state of siege by “Judeo-Bolshevism” since its inception, and that the 1939 preemptive invasion of Poland, the genocidal Holocaust of millions, and all that followed up until May of 1945, were acts of anticipatory self-defense. These central articles of the Nazi faith were constantly put forth to the German populace by the National Socialist State’s propaganda apparatus via every communication media, reinforced by Adolf Hitler (in his book, Mein Kampf), by the NSDAP chief ideologist Alfred Rosenberg (in his book,The Myth of the 20th Century), in the widely circulated disinformation hoax, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and in virulent anti-Semitic propaganda films which were mandatory viewing and shown in all German theaters, such as Fritz Hippler’s The Eternal Jew. Here is a pertinent statement from Olendorf’s testimony:

I knew the history of communism. From the theory of Lenin and Stalin and from the strategy and tactics of the Bolshevist world revolution, I knew that bolshevism was to let no rules prevail other than those which would further and promote its aim. The practice of bolshevism in the Russian Civil War, in the war with Finland, in the war with Poland, in the occupation of the Baltic countries and Bessarabia, gave us the assurance and certainty that this was not only theory, but that this was carried out in practice, and in the same manner it therefore was to be expected that in this war no other laws would have any validity. This was true for the international conventions which Russia officially denounced to the German Government, as well as the international customs and usages of war, and it was true because according to this same communist ideology the customs and usages could only develop between partners who were on the same ideological basis. Just as the other class is the opponent internally who must be destroyed at all costs, according to the same ideology the other state which does not represent a Bolshevist system is the external opponent who is to be destroyed, just as the class is to be destroyed internally. The rules in this are adjusted according to the state of emergency of the moment. In this respect it was clear to me that in this war against bolshevism the German Reich found itself in a state of war emergency and of self-defense. What measures are to be taken in such a war in order to fight such an opponent on his own ground — to determine this could be only a matter to be decided by the supreme leadership which waged this war for the life or death of its people; and which, in my opinion, they certainly believed they waged also for Europe and even more for there was no doubt for us that the Four Year Plan, as well as the events of 1938 and 1939, were nothing else for Hitler but the securing of the point of departure for this war against bolshevism which was considered by him to be inevitable . . . The experiences in Russia showed me once and for all that here the propaganda of Goebbels had not stated the truth clearly enough. I was convinced that this state, which in order to gain its ends internally, had torn many millions from their families; in the process of separating the Kulaks [well-to-do farmers] they took the adult population away three times from rural districts. This state would have even less consideration for a foreign population. It was obvious that the number of Jews in the general population in Russia, in relation to their number in the higher administration, was very, very small. The prosecution has submitted a report from my Einsatzgruppe to the army. In this report in enclosure No. 2 it explained the situation of Jewry in the Crimea. Unfortunately, this enclosure was not available. It would have shown that in the Crimea, for example, up to 90 percent of the administrative and leading authoritative positions were occupied by Jews. The information service in the same field, conversations with innumerable Ukrainians and Russians and Tartars, and the documents which the prosecution submitted show that this was not only the case in the Crimea. For us it was obvious that Jewry in Bolshevist Russia actually played a disproportionately important role. Three times I was present during executions. Every time I found the same facts which I considered with great respect, that the Jews who were executed went to their death singing the “International” and hailing Stalin. That the Communist functionaries and the active leaders of the Communists in the occupied area of Russia posed an actual continuous danger for the German occupation the documents of the prosecution have shown. It was absolutely certain that by these persons the call of Stalin for ruthless partisan warfare would be followed without any reservation. Orally and in written form, the Bolshevists have attested enthusiastically to the fact that this partisan warfare was not only waged by the Communist Party and not only by the Communist functionaries; but as Stalin requested, it was waged by the population, by peasants, by workers, men, women, and children. This same literature is proud of the fact that it was waged with great treachery and cunning which the call of Stalin evoked in order to wage this war successfully. Thus our experiences in Russia were a definite confirmation of the Bolshevist theory and of the practice as we had learned about it before.

This is precisely the same sordid rationale or justification for state terror and repression enunciated by both the Bush and Obama regimes and their apologists. Simply substitute for “Bolshevist” the words “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” Evidently these “associated forces” includes tens of millions of Americans under the PRISM surveillance program of the NSA, or who are listed in the Terrorist Screening Database. As I strongly supported impeachment procedures against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, as well as Barack Obama and Joe Biden, I fully support in addition their indictment as war criminals before the respected international tribunal established since Nuremberg for this purpose under international law, the International Criminal Court. Indictment of Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham, John Kerry (as well as other supporters of pre-emptive wars of aggression and crimes against humanity) for aiding and abetting in the commission of war crimes against the Afghan and Iraqi peoples should also be undertaken by these international jurists. Father of the U. S. Constitution, James Madison, in Federalist Paper Number 47, said that consolidation of legislative, executive and judicial functions into one person or branch of the state was the very definition of tyranny. The murderous tyrant Barack Obama has continued (and enhanced) the fascist Bush policies of waging aggressive, undeclared and unconstitutional pre-emptive wars abroad, murdering untold numbers in vicious drone attacks. Via executive orders and presidential kill lists, he has vastly centralized presidential executive authority by claiming the extra-constitutional power not merely to detain citizens without judicial review and legal counsel but to assassinate them. He supports the indefinite detention of American citizens without charge, trial, or attorney; He supports the warrantless spying on American citizens, upon their phone calls, emails, financial and medical records; He has waged an unprecedented war on domestic dissenters and whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Sibel Edmonds, dusting off Woodrow Wilson’s Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute more than double the number of whistleblowers than all prior presidents combined. And he has draped his dictatorial executive actions with at least as much deadly secrecy, if not more so, than any other presidents in US history (excepting the tyrants Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR). Actions have consequences. Let these war criminals bear the full weight of their heinous behavior and conduct.