As laid out in thorough detail by Brett Wilkins from Antiwar.com, United States authorities during the post-war occupation of Japan actually paid IJA war criminals millions of dollars to share knowledge and other secrets that were gained from dissecting the bodies of live prisoners of war (POWs), for instance, as well as from the thousands of Chinese civilians who were ruthlessly sprayed with bubonic plague and other deadly diseases as part of IJA's brutal chemical attack programs.
Founded in 1935, IJA's notorious "Unit 731," the entity responsible for these horrors, had been led by General Shiro Ishii, who worked as both a surgeon and a microbiologist. Under the leadership of Gen. Ishii, Unit 731 conducted horrible chemical and other medical experiments on captured Chinese, Soviet, and even some Western prisoners of war, as well as on members of the local Japanese population. Just like the Nazis, Japanese doctors and scientists were brought in to commit these horrific crimes against humanity, and many of the findings were later published in peer-reviewed journals.
In an attempt to avoid major backlash, these Nazi equivalents in Japan referred to their human subjects as "logs" or "Manchurian monkeys" in their scientific papers. But we now know that these subjects were men, women, and children of all ages, "thousands of whom were dissected alive, often without anesthesia," Wilkins writes. Many of those who survived these atrocities suffered horrible infections, lost limbs (or had limbs reattached in the wrong places), were exposed to lethally cold temperatures, and were even subjected "to flamethrower and bomb testing."
"Others were injected with animal blood, spun to death in centrifuges, killed in pressure chambers, exposed to lethal radiation doses and burned or buried alive," writes Wilkins. "Many women and girls were raped and forced to become pregnant so researchers could vivisect them and their unborn fetuses. Unit 731 members contaminated a thousand wells in Harbin with typhoid, sprayed plague-infested fleas from airplanes and fed anthrax-dosed chocolates to hungry children."
Many American soldiers were similarly tortured and killed, we now know. In one of the last such atrocities that we have a record of, nine captured U.S. airmen actually had their vital organs removed and were subsequently pumped full of saltwater – all of them having been tricked into believing that their torturers were "medical practitioners" who were there to help them rather than hurt them.
Some of the airmen had their lungs removed in order to study the effects of surgery on the respiratory system, while others had their skulls drilled and their brains partially removed in order to determine whether or not epilepsy can be treated with "brain exercises." And in some cases, those performing these experiments from Unit 731 actually ate the dissected organs like cannibals.
"The prisoners thought we were doctors," recalls Dr. Toshio Tono, one of the "medical assistants" who has since come forward to admit that he helped Unit 100, an affiliate of Unit 731, commit these horrible acts against other human beings. "They could see our white smocks so they didn't struggle. They never dreamed they would be dissected."
Unit 731 went to great lengths after the war to try to conceal these and other crimes, with Gen. Ishii ordering them "to take the secret to the grave." Even Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur helped to cover for Unit 731, secretly granting them immunity from these war crimes and even paying them for secrets that the American federal government would later use to expand its own strategic military advantage.
As Wilkins explains, America's special treatment of the Unit 731 war criminals mirrored that of Nazi war criminals, many of whom were given a free pass after World War II in exchange for helping the U.S. to develop new military weapons, fighter jets, and even spacecraft for the Apollo moon landings.
"Too 'moral' to conduct such ghastly research on its own, the United States embraced defeated German and Japanese doctors who intentionally drowned, gassed, suffocated, froze, burned, poisoned, infected, shot, stabbed and dissected living men, women and children to death to advance its own weapons of mass destruction programs," Wilkins writes.
"Sleeping with such enemies certainly birthed such great successes as better jet fighters and the Apollo moon landings, however, within a few short years it also produced more sinister offspring such as the mind control experiments of projects Bluebird, Artichoke and MK-ULTRA, and the aerial spraying of chemical and biowarfare agents over both America’s enemies as well as its own cities, military personnel and even its children."
Operation Paperclip is the official name of the secret mission that, as revealed by Business Insider, facilitated much of this. The American federal government gathered as many former Nazi scientists as it could and, rather than prosecute or execute them for their crimes, actually hired them to perform secret jobs for the U.S. military-industrial complex. Though many of these war criminals were outed as such during the Nuremberg trials, our own government whitewashed as much of the truth from the official record as possible in order to gain an upper hand militarily against the Soviet Union.
Included among the ranks of those Nazis who were pulled in by the U.S. is the infamous Wernher von Braun, who worked as the chief developer of the V-2 rocket, the first ballistic missile ever created. Von Braun would eventually be hired under Operation Paperclip as the director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. He also developed the Jupiter-C rocket, which was used to launch America's first satellite.
Another former Nazi who contributed to America's "space race" was Konrad Dannenberg, who worked closely with von Braun to develop the V-2 rocket, as well as launch the first object ever to be put in space by humans. Even after Operation Paperclip officially ended, Dannenberg was helping the U.S. government to produce rocket engines, missiles, and other weapons of war, many of which will probably end up being used during WWIII.
And let's not forget Walter Robert Dornberger, a member of the Third Reich who reportedly had personal contact with Adolph Hitler throughout WWII. Before being hired by the U.S. government to develop guided missiles for the U.S. military, Dornerberger was developing rockets and other weapons for the Nazis. Dornberger would eventually become vice president of the Bell Aircraft Corporation in the U.S., where he helped to develop the "Bell's Rascal," the first guided nuclear air-to-surface missile.
"While many of the men who were brought to the U.S. under the program were undoubtedly instrumental in scientific advancements like the Apollo program, they were also supportive and responsible for some of the horrors experienced by victims of the Holocaust," writes Danny Lewis for Smithsonian Magazine. "Operation Paperclip has certainly left a questionable legacy."
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