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FTR #808 Walkin’ the Snake in Ukraine, Part 3 (“How Many Lies Can You Allow Yourself to Believe Before You Belong to the Lie?”)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Listen: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

NB: This description contains information not contained in the original program.

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[7]

[8]

Pravy Sektor: "Anti-Terrorist" Ukrainian government militias are drawn from this group and Swoboda

Introduction: This broadcast illustrates the concept of institutionalized political inertia as applied to the crisis in Ukraine. Highlighting the imprisonment of U.S. intelligence analysis and policy formation because of this country’s immersion in the milieu of the Gehlen organization, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and the Underground Reich, we are witnessing the fascist roots nurtured and watered during the Cold War blossom into Nazi flowers.

After updating the active role [9] of Germany and the EU in promoting the anti-Yanukovich coup in Ukraine, the program notes the tactics of the Poroshenko government in the civil war in the country’s East. Bombarding [10] heavily populated urban areas with artillery and air forces, the Ukrainian military then follows up with street combat by fascist militias such as the Azov Battalion.

The program reviews the role of the OUN/B in the Republican Ethnic Outreach [11] organization. The latter was an outgrowth of a covert operation called the Crusade for Freedom. [12]

A major aspect of the CFF was the use of “fascist freedom fighters” in Europe, foremost among whom were the OUN/B combatants of the UPA. The UPA coalesced under Roman Shukhevych during World War II. The CFF also involved the elevation of these same Third Reich allies into a major element of the  GOP.

The element of the Republican Party that grew out of the CFF was comprised largely of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations–essentially a renaming of the Committee of  Subjugated Nations, formed by Hitler in 1943.

Conceived by Allen Dulles, the CFF was overseen by Richard Nixon. Its chief spokesperson was Ronald Reagan. The State Department official responsible for bringing “fascist freedom fighters” like the OUN/B into the United States was William Casey (Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager in the 1980 Presidential race and later Reagan’s CIA director.) The Nazi wing of the GOP was installed as a permanent branch of the Republican Party when George H.W. Bush was the head of the Republican National Committee.

[13]

Svoboda leader Tihanybok salutes

It is noteworthy that the organizations that were represented in the GOP ethnic subgroup were all affiliated with the SS during World War II. Prior to the commencement of hostilities, the SS formed effective liaison with the Hungarian Arrow Cross, the Rumanian Iron Guard, the Bulgarian National Front and the OUN/B, among other organizations.

This relationship was cemented and strengthened during the war and remained operational when these elements jumped to U.S. intelligence and, through that relationship, to the Republican Party.

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Allen Dulles, godfather of the Crusade For Freedom

Next, the broadcast excerpts an article featured in AFA #36 [15]. We highlight the role in the de-stabilization of the former Soviet Union of the OUN/B and the other SS-connected fascist organizations incorporated into the GOP [16] ethnic organization. Heavily overlapping the Free Congress Foundation of Paul Weyrich, the GOP “ethnics” and the OUN/B, in particular, played a leading role in the political tutoring of Boris Yeltsin’s IRG organization. Ultimately, Yeltsin’s forces were instrumental in breaking up the U.S.S.R.

Consortium News [17] give us another good arti­cle on the ongo­ing suppression on resurgent World War II and Third Reich allied fascism in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

This recreation of World War II fascism manifested by elements directly evolved from the ABN allies of the Third Reich can be seen as a direct outgrowth of the Free Congress Foundation’s efforts in Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R.

We note, again, that the head of the liberation sub-group of the Free Congress Foundation was Hungarian Arrow Cross veteran Laszlo Pasztor, the head of the GOP “ethnics.”

Of paramount importance in this discussion is the fact that the NATO countries [18] that are the source for the “intelligence” on the “Russian invasion” of the Ukraine are the same countries that are manifesting their Nazi-allied World War II heritage!

We also note that the satellite photos [19] purporting to show Russian armor and self-propelled artillery in Ukraine come from a private company called DigitalGlobe [20], founded by people with backgrounds in Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative or “Star Wars” program.

One of the founders, Douglas Gerull, has a background with the Zeiss firm, discussed in FTR #27 [21]2 as one of the companies that purchased Tinsley Laboratories, an important company involved with the development of satellite imaging intelligence.

Highlighting individuals and institutions at the epicenter of the evolution and perpetuation of the OUN/B, the program notes the development of the UNA-UNSO [22], evolved from Roman Shukeyvuch’s UPA and its morphing into Pravy Sektor.

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ISIS followers vowing allegiance to the group. Compare to Tihanybok's gesturing. Hint: They are NOT auditioning for an anti-perspirant commercial.

Jaroslv Stetsko, Roman Shukhevych and OUN/B chief Stephan Bandera established the Nazi ethnic cleansing model for the OUN/B during the war. Their influence has been maintained through the ABN, Roman Svarych (Jaroslav Stetsko’s secretary in the early 1980’s, a three-time Justice Minister in Ukraine and adviser to current president Poroshenko), Stetsko’s widow Slava Stetsko (along with Roman

[24]

Lvov Pogrom, 1941--Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall youth in action. See Nachtigall celebrants at the EuroMaidan demonstrations above, right. A street in Lvov was renamed in honor of this group.

Svarych the founder of the Ukrainian National Congress), Ykaterina (Chumachenko) Yuschenko, former Reagan aide and wife of Viktor Yuschenko [25], and Yuriy Shukhevych, Roman’s son and a former head of Pravy Sektor.

The broadcast concludes by underscoring the apparent role of Chechens [26] in the military prowess of ISIS. One wonders if the UNA-UNSO cadre may have imparted some of their military skills to ISIS?

Program Highlights Include: Review of the Ukrainian government’s establishment of anonymous “informer” networks in cities they captured in Eastern Ukraine; review of the celebration of the Nachtigall battalion in contemporary Ukraine; review of the overt persecution of the Russian ethnic population of Eastern Ukraine; an important article [27] by Robert Parry noting the spurious nature of claims of a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine, backed by analysis of veteran intelligence officers.

(We have covered the ascension of the OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine in a number of programs: FTR #’s 777 [28]778 [29]779 [30]780 [31]781 [25]782 [32], 783 [33]784 [34]794 [35]800 [36], 803 [37].)

1.  revealing article [9] from the Telegraph [UK] informs us of the size of the EU’s funding of Ukrainian civil society in its drive to bring that country into the EU’s (read “Germany’s”) orbit. Having committed 496 million Euros to civic organizations in Ukraine, EU poured roughly 11 Euros into the country for every man woman and child in its population.

That pales by comparison with the $5 billion [38] the U.S. has invested in Ukrainian civil society (this according to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.)

Also interesting is an account in the story below that an electrician employed in Ukraine received the equivalent of a month’s pay to join in pro-EU demonstrations. The money was said to be paid by a German bank.

The story correctly places the onus of this crisis on the West and not on Putin.

 “Fresh Evidence of How the West Lured Ukraine into Its Orbit” by Christopher Booker; The Telegraph [UK]; 8/9/2014. [9]

How odd it has been to read all those accounts of Europe sleepwalking into war in the summer of 1914, and how such madness must never happen again, against the background of the most misrepresented major story of 2014 – the gathering crisis between Russia and the West over Ukraine, as we watch developments in that very nasty civil war, with 20,000 Russian troops massing on the border.

For months the West has been demonising President Putin, with figures such as the Prince of Wales and Hillary Clinton comparing him with Hitler, oblivious to the fact that what set this crisis in motion were those recklessly provocative moves to absorb Ukraine into the EU.

There was never any way that this drive to suck the original cradle of Russian identity into the Brussels empire was not going to provoke Moscow to react – not least due to the prospect that its only warm-water ports, in Crimea, might soon be taken over by Nato.

And still scarcely reported here have been the billions of dollars and euros the West has been more or less secretively pouring into Ukraine to promote the cause: not just to prop up its bankrupt government and banking system, but to fund scores of bogus “pro-European” groups making up what the EU calls “civil society”.

When the European Commission told a journalist that, between 2004 and 2013, these groups had only been given €31 million, my co-author Richard North was soon reporting on his EU Referendum blog that the true figure, shown on the commission’s own “Financial Transparency” website, was €496 million. The 200 front organisations receiving this colossal sum have such names as “Center for European Co-operation” or the “Donetsk Regional Public Organisation with Hope for the Future” (the very first page shows how many are in eastern Ukraine or Crimea, with their largely Russian populations).

One of my readers heard from a Ukrainian woman working in Britain that her husband back home earns €200 a month as an electrician, but is paid another €200 a month, from a German bank, to join demonstrations such as the one last March when hundreds of thousands – many doubtless entirely sincere – turned out in Kiev to chant “Europe, Europe” at Baroness Ashton, the EU’s visiting “foreign minister”.

However dangerous this crisis becomes, it is the West which has brought it about; and our hysterical vilifying of Russia is more reminiscent of that fateful mood in the summer of 1914 than we should find it comfortable to contemplate.

2a. In Ukraine, the government is using heavy weaponry–artillery, armor, helicopter gunships and fixed-wing combat aircraft–to bombard dense urban areas. Afterward, the Nazi special battalions such as the Azov are sent in for street fighting.

“Ukraine Cri­sis: the Neo-Nazi Brigade fight­ing pro-Russian Sep­a­ratists” by Tom Parfitt; The Tele­graph; 8/11/2014. [10]

Kiev throws para­mil­i­taries – some openly neo-Nazi — into the front of the bat­tle with rebels

The fight­ers of the Azov bat­tal­ion lined up in sin­gle file to say farewell to their fallen com­rade. His pal­lid corpse lay under the sun in an open cas­ket trimmed with blue velvet.

Some of the men placed car­na­tions by the body, oth­ers roses. Many struck their chests with a closed fist before touch­ing their dead friend’s arm. One fighter had an SS tat­too on his neck.

Sergiy Grek, 22, lost a leg and died from mas­sive blood loss after a radio-controlled anti-tank mine exploded near to him.

As Ukraine’s armed forces tighten the noose around pro-Russian sep­a­ratists in the east of the coun­try, the western-backed gov­ern­ment in Kiev is throw­ing mili­tia groups – some openly neo-Nazi — into the front of the battle.

The Azov bat­tal­ion has the most chill­ing rep­u­ta­tion of all. Last week, it came to the fore as it mounted a bold attack on the rebel redoubt of Donetsk, strik­ing deep into the sub­urbs of a city under siege.

In Marinka, on the west­ern out­skirts, the bat­tal­ion was sent for­ward ahead of tanks and armoured vehi­cles of the Ukrain­ian army’s 51st Mech­a­nised Brigade. A fero­cious close-quarters fight ensued as they got caught in an ambush laid by well-trained sep­a­ratists, who shot from 30 yards away. The Azov irreg­u­lars replied with a squall of fire, fend­ing off the attack and seiz­ing a rebel checkpoint.

Mr Grek, also known as “Bal­a­gan”, died in the bat­tle and 14 oth­ers were wounded. Speak­ing after the cer­e­mony Andriy Bilet­sky, the battalion’s com­man­der, told the Tele­graph the oper­a­tion had been a “100% suc­cess”. “The bat­tal­ion is a fam­ily and every death is painful to us but these were min­i­mal losses,” he said. “Most impor­tant of all, we estab­lished a bridge­head for the attack on Donetsk. And when that comes we will be lead­ing the way.”

The mil­i­tary achieve­ment is hard to dis­pute. By secur­ing Marinka the bat­tal­ion “widened the front and tight­ened the cir­cle”, around the rebels’ cap­i­tal, as another fighter put it. While Vladimir Putin, Russia’s pres­i­dent, pre­var­i­cates about send­ing an inva­sion force into Ukraine, the rebels he backs are los­ing ground fast.

But Kiev’s use of vol­un­teer para­mil­i­taries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics”, pro­claimed in east­ern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe’s spine. Recently formed bat­tal­ions such as Don­bas, Dnipro and Azov, with sev­eral thou­sand men under their com­mand, are offi­cially under the con­trol of the inte­rior min­istry but their financ­ing is murky, their train­ing inad­e­quate and their ide­ol­ogy often alarming.

The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolf­san­gel (Wolf’s Hook) sym­bol on their ban­ner and mem­bers of the bat­tal­ion are openly white suprema­cists, or anti-Semites.

“Per­son­ally, I’m a Nazi,” said “Phan­tom”, a 23-year-old for­mer lawyer at the cer­e­mony wear­ing cam­ou­flage and hold­ing a Kalash­nikov. “I don’t hate any other nation­al­i­ties but I believe each nation should have its own coun­try.” He added: “We have one idea: to lib­er­ate our land from terrorists.”

The Tele­graph was invited to see some 300 Azov fight­ers pay respects to Mr Grek, their first com­rade to die since the bat­tal­ion was formed in May. An hon­our guard fired vol­leys into the air at the battalion’s head­quar­ters on the edge of Urzuf, a small beach resort on Ukraine’s Azov Sea coast. Two more mili­ti­a­men died on Sun­day fight­ing north of Donetsk. Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s pres­i­dent, called one of them a hero.

Each new recruit receives only a cou­ple of weeks of train­ing before join­ing the bat­tal­ion. The inte­rior min­istry and pri­vate donors pro­vide weapons.

Mr Bilet­sky, a mus­cu­lar man in a black T-shirt and cam­ou­flage trousers, said the bat­tal­ion was a light infantry unit, ideal for the urban war­fare needed to take cities like Donetsk.

The 35-year old com­man­der began cre­at­ing the bat­tal­ion after he was released from pre-trial deten­tion in Feb­ru­ary in the wake of pro-western protests in Kiev. He had denied a charge of attempted mur­der, claim­ing it was polit­i­cally motivated.

A for­mer his­tory stu­dent and ama­teur boxer, Mr Bilet­sky is also head of an extrem­ist Ukrain­ian group called the Social National Assem­bly. “The his­toric mis­sion of our nation in this crit­i­cal moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final cru­sade for their sur­vival,” he wrote in a recent com­men­tary. “A cru­sade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

The bat­tal­ion itself is founded on right wing views, the com­man­der said in Urzuf, and no Nazi con­vic­tions could exclude a recruit. “The most impor­tant thing is being a good fighter and a good brother so that we can trust each other,” he said.

Inter­est­ingly, many of the men in the bat­tal­ion are Rus­sians from east­ern Ukraine who wear masks because they fear their rel­a­tives in rebel-controlled areas could be per­se­cuted if their iden­ti­ties are revealed.

Phan­tom said he was such a Russ­ian but that he was opposed to Moscow sup­port­ing “ter­ror­ists” in his home­land: “I vol­un­teered and all I demanded was a gun and the pos­si­bil­ity to defend my country.”

Asked about his Nazi sym­pa­thies, he said: “After the First World World War, Ger­many was a total mess and Hitler rebuilt it: he built houses and roads, put in tele­phone lines, and cre­ated jobs. I respect that.” Homo­sex­u­al­ity is a men­tal ill­ness and the scale of the Holo­caust “is a big ques­tion”, he added.

Stepan, 23, another fighter, said that if lead­ers of the pro-Russian sep­a­ratists were cap­tured they should be exe­cuted after a mil­i­tary tribunal.

Such notions seem a far cry from the spirit of the “Maidan” protests that peaked in Kiev in Feb­ru­ary with the oust­ing of Mr Yanukovich, who had refused to sign a trade agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union. Young lib­er­als led the way but the upris­ing, which ended with the pres­i­dent flee­ing to Rus­sia, pro­voked a huge patri­otic awak­en­ing that sucked in hard­line groups.

Azov’s extrem­ist pro­file and slick English–language pages on social media have even attracted for­eign fight­ers. Mr Bilet­sky says he has men from Ire­land, Italy, Greece and Scan­di­navia. At the base in Urzuf, Mikael Skillt, 37, a for­mer sniper with the Swedish Army and National Guard, leads and trains a recon­nais­sance unit.

“When I saw the Maidan protests I recog­nised brav­ery and suf­fer­ing,” he told the Tele­graph. “A war­rior soul was awak­ened. But you can only do so much, going against the enemy with sticks and stones. I had some expe­ri­ence and I though maybe I could help.”

Mr Skillt says he called him­self a National Social­ist as a young man and more recently he was active in the extreme right wing Party of the Swedes. “Now I’m fight­ing for the free­dom of Ukraine against Putin’s impe­ri­al­ist front,” he said.

Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment is unre­pen­tant about using the neo-Nazis. “The most impor­tant thing is their spirit and their desire to make Ukraine free and inde­pen­dent,” said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Arsen Avakov, the inte­rior min­is­ter. “A per­son who takes a weapon in his hands and goes to defend his moth­er­land is a hero. And his polit­i­cal views are his own affair.”

Mark Gale­otti, an expert on Russ­ian and Ukrain­ian secu­rity affairs at New York Uni­ver­sity, fears bat­tal­ions like Azov are becom­ing “mag­nets to attract vio­lent fringe ele­ments from across Ukraine and beyond”. “The dan­ger is that this is part of the build­ing up of a toxic legacy for when the war ends,” he said.

Extrem­ist para­mil­i­tary groups who have built up “their own lit­tle Freiko­rps” and who are fun­da­men­tally opposed to find­ing con­sen­sus may demand a part in pub­lic life as vic­tors in the con­flict, Mr Gale­otti added. “And what do you do when the war is over and you get vet­er­ans from Azov swag­ger­ing down your high street, and in your own lives?”

2b. Insight into the nature of the “liberation” manifested by the Ukrainian government forces occupying Slovyansk can be gleaned by reading between the lines of the following story. In FTR #803 [37], we noted that the Pravy Sektor flag [39] was flying over the Interior Ministry building after the city was captured by government forces.

“A Test for Ukraine in City Retaken from Rebels” by Andrew Higgins; The New York Times; 8/1/2014. [40]

. . . . The new authorities, promising anonymity, have set up a hotline for residents to inform on rebel collaborators, and they have printed fliers warning that a new law mandates up to 15 years in jail for separatism. “Of course people are afraid,” Dr. Glushenko said. “They are frightened of being punished.” . . . .

3a. Consortium News give us another good arti­cle on the ongo­ing suppression on resurgent World War II and Third Reich allied fascism in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

This recreation of World War II fascism manifested by elements directly evolved from the ABN allies of the Third Reich can be seen as a direct outgrowth of the Free Congress Foundation’s efforts in Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R.

“The Hushed-Up Hitler Fac­tor in Ukraine” by Dovid Katz; Consortium News; 8/16/2014. [17]

Behind the Ukraine cri­sis is a revi­sion of World War II his­tory that seeks to honor east­ern Euro­pean col­lab­o­ra­tors with Hitler and the Holo­caust by repack­ag­ing these right­ists as anti-Soviet heroes, a real­ity shielded from the U.S. pub­lic, as Dovid Katz explains.

Would Amer­ica sup­port any type of Hit­lerism in the course of the State Department’s effort [41] to turn the anti-Russian polit­i­cal classes of East­ern Europe into paragons of PR per­fec­tion that may not be crit­i­cized, how­so­ever mildly?

It was frankly dis­con­cert­ing to see Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, embrac­ing the leader [42]of Ukraine’s far right, anti-Semitic, pro-fascist Svo­boda party last Decem­ber. It was dis­turb­ing to learn of the neo-Nazi ele­ments that pro­vided the “mus­cle” for the actual Maidan takeover last Feb­ru­ary (BBC’s News­night [43] was among the few major West­ern out­lets to dare cover that openly).

Most dis­turb­ing of all has been the main­stream West­ern media’s almost Soviet-grade wall some­how erected against crit­i­cal men­tion of the far-right com­po­nent of Ukraine’s 2014 his­tory, ren­der­ing any such thought as wor­thy of ridicule [44] on New York Times opin­ion pages last spring.

Most hilar­i­ous was the Times’s May 2014 pub­li­ca­tion of an (obvi­ously ghost-written, State Department-scripted) op-ed [45] by Ukrain­ian pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Yulia V. Tymoshenko which quotes Churchill writ­ing to Roo­sevelt, “Give us the tools, as we will fin­ish the job,” rum­bling on about “the just and open democ­racy that is America’s great­est bequest to the world.”

This, from the far right politi­cian who had shortly before that expressed geno­ci­dal mus­ings for the mil­lions of Russian-speaking cit­i­zens of her coun­try, and who was, dur­ing her tenure as prime min­is­ter, a prime devo­tee of the wartime fas­cist leader Stepan Ban­dera, whose orga­ni­za­tion slaugh­tered tens of thou­sands (many his­to­ri­ans put it at hun­dreds of thou­sands) of Pol­ish and Jew­ish civil­ians based on eth­nic­ity, in the Aryanist drive for an eth­ni­cally pure state pre­cisely on the Nazi model.

It was there­fore refresh­ing to read in last Saturday’s Times a report [46] that had, albeit buried near the end, a sin­gle line inform­ing read­ers that “One [mili­tia active in the Kiev government’s mil­i­tary cam­paign] known as Azov, which took over the vil­lage of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi sym­bol resem­bling a Swastika as its flag.” By con­trast, London’s right-of-center Daily Tele­graph ran a whole report [10] Mon­day titled “The neo-Nazi brigade fight­ing pro-Russian sep­a­ratists,” rightly includ­ing the obser­va­tion that the neo-Nazi forces being used by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment to do mil­i­tary heavy lift­ing “should send a shiver down Europe’s spine.”

This goes to the heart of what is being kept from so many West­ern, and espe­cially Amer­i­can read­ers. Putin — for all his author­i­tar­i­an­ism, anti-democratic bent and revan­chism — is not the cause of the Ukrain­ian conun­drum (though he is cer­tainly exploit­ing it). There is a gen­uine divide in Ukraine between a nationalist-dominated west and a Russian-speaking east.

Any­body who has trav­eled the coun­try will tell you that these “Rus­sians” in the east, and wher­ever else they are to be found, would much rather be liv­ing in a Euro­pean Union-type coun­try than in a Russia-type coun­try. What then is the prob­lem? They do not want to live in an ultranationalist-dominated state that is anti-Russian in a 1930s Aryanesque sense of eth­ni­cally and lin­guis­ti­cally pure Ukrain­ism. They much pre­fer the Russia-model state to that.

Now those anti-racist val­ues, includ­ing the rever­ing of the Anglo-American-Soviet alliance that brought down Hitler, and the dis­dain of soci­eties founded on mod­els of racist purity, are in fact also Amer­i­can val­ues. But that affin­ity between West­ern val­ues and the east­ern­ers would never even be guessed at in the avalanche of Cold War II news­feed com­ing our way.

Inci­den­tally, some West­ern reports [47] that car­i­ca­ture the Putin­ist press’s use of the word “fas­cists” for Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists don’t appre­ci­ate the col­lo­quial Russ­ian usage where it refers not nec­es­sar­ily to swastika-wielding thugs but even to high soci­ety that holds in esteem the likes of Ban­dera and other World War II-era Nazist fas­cists as sup­posed myth­i­cal “free­dom fight­ers” to be revered today by the state, in street names, stat­ues, muse­ums, and more.

That is not to say that America’s allies among the west­ern Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists are all pro-fascist. They are not. But there are two salient issues that go beyond Ukraine and cover all of “anti-Russian” East­ern Europe, par­tic­u­larly the new mem­ber states of NATO and the EU.

The first is casual accep­tance of neo-Nazi ele­ments, sym­bol­ism and ide­ol­ogy as part of any kind of sup­pos­edly cen­trist main­stream. In Latvia [NATO member–D.E.] and Esto­nia [NATO member–D.E.], this is exem­pli­fied by tacit (or not so tacit) state sup­port for hon­ors for those coun­tries’ Waf­fen SS divi­sions. In Lithua­nia [NATO member–D.E.], it can be man­i­fest in state-sponsored shrines to the Lithuan­ian Activist Front (LAF) killers who unleashed the Holo­caust on Jew­ish neigh­bors before the first Ger­man sol­diers had quite arrived.

But there is a sec­ond issue that is much deeper, and has noth­ing to do with these more osten­ta­tious kinds of Nazi wor­ship. That issue is history.

‘His­tory’ Alive

While World War II is indeed “his­tory” for the West, it is very much part of Now in East­ern Europe. State-sponsored insti­tu­tions in the three Baltic coun­tries, Lithua­nia, Latvia and Esto­nia, espe­cially, and also at times in Croa­tia [NATO member–D.E.], Roma­nia [NATO member–D.E.] and else­where have invested a for­tune in a kind of Holo­caust revi­sion­ism that would white­wash their own nation­al­ists’ col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hitler and turn the Soviet Union into the real Hitler.

Known as “Dou­ble Geno­cide,” it posits the absolute the­o­ret­i­cal equal­ity of Nazi and Soviet crimes. Its con­sti­tu­tion is the 2008 “Prague Dec­la­ra­tion [the Czech Republic is a NATO member–D.E.],” which most Amer­i­cans have never heard of, that sports the word “same” five times in ref­er­ence to Nazi and Soviet crimes. Even fewer Amer­i­cans know that one of its demands, that the world accept a uni­tary mix-and-match day of remem­brance for Nazi and Soviet vic­tims, was snuck under the radar [48] into last June’s con­gres­sional mil­i­tary appro­pri­a­tions bill.

The issue across the board is the choice made by nation­al­ist elites in East­ern Europe to con­struct national myths not on the mer­its of a country’s great artists, poets, thinkers and gen­uine free­dom fight­ers, but all too often, on the basis of Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors whose claim to fame is that they were also “anti-Soviet patriots.”

The fact of the mat­ter is that vir­tu­ally all of Hitler’s col­lab­o­ra­tors in East­ern Europe were “anti-Soviet.” In fact, the Soviet Union was the only power putting up resis­tance to Hitler in East­ern Europe. If the Sovi­ets had not pushed the Nazi armies back by the spring of 1944, at huge sac­ri­fice to all the Soviet peo­ples, there would have been no D-Day or open­ing of a West­ern front.

Whether it is hero-worship of Hungary’s Mik­lós Hor­thy [Hungary is a NATO member–D.E.], lead­ers of Croatia’s Hit­lerist Ustasha [Croatia is a NATO member–D.E.], the Nazis’ Waf­fen SS divi­sions in Latvia and Esto­nia, or the likes of Ukraine’s Ban­dera and his OUN and UPA, and the Waf­fen SS, it is an offense to West­ern val­ues that a NATO or EU state, or NATO/EU-aspiring state, would dis­burse state funds on the dis­tor­tion of his­tory, obfus­ca­tion of the Holo­caust and con­struc­tion of soci­eties that admire the worst of history’s racists.

To do so quite sim­ply implies that all the minor­ity cit­i­zens they butchered, or whose butcher­ing they sup­ported, were quite unwor­thy of con­tin­ued exis­tence. Inci­den­tally, all these coun­tries have real heroes from that dark­est moment in their his­tory: those (often the sim­plest of peo­ple) who just did the right thing and risked all to res­cue a neigh­bor from the Nazist estab­lish­ment col­lab­o­ra­tionist lead­er­ship of their own nationalists.

Any viable solu­tion needs to take into account that it is a deeply divided coun­try even in the absence of (ever-present) Putin­ist mis­chief. It there­fore needs to also take into account the many mil­lions of Russ­ian speak­ers who oppose the racial chau­vin­ism of some of the nation­al­ist elite now in or close to the gov­ern­ment, and who have very dif­fer­ent ideas about Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury history.

That is the way for­ward, not the Cold War II non­sense of spread­ing the word that the west­ern­ers are pure angels and the east­ern­ers pure demons, not the neo­con non­sense that America’s great­ness depends on end­less for­eign mil­i­tary mis­ad­ven­tures in regime change that lead to long , unpre­dictable, and uncon­trol­lable cycles of violence.

That Amer­ica shares with Rus­sia the mag­nif­i­cent legacy of hav­ing in tan­dem brought down Hitler’s empire is a her­itage worth invok­ing for build­ing bet­ter under­stand­ing, not a fact to be buried in def­er­ence to the far-right revi­sion of Holo­caust his­tory with which much of nation­al­ist East­ern Europe is so obsessed.

3b. The program reviews the role of the OUN/B in the Republican Ethnic Outreach organization, the Crusade for Freedom, the Free Congress Foundation and the destabilization of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

 “The Free Congress Foundation Goes East” by Russ Bellant and Louis Wolf; Covert Action Information Bulletin #35; Fall/1990.

With the rapid pace of political change sweeping Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, many opportunities have emerged for western interests to intervene in the politics of  that region. In some cases, such a vacuum has been created that virtual strangers to the area several years ago are now able to actively participate in changing those societies from within.

These interventions are not only being practiced by mainstream organizations. The involvement of the United States Far Right brings with it the potential revival of fascist organizations in the East. One U.S. group, the Free Congress Foundation, has been plahying a role in Eastern European and Soviet politics and has ties to Boris Yeltsin and the Inter-Regional Deputies Group (IRG) in the U.S.S.R.

The Free Congress Foundation (FCF) was founded in 1974 by Paul Weyrich as the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress. Weyrich, who had started the Heritage Foundation the year before, was heavily funded by the Coors family for both organizations.

Weyrich has kept one foot in the right wing of the Republican Party while dallying with the racist Right and the extreme Christian Right. In 1976, for instance, he and a handful of other New Rights (William Rusher, Morton Blackwell, Richard Viguerie) attempted to take over the segregationist  American Independent Party (AIP), formed by George Wallace in 1968. The AIP was an amalgam of Ku Klux Klan and John Birch Society elements. . . .

. . . . The IRG was established by Andrei Sakharov, Boris Yeltsin and others in the summer of 1989. By the end of that year, a training school had been established for candidates to put forward the IRG program. Their electoral success this year propelled Yeltsin to the leadership of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic. He immediately began forging collaborative relationships with the deeply reactionary leaders of the Lithuanian Sajudis party. The IRG has also served as a source of right-wing pressure on Gorbachev to dismantle socialism and the Soviet Union itself.

One of the key dangers in this agenda is the political vacuum it creates, allowing ultra-nationalist forces in a number of republics to take power. Such nationalist and fascist elements are already evident in Lithuania and the Ukraine. In the latter republic, the pro-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) has gained influence in several parties and has mobilized large demonstrations that honor OUN leaders who abetted Hitler’s war on the Eastern Front. Similarly, several deputies Sajudis deputies served in German military units in 1944, and Sajudis has made declarations against ethnic Russians living in Lithuania. According to some reports, Poles have also been denigrated.

It should also be noted that the “radical reformer” Boris Yeltsin has dallied with Pamyat, the foremost Russian fascist group to emerge in the last several years. Pamyat’s virulent anti-Semitism compares to the crude propaganda of the early German Nazi Party in the 1920’s.

The FCF is not entirely disconnected from the history of the OUN. The Treasurer of the FCF board is Georgetown University Professor Charles Moser. Moser is also serves on the editorial advisory board of the Ukrainian Quarterly, published by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, a group dominated by the OUN. The Ukrainian Quarterly has praised military units of the German SS and otherwise justified the OUN alliance with the Third Reich which reflects the fact that the OUN was politically and militarily allied with Hitler and the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine.

The OUN, an international semi-secret cadre organization headquartered in Bavaria, has received financial assistance from the late Franz Joseph Strauss, the rightist head of the Bavarian state. Strauss also had a working relationship with Weyrich. . . .

. . . . Finally, FCF’s insinuation into the politics of the East must be judged by their selection of Laszlo Pasztor [12] to head their Liberation Support Alliance, “which seeks to liberate peoples in Central and Eastern European Nations.”

Pasztor’s involvement in East European politics began in World War II when he joined the youth organization of the Arrow Cross, the Nazi party of Hungary.

When the Arrow Cross was installed in power by a German commando operation, Pasztor was sent to Berlin to help facilitate the liaison between the Arrow Cross and Hitler.

Pasztor was tried and served two years in jail for his Arrow Cross activities after an anticommunist government was elected in 1945. He eventually came to the U.S. and established the ethnic arm of the Republican National Committee for Richard Nixon. He brought other Nazi collaborators from the Eastern front into the GOP. Some were later found to have participated in mass murder during the war.

The dormant Arrow Cross has surfaced again in Hungary, where there have been attempts to lift the ban on the organization. Pasztor spent several months in Hungary. When Weyrich later conducted training there, he was provided a list of Pasztor’s contacts inside the country. Weyrich reports that he conducted training for the recently formed and now governing New Democratic Forum.

Pasztor claims to have assisted some of his friends in Hungary in getting NED funds through his advisory position with NED. In 1989 he spoke at the Heritage Foundation under the sponsorship of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), a multinational umbrella organization of emigre fascists and Nazis founded in alliance with Hitler in 1943. It is led by the OUN. Pasztor spoke for the “Hungarian Organization” of ABN, which is the Arrow Cross. . . . .

3c. Note how many of the Eastern European countries manifesting World War II fascist heritage are NATO members. Note, also, where the reports of Russian artillery inside Ukraine firing n Ukrainian forces come from:

“Russians Open Fire in Ukraine, NATO Reports” by Michael Higgins and Andrew R. Gordon; The New York Times; 8/22/2014. [18]

NATO officials said that the Russian military had moved artillery units inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and was using them to fire at Ukrainian forces. . . .

. . . . The NATO allegations are based on intelligence reports from several alliance members, Western officials said, and the allegation generally echoed Ukrainian claims in recent days of an expanding Russian military involvement in support of pro-Russian rebels who are battling to hold off a Ukrainian offensive.

A NATO spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, also said that the alliance had receive multiple reports of the direct involvement of Russian airborne, air defense and special operations forces in Eastern Ukraine. . . .

[49]

Serpent's Walk: Forecasts a Nazi takeover of U.S. in mid-twenty-first century, after WMD terrorist attacks.

3d. The dependence on unreconstructed Nazi sympathizers referencing World War II-era fascist ideological constructs is as dangerous as it is relativistic. Note, again, our reliance for “intelligence” on the very fascist elements we nurtured in the political womb of CIA/State Department/BND/GOP and then recast in Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R. after the Cold war.

“Is It War? Ukraine Con­flict Def­i­n­i­tion Soft­ens in West” by Gre­gory Vis­cusi; Bloomberg Busi­ness­week; 8/28/2014. [50]

For gov­ern­ments in the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithua­nia, Rus­sia has invaded Ukraine and the two coun­tries are now at war. Head fur­ther west, and they’re less sure what to call it.

While all agree that a line has been crossed, U.S and NATO offi­cials pre­fer to speak of an “incur­sion.” French and Ger­man lead­ers have warned Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin of fur­ther sanc­tions with­out defin­ing what Russ­ian forces have done.

“In the past 48 hours, we have tipped into a for­mal inva­sion,” Ian Brem­mer, pres­i­dent of the Eura­sia Group, said in a Bloomberg tele­vi­sion inter­view. “Rus­sia and Ukraine as sov­er­eign coun­tries are now at war and it’s going to be very dif­fi­cult for the United States and Europe to deny that reality.”

Call­ing it war or an inva­sion would force the U.S. and Euro­pean Union to con­sider steps they’d never be will­ing to take, such as com­mit­ting mil­i­tary forces, Brem­mer said. While sanc­tions have been imposed on some sec­tors of the Russ­ian econ­omy, Europe con­tin­ues to rely on Rus­sia for natural-gas imports and Russ­ian trade with the EU was worth about $390 bil­lion last year.

“The EU appears to have exhausted its polit­i­cally fea­si­ble options in the pre­vi­ous round” of sanc­tions, Iev­gen Voro­biov, an ana­lyst at the Pol­ish Insti­tute of Inter­na­tional Affairs in War­saw, said in a tele­phone interview.

Troop Buildup

Pro-Russian insur­gents widened their attacks yes­ter­day on Ukraine gov­ern­ment forces, tak­ing sev­eral towns out­side their strong­holds of Donetsk and Luhansk, includ­ing near the Sea of Azov. There are cur­rently 20,000 Russ­ian troops in the bor­der region, with 1,000 oper­at­ing inside Ukraine, a North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion mil­i­tary offi­cer esti­mated today.

Latvia’s For­eign Min­is­ter Edgars Rinke­vics said on Twit­ter that Russia’s actions amount to a “war” that should be taken up by the United Nations Secu­rity Coun­cil. The For­eign Min­istry in Lithua­nia, another for­mer Soviet satel­lite state that’s now one of the EU’s 28 mem­bers, said it “strongly con­demns the inva­sion of Ukrain­ian ter­ri­tory by Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion mil­i­tary forces, which has obvi­ously begun.” . . . .

3e. The satellite imagery purporting to show Russian armor and self-propelled artillery inside of Ukraine comes from a private company–DigitalGlobe. That company was founded by key personnel from Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

“DigitalGlobe”; Wikipedia.com. [20]

. . . . . Origins[edit]

WorldView Imaging Corporation was founded in January 1992 in Oakland, California in anticipation of the 1992 Land Remote Sensing Policy Act (enacted in October 1992) which permitted private companies to enter the satellite imaging business.[3] Its founder was Dr Walter Scott, who was joined by co-founder and CEO Doug Gerull in late 1992. In 1993, the company received the first high resolution commercial remote sensing satellite license issued under the 1992 Act.[4] The company was initially funded with private financing from Silicon Valley sources and interested corporations in N. America, Europe, and Japan. Dr. Scott was head of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories “Brilliant Pebbles” and “Brilliant Eyes” projects which were part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Doug Gerull was the executive in charge of the Mapping Sciences division at the Intergraph Corporation.[5] The company’s first remote sensing license from the United States Department of Commerce allowed it to build a commercial remote sensing satellite capable of collecting images with 3 m (9.8 ft) resolution.[3]

In 1995, the company became EarthWatch Incorporated, merging WorldView with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.’s commercial remote sensing operations.[6] In September 2001, EarthWatch became DigitalGlobe.[7] . . . . .

3f. DigitalGlobe co-founder Doug Gerull had previously worked for the Zeiss firm, discussed in FTR #272 [21] as one of the German/Underground Reich/Bormann firms that were moving into satellite imagery technology in the U.S.

“Doug Gerull”; linkedin. [51]

. . . . . Carl Zeiss
Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing industry
January 1980 – 1985 (5 years) Toronto / White Plains, NY

 

3g. An article published after this program was recorded notes the dubious nature of the claims of a “Russian Invasion’ of Ukraine.

“Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ On Ukraine?” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 9/2/2014. [27]

. . . . And now there’s the curious case of Russia’s alleged “invasion” of Ukraine, another alarmist claim trumpeted by the Kiev regime and echoed by NATO hardliners and the MSM.

While I’m told that Russia did provide some light weapons to the rebels early in the struggle so they could defend themselves and their territory – and a number of Russian nationalists have crossed the border to join the fight – the claims of an overt “invasion” with tanks, artillery and truck convoys have been backed up by scant intelligence.

One former U.S. intelligence official who has examined the evidence said the intelligence to support the claims of a significant Russian invasion amounted to “virtually nothing.” Instead, it appears that the ethnic Russian rebels may have evolved into a more effective fighting force than many in the West thought. They are, after all, fighting on their home turf for their futures.

Concerned about the latest rush to judgment about the “invasion,” the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of former U.S. intelligence officials and analysts, took the unusual step of sending a memo [52] to German Chancellor Angela Merkel warning her of a possible replay of the false claims that led to the Iraq War.

“You need to know,” the group wrote, “that accusations of a major Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the ‘intelligence’ seems to be of the same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.”

But these doubts and concerns are not reflected in the Post’s editorial or other MSM accounts of the dangerous Ukraine crisis. Indeed, Americans who rely on these powerful news outlets for their information are as sheltered from reality as anyone living in a totalitarian society.


4a. Illustrating the direct line of institutional evolution from the OUN/B to the present, Pravy Sektor is the political arm of the UNA-UNSO. It elected Yuriy Shukheyvch as its head. Shukheyvch is the son of OUN/B commander Roman Shukhevych, declared a “Hero of Ukraine” by the Yuschenko government. Roman also headed the Nachtigall Battalion in their liquidation [53] of the Lvov Ghetto in 1941.

Note that the UNA/UNSO organization–the political parent of Pravy Sektor–has apparently been active in Chechnya as well.

“The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism” by Peter Lee; Strategic Culture; 6/9/2014. [22]

. . . . One of Bandera’s lieutenants was Roman Shukhevych.  In February 1945, Shukhevych issued an order stating, “In view of the success of the Soviet forces it is necessary to speed up the liquidation of the Poles, they must be totally wiped out, their villages burned … only the Polish population must be destroyed.”

As a matter of additional embarrassment, Shukhevych was also a commander in the Nachtigall (Nightingale) battalion organized by the Wehrmacht.

Today, a major preoccupation of Ukrainian nationalist historical scholarship is beating back rather convincing allegations by Russian, Polish, and Jewish historians that Nachtigall was an important and active participant in the massacre of Lviv Jews orchestrated by the German army upon its arrival in June 1941. . . .

. . . . Yuriy Shukhevych’s role in modern Ukrainian fascism is not simply that of an inspirational figurehead and reminder of his father’s anti-Soviet heroics for proud Ukrainian nationalists.  He is a core figure in the emergence of the key Ukrainian fascist formation, Pravy Sektor and its paramilitary.

And Pravy Sektor’s paramilitary, the UNA-UNSO, is not an “unruly” collection of weekend-warrior-wannabes, as Mr. Higgins might believe.

UNA-UNSO was formed during the turmoil of the early 1990s, largely by ethnic Ukrainian veterans of the Soviet Union’s bitter war in Afghanistan.  From the first, the UNA-UNSO has shown a taste for foreign adventures, sending detachments to Moscow in 1990 to oppose the Communist coup against Yeltsin, and to Lithuania in 1991.  With apparently very good reason, the Russians have also accused UNA-UNSO fighters of participating on the anti-Russian side in Georgia and Chechnya.

After formal Ukrainian independence, the militia elected Yuriy Shukhevych—the son of OUN-B commander Roman Shukhevych– as its leader and set up a political arm, which later became Pravy Sektor. . . .

5. Some of the best scholarship on the perpetuation of the OUN/B milieu has been done by Professor Per Anders Rudling of Lund University in Sweden. Discussing Roman Shukhevych (as with other Ukrainian names, orignally from the Cyrillic alphabet, the transliterated names vary, somewhat.)

Rudling notes the enthusiasm of Jaroslav Stetsko, Shukhevych and Stephan Bandera for Nazi ethnic cleansing methods, which they rigorously implemented in Ukraine during World War II.

“Schooling in Murder: Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201 and Hauptmann Roman Shukhevych in Belarus, 1942” by Per Anders Rudling; academia.edu [54]

. . . . . Roman Shukhevych, its ommander, had distinguished himself in German service. Serving in German uniform since 1938, Shukhevych combined his political activism as a Ukrainian nationalist with a distinguished military record. In 1941, he was a commander of the Nachtigall battalion, a Wehrmacht formation consisting of Ukrainian nationalists. . . . .

[Footnote 90] . . . .

90 The OUN(b) blueprint for its wartime activities, “Borot’ba i diial’nist’ OUN pid chas viiny” from May, 1941, authored by Shukhevych, Stets’ko, Lenkavs’kyi and [ Stephan] Bandera, outlined the creation of an OUN “People’s militia,” the establishment of  “internment camps, set up for Jews, asocial elements and captives.” [“Tabir internovanykh,  pryznachenyi dlia zhydiv, asotsial’nykh elementiv ta polonenykh”] It demanded “Ukraine for the Ukrainians!…Death to the Muscovite-Jewish commune! Beat the commune, save Ukraine!”[“Ukraina dlia Ukraintsiv!…Smert’ moskovs’ko-zhydivs’kyi komuni! Byi komunu, spasai Ukrainu!”], demanding a “dog’s death” for the Muscovite-Jewish outsiders [“moskovs’ko-zhydivs’kykh zaid”]. TsDAVO Ukrainy, f. 3833, op. 2, spr. 1, ark. 57-76. Kopiia. Mashynopys and TsDAVO Ukrainy, f. 3855, op. 1, spr. 2, ark. 1-2. Kopiia. Mashynopys. Both published in Stanislav Kul’chyts’kyi et al (eds.), OUN v 1941 roki. Dokumenty, Chastyna 1. (Kyiv: Natsional’na akademiia nauk Ukrainy, Instytut istorii Ukrainy, 2006), 143, 159, 165.

6. The program next summarizes the institutional evolution of the OUN/B through the Cold War years and its perpetuation through CIA and its subsidiary organization the Office of Policy Coordination, the Crusade for Freedom, the GOP’s Ethnic Heritage organization, the Free Congress Foundation and the Yuschenko government in Ukraine.

7. The program concludes with an article noting the military prowess and sophistication of ISIS. Critical to this analysis is the apparent role of the Chechens in the tactical development of the group. In FTR #381 [55]. we noted the role of the Al-Taqwa milieu in the funding of the Chechen seperatists, which appears to have continued, as we saw in our analysis of the Boston Marathon Bombing [56].

In the context of U.S. and Western support for the OUN/B milieu in Ukraine, including the UNA-UNSO fighters who fought with the Chechens [22] and elsewhere in the Caucasus, we may well be seeing “blowback” from our policies vis a vis Ukraine in the development of ISIS’ sophistication. As discussed in paragraph 4a, the UNA-UNSO fighters were initially composed largely of Ukrainian veterans of the Afghan war. The organization gave rise directly to Pravy Sektor.

“ISIS an ‘Incredible’ Fighting Force, Special Ops Sources Say” by James Gordon Meek; ABC News; 8/25/2014. [26]

With the Obama White House left reeling from the “savage” slaughter [57] of an American journalist held hostage by ISIS [58] terrorists, military options are being considered against an adversary who officials say is growing in strength and is much more capable than the one faced when the group was called “al Qaeda-Iraq” during the U.S. war from 2003-2011.

ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [59], has been making a “tactical withdrawal” in recent days in the face of withering U.S. airstrikes from areas around Erbil in northern Iraq and from the major dam just north of Mosul it controlled for two nail-biting weeks, according to military officials monitoring their movements.

“These guys aren’t just bugging out, they’re tactically withdrawing. Very professional, well trained, motivated and equipped. They operate like a state with a military,” said one official who tracks ISIS closely. “These aren’t the same guys we fought in OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom [60]) who would just scatter when you dropped a bomb near them.”

ISIS appeared to have a sophisticated and well thought-out plan for establishing its “Islamic Caliphate” from northern Syria across the western and northern deserts of Iraq, many experts and officials have said, and support from hostage-taking, robbery and sympathetic donations to fund it. They use drones to gather overhead intel on targets and effectively commandeer captured military vehicles – including American Humvees — and munitions.

“They tried to push out as far as they thought they could and were fully prepared to pull back a little bit when we beat them back with airstrikes around Erbil. And they were fine with that, and ready to hold all of the ground they have now,” a second official told ABC News.

ISIS didn’t necessarily count on holding Mosul Dam, officials said, but scored a major propaganda victory on social media when they hoisted the black flag of the group over the facility that provides electricity and water to a large swath of Iraq, or could drown millions if breached.

U.S. special operations forces under the Joint Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command keep close tabs on the military evolution of ISIS and both its combat and terrorism — called “asymmetric” — capabilities, officials told ABC News. A primary reason is in anticipation of possibly fighting them, which a full squadron of special mission unit operators did in the Independence Day raid [61] on an ISIS camp in Raqqah, Syria.

“They’re incredible fighters. ISIS teams in many places use special operations TTPs,” said the second official, who has considerable combat experience, using the military term for “tactics, techniques and procedures.”

In sobering press conference Friday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel [62] said ISIS has shown that it is “as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen.”

“They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded,” he said. “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.”

Prior ISIS’s recent public successes, the former chairman of the 9/11 Commission, which just released a tenth anniversary report on the threat of terrorism currently facing the homeland, said he was shocked at how little seems to be known inside the U.S. intelligence community about the Islamist army brutalizing Iraq as it has Syria.

“I was appalled at the ignorance,” former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who led the 9/11 Commission, told ABC News last week.

Kean, a Republican, who with vice chairman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, recently met with about 20 top intelligence officials in preparation of the commission’s latest threat report, said many officials seemed both blind-sided and alarmed by the group’s rise, growth and competency.

“One official told me ‘I am more scared than at any time since 9/11,’” Kean recounted in a recent interview.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence defended the intelligence community’s tracking of ISIS, saying officials had “expressed concern” about the threat as far back as last year.

“The will to fight is inherently difficult to assess. Analysts must make assessments based on perceptions of command and control, leadership abilities, quality of experience, and discipline under fire — none of which can be understood with certainty until the first shots are fired,” ODNI spokesperson Brian Hale said.

Where did ISIS learn such sophisticated military methods, shown clearly after the first shots were fired?

“Probably the Chechens,” the one of the U.S. officials said.

A Chechen commander named Abu Omar al-Shishani — who officials say may have been killed in fighting near Mosul — is well known for commanding an international brigade within ISIS. Other Chechens have appeared within propaganda videos including one commander who was killed on video by an artillery burst near his SUV in Syria.

Earlier this year, ABC News reported [63] on the secret history of U.S. special operations forces’ experiences battling highly capable Chechen fighters along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border since 2001. In addition, for decades Chechen separatists have waged asymmetric warfare against Russian forces for control of the Northern Caucasus.

The Secret Battles Between US Forces and Chechen Terrorists [63]

In the battle against ISIS, many within American “SOF,” a term that comprises operators from all branches of the military and intelligence, are frustrated at being relegated by the President only to enabling U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. They are eager to fight ISIS more directly in combat operations — even if untethered, meaning unofficially and with little if any U.S. government support, according to some with close ties to the community.

“ISIS and their kind must be destroyed,” said a senior counterterrorism official after journalist James Foley was beheaded on high-definition ISIS video, echoing strong-worded statements of high-level U.S. officials including Secretary of State John Kerry [64].