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Gold Warriors

Amer­i­ca’s Secret Recov­ery of Yamashita’s Gold
by Ster­ling & Peg­gy Sea­grave
2003, Ver­so
ISBN 1859845428
Illus­trat­ed, 384 pages.

From the back cov­er:
BLACK GOLD
In 1945, Amer­i­can Intel­li­gence offi­cers in Mani­la dis­cov­ered that the Japan­ese had hid­den large quan­ti­ties of gold bul­lion and oth­er loot­ed trea­sure in the Philip­pines. Pres­i­dent Tru­man decid­ed to recov­er the gold, but to keep its recov­ery secret. The treasure—gold, plat­inum, bar­rels of dia­monds and gem­stones plun­dered by Japan from all of East and South­east Asia—would be com­bined with Nazi loot recov­ered in Europe to cre­ate a world­wide Amer­i­can polit­i­cal action fund to fight com­mu­nism.

This ‘Black Gold’ gave Wash­ing­ton vir­tu­al­ly lim­it­less unvouchered funds for covert oper­a­tions. Accord­ing to CIA offi­cials, between 1945 and 1947 the gold bul­lion was secret­ly moved to 176 accounts at banks in 42 coun­tries. This pro­vid­ed an asset base to rein­force the trea­suries of Amer­i­ca’s allies, to bribe polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary lead­ers, and to manip­u­late elec­tions in for­eign coun­tries. Oth­er trea­sure was recov­ered inside Japan dur­ing the U.S. Occu­pa­tion. Gen­er­al MacArthur, Pres­i­dent Tru­man, John Fos­ter Dulles, and a hand­ful of oth­ers, knew all about the hid­den plun­der. Every pres­i­dent since Har­ry Tru­man has been involved in cov­er­ing up the exis­tence of these secret funds.

One part of World War II that receives lit­tle atten­tion is the finan­cial treachery—coercion, ter­ror, extor­tion, and secret betray­al. Lit­tle is writ­ten about it because promi­nent cit­i­zens chose to betray their own nations, their own fam­i­lies, rather than for­feit per­son­al wealth. Finan­cial col­lu­sion with Japan remains one of the world’s most close­ly guard­ed secrets even today. While many books have been pub­lished about Nazi loot­ing and eco­nom­ic con­spir­a­cy, records of Japan’s loot­ing and eco­nom­ic con­spir­a­cy have been removed from West­ern archives and data­bas­es, remain under secret clas­si­fi­cat­son, and will not be made pub­lic for anoth­er half-cen­tu­ry. There must be a rea­son for this. Recent efforts in the U.S. Con­gress led to pas­sage of Pub­lic Law 106.567 to assure pub­lic access for the first time to clas­si­fied doc­u­ments about Japan’s con­duct of the war. At the last moment, a loop­hole was added per­mit­ting the CIA direc­tor to decide which doc­u­ments are ‘rel­e­vant’ and to with­hold for rea­sons of ‘nation­al secu­ri­ty’ any that might reveal what the CIA was doing half a cen­tu­ry ago. This per­mits the CIA to fil­ter out all doc­u­ments that might reveal unsa­vory Amer­i­can col­lu­sion with Japan in the peri­od imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the war. Until those archives are ful­ly opened, we can only see a par­tial pic­ture. Even that is dev­as­tat­ing, as we will see in lat­er chap­ters. [From the pref­ace to Gold War­riors.]

See review by Chalmers John­son [1].

THIS BOOK IS IN PRINT.
For their hero­ic efforts, Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave have received death threats, had their phones and email accounts tapped, yet they brave­ly con­tin­ue to speak the truth and get the infor­ma­tion into pub­lic hands and minds. You can help sup­port and pro­tect the Sea­graves by pur­chas­ing Gold War­riors plus a CDRom of com­plete notes and research mate­ri­als from Bow­string Books [2].