Thursday, December 8, 2016

Additions to the MP - Black Market Activity

        This financial situation naturally led to a high level of corruption.  Harold Zink reported, “Not every American engaged in black-market activities of one kind and another during his stay in Germany, but this sort of activity was so general that there was very little criticism of it and indeed those who did not take advantage were often regarded as ‘peculiar’ or ‘freaks.’”  (Democracy Imposed p. 253)  The military had a very permissive attitude toward black market transactions.  One officer remarked, "nobody who sold a few cartons was considered a criminal.  It was the big wheeler-dealers who dealt in cars, diamonds and tens of thousands of dollars that the CID [Criminal Investigations Division] was after.  This army organization might call on you if you ordered 100 cartons a week from the US (at one dollar a carton), and enquire politely whether you were really such a heavy smoker.” The New York Times reported that a number of high-ranking army officers were involved in gross black-marketing operations. 
        Naturally, there would be a whistleblower in such an environment.  Colonel Francis P. Miller, the executive officer and plans and policy officer with the Office of the Director of Intelligence (ODI) at OMGUS headquarters in Berlin, eventually testified before Congress at the expense of his career.  Under threat of a congressional investigation General Clay threatened to resign. When the military inspected itself, it found Miller’s complaints were, “a figment of his own imagination, and not a true reflection of conditions as actually extant."  It also raised questions as to Miller’s "integrity as an officer."  Miller commented that, “As victors in the defeated land, many Americans assumed the role as a sort of imperial Raj.”  He did not endear himself to the Congress by remarking that it was his "considered judgment that the German troops occupying France had a better record in their personal contact with the population than the American troops occupying Germany."

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