Vilis Arveds HāznersCIA Files, Field Agent Alias Victor Halfond (AEKILO-2)

Much has been made of the CIA hiring "Nazis." Unfortunately, because the serious hunt for "Nazis" began based on fabrications produced by the Soviet Union, that has provided fodder for the conspiracy theorists that the CIA was funding "extreme-right-wing" Latvian exile organization "fascist" "dictatorships" (Simpson, 1985, 2014) as opposed to supporting émigrés dedicated only to preserving their language and culture in the face of threatened Soviet Russification and extinction while—as here, with Hāzners—attempting to establish and maintain conduits of reliable information in and out of occupied Latvia.

We've accessed and briefly annotated all three volumes of the CIA Hāzners files which have been declassified under the Freedom of Information Act.

You will note multiple references to "REDCOAT." As the post-WWII Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe tightened—with the Baltics effectively removed from the map except in the memory of their peoples, resistance changed from guerilla action to subterfuge and espionage. The CIA launched a program, "Rollback," to counter Soviet domination. That framework included:

  • REDBIRD and REDSOX - Two sets of operations involving the illegal return of defectors and émigrés to U.S.S.R. as agents.
  • REDCAP - A planned collection of information on Soviet personnel stationed abroad for the purpose of operational exploitation, including defection inducement.
  • REDSKIN - Operations involving legal methods of placing, recruiting, and communicating with agents within the U.S.S.R..
  • REDWOOD - Action indicator for information for CIA Soviet Division.

Hāzners' "agent" relationship with the CIA's REDSKIN program concluded in 1963, unlikely a coincidence that it was the year the KGB published its propaganda master-work, Daugavas Vanagi, Who Are They?, in English.

Updated: October, 2016

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