Eric Dezenhall: Operation Underworld ... An Offer An Obama Predecessor Couldn't RefuseRoundup: Talking About History
Eric Dezenhall is the author of The Devil Himself, five other novels, and two nonfiction books about damage control. He is the CEO of Dezenhall Resources, Ltd., a communications firm in Washington, D.C.
Quentin Tarantino's darkly comic 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds, was rollicking Nazi vengeance porn, the core shtick being a handful of Jewish American soldiers wreaking havoc on Hitler, Goebbels, and their goose-stepping ilk. The movie was alternative history, of course, but the story of shtarkers, Jewish tough guys, going after Nazis has a basis in fact.
This is the theme of my new historical novel, The Devil Himself, which is about the very real collaboration between Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky and U.S. Naval Intelligence.
I have known Meyer Lansky's family for years and had access to his personal recollections and private papers. Meyer's activities, sanctioned by the government as part of "Operation Underworld," included a Tarantinian mobilization of Jewish American mobsters against Nazi sympathizers and saboteurs, a campaign as cloaked in secrecy as SEAL Team Six's recent takedown of Osama bin Laden.
On that subject, my early admiration of President Obama's handling of bin Laden's killing lost steam when his administration began twisting itself into pretzels to convey that the terrorist's killing was done, uh, politely. Heaven forbid we hurt the feelings of the other homicidal maniacs that have Americans in their crosshairs.
As contemporary America contemplates how to deal with its enemies, it is worth looking at what the wartime administration of another liberal Democrat did when faced with foreign terrorists...
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