US Cold War Resettlement Program Used for Propaganda, Spying

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The United States launched a so-called "Escapee Program" in 1952 to help resettle people who had fled Communist Eastern Europe for the West. But the program had a hidden side.

The US assessed whether refugees could be used for intelligence or propaganda purposes. Some were secretly offered money to return home and spy for the West.

A new Associated Press investigation shows that the International Tracing Service (ITS) played a role in this secret program, screening "escapees" at the request of the US government. The ITS has been part of the International Red Cross since 1955.

It is not surprising to hear that a humanitarian organization was helping US intelligence services, said Sarah-Jane Corke, who wrote a book about US covert operations during the Cold War.

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