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THE RETURN OF THE GOLDEN PRIEST: The Verona Reports and the Second Recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic, 1959 by Cali Ruchala

What is not written doesn't exist; it's past and gone.
- Mesa Selimovic

 

 

"FASCIST, WAR CRIMINAL, ETC."

In early October 1958, the Vatican Secretary of State ordered Father Krunoslav Draganovic to vacate the Catholic College of San Girolamo, the base from which the man dubbed the "Golden Priest" had overseen an intense and far-ranging Nazi-smuggling operation in the decade following World War II. [1.]

Nine years later, Draganovic appeared at a press conference in Yugoslavia itself. The defection (often referred to as a "kidnapping" by Draganovic's former supporters) was a bombshell. In a coup for the communist regime, Draganovic praised his Communist hosts and denounced those he had given (and taken) so much to help - the Ustase. [2.]

The nine years between Draganovic's dismissal and his defection to Yugoslavia have often been considered lost. Information that could be gleaned from declassified government documents, released in the aftermath of the Klaus Barbie scandal [3.] was scarce and elliptical after 1950. There was evidence that Draganovic's employment as an intelligence asset had been terminated as late as 1962, but no way to discern the extent of the priest's involvement through the late 1950s and '60s.

However, in 2001, lawyers for the Central Intelligence Agency settled Levy vs. CIA, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Attorney Jonathan Levy seeking the declassification of US Army and CIA files relating to Krunoslav Draganovic. As a result, a dossier of new documents was approved for release, most of them dating from 1959 and 1960. [4.]

The reason why these documents were not released earlier, and why it took a lawsuit to secure them, may be inferred from their content. A series of reports by US intelligence agents in Verona reveal that within months of his termination from San Girolamo by the Vatican, Draganovic was "re-recruited" by a new generation of American agents in Italy. This is shocking; it is also verifiably true.

Read History of the Italian RatlineThe first recruitment of Draganovic in 1947 as "one of the prime movers" in the "disposal rat-line" [5.] was indicative of the depths of immorality to which US intelligence had sunk to in the post-war years. Draganovic was an Ustase official as well as a priest; in the peculiar phrasing of the man responsible for his first recruitment, a "Fascist, war criminal, etc." [6.] The existence of the Ratline and Draganovic's part in it was confirmed by the United States government in 1983. [7.] But until the "Verona Reports" were declassified, little was known of the attempt by US intelligence agents in 1959 to bring their chief operative in that program back into the fold.

 

 

THE RATIONALE

The Americans happened upon Draganovic in the Spring of 1959, six months following his eviction from the College of San Girolamo. At first glance, the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic appears to be senseless. The Verona Reports reveal that Americans were interested "primarily in OB [Order of Battle, or military] information, then secondary economic and political," [8.] later specified as concerning:

a. arms dispersal within Yugoslavia;
b. the organization of the army;
c. the location of radar sites;
d. ciphers used by the Yugoslav army;
e. Yugo-Soviet relations, and Yugoslavia's relations with Romania, Bulgaria, and other neighbouring countries; and
f. the political posture of senior Yugoslav officials. [9.]

 

The agents were flirtatious in their courtship of Draganovic, entertaining his most fanciful notions and demands that, in the words of one, would have the Americans "working for Draganovic and his organization rather than they working for us." [10.] The agents considered themselves at liberty to look beyond the priest's past and his connections with the Ustase in order to obtain this sensitive information on a target country. Yet Draganovic had not seen the territory of Yugoslavia since the Summer of 1943, and his activities in the interim were not likely to put him into touch with the competent authorities, to say the least.

The Verona Reports indicate that Draganovic managed to convince the Americans that he controlled a vast Croatian intelligence-gathering network which he could place at their disposal to gather this type of information. The credulousness of the Americans would almost be laughable, until one concludes (as one agent eventually did) that the only "network" of this scale that Draganovic could be connected with was the Ustase.

 

 

THE MISSING INQUIRY

Draganovic had come highly recommended to the Americans at Verona by an informant (identified only by a codename, "Orval") in the Spring of 1959. Orval mentioned Draganovic's value as a potential informant more than once to his American chief, which prompted the Verona office to check into the priest's background. [11.]

Read the Verona InquiryAfter a cursory search of files on hand, on April 13th the Verona office wired the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) branch in Bad Cannstatt, Germany with a request for "any info [in] your files, or negative reply, concerning subject first name Krunoslav, last name Draganovic." The request gives Draganovic's residence as the College of San Girolamo. [12.]

Three days later, CIC-Bad Cannstatt replied with an extensive biography of Draganovic culled from files on hand. [13.] Verona was informed that Draganovic was "one of the leading figures in the Bureau of Colonization," [14.] a reference to the priest's post in the Independent State of Croatia in which he was responsible for the confiscation of Serbian and Jewish property and its reallocation to Croatian and Slovene deportees from the German Reich.

Read the Bad Cannstatt ReplyThe reply further mentioned that "Draganovic's sponsorship of Croat quislings and war crim[inals] reportedly linked him with Vatican plans to shield these ex-Ustashi nationalists until such time as they acquired proper documents to enable them to go to South America." [15.]

CIC-Bad Cannstatt's reply was declassified in 1983, but, importantly, Verona's initial inquiry was not released until Levy vs. CIA in 2001. On the basis of the restored inquiry and reply, we are now able to establish that the agents in Verona responsible for the "re-recruitment" of Draganovic knew precisely who they were dealing with, his notorious background, and the crowd that he ran with: the Ustase. There is no further acknowledgment in the Verona Reports of the information contained in the CIC-Bad Cannstatt reply.

 

 

THE FIRST MEETING

On April 28, Orval's handler, an American agent identified by the codename "Franco," [16.] departed from Verona for Rome to meet his target. From his initial destination - the College of San Girolamo - it appears that word had not yet reached the Verona office that Draganovic had been evicted from San Girolamo, though US intelligence received word of Draganovic's dismissal about a month after his departure. [17.] The reply from CIC-Bad Cannstatt had not contained the information.

On the grounds of San Girolamo, Franco was intercepted by a resident priest, one of Draganovic's confidants. The priest "greatly admired" Draganovic and offered to put Franco into contact with him, though not before upbraiding the "Anglo-Saxons" who were "responsible for the Tito regime in Yugoslavia" - a reference to the American aid package sent in 1948 after the Tito-Stalin confrontation and Yugoslavia's subsequent withdrawal from the Soviet Bloc. [18.]

Read the April 28th Meeting ReportDraganovic paid the agent a visit at his room later that evening. He began by mentioning his "pleasant relations" with William Gowen, a Special Agent of the Rome CIC branch in 1947 charged with investigating and arresting Ustase leader Ante Pavelic - and, in pursuit of his target, Krunoslav Draganovic as well. Considering that Draganovic must have been apprised of Gowen's intention to arrest him [19.], the priest was probably trying to find out how much Franco knew about his past relations with the Americans - there is no mention in Franco's report of Paul Lyon or any of the other personalities from the Vienna CIC branch that Draganovic knew much more intimately than Gowen from his work on the Ratline. Draganovic then launched a passionate condemnation of Tito and the persecution of Croats inside Yugoslavia. He also echoed the priest who had led Franco to him by claiming to possess inside information about Yugoslav misappropriation of American military aid.

Draganovic was carefully baiting his hook. He claimed to have been engaged in intelligence activities since 1943 and that "in the past 12 years he has never lost a source." He had "excellent sources in almost every part of Yugoslavia," though he avoided going into any detail as to how high-profile they were. Draganovic was willing to put this extensive network to use by the Americans but "at the first sign of insincerity, he, Draganovic, would cut off the relationship."

The price for this gift? Draganovic would "never accept one cent for his collaboration." However, if the Americans wanted to pay him, he would use these funds to "defray printing expenses" of leaflets that his network smuggled into Yugoslavia. This from the man later terminated, among other reasons, for "demand[ing] outrageous monetary tribute." [20.] The subject of payment was not the only issue on which Draganovic would soon change his tune.

But the American ate this swill eagerly. "Draganovic impressed Franco as being very astute, very intelligent, sincere and straightforward," with an "emphasis on sincerity." He urged his supervisors to make haste; Draganovic "will prove to be of extreme value" to the Verona unit. In an attitude which permeates from all of the Verona Reports, Franco felt that the United States had "nothing to lose" by employing a man he knew to be heavily involved with fugitive Nazi and Ustase war criminals.

 

 

THE SECOND MEETING

A second meeting with Draganovic was approved. On May 28, 1959, Draganovic made the trip to Verona to Franco's private residence, though the agent would discretely excuse himself so that the priest could talk privately with one of the Verona office's senior agents, codenamed in the report as "Sardi." [21.]

Read the May 28th Meeting ReportSardi's contribution to the Verona Reports is by far the most interesting. It is an antidote to the optimistic, credulous report filed by Franco after the April 28th meeting. He catches Draganovic in several misstatements, and is skeptical as to what use the priest is for gathering intelligence on Yugoslavia. He also suggested that Draganovic's "network" was in fact the Croatian Liberation Movement, the Ustase successor organization led by the highest-ranking official to benefit from Draganovic's Nazi-smuggling program, Ante Pavelic. But Sardi did not believe that Draganovic was too unsavoury to use as an agent; he simply doubted the priest could deliver all that he promised.

Draganovic, perhaps gauging the man across from him no less shrewdly than he had Franco, began to backtrack on his earlier statements as to the extent of his "network" inside Yugoslavia. The priest claimed he did not "control the men," but that they were part of his organization. They would need training if they were to obtain the sort of military information Sardi was interested in obtaining from Yugoslavia. Perhaps Draganovic's mind was alight with thoughts of the Krizari operation - guerrilla raids by former Ustase soldiers into Yugoslavia from Austria which was overseen by the British and Americans between 1945 and 1948.

Draganovic, however, interrupted this discussion and launched into a monologue on Tito and the persecution of Croats, as he had with Franco. He and his organization, he said, had three objectives: a free Yugoslavia, to defend the needs of the people, and to see to the self-determination for all of the Yugoslav republics. In a revealing rebuttal, Sardi asked him, point-blank, why these (rather inaccurate) goals should be of interest to him. The Americans were merely "utilizing the services of Draganovic or his organization in obtaining information" - they didn't care what he believed in. He may have added that if they were at all concerned with Draganovic's beliefs, they wouldn't have been talking to him.

According to Sardi's report, Draganovic made two extremely unusual requests during their meeting which, as the agent noted, cast serious doubt on his claims of the wide-ranging and vast extent of his "network." But there's more: the answers to these questions would seem not be of particular use to Draganovic or the neo-Ustase around Pavelic, but they would be of great value to the Yugoslavs secret police.

Draganovic states, first, that "he knows we have Agents operating in Yugoslavia, traveling from and into Yugoslavia." He asks that these covert operatives mail items for him from inside the country, ostensibly to put Draganovic into contact with individuals under watch by the secret police.

He described an example that we may have a man going to Belgrade, Sardi would inform Draganovic that we do have a man going, thereupon, Draganovic would give Sardi several letters to be given to this traveller to be mailed upon his arrival in Yugoslavia.

 

These letters, needless to say, would be a virtual red flag to UDBA, the Yugoslav secret police, who could use them to unmask and then track the agent's activities inside the country.

Even more suspicious is Draganovic's second request. The priest demands that the Americans put him in touch with their consulates throughout Europe. Whenever a Yugoslav citizen would try to emigrate to the United States, Draganovic would be notified "and would inform the Consultae [sic] whether the individual was qualified to emmigrate [sic - here and below] or not." Too many of the emigres, Draganovic explained, were "no good" and "all the good ones" were being left inside the country. As Sardi noted, "In other words he would be the one to pass judgement as to which or what Yugoslav refugee would emmigrate to the United States." Knowledge of which citizens were deciding to emigrate - including defectors - would be as important for UDBA to know as the identity of CIA agents in the country.

Finally, in reaction to a statement Draganovic made to the effect that his "network" was based outside of Italy, Sardi reveals an attitude sadly characteristic of the Americans in the Verona Reports. Draganovic had also mentioned that there are several parallel heads of his organization, and that he had recently returned from a trip to South America. These three facts, taken together, led Sardi to believe "that the organization with which Draganovic is connected is the Anton Pavelic Croation [sic] Liberation Movement."

Pavelic is the ex-Ustashi quissling leader of Yugoslavia. He is wanted as a war criminal by the Yugoslav government.

 

The American's reaction to this is curiously muted. If Draganovic's "network" existed at all, Sardi was probably correct in believing it was the reborn Ustase, led in Europe by Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburic, one of the most vicious and sadistic Ustase leaders during the war. Yet this is the degree of debasement that US intelligence had fallen to: neither Sardi nor Franco question the advisability of working hand-in-glove with some of the century's greatest mass-murderers.

Sardi was on the whole pessimistic regarding the prospects of any future cooperation. Yet it had little to do with Draganovic's past or his current associations, but rather whether the Americans could use him, and if they would adhere to his strange demands. If not, then "we shake hands and depart [as] friends."

The operational comments attached to this report by Sardi's superior in Verona note that the agent has pointed out some of the "various ramifications" of cooperating with Draganovic. In fact, the greatest danger, at least as far as the Americans were concerned, was that they were wasting their time.

 

 

THE THIRD MEETING

Read Krunoslav Draganovics Pay RecordsWithin two months of this meeting, in spite of Senior Agent Sardi's caution, Draganovic was fully employed by US intelligence under a codename which perhaps signifies the importance they assigned to him: "Dynamo." Records obtained via the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Draganovic was paid, on average, approximately 100,000 Italian lire per month. To put this into perspective, the average Italian salary in the same period was 47,000 lire per month. [22.]

Read the July 8th Meeting ReportOnly one report is extant from this period, and one or more pages of the document are missing. On July 8, Draganovic and Franco met to discuss the terms of the priest's cooperation. Franco's mood is decidedly less ebullient than it was in their first meeting; he is considerably less impressed by Draganovic's sincerity than his no-nonsense approach. "He does not act like a priest when engaged in intelligence conversations," Franco notes, "but assumes the attitude of a business man who has a product to sell and who is talking to a potential buyer." The American, perhaps as a result of Sardi's influence, began to revise his earlier opinions. Draganovic insists on traveling first-class by train carriage and the two joke about buying the priest a new pair of shoes. Franco is "convinced that [Draganovic] is in this business not only for his conviction but also because of the personal comforts an extra income can provide him with." [23.]

Read Krunoslav Draganovics Bona FidesAt this meeting, Franco and Draganovic agreed that all future payments would be signed for by Draganovic, referred to in the first two reports by his true name and herein as "Dynamo," under yet another codename, "Dottore Fabiano." [24.] On September 2, 1959, Franco and Draganovic decided on the priest's "bona fides," the method by which he could establish the legitimacy of American agents. Draganovic

is in possession of one-half of the nine-of-diamonds playing card which has been cut diagonally across. Agent Handler will present himself and say to DYNAMO "VINCIT QUI SE VINCIT" (He conquers who conquers himself). DYNAMO will answer "VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI" (A word is enough for a wise man). Agent Handler will then ask DYNAMO for his half of the bona fides which will match with the half in possession of the Agent Handler. [25.]

 

According to the pay records, reports from Draganovic began arriving shortly thereafter. By April 1960, he was no longer being paid on the basis of his output but at a fixed "salary" of some 60,000 lire per month. He was now a fully-established American operative, once again.

 

 

A DOUBLE-AGENT?

The fall-out from the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic was potentially enormous. It is plausible that Draganovic intended to exploit his relationship with the Americans to re-establish links between America and the Ustase, reborn under the guidance of Ante Pavelic as a neo-Fascist political movement in Buenos Aires by the same concentration camp guards, cut-throats and ideologists who escaped through the good priest's offices on the Ratline ten years before. As Sardi noted, if the Americans acceded to the priest's demands, it was the Americans that "would be working for Draganovic and his organization rather than they working for us." As for secrecy, the Yugoslavs knew everything about the renewed collaboration within a year. [26.]

Only five years before he was approached by Franco, the Army had obtained information that Draganovic was attempting to infiltrate US Guard Companies (squads of foreign nationals, usually Polish or German, which guarded American installations in Central Europe) with "Croatian refugees from Italy" whose visas he would obtain from Rome. [27.] Given his background, there's good reason to believe these were still more members of the Ustase he wanted to sneak in through the back door into sensitive positions. From the information contained in the Verona Reports, it appears that he merely had to wait long enough for an invitation.

The possibility of infiltrating American intelligence operations with still more Nazis and Ustase was not the only risk, however. There were persistent allegations throughout the 1950s and '60s that Draganovic had begun to cooperate with the Soviets or even his bete noir - the Yugoslav UDBA.

Read the State Department ReportMost allegations of Draganovic's cooperation with the UDBA were made after the fact, in an attempt to comprehend the enigma of his inexplicable defection to Yugoslavia. In Unholy Trinity, investigative reporter Mark Aarons and former Department of Justice investigator John Loftus quote a "former British intelligence officer" speaking on condition of anonymity that "If [the Yugoslavs] didn't kill him, it means he was a double agent. There's no two ways about it." Yet this source's words are somewhat unconvincing, despite the emphatic tone. [28.] In the aftermath of Draganovic's defection, the US State Department ordered an investigation of the priest's background and while the resulting memorandum alluded to allegations that "subject has been accused of working for the Soviet Intelligence Service," the author also stresses that there is "no proof that he ever worked for the Soviets or any Communist intelligence Service." [29.]

The Verona Reports indicate that the agents were often frustrated by Draganovic's refusal to name his sources, or even the name of his "network." This doesn't necessarily mean his information was in fact disinformation from the KGB or UDBA. As stated, Draganovic could have been stringing the agents along about an organization that was a complete fabrication, or feared naming his organization as Pavelic's neo-Ustase Croatian Liberation Movement or Luburic's sister organization, the Croatian National Resistance. But none of these (more likely) possibilities were explored by the Americans, either.

 

 

RATLINE REDUX

The Verona Reports obtained as a result of Levy vs. CIA present yet another twist in an already shocking story. It is, on the whole, a rather depressing sequel. In July of 1947, as William Gowen and other agents of the Rome branch of the CIC made their final preparations to arrest Ante Pavelic as well as Krunoslav Draganovic, a mysterious intervention on behalf of the leader of the Independent State of Croatia canceled the entire operation. The source of the order was ambiguous; the order itself ("Hands off") was not. [30.] Twelve years later, Draganovic was orphaned by the Vatican, and once again the Americans came to his rescue.

Draganovic was not the only ghost of the Ratline on the Army's mind in the 1960s, however. His old charge, Klaus Barbie, Gestapo chief of Lyon, was considered for reactivation in 1965. [31.] In Barbie's case, after several lengthy discussions the Army decided against it; the "potential gain" of re-recruiting the Butcher of Lyon in his new home in Bolivia far "outweighed the manifest risks." [32.] The lost soul was untouchable; the boatman who led him across the River Styx, by some leap in logic, was not.

Franco and Sardi were not "rogue" agents, and the notion that they brought Draganovic back under the wing of the Americans on their own initiative is dismissed by the "Operations Comments" appended to the bottom of two of the Verona Reports. For the July 8 meeting, the comments, presumably by an agent senior to Sardi and Franco, warn them not to "make any commitments that we can't break away from," but adds that the entire operation "looks promising." [33.] Either an entire office had gone rogue, or the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic was acknowledged at a higher level. As long as the Ratline remained a secret, the ramifications of Draganovic's renewed employment were minuscule - certainly not the public relations disaster of the recruitment of Klaus Barbie.

Security, of course, was another matter. The puzzle of Draganovic's ultimate allegiance in the 1950s and '60s, in light of his eventual defection to Yugoslavia, remains unsolved. How could the man who threw a lifeline to the bitterest enemies of the communist regime willingly return and live at peace until his death in 1983, as appears to be the case? Barring any future revelations from future Freedom of Information Act suits, only the files of the UDBA, presently gathering dust in the state archives in Belgrade, can shed light on the issue. But with the Verona Reports, the window of Draganovic's "lost years" has grown much smaller.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am indebted, first and foremost, to Jonathan Levy for his tenacity in pursuing the Verona Reports and for making them available to this site. Writing on this subject would not be conceivable without the efforts of Allan A. Ryan, Jr, John Loftus and Mark Aarons, and of William Gowen.

 

 

FOOTNOTES

1. "The priest Krunoslav Draganovic being asked to leave the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici," declassified CIA document, November 19, 1958. [back]

2. "Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganovic," State Department Memorandum for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Department of State from the Deputy Director for Plans, c. January 8, 1968; Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity, pp. 143-150. Aarons and Loftus state that at the time of his press conference, November 15, 1967, Draganovic had been "in Yugoslav hands" for "over two months." "His previously bitter denunciations of Serbian and Communist domination of Croatia had completely disappeared, replaced with glowing praise for the 'democratisation and humanising of life.'" Ibid, p 143. There has never been any evidence presented that he was kidnapped. At most, Draganovic's former collaborators on the Ratline alleged that he was tricked by a UDBA agent that infiltrated San Girolamo named Miroslav Varos; the scenario is unconvincing. Ibid, p. 145. [back]

3. Former Gestapo chief of Lyon, Klaus Barbie, known to the French Resistance as the "Butcher of Lyon," was exposed at a press conference in La Paz by French Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld in 1972 as the true identity of a Bolivian businessman going by the name of Klaus Altmann. Barbie managed to fend of his extradition until February 4, 1983, when he was expelled and brought to France for trial. Barbie had worked for the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps and was handed over by the Americans to Draganovic to secure his transport to South America.

The ensuing firestorm led Allan A. Ryan, Jr., director of the US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, to reveal the existence of the Ratline and Draganovic's role as the Ratline's "prime mover." See "DOJ/OSI Investigation of Klaus Barbie," declassified CIA document, 1983. This was the first explicit acknowledgment by the United States government of the Ratline and their employment of Draganovic, thirty-six years after the fact. [back]

4. The epithet "Verona Reports" refer to the documents written by the agents of SETAF Verona, not those written by Draganovic. [back]

5. "DOJ/OSI Investigation of Klaus Barbie." [back]

6. "History of the Italian Rat Line," declassified report by Special Agent Paul E. Lyon of the 430th Detachment of the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (Austria), April 10, 1950. [back]

7. Klaus Barbie and the United States Government: A Report to the Attorney General of the United States by Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General Allan A. Ryan, Jr., August 1983. [back]

8. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. [back]

9. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. "Dynamo" is a codename for Draganovic; see editor's introduction to ibid. [back]

10. Field report by Senior Agent "Sardi"; see Note 8 above. [back]

11. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Agent "Franco" dated May 2, 1959, XOR: 0-0214. [back]

12. Untitled cable from CG SETAF VERONA to 66th CIC Group and five other recipients, received April 13, 1959. [back]

13. CIC-Bad Cannstatt was the informal name for the 66th CIC Detachment - the same organization responsible for shielding the Gestapo Chief of Lyon, Klaus Barbie, from extradition by the French in 1950. Agents from the 66th then contacted the 430th CIC Detachment based in Vienna, who agreed to ship Barbie down the Nazi-smuggling network they had established with Draganovic. Ryan, Klaus Barbie and the United States Government, pp. 151-160. Lyon, "History of the Italian Rat Line." No mention of Draganovic's work for the 430th CIC or, indirectly, the 66th CIC is mentioned in the CIC-Bad Cannstatt reply. The CIC's files had been removed from Europe to be microfilmed in the United States and the information on Barbie was still highly classified; it is unlikely that Draganovic's role in the Barbie Affair would be discernable from the information on hand. [back]

14. Untitled cable from 66th CIC Group to CG SETAF Verona by Edward E. Costello, April 16, 1959. [back]

15. Ibid. [back]

16. "Franco" signs his name alongside Draganovic's in a contract as "Bruno Francazi" or "Francozi." See the "Doctor Fabiano Statement" (untitled contract), July 8, 1959. According to a subsequent report, Draganovic suggests that the American use the "common name Franco" in their correspondence. However, one previous letter and two which were written by Draganovic to Franco subsequent to that meeting all address the recipient as "Bruno." Partial report of July 8, 1959; and "SETAF 41: Handwriting Specimens and Signatures and Bona Fides," declassified CIA document. [back]

17. "The priest Krunoslav Draganovic being asked to leave the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici." See Note 1 above. [back]

18. This and subsequent information concerning the initial meeting comes from "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Agent "Franco" dated May 2, 1959. [back]

19. "Declaration of William E. W. Gowen," obtained from the court record in San Francisco in Case No. C99-4941 MMC (EDL), dated January 16, 2003. [back]

20. Untitled database files for Krunoslav Draganovic, declassified CIA files. It had been thought, before the release of the Verona Reports, that the reasons for Draganovic's termination related to his charging exhorbitant fees for moving fugitive Nazis like Barbie on behalf of the Americans back in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But the files state that Draganovic was terminated "with prejudice/23 Jan 62" for reasons of "security and lack of control; too knowledgable of unit personnel and activity; demands outrageous monetary tribute and US support of Croat Orgs. as partial payment for cooperation." The date must refer to Draganovic's second tenure, and Draganovic made his demand for "US support of Croat Orgs. as partial payment for cooperation" to Senior Agent Sardi. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. With the release of the Verona Reports, we can now state that the specific reasons given in the termination files for the Draganovic's firing date from his second tenure - even though the record had been carefully shorn of any reference to it when the termination files were declassified in 1983. [back]

21. This and subsequent information concerning the May 28, 1959 meeting comes from "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. [back]

22. "SETAF 41 Source Accounting Sheets," declassified CIA file. [back]

23. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. [back]

24. The "Doctor Fabiano Statement," a contract between Franco and Draganovic signed on July 8. Draganovic's termination files indicate he was known by yet another codename, "The Professor." [back]

25. "SETAF 41: Handwriting Specimens and Signatures and Bona Fides," declassified CIA document. [back]

26. Denunciations of Draganovic in the Yugoslav press began again in 1960 after several years, along with several "show trials" in which the accused implicated the priest as an American agent. Unholy Trinity, p. 147. [back]

27. Carded index file titled "DRAGANOVIC, Fnu, Professor," Ref: D-281026, Ops Memo dtd 29 Jun 54, File: IV-0926. The original report has not been found. There is no reference to this incident in CIC-Bad Canstatt's reply. [back]

28. Unholy Trinity, p 145. The quotation of the source begins with the statement that "I think he was very much a realist, and I'm not certain to this day whether he was not a double agent," and yet concludes with the seemingly emphatic statement that he was, with "no two ways about it." [back]

29. "Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganovic," State Department Memorandum for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Department of State from the Deputy Director for Plans, c. January 8, 1968. However, this document neglects to mention a good deal of what US intelligence knew about Draganovic, and flatly denies that the Yugoslavs had put Draganovic "on display," which we know to be true. [back]

30. Handwritten notation by CIC Agent Gono Morena on the same page as "Pavelic, Anton," memorandum by Special Agent Bernard J. Grennan, July 14, 1947. [back]

31. Klaus Barbie and the United States Government, p 168. [back]

32. Ibid, p 177. [back]

33. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. [back]

 

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