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Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Greene, can you identify the officers or persons in the State Department you directed your correspondence to on this subject?
Mr. GREENE. I recall there was a Fred Smith that most of my correspondence was directed to. He was the Deputy Administrator of the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, as I recall.
Mr. EILBERG. We both know, you know Mr. Fred Smith very well. Did you ever discuss this matter with him as to why he was not replying to your letters?
Mr. GREENE. Mr. Chairman, in all honesty, I can't recall any discussion with him. My observation is that it was just foot-dragging. There just wasn't any action taken.
Mr. EILBERG. During the time that you were Deputy Commissioner, the INS established a Project Control Office in the New York district to coordinate and expedite progress of alleged Nazi war criminal cases. As part of the renewed effort to prosecute these cases, liaison with Israeli officials through the INS Athens office was attempted in 1974.
According to the GAO report, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv recommended that such a plan be first submitted to the Department of State. Also, according to the report, it was not until 1 year later that State Department permission was given to establish that line of communication.
Can you give any explanation for the long delay in obtaining State Department approval?
Mr. GREENE. No; I have no knowledge as to why the delay. Mr. EILBERG. Did the State Department indicate there might be problems with this type of arrangement?
Mr. GREENE. Not to me, they didn't.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Greene, based on your experience as Deputy Commissioner of the INS, and having dealt in that capacity with the various other Federal agencies, to what do you attribute the pre-1973 lack of activities with respect to investigations of allegations of Nazi war criminality?
Mr. GREENE. Within the Immigration Service?
Mr. EILBERG. Yes. Why was there no activity prior to 1973? Mr. GREENE. Mr. Chairman, that is a difficult question for me to answer. I know of no specific rule or reason. I make a flat-out denial there was any collusion or any concerted effort, to my knowledge, at least, to interfere or delay these cases.
I regret to say that they, to use the term, fell in the cracks. There was no major effort made, no all-out effort. As the Accounting Office also reported, there was a big emphasis on anticommunism programs. Anticommunism programs were getting the money and the investigators. These other cases just were not given the priority.
Mr. EILBERG. Would it not be correct to say were not given any attention at all?
Mr. GREENE. I would not say no attention, because we find some actions taken, here and there, in these cases. But there was not the concerted effort that we mounted in 1973.
Mr. EILBERG. You are, of course, familiar with the allegations leveled by former INS employees-and you have just heard Mr.
DeVito-of obstruction and misconduct by high level INS officials with respect to Nazi war criminal investigations.
What is your reaction to these charges?
Mr. GREENE. I flat out deny them. There have been three indepth investigations made of this matter. One by the FBI and one by the Internal Investigations unit of INS, which reported directly to me in the Immigration Service. Mr. Carey also made an investigation. Not one of them turned up any evidence, to my knowledge, of any collusion or corruption or hindering or interfering with any of these Nazi investigations.
Mr. EILBERG. Are you saying that the testimony of Mr. DeVito and the testimony of Mr. Allen yesterday are totally without foundation?
Mr. GREENE. To my knowledge they are. I know of nothing to substantiate what they said, at least what Mr. DeVito said. That is the only witness I heard.
Mr. EILBERG. Prior to 1973 and the creation of the New York Project Control Office, what was the extent of central office involvement in alleged Nazi war crime investigations?
Mr. GREENE. Prior to that date, sir?
Mr. EILBERG. Yes.
Mr. GREENE. Well, the Investigations Division controlled some of the more important cases. I know that directives did go to the field office. The actual following of those cases was not done on—what am I trying to say-not done on a total basis. In other words, there was periodic inquiries made and cases were brought in, and that type of thing.
Mr. EILBERG. So there was no central office involvement; do I understand that to be your answer?
Mr. GREENE. I wouldn't say there was none. I would say it was minimal.
Mr. EILBERG. You would say the involvement was minimal in the central office? What sort of activity was there in the central office on this subject?
Mr. GREENE. Well, I am hard pressed to give you a specific answer on that, Mr. Chairman. I was not involved myself. The investigation division operated more or less independent in the dealings with the field on these investigative cases. I have no personal knowledge of exactly what was going on.
I do know from statements made, certain records were brought in, phone calls were made, and I must assume they were made by central office people; ergo, they did exercise or express some directive or some opinion in some of those cases.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Chairman, would you yield for a minute? Mr. EILBERG. Yes, Ms. Holtzman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. You said you just testified with respect to your personal knowledge. What information do you have with respect to the involvement of the central office in these cases?
Mr. GREENE. Ms. Holtzman, I can only state what I heard testified, that was Mr. Flagg allegedly called somebody and somebody else got a call to bring cases in or route the case. That is the only knowledge I have.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. You have no information aside from what was in the testimony you heard here today about the involvement of the central office in these cases?
Mr. GREENE. I cannot give you any direct testimony on that point. I just do not know. I have no recollection on the point. Ms. HOLTZMAN. You have no information aside from what you heard this morning?
Mr. GREENE. I have none that I can recall; no.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Greene, can you comment on the specific allegations made this morning about Mr. DeVito that Mr. Burrows requested that certain cases be closed?
Mr. GREENE. No. I didn't hear that testimony. I understood Mr. Burrows was instrumental in routing the requests for investigation in through his office. I think it was Mr. Flagg who ordered, if I recall the testimony, ordered the case closed.
Mr. EILBERG. And finally, did you encounter at any time during your tenure any problems with Federal agency cooperation in investigations of war crimes?
Mr. GREENE. No; other than the one we have just discussed at the State Department. There was not a refusal, there was just a delay.
Mr. EILBERG. Ms. Holtzman, do you have any further questions? Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Could you go through the dates again of your service with the Immigration Service?
Mr. GREENE. My career?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes.
Mr. GREENE. Yes; I entered the Service in 1941. I came to Washington in 1949 as an investigator and held a number of positions in the Investigations, and then in 1957, I was made Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Chief of what?
Mr. GREENE. Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, National Chief of the Border Patrol, and I believe it was 1962 I was made Deputy Associate Commissioner for Domestic Control.
In 1968, I became the Associate Commissioner for Operations. As I said a little earlier, in March 1973, I was made Acting Commissioner for a period of 9 months and, subsequent to that was made Deputy Commissioner in January 1974, and I retired last May, a year ago last May.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And as an Assistant Commissioner for Operations, let me see if I have the date; 1963, was that correct? Mr. GREENE. What was the title again?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Assistant Commissioner for Operations?
Mr. GREENE. It's Associate Commissioner for Operations in 1968. Ms. HOLTZMAN. OK. Did you have jurisdiction over the investigations that were conducted into the handling of cases involving persons who had violated our immigration laws and were in this country illegally?
Mr. GREENE. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Now, you said that there were several investigations conducted into the charges made about the mishandling of these cases by the Immigration Service.
What explanation was given; were you given any explanation for the disappearance of files or the removal of files to Detroit from the New York office?
Mr. GREENE. No, maʼam.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Were you aware of the charges that files had been improperly moved?
Mr. GREENE. I was aware that Mr. Morse had asked for an investigation in 1973. It was alleged there was mishandling of files, and I never saw the actual complaint because it went to the Department of Justice.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And you never were given an explanation for this?
Mr. GREENE. No. The Bureau investigated it and, as I understand it, the allegation was not sustained so there wasn't-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What did they tell you the reason was for the movement of these files from New York to Detroit?
Mr. GREENE. I wasn't told of any reason they were removed, Ms. Holtzman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you know whether any reason was ever found?
Mr. GREENE. No.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Were you aware of the charges made with respect to the removal of information from files during the trial in New York?
Mr. GREENE. I understand the allegation was made, and it is my understanding and my recollection it was investigated and there was found no evidence that the records were
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What did they tell you, Mr. Greene, was the reason that the files were removed?
Mr. GREENE. I have no recollection of every being told anything about the files being removed. Now, I understand that allegation was not sustained.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. You mean you were told that, in fact, no materials had been removed from the files during this woman's trial in New York?
Mr. GREENE. That is my understanding. But that the investigation did not sustain the allegation.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I didn't ask you that question. I asked you what you were told about the materials that were allegedly removed from the files.
Were you told that there were no files removed or no materials removed from the files?
Mr. GREENE. I do not recall being told specifically that.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Sorry.
Mr. GREENE. I say I do not recall being told specifically by any one person the results of any investigation. It is my understanding that the investigation conducted did not sustain the allegation that materials were removed from the files.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Who gave you this report?
Mr. GREENE. I never had a copy of the report.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Who told you the allegations weren't sustained either orally or in writing?
Mr. GREENE. I do not recall.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Who had authority to remove files or materials from files in a locked cabinet in a trial attorney's office?
Mr. GREENE. Well, I assume, and only assume, that the District Director is in charge of the entire office and would have total responsibility, and from there on it would break down as to who the files were assigned.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you recall reading the article in the New York Times on December 8, 1973, which contained charges of both Mr. Schiano and Mr. DeVito regarding the missing files, and the improper movement of files, and other matters that might be construed as obstruction of an investigation?
Mr. GREENE. I recall reading that.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What was your reaction?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes; what was your reaction?
Mr. GREENE. As I recall it, it was already under investigation. I am not sure of the period, 1973, that that article appeared.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. December 8, 1973.
Mr. GREENE. I think the FBI initiated an investigation and the matter was put in the hands of the Deputy Attorney General. Ms. HOLTZMAN. What did the FBI tell you?
Mr. GREENE. The FBI never told me anything.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you ever hear about the results of the FBI investigation?
Mr. GREENE. As I just testified, and I cannot tell you specifically where it came to me, this is a number of years ago, that the matter had been investigated and they did not find or did not sustain the charge that the materials were removed from the files.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you know whether the FBI was the agency that in fact investigated these charges of missing files, and removal of files?
Mr. GREENE. It is my recollection, that it was the FBI. I think it's also stated in the Comptroller General's report that they did investigate it.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I don't have any further questions, Mr. Chair
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Greene, we have completed our questioning, and our personal relationship remains the same. I must say that, speaking for myself, I am a bit disappointed that you don't know anything about anything concerning Nazi war criminals. It just surprises me a little bit, and I know that you are a very loyal person and I know also that we are not prosecuting or persecuting, we simply want to find out what the facts were and why such a long period went by.
We have all of these allegations from Mr. Allen and Mr. DeVito, and we will hear from Mr. Schiano. You have heard all of these before, and it is just difficult for us to believe that you don't know anything about it.
If you would care to reply to that, you are more than welcome to do so.
Mr. GREENE. Well, I have tried to testify honestly, and to the best of my recollection. As I am under oath, I am only going to give information on those matters that I have a clear recollection or knowledge. If I don't have it, I am sorry.