740.00116 E.W. 1939/1169: Telegram

The American Representative on the Politico-Military Commission at Algiers (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

12. From Murphy. AFHQ has now decided against any publicity in connection with capture, collection of evidence, or trials of war criminals (my 2025, November 18, 2 p.m.) because of fear that any such publicity would lead to reprisals against American officers in Axis hands, especially those held by Japanese.

Accordingly censorship stop order was imposed in regard capture of officers involved in village of Caiazzo incident. Psychological warfare representatives here feel, however, considerable propaganda value could be made of announcements of capture and identification of war criminals, together with statements they will be given full judicial [Page 427] trial after war and, if guilty, punished at that time. PWB34 is making such recommendations to CinC.35 While policy is under discussion, ban against any publicity regarding specific war criminals remains in effect. [Murphy.]

  1. Psychological Warfare Board.
  2. Commander in Chief.