In December 1944, the Germans ran a false flag sabotage infiltration, Operation Greif , which was commanded by Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny during the Battle of the Bulge . German commandos , wearing US Army uniforms , carrying US Army weapons, and using US Army vehicles, penetrated US lines to spread panic and confusion among US troops and to blow up bridges, ammunition dumps , and fuel stores and to disrupt the lines of communication. Many of the commandos were captured by the Americans. Because they were wearing US uniforms, a number of the Germans were executed as spies, either summarily or after military commissions . 
M. Cahalan is the author of Edward
Abbey: A Life . He lives in Abbey's hometown, where he is
a professor of English at Indiana
University of Pennsylvania .
This article first appeared (in slightly abridged form) in the Mabon (September-October) 2003 issue of Earth First! The Radical Environmental Journal and reappears here with kind permission of its editors. For more information, visit http:// . Reader comments