'Executive Assassination Ring' Reported Directly to Cheney Office
Alternet Ė March 11, 2009
The following is part of a talk delivered by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh at the University of Minnesota last night. For a full report,go here
"After 9/11, I haven't written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They havenít been called on it yet. That does happen.
"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC itís called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...
"Congress has no oversight of it. Itís an executive assassination ring essentially, and itís been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.
"Under President Bushís authority, theyíve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. Thatís been going on, in the name of all of us.
"Itís complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. Itís a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces youíve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized.
"In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.
"Iíve had people say to me -- five years ago, I had one say: ĎWhat do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they donít get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee.?í
"But theyíre not gonna get before a committee.Ē
Last updated 19/03/2009