In a recent forum at the University of Minnesota, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed that during the Bush years a top-secret assassination squad reported directly to then-vice president Dick Cheney. Here’s what Hersh said:
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 it’s 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. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s 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 Bush’s authority, they’ve 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. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.
Why am I not surprised? In a country that prides itself on being ruled by law, the Bush Administration trampled on the Constitution and indulged in torture and gangsterism. George W. Bush ascended to power through manipulation of the justice system to pervert the electoral process, and his government was marked by cronyism, duplicity, incompetence and contempt for common decency.
American voters finally saw through the “spin” with which the Bush gang camouflaged its nefarious activities, and elected a President who is dedicated to the rule of law. You would think that the defeated gangsters would slink away with their plunder, never to be heard from again. But no. Cheney has the brass to haunt the airwaves with his discredited propaganda. And his fellow-Republicans are waging a war of resistance to bring down the new administration. Have they no shame?