Cheney’s Personal Assassination Squad

Mark Hemingway reveals that the secret group once “routinely smeared by the left” during the Bush years was the one that got bin Laden:

…It’s been reported that bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team Six, officially known as Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DevGru. Marc Ambinder has a good report that fills in some of the particulars:

DevGru belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command, an extraordinary and unusual collection of classified standing task forces and special-missions units. They report to the president and operate worldwide based on the legal (or extra-legal) premises of classified presidential directives. Though the general public knows about the special SEALs and their brothers in Delta Force, most JSOC missions never leak. We only hear about JSOC when something goes bad (a British aid worker is accidentally killed) or when something really big happens (a merchant marine captain is rescued at sea), and even then, the military remains especially sensitive about their existence. Several dozen JSOC operatives have died in Pakistan over the past several years. Their names are released by the Defense Department in the usual manner, but with a cover story — generally, they were killed in training accidents in eastern Afghanistan. That’s the code.

Under Bush, JSOC was routinely smeared by the left and placed at the center of many Bush/Cheney conspiracy theories. Specifically, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh alleged it was Dick Cheney’s personal assassination squad:

“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 haven’t been called on it yet.”

Hersh then went on to describe a second area of extra-legal operations: the Joint Special Operations Command. “It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently,” he explained. “They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. … Congress has no oversight of it.”

“It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on,” Hersh stated. “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.”…

And the former MSNBC loony, Keith Olbermann:

And this from Wikipedia on JSOC:

…On January 11, 2007, President Bush pledged in a major speech to “seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”[20] The next day, in a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman Senator Joseph Biden (Delaware), informed United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Bush Administration did not have the authority to send US troops on cross-border raids. Biden said, “I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover that, and he does need congressional authority to do that. I just want to set that marker.”[21]

Correction: Yesterday I praised Obama for saying during the campaign that he would attack Pakistan if he had actionable intelligence to warrant it. I also said that McCain was wrong for criticizing Obama’s assertion. In fact both McCain and Obama’s Democratic primary opponents, Hillary and Joe Biden, criticized Obama for publicly saying what he’d do. Their criticism was that you don’t talk about a contingency plan involving secret military operations, particularly when the plan concerns an uncertain “ally” (Pakistan) with whom you must, nevertheless, work.

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  • jonolan  On May 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Of course, a lot of things were smeared by America’s domestic enemies before their boy, Obama was installed in the White House.

    That is the singular greatest benefit to this nation that Obama has provided. He fully identified the true nature of our domestic enemies and put them a position to show themselves liars and traitors.

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