Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Describes
'Executive Assassination Ring'
by Eric Black
March 11 2009
Journalist Seymour Hersh
speaking in Doha at an Al Jazeera forum on the media in 2007.
At a “Great Conversations” event (click below
image) at the
University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter
Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by
talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about
an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive
to listen "Great
Conversations" click above image
Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current
reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.
In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an
honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political
Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in
Hersh didn’t take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he
is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what
he needs on the topic to be,
“effective... that is, empirical, for even
the most skeptical.”
The evening of great conversation, featuring
Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled
“America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review
of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high
government official who had experience with many of the crises.
And it was mostly historical, and a great conversation, in which Hersh and
Mondale talked about the patterns by which presidents seem to get
intoxicated by executive power, frustrated by the limitations on that power
from Congress and the public, drawn into improper covert actions that exceed
their constitutional powers, in the belief that they can get results and
will never be found out.
Despite a few references to the Founding Fathers,
the history was mostly recent, starting with the Vietnam War with much of it
arising from the George W. Bush administration, which both men
At the end of one answer by Hersh about how these things tend to happen,
“And do they continue to happen to this day?”
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. 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 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
"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.
"It’s complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet
they are committing what we would normally call murder. It’s a very
complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special
Forces. The Delta Forces you’ve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly
"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.
"I’ve had people say to me - five years ago, I had one say:
you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding
and they don’t get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is
that murder? What happens if I get before a committee?’
"But they’re not going to get before a committee.”
Hersh, the best-known investigative reporter of
his generation, writes about these kinds of issues for The New Yorker. He
has written often about JSOC, including,
last July that:
interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike
covert CIA operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding,
because the President has a constitutional right to command combat
forces in the field without congressional interference.”
(“Finding” refers to a special document
that a president must issue, although not make public, to authorize covert
Here is a tape of the full Mondale-Hersh-Jacobs colloquy, a little over an
hour, without the audience Q and A. If you want to look for the Hersh
statement quoted above, it’s about at the 7:30 mark.
The rest of the evening was, as expected, full of worry and wisdom and quite
a bit of Bush-bashing.
Jacobs walked the two elder statesmen through their experiences of:
The My Lai massacre, which Hersh first
revealed publicly and which he last night called “the end of
innocence about us and war.”
The Pentagon Papers case, which Mondale
called the best example of the “government’s potential for vast
Henry Kissinger’s secret dealings,
mostly relating to the Vietnam War.
Hersh, who has written volumes
about Kissinger, said that he will always believe that whereas
ordinary people count sheep to fall asleep, Kissinger “has to count
burned and maimed Cambodian babies.”
The Church Committee investigation of
CIA and FBI abuses, in which Mondale played a major role.
about the fact that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover not only spied on
Martin Luther King but literally tried to drive him to suicide.
The Iran Contra scandal.
Hersh said the
Reagan administration came to office with a clear goal of finding a
way to finance covert actions, such as the funding of the Nicaraguan
Contras, without appropriations so that Congress wouldn't know about
them. Mondale noted that Reagan had signed a law barring further aid
to the Contras, then participated in a scheme to keep the aid
Hersh said that two key veterans of Iran-Contra, Dick
Cheney and national security official Elliot Abrams, were reunited
in the George W. Bush White House and decided that the key lesson
from Iran-Contra was that too many people in the administration knew
And the Bush-Cheney years.
Said Mondale of his successor, Cheney, and his inner
that the precedents of abuse of vice presidential power by Cheney
Jacobs pressed both men on the question of
whether the frequent abuses of power show that the Constitution fails,
because these things keep happening, or whether it works, because these
things keep coming to light.
Mondale stuck with the happy answer.
“The system has come through again and
again,” he said.
Presidents always think they will get away with
it, but eventually reporters like Hersh bring things to light, the public
“starts smelling this stuff,” the courts and the Congress get involved.
“always, in the long run, find out that the
system is stronger than they are.”
Hersh seemed more troubled by the repetitions of
The “beautiful thing about our system” is that eventually we
get new leaders, he said. “The evil twosome, Cheney and Bush, left,”
Hersh said. But he also said “it’s really amazing to me that we manage
to get such bad leadership, so consistently.”
And he added that both the press and the public
let down their guard in the aftermath of 9/11.
“The major newspapers joined the [Bush]
team,” Hersh said.
Top editors passed the message to investigative
reporters not to “pick holes” in what Bush was doing. Violations of the
Bill of Rights happened in the plain sight of the public. It was not
only tolerated, but Bush was re-elected.
And even Mondale admitted that one of his greatest successes, laws reforming
the FBI and CIA in the aftermath of the Church Committee,
were supposed to fix the problem so that,
“we would never have these problems again in
the lifetime of anyone alive at the time, but of course we did.”
Hersh - Cheney Ordered Liquidations
Hersh claims Cheney headed a special unit that
sought out ‘public enemies’ and executed people around the world.
Seymour Hersh, an American investigative reporter, openly accused the
former US vice-president, Dick Cheney at the Minnesota University for
callous liquidations of potential enemies of the country.
I did not write about it after
September 11, but the CIA was deeply
involved in activities directed against people who were considered to be
enemies of the country without any trials, Hersh said, alluding to abuse of
He went on to explain that an organization called Joint Special Operations
Command acted independently and they only had to answer directly to Dick
Cheney. Their operations took place across the world, without consulting the
authorities of the countries and they did not even look to the CIA for
Under Bush’s orders they entered various countries without informing the
ambassadors or directors of CIA’s headquarters. They found the people on
their list, executed them and left them there. That took place on behalf of
all of us, Hersh said.
He said that he was planning to publish this information in his book and
said it would take him two years at the most to collect enough evidence that
will convince even the most skeptical that he is right.
Kucinich seeking an investigation
Dennis Kucinich, a Croat-born politician known for his liberal
stances and a former democratic presidential candidate, thinks it is too
long to wait two years for Hersh to collect evidence and that an
investigation should be launched right away.
He sent a letter to the chairman of the supervisory committee for the U.S.
lower house, demanding that Hersh’s information be checked out, stating that
the operations, if they truly did take place, disturbed the foundations of
Kucinich is known to the wider public for his demands for the
impeachment of Dick Cheney in 2007, as well as the impeachment
of George W. Bush in July 2008. Hersh, who works for the New Yorker,
is known for his claims that America is planning an attack on Iran.
Immediately after the inauguration, Dick Cheney started a forceful public
Barack Obama. He accused him on several
occasions of bringing the US in danger with his democratic politics.
He reiterated that several days ago during an
interview with the CNN.
Cheney Ran SS-Style Political Assassination Unit
Vice-President Had His Own Military Hit Squad That Carried
by Paul Joseph Watson
March 12, 2009
Award-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh dropped another bombshell
this week when he revealed that former Vice-President Dick Cheney had his
own SS-style political assassination unit that reported directly to him.
Hersh told a University of Minnesota audience on Tuesday,
“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 how the
Joint Special Operations Command was
an executive assassination unit that carried out political assassinations
“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.”
The revelation that Cheney had his own private assassination unit is not too
far removed from Hitler’s notorious SA (Sturmabteilung), the much feared
para-military wing of the Nazi party who were used to beat, torture and kill
political opponents of the Nazi party in 1930’s Germany and the Waffen SS,
who were later used in the war to carry out executions and war crimes.
The SA were later targeted by Hitler during the Night of the Long Knives, a
brutal purge to eliminate political adversaries both inside and outside of
the Nazi party. Hundreds of people were executed in cold blood by the
Gestapo and the SS.
Tellingly, German courts and cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal
prohibition against extra-judicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to
Hitler. The Waffen SS was deemed beyond prosecution despite it blatantly
being involved in egregious and ongoing war crimes, as well as domestic
The Joint Special Operations Command, Cheney’s assassination unit, is also
described as an area of ‘extra-legal’ operations.
“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 it’s still going on.
None of Obama’s reversals of Bush executive orders
say anything about abolishing the Joint Special Operations Command.
the specialist unit is an integral part of Obama’s vastly expanded bombing
raids and other incursions in Pakistan.
Hersh - 'Executive assassination ring' reported directly to Cheney
by Muriel Kane
March 11, 2009
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he
told an audience at the University of Minnesota that the military was
running an "executive assassination ring" throughout the Bush years which
reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The remark came out seemingly inadvertently when Hersh was asked by the
moderator of a public discussion of "America's Constitutional Crisis"
whether abuses of executive power, like those which occurred under Richard
Nixon, continue to this day.
"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."
Hersh told MinnPost.com blogger Eric Black in an email exchange after the
event that the subject was "not something I wanted to dwell about in
public." He is looking into it for a book, but he believes it may be a year
or two before he has enough evidence "for even the most skeptical."
Stories have been coming out about covert Pentagon assassination squads for
the last several years. In 2003, Hersh himself reported on Task Force 121,
which operated chiefly out of the Joint Special Operations Command. Others
stories spoke of a proposed Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group.
As Hersh noted in Minnesota, the New York Times on Monday described the
Joint Special Operations Command as overseeing the secret commando units in
Afghanistan whose missions were temporarily ordered halted last month
because of growing concerns over excessive civilian deaths.
However, it appears that Hersh is now on the trail of some fresh revelation
about these squads and their connection to Vice-President Cheney that goes
well beyond anything that has previously been reported.
El Reportero Seymour Hersh Afirma Que...
Cheney Dirigió Un Comando De Asesinos
Al Estilo de Las SS
Marzo 17, 2009
del Sitio Web
Ante el silencio de los medios de comunicación, nos enteramos a través de
Prison Planet de las incendiarias declaraciones del afamado periodista de la
revista New Yorker, Seymour Hersh, ante la Universidad de Minnesota en las
que afirma que “el vicepresidente Dick Cheney dirigió un escuadrón de
asesinos, al estilo de las SS nazis, al margen de la CIA, que quitaba de en
medio a elementos considerados ‘enemigos del estado”. Hay que recordar que
las SS, al mando del vice-führer Himler, asesinó a miembros de las SA, otra
unidad del régimen nazi.
Estas declaraciones podrían aclarar la cantidad de muertes extrañas de
militares, investigadores en armas biológicas, periodistas y agentes de
inteligencia acaecidas en los años de la era Bush.
Sin embargo, el equipo de Alex Jones llega más lejos al afirmar que esa
unidad, dependiente del “Comando del Norte” lleva funcionando desde hace
décadas, haciendo al régimen de los Estados Unidos definitivamente heredero
del nazismo, pues la propia CIA fue fundada por el nazi Eric Gehlen, y los
programas secretos de armas biológicas y control mental MK Ultra, así como
la propia NASA, tuvieron a científicos nazis como sus máximos responsables,
tras ser exonerados del Juicio de Nuremberg y captados por el Programa
Esta tremenda noticia todavía ignorada por los medios de comunicación
masivos, que coloca al responsable del 11-S, Dick Cheney, en la picota de la
Justicia, se completa al conocer que el congresista del partido demócrata
por Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, ha pedido la apertura de una investigación sobre
¿Cuánto tardarán los medios de comunicación en contaros esta
Tic, tac, tictac, tictac…
PD: Digo yo: ¿No será “Al Qaeda” una extensión de este comando de asesinos
paramilitares?; Grabas unos vídeos con unas proclamas musulmanas, les pones
unas barbitas y unas ropas árabes…