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 abroad. . “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 assassinations.
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. Indeed, the specialist unit is an integral part of Obama’s vastly expanded bombing raids and other incursions in Pakistan.