Saturday, March 14, 2009
Revelations that a political assassination unit which reported solely to Dick Cheney was in operation during the Bush administration are absent the fact that the unit in question, the Joint Special Operations Command, has been active for decades, has been deployed domestically in the U.S., has killed U.S. citizens, and is an integral part of Barack Obama’s expanded wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell when he told a University of Minnesota audience on Tuesday that the Joint Special Operations Command is, “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.”
Subsequent media coverage of Hersh’s comments, such as a special feature on last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has framed the story in the inaccurate context that the JSOC was a personal hit team acting on behalf of Cheney alone, when in reality the unit was created in 1980 and continues to play a central role in Barack Obama’s continuation of the so-called war on terror.
As we learn from the Global Security website, the Joint Special Operations Command in fact comprises mostly of Delta Force soldiers and SEALs. The unit was established in 1980 and is located at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina and at nearby Fort Bragg.
The assassination unit was not a creation of the Bush administration or Dick Cheney, it has in fact been “involved in a number of covert military operations over the last two decades,” including the covert U.S. invasions of Panama and Granada, as well as search and rescue missions in Somalia, and searching for alleged war criminals in Yugoslavia.
Notably, the unit also routinely “provides support to domestic law enforcement agencies” during high profile events such as the Olympics, the World Cup, political party conventions; and Presidential inaugurations, including the 2005 inauguration of George W. Bush, at which a small group of commandoes were “deployed under a secret counterterrorism program named Power Geyser”.
[efoods]It was also reported that Delta Force were involved in the largest ever single act of slaughter of civilians by law enforcement in US history – the 1993 siege on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco.
In 1999, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair revealed that Delta Force units based out of Fort Bragg had been enlisted as part of the assault team on the Branch Davidian Compound. 76 people died in the siege, including 21 children and two pregnant women.
Alex Jones has gone up against Delta Force on numerous occasions while reporting on urban warfare training drills around the country. Delta Force conducted mock raids, dropping bombs in San Antonio, Kingsville, Alice, and Corpus Christie amongst other Texas towns. In many cases, the local authorities were not even warned before Delta Force invaded, and in one case, they even tried to pay off a police chief in San Antonio before he kicked them out.
Watch clips of Delta Force’s activities inside America from Alex Jones’ Police State 2000 documentary below.
According to Global Security, Bill Clinton’s 1994 Presidential Decision Directive 25 “exempt(s) the Joint Special Operations Command from the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 18USC Sec.1385, PL86-70, Sec. 17[d]. which makes it illegal for military and law enforcement to exercise jointly.”
The Joint Special Operations Command is a sub-unit of the United States Special Operations Command, which is described at the “Department of Defense’s front man in the global war on terrorism”. A New York Times article from last year reported that the Joint Special Operations Command were conducting ground raids in Pakistan supposedly aimed at hunting “Al-Qaeda members”. Such raids have only increased since Obama came to power.
Once again, the corporate media has completely fudged the most prescient issue arising out of Hersh’s revelation, which is the fact that the Joint Special Operations Command (mainly comprising of Delta Force) was not merely the brainchild or personal political assassination wing for Dick Cheney, but it has been in operation for decades, including inside the United States, has been involved in the murder of U.S. citizens, and is an integral part of Barack Obama’s expansion of the so-called war on terror.
By failing to reverse Bill Clinton’s PDD25 and not abolishing the Joint Special Operations Command, Barack Obama is in violation of Gerald R. Ford’s Executive Order 11905, which states, “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”
Dick Cheney is also in violation of this executive order, but with the Obama administration signaling that they will not pursue any members of the Bush administration for war crimes, the Republicans and the Democrats are once again running defense for each other as more illegal acts are committed.