Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Death Squads

"No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination."--President Gerald R. Ford's Executive Order 11905: United States Foreign Intelligence Activities, SEC. 5, (g).

Passed in 1976 by then President Gerald Ford, Executive Order 11905 clearly prohibits political assassination by agents of the US, as part of an attempt to reign in an out-of-control CIA. While the order had ambiguous success, as the 1980s saw the US directly involved in numerous death squads and assassination groups throughout the Americas, it did restrain Presidents and members of the executive office from directly endorsing and directing such activities. Or at least, until the Bush administration.

More after the fold...

In an interview for an upcoming book, investigative journalist Sy Hersh this week revealed what he described as an "executive assassination ring" that operated directly out of the Bush White House:

"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....They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office....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...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.

If they stand up to the scrutiny they will certainly be put under, Hersh's stunning revelations reveal (once again) just how "dark" the days of the Bush administration had become. And they leave open a great deal of questions. Who was killed in these assassinations? How was this death squad created? How directly tied into this were the legal advisers to the administration? And, most alarmingly, who has control over it now? The accusations being put forth here are far beyond the purvey of Sen. Leah's proposed Truth Commission, meant to examine extrajudicial acts during the Bush administration. Murder and political assassination under the auspices of the US government being carried out directly from the executive office call for indictments and prosecutions. The Obama administration, so reluctant about dealing with the excesses of their predecessors, might find themselves forced to confront crimes too serious to ignore.

Read more below.

Seymour Hersh: "Executive Assassination Ring" Answered to Cheney, Had No Congressional Oversight

By Eric Black,

Investigative journalist Sy Hersh dropped a bombshell revelation on Monday about international killings ordered under Bush.

Read full article here.


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