Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'Executive Assassination Ring'

  1. #1
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Unhappy Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'Executive Assassination Ring'

    Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Describes 'Executive Assassination Ring'

    Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by MinnPost.com

    by Eric Black

    At a "Great Conversations" event 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 assassination ring."

    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 public."

    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 officials 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 Viethnam War with much of it arising from the George W. Bush administration, which both men roundly denounced.

    At the end of one answer by Hersh about how these things tend to happen, Jacobs asked: "And do they continue to happen to this day?"
    Replied Hersh:
    "Yuh. 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. 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 collateral deaths.

    "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 specialized.

    "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: ‘What do 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 gonna 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:

    "Under the Bush Administration's interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. 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 CIA actions.)

    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 public deception."
    * 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. (He talked 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 flowing. 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 about it.)
    * And the Bush-Cheney years. (Said Hersh: "The contempt for Congress in the Bush-Cheney White House was extaordinary." Said Mondale of his successor, Cheney and his inner circle: "they ran a government within the government." Hersh added: "Eight or nine neoconservatives took over our country." Mondale said that the precedents of abuse of vice presidential power by Cheney would remain "like a loaded pistol that you leave on the dining room table.")

    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. Presidents "always, in the long run, find out that the system is stronger than they are."

    Hersh seemed more troubled by the repetitions of the pattern. 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 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."

    Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Describes 'Executive Assassination Ring' | CommonDreams.org

  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Back of Beyond
    Posts
    11,082

    Default

    You beat me to it.

    I know! Let's play a game of 'Spot the dead political enemy!!' should be fun. And productive.

  3. #3
    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    the salad bowl
    Posts
    6,410

    Default

    when i hear of stuff like this it makes me think of that line in van halen's right now video that says something like "right now your government is doing things you think only other governments do."

    "It's complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder..."
    i beg to differ. if you willingly kill somebody, it is murder. assassination is murder. JMO.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


  4. #4
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,372

    Default

    ... uh, ive been saying this all for how long now? like this is a surprise
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  5. #5
    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    the salad bowl
    Posts
    6,410

    Default

    ^^yeah really, this is a surprise for people? i seriously thought everyone knew our gov't did this kind of stuff.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


  6. #6
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    you already know.
    Posts
    44,442

    Default

    9/11 was a lie too.

  7. #7
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Back of Beyond
    Posts
    11,082

    Default

    I knew I loved you Alice.

  8. #8
    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    the salad bowl
    Posts
    6,410

    Default

    i totally agree, alice...9/11 was the biggest pack of lies. i want to vomit when i think of it.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


  9. #9
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    18,358

    Default

    For the tin foil hats brigade: in the article there's mention of things
    POST 9/11. But if the government is capabla of all the stuff mentioned,
    would they have been able to have had a hand in 9/11 itself?
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

  10. #10
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    you already know.
    Posts
    44,442

    Default

    they're capable of JFK, Roswell and all kinds of other shit. the history of this country is fascinating, but scary too

  11. #11
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Back of Beyond
    Posts
    11,082

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    For the tin foil hats brigade: in the article there's mention of things
    POST 9/11. But if the government is capabla of all the stuff mentioned,
    would they have been able to have had a hand in 9/11 itself?
    Well, why not? 911 enabled the massive boondoggle aka TWOT for Bush/Cheney cronies who've made literally trillions of dollars off the blood of innocents. Individual people have been killed for less. It also enabled the gov't itself to clamp down more tightly on our civil rights.

    George Washington's Blog: The 9/11 Stand Down in 2 Minutes

  12. #12
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    Aw, c'mon, doesn't Osama deserve credit for anything?

  13. #13
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Aw, c'mon, doesn't Osama deserve credit for anything?
    Sure! He played Bush like a piano, brought down the US economy and made it the laughingstock of the world.

    It's almost like bin Laden and Bush were on the same team or something.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Kiefer Sutherland describes jail ordeal
    By Honey in forum Latest Gossip
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: November 20th, 2008, 04:36 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: September 8th, 2008, 12:51 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: November 2nd, 2006, 10:42 AM
  4. Replies: 19
    Last Post: September 7th, 2006, 03:18 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 12th, 2006, 06:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •