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.