Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Jeremy Scahill has an article over at Common Dreams (link below) talking about the recently-discovered secret death squads being run by the CIA, Bush and Cheney. His question is whether Obama is doing the same thing, and whether we can believe anything anybody says about this given how Obama is covering up for Bush-Cheney. Excerpts below.

"The New York Times is reporting that this secret program that had 'been hidden from lawmakers' by Cheney was a plan 'to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists.' The Wall Street Journal, which originally reported on the plan, reported that the paramilitary teams were to implement a "2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts." [NOTE: see how they always create names to hide the truth. They're saying they had "paramilitary teams." In fact they were running death squads out of the white house.]

Congress is now going to have investigations. They are angry that they were kept in the dark. Now you know how the rest of us feel. The public, the citizens, who Obama and the Democrats keep in the dark about everything. Why is it that when Congress is "kept in the dark," they immediately launch an investigation, but when the public has been deceived and lied to, the Democrats say "No Investigations, No Prosecutions?" Why do they think we, the public, have no right to know anything?

"The House Intelligence Committee is now reportedly preparing an investigation into this program and the Senate may follow suit. 'We were kept in the dark. That's something that should never, ever happen again,' said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein. Withholding this information from Congress 'is a big problem, because the law is very clear.'"

"[T]he program sounds very similar to what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sy Hersh described in March as an "executive assassination ring" run by Dick Cheney that operated throughout the Bush years: '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.'" [P.S.: It's also murder.]

"But another pressing issue for the Congress is investigating the Obama administration's adoption of this secret program's central components. .... The Obama administration has not only continued the Bush policy of using drones to carry out targeted assassinations, but has also continued the use of prisons where people are held indefinitely without charge or access to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Under Obama, Bagram air base in Afghanistan is expanding and, at present, hundreds of prisoners are held there without charges. In essence, the Obama administration is doing exactly what this secret CIA program sought to do, albeit out in the open."

Scahill points out that Executive Order 11905, issued in 1976, makes it illegal for any person in the U.S. government to engage in political assassinations. And, to the extent the government would claim that dropping bombs/drones from the air is part of war, the fact is that they are using these weapons against people in Pakistan, and Congress has not declared war against Pakistan nor can they or should they, since Pakistan has not threatened or attacked the U.S. And god only knows who all they've been killing. If a general who was a willing participant in running secret death squads finally called a halt to it because too many innocent people were being slaughtered, then there must have been an awful lot of dead innocent people. We need to find out who was killed, and then arrest and prosecute everyone involved for murder.

We need to stop our arrogant, murderous federal politicians who are running private death squads to knock off their enemies, and apparently think they are entitled to do so. No, people, getting elected to office is not supposed to mean that you have a License to Kill. That's the James Bond line, not the U.S. Constitution.

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