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Amy Goodman: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh [...] said the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Hersh made the comment during a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10th.
Seymour Hersh: Congress has no oversight of it. It's an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it's been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there was a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It's been going in -- under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. [...]
Amy Goodman: [...] Seymour Hersh joins me now [...] Talk about, first, these comments you made at the University of Minnesota.
Seymour Hersh: [...] I was with Walter Mondale, the former vice president, who [...] was reluctant to oppose the Vietnam War. And so, I was asked about future things, and I just -- I am looking into stuff. I've done -- there's really nothing I said at Minnesota I haven't written in the (New Yorker). Last summer, I wrote a long article about the Joint Special Operations Command.
And just to go back to what John Hannah [...] what he said is simply that, yes, we go after people suspected - that was the word he used -- of crimes against America. And I have to tell you that there's an executive order, signed by Jerry Ford, President Ford, in the '70s, forbidding such action. It's not only contrary -- it's illegal, it's immoral, it's counterproductive.
[...] look at Guantanamo, the American government knew [...] Guantanamo opened in early 2002. "Gitmo," they call it, the base down in Cuba for alleged al-Qaeda terrorists. An internal report that I wrote about in a book I did years ago, an internal report made by the summer of 2002, estimated that at least half and possibly more of those people had nothing to do with actions against America. [...] the idea that the American president would think he has the constitutional power or the legal right to tell soldiers not engaged in immediate combat to go out and find people based on lists and execute them is just amazing to me.
[...] George Bush[...] was describing the progress in the war, and he said -- I'm paraphrasing, but this is pretty close -- he said that we've captured more than 3,000 members of al-Qaeda and suspected members, people suspected of operations against us. And then he added [...], "And let me tell you, some of those people will not be able to ever operate again. I can assure you that. They will not be in a position." He's clearly talking about killing people, and to applause.
Amy Goodman: [...] Is the assassination wing continuing under President Obama?
Seymour Hersh: How do I know? I hope not.
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Very few people know anything about what really goes on behind the scene when it come to U.S. foreign policy and the corporate interests that drive it all. Our government is controlled by powerful corporate interests that have literally hijacked the powers of government and our military to advance their own selfish agendas.
This interview should totally blow your mind. John Perkins was one of the men working behind the scenes to expand a global empire primarily through economic blackmail where they seduced third world leaders into taking out enormous loans that were impossible to repay so we could then U.S. corporations could swoop in and acquire control of their natural resources.
If you'd like to end the reign of corporate colonialism and rid our government of their influence, please join the revolution at The Kick Them All Out Project www.KickThemAllOut.com...