Sy Hersh did claim Cheney ran “an executive assassination ring”

posted at 11:04 am on May 19, 2009 by Legal Insurrection

A Pakistani newspaper, The Nation, published a story claiming that former Vice President Dick Cheney ran an assassination squad which killed, among others, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan:

Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country. The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of US army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.

Hersh is denying the story (italics in quote mine):

US journalist Seymour Hersh on Monday contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” made by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto. The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal – the new commander of US army in Afghanistan – had also killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese army chief. “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Mr Hariri or Mrs Bhutto,” Hersh said. “I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” He said Gen McChrystal had run a special forces unit that engaged in “high value target activity”, but “while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Mr Cheney, as the published stories state.”

But Hersh’s denial is untrue in part. While there is no record that I’m aware of in which Hersh claimed that Cheney had Bhutto assassinated, there is a recorded statement by Hersh, given during a speech at the University of Minnesota, in which Hersh claimed that the Bush administration had “an executive assassination ring” that reported directly to Cheney:

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.

Listen to the video starting at 13:30.

So while Hersh is denying being the source for the story of Cheney assassinating Bhutto, it is not surprising that Hersh was cited as the source given Hersh’s prior statements.

Cross-posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog

Update (AP): The definitive piece about Hersh’s habit of lying, especially when speaking to an audience, is right here. Ignore it at your peril.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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So truth doesn’t matter. I understand.

seven on May 19, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Dear Seymour,

Thanks a bunch.

Hugs,

David Shuster

fogw on May 19, 2009 at 11:10 AM

“I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.”

Maybe Hirsh was speaking one of his larger truths, to an audience that had yet to figure out he was full of it. My Mom always said, consider the source. My Mom was always right.

Angry Dumbo on May 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

So Cheney would have these people whacked and not Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Castro, and Ahmachdiendachedhed? Right.

Grafted on May 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Why is it every time I read something else about Mr Hersh he gets weirder?

Weebork on May 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Typical Islamic propaganda… Pakistani Islamists didn’t kill Bhutto, Cheney did. Syria and Hezbollah didn’t kill Harari, Cheney did.

I’m surprised that they didn’t claim that Cheney was responsible for the “mysterious illness” (AIDS) that killed Arafat while they were at it.

teke184 on May 19, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Isn’t JSOC our Green Berets/Delta Force type people? They aren’t an “executive assassination ring”, but rather actual soldiers, in the chain of command, who are tasked with special operations. Same as any other self respecting military has and has had for thousands of years. King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans would also be considered such types.

rbj on May 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM

If there was such a group, Hersh would be sleeping with the fishes and no longer flapping his gums. What a t/fool.

billypaintbrush on May 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM

If I were the VP running secret assassination squads, there would be no reality television and I would never leave power. Also, I would eat free pot roast every day.

myrenovations on May 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Putting aside reality for a moment, and ignoring the fact that Hersh is doing this to attack Cheney (who is doing some serious damage to Barry right now, ‘coincidentally’), there was no good reason on earth for anyone other than an islamic terrorist to kill Bhutto.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Is it wrong that this alleged assassination ring makes me like Cheney more? ‘Cause that means he’s totes a bada**.

So Cheney would have these people whacked and not Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Castro, and Ahmachdiendachedhed? Right.

Shhh, logic to this Hersh person is like sunlight to a vampire.

mjk on May 19, 2009 at 11:17 AM

BTW, is Sy not as mainstream to the liberal-left Dems as Rush is to the GOP?

andycanuck on May 19, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Great/

More troll bait.

Knucklehead on May 19, 2009 at 11:20 AM

How do liars like Hersh keep a paycheck coming in the door?

According to him the USA has attacked Iran every year since 2004.

jukin on May 19, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Of course, let’s not notice that Al-Queda is now sitting in the White House.
Let’s investigate a former Vice President!

TexasJew on May 19, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Either Sy is turning into Walter Cronkite (activist “reporter” gone senile) or is giving his best shot at winning the 2009 Woodward / Bernstein Award for overt political prostitution.

viking01 on May 19, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Looking at the video, I think Amy Goodman must have had a mudpack facial and forgot to take the mud off.

Probably an improvement.

Kuffar on May 19, 2009 at 11:23 AM

So Cheney would have these people whacked and not Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Castro, and Ahmachdiendachedhed? Right.

Grafted on May 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

The bigger question is why he didn’t have Hersh whacked.

Sue on May 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM

The pretend journalist Keith Olbermann ran this, i.e., Cheney’s assassination squad, as his lead story on his make believe news show two nights in row. I’m sure with this rowback on Hersh’s part that he’ll correct the record.

Yes he will because he’s a serious newsman.

SteveMG on May 19, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Someone other than Nancy Pelosi got the “liar” tag from whoever shifted this to Hot Air.

Just shows that lying is endemic on the other side.

either orr on May 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I’m Supposed to take Hersh seriously? When did this start?

Dr Evil on May 19, 2009 at 11:33 AM

It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.

Is he in the habit of talking to inanimate objects? Or is it only inanimate Arab objects? Come to think of it, is a TV an inanimate object or not?

Akzed on May 19, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Why is it every time I read something else about Mr Hersh he gets weirder?
Weebork on May 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

You mean like this?

He regretted that none of the publications had contacted him before carrying the report. “This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their job – and that is to verify such rumours.” staff report

Talk about sucker punching your audience. You and i might be wiping off our keyboard after reading that, but his rabid lefty blog followers who post his every word as gospel are on suicide watch.

Topsecretk9 on May 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Hersh received the 2004 George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting[1] given annually by Long Island University to honor contributions to journalistic integrity and investigative reporting. This was his fifth George Polk Award, the first one being a Special Award given to him in 1969.

Dhimmicrat integrity.

davidk on May 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Hersh told a lie? REALLY??? Next you will be telling me that water is wet…

sonofdy on May 19, 2009 at 11:45 AM

In most cases, Hersh attaches a caveat—such as “I’m just talking now, I’m not writing”—before unloading one of his blockbusters, which can send bloggers and reporters scurrying for confirmation.
Every writer understands that there is a gap between the print persona and the actual self, but Hersh subscribes to a bright-line test, a wider chasm than is usually acknowledged, particularly in today’s multimedia age.

Translation: I can spread any kind of tripe / fabrications to my hearts content as long as it’s qualified by “I’m just talking now, I’m not writing”—-now in MSNBC and New York Time’s master guidelines manual for new-age journalism.

One has to wonder how “deep throat” works in here.

Rovin on May 19, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I bet Wilkerson and Leopold model their lies after Hersh.

Topsecretk9 on May 19, 2009 at 11:48 AM

This Pakistani newspaper seems to follow the same rigorous sourcing and confirmation guidelines that the NY Times uses

DamnCat on May 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM

BTW, is Sy not as mainstream to the liberal-left Dems as Rush is to the GOP?

andycanuck on May 19, 2009 at 11:19 AM

He is mainstream to “libertarians” like Lew Rockwell and the Ron paul idiots.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/025792.html

March 11, 2009
Cheney Ran a Death Squad
Posted by Lew Rockwell at March 11, 2009 05:19 PM

The great Seymour Hersh drops a bombshell about the murdering veep; note also his remarks about CIA actions against domestic “enemies of the state.” (Thanks to Kev Hall)

Rockwell is linking to RawStory.com for that report, which is what made it onto MSNBC in March also.

This is why those that think we need to allow the Ron Paul people into the Tent, need to really understand where these people are coming from. They are the Extreme-Left Liars on these issues, or rather they take what they say as the Truth so long as it bashes the GOP

jp on May 19, 2009 at 12:02 PM

A story in a Pakistani newspaper source by Hersch?

Come on, this is a joke.

PattyJ on May 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM

naturally, Olberdouche was all over this story about the Cheney “executive assasination ring” back in March.

stormin1961 on May 19, 2009 at 12:06 PM

naturally, Olberdouche was all over this story about the Cheney “executive assasination ring” back in March.

stormin1961 on May 19, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Yep, he reported it on MSNBC, it was on RawStory and other Left-wing sites….and then made it to supposed Libertarian sites like Lew Rockwell, Anti-War.com(Ramaindo) and LiberalValuesBlog.com

jp on May 19, 2009 at 12:08 PM

US journalist S. Hersh = Third Reich journalist J. Goebbels

They are both propagandists for dictators. The only difference is 70 or 80 years and the language in which they lie.

oldleprechaun on May 19, 2009 at 12:08 PM

If only assassination rings existed…

revolutionismyname on May 19, 2009 at 12:09 PM

reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh

Heh

SlimyBill on May 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Can we start asking Democrat Politicians if Seymour Hersh is the leader of the Democrat Party? Can we ask them repeatedly whether they think George Soros or Seymour Hersh should leave the Democrat Party? Can we endlessly and on all occasions ask them whether Seymour Hersh and Nancy Pelosi are hurting the Democrat Party? Then we can ask them questions like which is the more important pillar of support for the Democratic Party, the environmentalists or the blue collar labor unions the environmentalists will put out of work and where do you think your leader Seymour Hersh comes down on this party split.

KW64 on May 19, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Oh I see how it works. Hersh lies, and a lie that could potentially put American soldiers in greater peril, and it’s published in the Times. But the corruption within ACORN, and Obama, gets scrapped, and there is proof.

Interesting. People really want to associate with this party? Really???

capejasmine on May 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM

He helped start the impetuous for the Church Committee hearings that hurt our ability to gather intelligence up to this day.

He accused my fellow servicemen of sodomizing captured Iraqis to include children (with no proof)

Claimed that Abu Garib was just the start of the evil, that there was much more (with no proof)

Claimed one platoon shot a bunch of hired guards and killed off an entire village in Iraq in front of another platoon (no proof given)

Claimed VP Cheny was going to stage a ‘False Flag” operation to incite a war with Iran (no proof given)

This piece of human debris is one of the most evil foul Anti-Americans to ever walk the planet. There are many American lives that can be laid on his door step as his words were used as propaganda and a rally call against the US and its service members many times. If there were actual death squads he would not have made it through any Republican administration and most Democratic ones as well.

LincolntheHun on May 19, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Claimed VP Cheny was going to stage a ‘False Flag” operation to incite a war with Iran (no proof given)

as did Ron Paul….on the House Floor, no doubt this is where he got his ideas from.

jp on May 19, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Seymour Hersh and Nancy Peolsi, great Americans.

GarandFan on May 19, 2009 at 12:42 PM

I’m Supposed to take Hersh seriously? When did this start?

Dr Evil on May 19, 2009 at 11:33 AM

The only time I took Sy seriously was when he wrote “The Dark Side of Camelot”, which absolutely trashed the legacy of John F. Kennedy. It’s well worth a read.

I think if more Leftists read that book, they might not take everything Sy writes as gospel.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2009 at 12:45 PM

KW64 on May 19, 2009 at 12:24 PM

All great questions KW. But this sounds like a vaguely familiar tactic…….hmmmm, where have we heard this before?

Rovin on May 19, 2009 at 12:46 PM

This story needs to followed closely to see the effects of the pakistani story. If this story is sited in any actions that harm Americans hersh needs to be held responsible in one way or another. Not only has this dirtbag been harming America for many years, he has been profiting off his anti-Americanism.

peacenprosperity on May 19, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Hersh says “executive assassination ring” like it’s some kind of bad thing.

I trust our military and intelligence’s discretion in dealing with high value targets, which I do not believe included Benazir Bhutto.

I don’t believe in exchanging group hugs with sheiks, dictators, etc.

molonlabe28 on May 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM

“Isn’t JSOC our Green Berets/Delta Force type people? They aren’t an “executive assassination ring”, but rather actual soldiers, in the chain of command, who are tasked with special operations….
rbj on May 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM”

Yes, that is why douches like this are laughable. i saw Rick Sanchez on CNN going off about this not too long ago (in a room full of NCO’s and Officers… some of which are/were Special Forces) and everyone just laughed at him… until they realized that it wasn’t a joke. people actually believe this crap. It’s almost as bad as the “black helicopters” from the “super-duper-uber-secret” 160th SOAR. Seriously, you could TRY to understand the military… a little…

BadBrad on May 19, 2009 at 1:04 PM

According to him the USA has attacked Iran every year since 2004.

The worst part was when he went on the Daily show in 2005 he threw that one out and then when he went back later in the year Jon made a joke about how he promised him an attack. (Not a scathing joke mind you, more of a quick laugh and everyone please forget about it.) Come to think of it I think he went back on the show after that and brought up the claim again. (Oh, and Jon didn’t say anything since Sy was “serial”)

Dave_d on May 19, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Why didn’t Pelosi out this assassination ring when she was getting her other CIA reports?

I forget. she was told he intended to start a ‘ring” and not that he had started a “ring”

seven on May 19, 2009 at 1:52 PM

The Pakistani newspaper has just piggy-backed their conspiracy theory mongering onto something Sy Hersh said. Hersh never said who was targeted by the supposed assassination squad he claimed existed. As usual, wherever there is a vacuum of information, someone will always be there to fill it with whatever they like…

Seixon on May 19, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I guess all those that got in Clintons way and conveniently died have all been burned and used as fertilizer by now.

Americans have such short memories.

Spiritk9 on May 19, 2009 at 2:20 PM

if cheney did have an assassination ring, we would all have lots less to complain about just about everywhere.

kelley in virginia on May 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I like the first word in the quote, “

reputed

US journalist Seymour Hersh,”

burt on May 19, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Pontius Cheney killed Jesus.
John Wilkes Cheney murdered Lincoln.
Lee Harvey Cheney took out JFK.
Julius Caesar’s last words were “Et tu, Cheney?”

MaiDee on May 19, 2009 at 3:45 PM

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. …

Codswallop.

I retired in 1995 and at that time JSOC, established in 1980 after that aborted abortion called “Desert One” went Tango Uniform. Even Wiki get it right (a small wonder)

Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established on December 15, 1980, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the unsuccessful attempt to rescue the 53 hostages from the American embassy in Tehran, Iran.[1] It is located at Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA.

I worked and trained with the JSOC folks and most of their operations are, indeed “study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics”

JSOC can not do any kind of operations and does not have the resources to go operational even if they wanted. They report to USSOCOM which, as a Unified Combatant Command, reports directly to the SECDEF.

This is almost as stupid as the reports of the U.S. using gas warfare in Vietnam.

E9RET on May 19, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Can somebody tell me what kind of rocks people like Seymour Hersh live under? Or maybe it’s the recycled waste water he’s using for his liberal Kool-Aid, that’s f**king up his brain.

byteshredder on May 19, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Sy Hersh is an embarrasment to the patriotic Jewish-Americans of this country.

Andy in Agoura Hills on May 19, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Given that the compiled output of the moonbat press, blogosphere, and half the production of Hollywood films of the last several decades would seem to indicate that fully 75% of the manpower of the American military and intelligence community is comprised of highly skilled but heartless super assassins, why is it that so few of our real enemies ever actually end up dead? When they do get taken out, it’s usually by an air strike or a drone fired missile, not by boots on the ground. Personally, I would find it somewhat comforting if I could believe anyone in our government really had the stones to sanction taking out some of the worst miscreants who threaten to kill thousands of us. It would be easier to deal with the continuing spector of large numbers of potential terrorists going to sleep to dream of inflicting mass death on the American homeland, if one could envision the majority of them waking up screaming in a pool of flop sweat at the prospective of doom descending upon them.

djaces on May 20, 2009 at 1:11 AM