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Congress to Probe CIA for Lying; What About Real Crimes?

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Now it turns out Vice President Cheney is charged with directing his very own Murder Inc. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said the Joint Special Operations Command(JSOC) "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...Congress has no oversight of it. It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on."

So what do you call a country if not a "tyranny" when its top officials dispatch their henchmen around the world to murder their enemies? That's how the Soviet Union's Joe Stalin worked. In 1940, his assassin murdered Stalin rival the exiled Leon Trotsky near Mexico City. "Death solves all problems," Stalin is said to have remarked. "No man, no problem." Stalin was no believer in respecting the sovereignty of other countries or bothering with their courts. Just go in and kill the guy. Apparently, Cheney worked the same way. And like Stalin, he authorized torture. This totalitarian streak runs deep both in the White House and CIA. Indeed, President Clinton authorized the first CIA renditions. What he began as a trickle of kidnappings turned into a torrent under Bush-Cheney.

Less than a week after 9/11, "President Bush issued a 14-page top secret directive to (George) Tenet and the CIA, ordering the agency to hunt, capture, imprison, and interrogate suspects around the world," writes Weiner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered intelligence for The New York Times. "It set no limits on what the agency could do. It was the foundation for a system of secret prisons where CIA officials and contractors used techniques that included torture."

"One CIA contractor was convicted of beating an Afghan prisoner to death," Weiner continued. "This was not the role of a civilian intelligence service in a democratic society. But it is clearly what the White House wanted the CIA to do," Weiner observed. (By some counts, hundreds may have been murdered, none of whom ever saw a judge.)

The crimes of our presidents and the CIA today represent everything America's Founders despised when they looked aghast at the excesses of the French Revolution. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1794: "If there be anything solid in virtue---the time must come when it will have been a disgrace to have advocated the Revolution of France in its late stages."

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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
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