As former Vice President Dick Cheney tells the media, “This really is a great day for an awful lot of people who worked very hard for a long time,” it’s also a vindication for Cheney himself, as this nice find from Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner highlights:
Under Bush, the [Joint Special Operations Command] was routinely smeared by the left and placed at the center of many Bush/Cheney conspiracy theories. Specifically, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh alleged it was Dick Cheney’s personal assassination squad:
“After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet.”
Hersh then went on to describe a second area of extra-legal operations: the Joint Special Operations Command. “It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently,” he explained. “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,” 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.”
Now that a Democratic President has employed JSOC to take out Osama bin Laden, will the fever swamps of the Left continue to assert that it’s just a Bush/Cheney plot to run around unjustifiably killing people?
Along similar lines, Iowahawk tweeted today, “America’s fastest growing faith: born-again waterboarders.”
You can Hersh’s Oliver Stone-esque article for yourself via the Wayback machine. And as Alberto Gonzales notes, Obama sent the military, Not the FBI to take out bin Laden:
In ordering the raid on Osama bin Laden’s hiding spot, President Obama evinced a military-minded approach to the War on Terror, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales tells National Review Online. “He did not send the FBI into Pakistan to retrieve Osama bin Laden as if he were a common criminal,” Gonzales observes. “He sent our military because this is a war. And Osama bin Laden is a military target; he’s a military leader.”
That might have come as a surprise to then-ABC News President David Westin, based upon his comments in the immediate aftermath of 9/11:
The Pentagon as a legitimate target? I actually don’t have an opinion on that and it’s important I not have an opinion on that as I sit here in my capacity right now….Our job is to determine what is, not what ought to be and when we get into the job of what ought to be I think we’re not doing a service to the American people….As a journalist I feel strongly that’s something that I should not be taking a position on. I’m supposed to figure out what is and what is not, not what ought to be.
But then, as former President Bush said to George Stephanopoulos, when it comes to ABC, “just because you’re reporting it,” doesn’t mean it’s true.