US Special Ops Have Become Much, Much Scarier Since 9/11
2013-05-13 0:00

By Michael Kelley | BusinessInsider



After Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration began waging a global war on terrorism both openly and on the "dark side."

The full scale of the shadow war is just coming out now, as detailed in "Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield" by investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Scahill.

Directed by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the White House expanded the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) into a global capturing and killing machine.

JSOC, which includes troops from a variety of Americas best units, grew from fewer than 2,000 troops before 9/11 to as many as 25,000 today.

While most of their missions remain classified, JSOC operators have been used far more aggressively in the past decade than ever before.

"Their real days of glory ... really only started after 9/11," Colonel Walter Patrick Lang, who spent much of his career in covert operations, told Scahill. "They didnt do a lot of fighting before that."

Known within the covert ops community as ninjas or "snake eaters," JSOC operators train to track a target, fix his position, and then finish him off without being detected.

"Theyre the ace in the hole*," General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Clinton, told Scahill. "If you need someone that can sky dive from thirty miles away, go down the chimney of a castle, and blow it up from the inside those are the guys you want to call on."

The command was "created in secrecy to perform operations that were kept hidden to virtually all other entities of military and governments," Scahill writes, and the White House took full advantage of that.

From "Dirty Wars":

It was the beginning of what would be a multiyear project by Rumsfeld and Cheney to separate this small, elite, surgical unit from the broader chain of command and transform it into a global killing machine.

What they developed looked like a paramilitary CIA, according to Scahills reporting.

By late 2002 JSOC operators were discreetly based in Qatar and Kenya for potential missions in Yemen and Somalia. It developed an in-house signals intelligence unit, known as the Activity, and Rumsfeld created a JSOC human intelligence collection operation, called the Strategic Support Branch, that mirrored the capabilities of the CIA.

The addition of the intelligence aspect "effectively meant that JSOC was free to act as a spy agency and kill/capture force rolled into one," Scahill writes.

JSOC even ran an interrogation program, parallel to the CIAs black sites, that would provide the administration with even more flexibility and less oversight (See: Camp Nama).

Rumsfeld worked to make sure that the unit was "unrestrained and unaccountable to anyone except him, Cheney, and the president" while Cheney began going to JSOC headquarters at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to give direct action orders.

"It grew and went out of control under the vice president. It kinda went wild," Vincent Cannistraro, a career CIA counterterrorism officer, told Scahill. "There were a couple of places where, because they werent coordinated, they werent informed, they killed people that were not real targets. They were wrong. It happened, frequently."

In September 2003 JSOC, led by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was running the show in Iraq, including training Iraqi Special Ops units that became unaccountable death squads.

[...]

Read the full article at: businessinsider.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

No Jab, No Pay reforms: Religious exemptions for vaccination dumped
2015-04-20 20:03
Religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations will be scrapped to toughen Australia’s new “no jab, no pay’’ laws stripping welfare from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Social Services Minister Scott Morrison revealed he is dumping the last remaining exemption on the books after holding talks with religious leaders. Just a week after The Sunday Telegraph revealed Mr Morrison was scrapping exemptions ...
Inside David Lynch: An Esoteric Guide to Twin Peaks
2015-04-20 18:24
‘I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper.’ – David Lynch If you’ve ever sensed the flimsy, thin veneer of what parades itself as the good ole US of A, and felt a bit like you’ve been sold a fake, then David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is a series you must see. ...
Third-gender toilet sign – now a reality in Sweden
2015-04-20 18:29
If you don’t identify yourself as a man, a woman or are officially handicapped — where should you go to relieve yourself? In Sweden, the social justice warriors have solved the problem by inventing a third-gender toilet sign. A couple of years ago, the Swedish language was introduced to a new personal pronoun, “hen“, to replace gender specific hon (she) and ...
Feminist goes crazy when compared to Swedish nationalist
2015-04-20 4:56
A picture of a media acclaimed feminist next to a young nationalist girl got real big attention in Swedish media last week. It is “hate” and “mockery” to show the difference between the two, according to the collective Swedish press. When the young nationalist Hanna Lindholm (member of the Sweden Democratic Youth) published a picture on internet, where she compared ...
Massive pollution scandal in Norwegian fjord
2015-04-20 4:53
The Norwegian government today gave the green light to one of the biggest single instances of pollution in the country's history. A new mine will dump its toxic tailings directly into the Førde fjord in the west of Norway. "It is shocking that Norway is the only country in the world allow new projects of this kind", said Lars Haltbrekken of ...
More News »