Cheney Ran Secret Hit Squad: Hersh

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2009 5:30 PM CDT
U.S. and Iraqi army soldiers secure area in the Sunni dominated neighborhood of Fadhil, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – The Bush administration ran a secret team authorized to assassinate foreign targets without being accountable to Congress, says New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh.
On CNN's Situation Room, he said the hit squad could go "into a country without telling the CIA station chief or the ambassador and whack someone. I am sorry, Wolf, yes I have a problem with that." Hersh claimed the unit reported directly to Dick Cheney.

“It's not true,” said Cheney aide John Hannah, who added that in a "theater of war" like Iraq or Afghanistan, "our troops have the authority to go out after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy." Hannah also criticized Hersh for calling the group an "assassination wing." Hersh conceded that "it's a loaded phrase, [but] it comes down to the same thing."
(Read more George W. Bush stories.)