By Stephen C. Webster
January 21st, 2011
Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has broken some massive stories in his day, but uncovering secret societies within the highest echelons of America’s military would probably be the biggest of his career.
Well, get ready for the media storm, because that’s essentially what Hersh told an audience in Doha, Qatar recently, according to a report published earlier this week by Foreign Policy.
Speaking at a campus operated by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Hersh said he was working on a new book that details “how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government.”
“It’s not only that the neocons took it over but how easily they did it — how Congress disappeared, how the press became part of it, how the public acquiesced,” he continued, according to the published quotes.
Hersh also lamented President Obama’s continuance of the Bush administration’s worst abuses.
“Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn’t get one,” he reportedly said.
The Foreign Policy report added that in 2003, those “in the Cheney shop” were not concerned about the havoc the invasion of Iraq was destined to cause.
“[The] attitude was, ‘What’s this? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they’re all worried about some looting?” Hersh was quoted as saying. “Don’t they get it? We’re gonna change moseques into cathedrals. And when we get all the oil, nobody’s gonna give a damn.’ That’s the attitude. We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC].”
He further claimed that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the JSOC were members of the “Knights of Malta” and “Opus Dei,” two little known Catholic orders.
“They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally,” Hersh reportedly continued. “They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”
He added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent “the whole notion that this is a culture war” between religions.
It was President George W. Bush who first invoked images of a holy war in the Middle East, when he suggested soon after Sept. 11, 2001 that the US was on a “crusade” in the region.
The “Knights of Malta” were a Catholic order founded in 1085 as a group of monks who cared for the wounded. It evolved into a military order that safeguarded Christian pilgrims from Muslims during the nine “Crusades,” where Europe’s Christian states laid siege to Muslims for control of Jerusalem.
“Opus Dei,” popularly depicted in the Hollywood film “The DaVinci Code,” was founded in 1928 and officially accepted as part of the Catholic church in 1947. The group’s website claimed their principle calling was to bring about a “Christian renewal” around the world.