Even more concerning is the intimidation tactics being used by the Joint Chief of Staff’s office to scare Scahill off the story. A representative of Admiral Mullin (the chief muckety-muck of the Joint Chiefs) called Scahill to categorically deny Scahill’s findings – before the story itself was even published!
Respect to Mr. Scahill – he is a very courageous man who should be the template for all modern journalists. Imagine if we saw this kind of dogged reporting on the TV news every night…
Story from Rebel Reports:
Why Is the State Department Speaking for JSOC?
By Jeremy Scahill
Interesting chain of command issues seem to be emerging in the official “denials” being offered about my story in The Nation magazine on Blackwater and the Joint Special Operations Command operations in Pakistan. A few hours before the piece was published, I received a call—unprompted—from the office of Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I had not called them. The representative that called would not officially—named and on-the-record—deny the story. Instead, I was offered a comprehensive denial from a “defense official” on “background.”
The DoD spokesman Geoff Morell was asked about it on Tuesday. He said the appropriate agency to address this was the State Department, but he did characterize the story as “conspiratorial:”
“”REPORTER: Thank you for taking the question. Does the Pentagon have any comment on a report in The Nation today that, puts Blackwater, now Xe Services, firmly at the center of a covert operation in Karachi in Pakistan, from an anonymous source within the military. And my question is —
MR. MORRELL: Yes, I — I —
REPORTER: The question is, you keep denying covert operations in Pakistan, but isn’t this yet more evidence of one?
MR. MORRELL: Okay, the best person to address this would be the State Department spokesman, who has already put out a statement, or a correction, basically saying these accusations are entirely false. Okay? But I — for more clarity and more specificity, I urge you to talk to them. As for what we are doing in Afghanistan — or in Pakistan, rather, I think we have been incredibly forthright about this. And we have basically, I think, a few dozen forces on the ground in Pakistan who are involved in a train-the-trainer mission. These are Special Operations Forces. We’ve been very candid about this. They are — they have been for months, if not years now, training Pakistani forces so that they can in turn train other Pakistani military on how to — on certain skills and operational techniques. And that’s the extent of our — our, you know, military boots on the ground in Pakistan. Despite whatever conspiratorial theories that, you know, magazines or broadcast outlets may want to cook up, there is nothing to it. And obviously, we’ve also made it perfectly clear that we are willing and able and happy to help the Pakistani military in any other ways that they may see fit. But at this point, that’s the extent to which they would like our help, in terms of American boots on the ground. And so we are totally respectful of that. And that’s what it’s limited to at this point. “”
Since when is the State Department spokesman the official spokesperson for JSOC? Since when is the DoS the appropriate party to address allegations regarding US military operations?
- If Blackwater Couldn’t Keep Benazir Bhutto Safe, Why Is State Still Contracting with Them? (emptywheel.firedoglake.com)
- Jim: Blackwater the Intel arm of Monsanto | Black Ops | The Nation (thenation.com)
- Blackwater Won Contracts Via Dozens Of Dummy Corporations (huffingtonpost.com)
- Blackwater created shell companies to fool government, public (capitolhillblue.com)