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Seymour Hersh: Military Branch Being Run By ‘Crusaders’

Sy Hersh has been one of the foremost investigative journalist in America for the past 25 years. This revelation is a whammy, imagine if the script were turned, and a Muslim nation’s army was being accused of being run by “Jihadists.” We would never hear the end of it. Can we now blame Christianity for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Seymour Hersh: Military Branch Being Run By ‘Crusaders’

The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh alleged in a speech in Qatar that key branches of the U.S. military are being led by Christian fundamentalist “crusaders” who are determined to “turn mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh was speaking at the Doha campus of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service earlier this week. He made the comments while discussing a forthcoming book he is writing. A writer for Foreign Policy magazine attended the event and reported his remarks.

“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” Hersh said.

He said that the attitude that “pervades” a large portion of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is part of the military’s special forces branch and which has carried out secret missions to kill American targets, is one that supports “[changing] mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh also said that Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before his tenure as the top general in Afghanistan, as well as his successor and many other JSOC members, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.” Blake Hounsell, the reporter for Foreign Policy, speculated that Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Catholic organization.

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh said. “They do see what they’re doing…it’s a crusade, literally. 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 also criticized President Obama, saying, “Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn’t get one.”

The Washington Post asked Hersh about his comments after getting a denial from McChrystal that he was a part of the Knights of Malta.

“I’m comfortable with the idea that there is a great deal of fundamentalism in JSOC,” Hersh said. “It’s growing and it’s empirical…there is an incredible strain of Christian fundamentalism, not just Catholic, that’s part of the military.” He said the “angry black man” comment was a joke which the audience laughed at.

The Post also talked to New Yorker editor David Remnick, who said, “Sy is one of the greatest reporters the country has ever known, and that is all I need to know about him.”

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  • mrR

    “‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.’”

    this doesn’t make any sense, why would the pharisees who according to jesus SIT IN MOSES’ seat ,bring a fornicator to jesus and ask him his opinion when THEIR OWN LAWS , ACCORDING TO THE jews , WOULD HAVE FREED the woman? the jews say that there so many CONDITIONS created that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to kill the fornicatress. jesus then talks about anyone being WITHOUT sin

    now listen to this. had the pharisees KNOWN that jesus was WITHOUT SIN, wouldn’t they have ASKED him to PICK up the first stone? “you think your a big timer without sin, so you PICK UP THE first stone” if the pharisees KNEW that jc was WITHOUT sin i am SURE THEY would have FIRED this response at the “son of god”

    and if your supposed to be a god who communicates DAILY with the spirit and FATHER god, then shouldn’t you know in ADVANCE that the woman was a FORNICATOR and that the law you send in ANCIENT days was applicable for all times?

    for example:

    yhwh TOLD moses to STONE TO death a person who picked up a few sticks on the day of sabbath

    the people STONE the man to death

    but the god in flesh says “pick up the 1st stone” ?what?

    and what the f u … does “go and sin no more ” mean?

    if she did the crime AGAIN then jesus advice was flushed down the toilet.

    and what happens when jesus goes into america and witnesses the fornication in porn industries? “go and sin no more”

    LOOK at the pharisees, they don’t seem to be people who HIDE or run away from a debate. that they didn’t grab jesus and take him to the jewish courts is proof that the story in john is a fabrication

    they , the pharisees , let jesus get away with a stupid response?

  • Ahmed

    Bob, can you please go crawl back into your hole. Stop spreading hate and misinterpretations. I’m sure you’re arguing with many educated Muslims who have read the Qu’ran in Arabic, because clearly you understand your, most likely poorly translated, copy of the Qu’ran better than all of them. I see right through your hypocritical thinking and you are not a scholar but a bias trying to force your views on other people. If your here to spread correct information I’m sure you would not have so much opposition.

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  • Rob
  • Rob

    There were certain exceptions to the law against killing, made by the authority of God himself. There were some whose killing God orders, either by a law, or by an express command to a particular person at a particular time who speaks with Gods authority. The pope, for example. One who owes a duty of obedience to the giver of the command does not himself “kill,” he is an instrument, a sword in Gods hand. For this reason the commandment forbidding killing was not broken by those who have waged war on the authority of God. This standard also applied for those who have imposed the death-penalty on criminals when representing the authority of the state, recognized by the church as the just and most reasonable source of power. The Old Testament offered many examples of this use of Gods authority. When Abraham was ready to kill his own son, so far from being blamed for cruelty, he was praised for his devotion. It was not a criminal act, but one of obedience. In an other example, one is justified in asking whether Jeptha is to be regarded as obeying a command of God in killing his daughter, when he had vowed to sacrifice to God the first thing he met when returning victorious from battle (Judges 11 29ff). And when Samson destroyed himself, with his enemies, by the bringing down the building, this can only be excused on the ground that the Spirit, which performed miracles through him, secretly ordered him to do so. With the exception of these killings prescribed generally by a just law, or specially commanded by God himself (the source of justice) anyone who kills a human being, whether by himself or anyone else, is involved in a charge of murder. That was how St Agustine put it, and this interpretation was widely accepted throughout the Medieval period.

  • Rob

    Check this out:

    In Quid super his, Innocent IV, asked the question “[I]s it licit to invade a land that infidels possess or which belongs to them?” and held that while Infidels had a right to dominium (right to rule themselves and choose their own governments), however the pope, as the Vicar of Christ, de jure possessed the care of their souls and had the right to politically intervene in their affairs if their ruler violated or allowed his subjects to violate a Christian and Euro-centric normative conception of Natural law, such as sexual perversion or idolatry.[18] He also held that he had an obligation to send missionaries to infidel lands, and that if they were prevented from entering or preaching, then the pope was justified in dispatching Christian forces accompanied with missionaries to invade those lands, as Innocent stated simply “If the infidels do not obey, they ought to be compelled by the secular arm and war may be declared upon them by the pope, and nobody else.”[19] This was however not a reciprocal right and non-Christian missionaries such as those of Muslims could not be allowed to preach in Europe “because they are in error and we are on a righteous path.”[18]

    A long line of Papal hierocratic canonists, most notably those who adhered to Alanus Anglicus’s influential arguments of the Crusading-era, denied Infidel dominium, and asserted Rome’s universal jurisdictional authority over the earth, and the right to authorize pagan conquests solely on the basis of non-belief because of their rejection of the Christian god.[20] In the extreme hierocractic canonical discourse of the mid-twelfth century such as that espoused by Bernard of Clairvaux, the mystic leader of the Cisertcians, legitimized German colonial expansion and practice of forceful Christianisation in the Slavic territories as a holy war against the Wends, arguing that infidels should be killed wherever they posed a menace to Christians.[21] When Frederick the II unilaterally arrogated papal authority, he took on the mantle to “destroy convert, and subjugate all barbarian nations.” A power in papal doctrine reserved for the pope. Hostiensis, a student of Innocent, in accord with Alanus, also asserted “… by law infidels should be subject to the faithful.” and the heretical quasi-Donatist John Wyclif, regarded as the forefather of English Reformation, also held that valid dominium rested on a state of grace.[21]

    The Teutonic Knights were one of the by-products of this papal hierocratic and German discourse. After the Crusades in the Levant, they moved to crusading activities in the infidel Baltics.[22] Their crusades against the Lithuanians and Poles however precipitated the Lithuanian Controversy, and the Council of Constance, following the condemnation of Wyclif, found Hostiensis’s views no longer acceptable and ruled against the knights. Future Church doctrine was then firmly aligned with Innocents IV’s position.[22]

    The development of counter arguments later on the validity of Papal authority, the rights of infidels and the primacy of natural law, led to various treatises such as those by Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Immanuel Kant and Thomas Hobbes, which in turn led to the transformation of international law’s treatment of the relationship between Christian and non-Christian societies and the development of human rights.
    [edit] Colonization of the Americas

    During the Age of discovery, the Papal Bulls such as Romanus Pontifex and more importantly inter caetera (1493), implicitly removed dominium from infidels and granted them to the Spanish Empire and Portugal with the charter of guaranteeing the safety of missionaries.[23] Subsequent English and French rejections of the bull refuted the Popes authority to exclude other Christian princes. As independent authorities such as the Head of the Church of England, they drew up charters for their own colonial missions based on the temporal right for care of infidel souls in language echoing the inter caetera.[23] The charters and papal bulls would form the legal basis of future negotiations and consideration of claims as title deeds in the emerging Law of nations in the European colonization of the Americas.[23]

    The rights bestowed by Romanus Pontifex and inter caetera have never fallen from use, serving as the basis for legal arguments over the centuries. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1823 case Johnson v. M’Intosh that as a result of European discovery and assumption of ultimate dominion, Native Americans had only a right to occupancy of native lands, not the right of title. This decision was upheld in the 1831 case Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, giving Georgia authority to extend state laws over Cherokees within the state, and famously describing Native American tribes as “domestic dependent nations.” This decision was modified in Worcester v. Georgia, which stated that the U.S. federal government, and not individual states, had authority in Indian affairs, but it maintained the loss of right to title upon discovery by Europeans.

    In recent years,[when?] Native American groups including the Taíno and Onondaga have called on the Vatican to revoke the bulls of 1452, 1453, and 1493.

  • NassirH

    Bob is coming off as a sore loser. We’ve already explained the context of Ibn Abbas’ abrogation via the ‘verse of the sword’ of 8: 61 yet he still can’t expect reality. His silence on treaties in Islamic Law is also telling.

    I’ll still wait, patiently, for the citations from the teachings of Ecclesiastical Law on perpetual holy war so that we may compare it to Islamic Law on perpetual holy war.

    This is a bad strawman. I never said anything about Ecclesiastical Law (or anything about ‘perpetual war’ either), rather I said that forced conversions and killing civilians was practiced by Christians when they carried out divinely ordained or inspired violence, and that the Papacy forgave the sins of those participating in its holy wars. These are undeniable facts. Again, look at the work of Norman Cantor—which I cited.

    Now let’s turn the tables around. Bob, you claimed that you would report on the teachings of Islamic scholars, yet throughout this whole thread your claims contradicted those of Ibn Kathir, Jalalayn, etc. Thus, while you claimed our talk of Islamic Law was a srawman, in actuality it wasn’t and your talk of Ecclesiastical Law was.

  • Dawood

    The Encyclopedia of the Qur’an refers to the same quote from al-Tabari I mentioned above.

  • I’ll still wait, patiently, for the citations from the teachings of Ecclesiastical Law on perpetual holy war so that we may compare it to Islamic Law on perpetual holy war.

    Medieval Sourcebook:
    Pope Urban II (1088-1099)
    Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095

    “On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it.

    Sounds like divinely sanctioned genocide to me. At least the Abbasids let the Jews and Christians keep their religions.

  • To debate the continous disenfranchisement of a certain group of law abiding ciizens of the USA and of the world is the topic.

    You are right. JihadBob (who is Robert Spencer) wants deflect the debate. But no one would think such tactics against Muslims are necessary without Spencer’s bogus Quran-abrogation perpetual-war cut-and-paste Orientalist myths that sustain his self-righteous hostility against Islam. I prefer not to let his slander go unanswered. Each time we debunk his points he has to grasp for different straws. He’ll run out eventually. The Truth will catch up to you, Bob.

    Thanks to my friends who have helped us debunk Spencer’s propaganda.

  • As I said, thanks for confirming that Ibn Abbas held v8:61 abrogated.

    Ibn Kathir narrated on the authority of Imam Ahmad that the Prophet said:

    “After me there will be many differences, so if you have a way to end them in peace, then do it.”

    عن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إنه سيكون بعدي اختلاف أو أمر، فإن استطعت أن يكون السلم، فافعل

    According to the principles of Tafsir, the Sunnah is more of an authority than a questionable tradition from Ibn Abbas. Therefore, Ibn Kathir concludes the verse is not abrogated. We also provided you a stronger citation from Ibn Abbas that explicitly prohibits warfare against “anyone who meets you with peace restraining his hand.” [Tabari 2:190] Let’s include this from the Encyclopedia of Islam:

    “Rubin shows that the early Muslim exegetes preferred to interpret the sword verse in its context, that is, in relation to the situation of the Prophet when it was revealed and in association with the verses surrounding it. Verse 9:1-5 are believed to have been revealed on the eve of the raid on Tabūk, when many of the pagans and hypocrites who had treaty obligations with the Prophet resisted joining him on the battlefield. Though al-Suddī explains the verses as a repudiation of Muḥammad’s agreement with all pagans, al-Ṭabarī, al-Zamakhsharī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, and al-Bayḍāwī deny that the Qurʾān could decree such intolerance. They divide Muḥammad’s non-monotheist allies into offensive and inoffensive groups and insist that the repudiation (barāʾa) applied only to those non-monotheists who had violated their agreements. Al-Ṭabarī supports his interpretation with a tradition from Ibn ʿAbbās: “…If they remained loyal to their treaty with the Prophet,… [he] was ordered to respect their treaty and be loyal to it.” Significantly, Muḥammad’s treaty with the (pagan) Khuzāʿa, who remained loyal to him, was for an unlimited period of time.”

    [Encyclopedia of the Quran, “Expeditions and Battles”; McAuliffe, J. D., & Brill Academic Publishers. (2005) Leiden: Brill.]

    JihadBob failure again! 😉

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