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High ranking members of US military part of Knights of Malta and Opus

Dei - reporter claims

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 21st, 2011 -- 12:28 pm

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

"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

"[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

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

"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.

Doubts, denials and a distinctive trend

Raw Story reached out to Hersh and The New Yorker to confirm the accuracy
of his quotes, placing this report on hold until they responded. Both declined
to make any further statement, neither confirming nor denying the quotes.
However, one source close to Hersh who spoke to Raw Story off the record,
suggested that Foreign Policy's report was indeed correct.

Raw Story followed-up on the quotes due to a widely-reported false claim

attributed to Hersh in May 2009, where he'd allegedly said former Vice
President Dick Cheney ordered the assassination of former Pakistani Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The report, which appeared to have originated in Pakistan, was picked up by

The Wall Street Journal and the conservative-leaning American Spectator,
but both removed the links after Raw Story published a denial from Hersh. A
link to Raw Story's original report was unavailable due to a database

Hersh, a Pulitzer-winning author and reporter, has previously reported that

the JSOC was set up by former Vice President Cheney as something of an
"executive assassination squad" that operated outside of congressional

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned after Rolling Stone reporter Michael
Hastings quoted him mocking the US civilian command, led JSOC before
taking command of America's war effort in Afghanistan.

In an email to the military's Stars and Stripes publication, McChrystal's

spokesman, David Bolger, panned Hersh's claim.

“The allegations recently made by Seymour Hersh relating to General

McChrystal’s involvement with an organization called The Knights of Malta
are completely false and without basis in fact,” he reportedly wrote. “General
McChrystal is not and has never been a member of that organization.”

The religious indoctrination of US soldiers has been in headlines in recent

weeks as soldiers who "failed" the "spiritual fitness" portion of the
"comprehensive soldier fitness" test claimed they were forced to attend
Christian ceremonies and become "born again" by professing love for the
Christian deity.

Similarly, GQ magazine uncovered last year a series of top-secret military

briefings prepared by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
that included passages from the Bible.

Trijicon Inc., a defense contractor, was also discovered last January to have
been for years placing scriptural references on gun sights used by the US
military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their actions revealed Trijicon was forced to provide the Pentagon with kits to
remove the codes.

Firm to Remove Bible References From Gun Sights

Published: January 21, 2010

Bowing to Pentagon concerns and an international outcry, a Michigan arms

company said Thursday that it would immediately stop embossing references
to New Testament Scriptures on rifle sights it sells the military.

ABC News

At the end of this gun scope's model number is a Biblical reference, “JN8:12,”
for the Book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 12.

The company, Trijicon Inc., has multimillion-dollar contracts with the

Pentagon for advanced telescopic sights that are widely used in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Trijicon also said it would provide the Pentagon with 100 free
kits to use for removing the lettering on existing weapons.

For years, the company acknowledged, it has put small scriptural references
near the model numbers on some products, a practice started by its founder,
who was a Christian.

The references, like JN8:12 and 2COR4:6, referring to passages in the

Gospel of John and in Second Corinthians, had not been widely noticed or
debated until an ABC News report this week. Scopes with biblical references
were also sold to the Australian, New Zealand and British militaries.

Neither the company nor the Pentagon released estimates of how many
current military weapons carried Trijicon gun sights.

The Marine Corps has a $660 million contract with Trijicon for more than
200,000 of the high-tech rifle sights, said Capt. Geraldine Carey, a Marine
spokeswoman. The Army said it had bought just under 200,000 of the sights.
A Trijicon spokesman said the company started adding the biblical references
to products well before it received its first military contract, in 1995, and had
done so until now.

As word of the practice spread, it was condemned by civil liberties groups and
some religious groups in the United States and abroad.

Michael L. Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,

said that several of the group’s members, including active-duty military
personnel, had contacted him in recent weeks to complain about the subtle
religious references on their weapons and that he had alerted ABC.

“The Constitution won today,” Mr. Weinstein said of the company’s decision.

After the television news report, Pentagon spokesmen called the inscriptions
inappropriate and said they were looking into the matter.

Some religious groups were more strident in their condemnations.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington said the biblical references
violated the nation’s values and would stoke the fires of extremists who
accuse the United States of carrying out a religious crusade in Asia and the
Middle East.

In a letter early Thursday to President Obama, the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy,

president of the Interfaith Alliance, said the gun sights “clearly violate a
government rule prohibiting proselytizing” and called the practice “only the
latest in a long line of violations of the boundaries between religion and
government within the military.”

In Afghanistan, the Al Jazeera news service reported that sights with the
Christian references had been distributed to some Afghan soldiers and that
this would provide the Taliban with a propaganda coup.

In its statement on Thursday, Trijicon said it would immediately “stop putting

references to Scripture on all products manufactured for the U.S. military” and
would provide kits for removing lettering on existing weapons. The company
said it would follow the same policy for purchases by other national militaries.

“Our decision to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and

appropriate,” said the statement by Stephen Bindon, the company’s

The Army said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that it “was unaware of

these coded biblical references until several days ago.” The statement added,
“It is not the policy of the Army or the Department of Defense to put religious
references of any kind on its equipment.”

The Marine Corps also issued a statement saying that it did not know about
the biblical references, adding, “We are making every effort to remove these
markings from all of our scopes and will ensure that all future procurement of
these scopes will not have these types of markings.”

Trijicon specializes in advanced telescopic rifle sights that provide enhanced

vision in low light, and it sells products to hunters and law enforcement
agencies as well as to the military.

The company makes no secret of its Christian roots; the statement of

corporate values on its Web site says: “We believe that America is great
when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical
standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals.”

Among the passages referred to on gun sights was John 8:12, which, in the
New Standard Revised edition of the Bible quotes Jesus as saying: “I am the
light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will
have the light of life.”

Another, Second Corinthians 4:6, reads: “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light
shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”