It didn't end with Bush and Cheney. In fact, Obama has escalated what is called "black-ops."
On-going abuse of prisoners under the Obama Administration, at a secret "black jail" attached to the larger prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, has just been exposed in a new report issued by the Open Society Foundations on Oct. 14. The report documents consistent use of conditions such as exposure to excessive cold and light, inadequate bedding, inadequate food, sensory deprivation, forced nudity, and the like—all in violation of U.S. Army regulations and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and of Obama's own promises to end such abuses and the system of secret prisons.
The report identifies the Bagram "black jail" as a "screening facility" run by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the military's counter-terrorism unit which runs a network of secret prisons, and deploys hit teams around the world for the purpose of "snatch and grabs" and targetted assassinations—much of which is falsely attributed to the CIA. The JSOC also carries out many of the drone bombing raids, especially those which kill civilians, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (U.S. government documents show that the JSOC was also involved in the October 1986 raid against Lyndon LaRouche and his associates, in which the intention was to use the search-and-seizure operation as a cover for the assassination of LaRouche.)
Obama himself is an enthusiast for the JSOC and Special Operations, as The Nation said on Aug. 25, reporting that "the Obama Administration has taken the Bush-era doctrine of the world as a battlefield and run with it." The Nation pointed out that U.S. special forces are now operating in 75 countries around the world, up from 60 under Bush-Cheney, and that "special operations sources say Obama is a major fan of the work of JSOC and other special operations forces."
The Obama Administration has expanded these "black operations" internationally under the authority of a secret order issued by Bush and Cheney in 2004. A special forces source told The Nation that Obama has "let JSOC off the leash." And, the source added, "JSOC has been more empowered more under this administration than any other in recent history. No question."