... and run by operatives from the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei?
No? Fortunately for you, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New Yorker is working hard to expose it all. The Foreign Policy magazine blog reports, "In a speech billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe here Monday expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy":
He also charged that U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by a cabal of neoconservative "crusaders" in the former vice president's office and now in the special operations community.
"What I'm really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over," he said of his forthcoming book. "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."
Hersh then brought up the widespread looting that took place in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. "In the Cheney shop, the attitude was, ‘What's this? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they're all worried about some looting? ... Don't they get it? We're gonna change mosques into cathedrals. And when we get all the oil, nobody's gonna give a damn.'"
"That's the attitude," he continued. "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."
He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, "are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta."
Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic organization commited to "defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering," according to its website.
"Many of them are members of Opus Dei," Hersh continued. "They do see what they're doing -- and this is not an atypical attitude among some military -- it's a crusade, literally. They seem themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They're protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function."
"They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins," he continued. "They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community.”"
Read the entire post. Over on the NRO's main blog, "The Corner," Jonah Goldberg remarks: "Dan Brown call your office." Indeed. Perhaps Hersh could ghostwrite Brown's next novel (since Brown is currently busy writing the screen play for his last novel, The Lost Symbol), and it could be titled, The Mighty Knights of Military Malta. Nah...how about The Papist's Crusading Code. Ugh. One more: The Crusader's Coins and the Mystery of the Changing Mosques. Hmmmm. That sounds like an Encyclopedia Brown story. Wow, I guess it really does take talent to write that sort of shlock.
Okay, I give up. But you have to admit that if Hersh is correct, this means that the Vatican is far more devious and savvy than anyone could ever imagine. After all, many journalists have spent the past several years telling us about the ineptitude of the Vatican and the lack of control by the Pope within the Curia, and now we learn the Catholic Church is actually running the entire U.S. military! Impressive.
Wait a second—someone's at my front dooor. Oh, it's an albino monk. He's openin—aaaauuuuuuuuuuggggh!