I did not say 'special death squad' made by Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh

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Lahore, May 19 (ANI): US journalist Seymour Hersh has contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a "special death squad" created by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto.

The award-winning journalist described as "complete madness" the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of US Army in Afghanistan, had also killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese Army Chief.

"Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Hariri or Bhutto," Hersh said.

"I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet," the Daily Times quoted Hersh, as saying.

He said General McChrystal had run a special forces unit that engaged in "high value target activity", but "while I have been critical of some of that unit's activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Cheney, as the published stories state."

Hersh regretted that none of the publications had contacted him before carrying the report.

"This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their job - and that is to verify such rumours." (ANI)

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