They give rise to unanimous condemnation and, if caught, these criminal gangs of killers are punished by the death penalty or jailed for life. However, when commissioned by the State, they are generally regarded as legitimate and rewarded for their merits.

Such is the case of the professional killers belonging to the U.S. special forces. Born as Green Berets [1], formalized by Democratic President Kennedy in 1961 and deployed in the Vietnam War, the Special Forces were promoted by the Republican Reagan, who in 1987 purposely created a Special Operations Command, the USSOCOM. After being used by the Republican Bush in the "global war on terror," especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, they have acquired an even greater stature under Democratic President Obama.

As it emerges from a Washington Post investigation, special operations forces are currently deployed in 75 countries, instead of 60 two years ago. It is the Intelligence Community, trained by the CIA and 16 other federal organizations, that decides and plans the operations. In Afghanistan (according to Pentagon officials interviewed by the New York Times), US conventional forces will scale down their combat presence in 2013, “the responsibility for which will be handed over to special operations forces” which “will stay in the country well beyond the end of the NATO mission in 2014.”

Their task will be to “hunt down insurgent leaders, capture or kill them, and train local troops.” An ad hoc special operations command will then be created, the components of which will be organized within a new “Afghanistan Attack Force.”

What will be established in this country will then serve as a “model” for the others. A secret directive, in September 2009, authorized “a large expansion of covert military activities, with the deployment of special operations commandos in countries, both friendly and hostile, in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa.

The Special Operations Command, which officially has about 54 000 experts from all sectors of the armed forces, is organized into "small elite units" with the mission to "kill or capture enemies and destroy targets." It is also involved in "unconventional warfare conducted by external forces, trained and organized by USSOCOM; in counter-insurgency to help allied governments to quell a rebellion; in psychological operations to influence public opinion abroad into supporting U.S. military actions."

As part of "unconventional warfare," USSOCOM also contracts private military companies like Xe (formerly Blackwater, known for its actions in Iraq) which is already engaged in various special operations, even in Iran. The use of these forces offers the advantage of not requiring congressional approval and of being kept under wraps, thus avoiding public reactions. In general, special operations commandos don’t even wear uniforms; they disguise themselves as local people. It’s the best was for the killings and torture to be kept anonymous.

And since it is the U.S. that dictates its law to NATO, it is very likely that their allies have by now adopted the same model. That of the anonymous assassination of the "great Western democracies."

[1Named after the infamous military unit that murdered and tortured in Vietnam, and was later celebrated in a 1968 film starring and produced by John Wayne.