02 October 2013

Seymour Hersh castigates American journalists and President Obama

Seymour Hersh' reputation as an investigative journalist was established when he exposed the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam war.  He has harsh words for the pandering American press in terms of their relationship with the current president:
Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would"...

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him. "It's pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]," he declares in an interview with the Guardian...

"Duncan Campbell [the British investigative journalist who broke the Zircon cover-up story], James Bamford [US journalist] and Julian Assange and me and the New Yorker, we've all written the notion there's constant surveillance, but he [Snowden] produced a document and that changed the whole nature of the debate, it's real now," Hersh says.

"Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn't touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game," he adds, before qualifying his remarks.

"But I don't know if it's going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America – the president can still say to voters 'al-Qaida, al-Qaida' and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic," he says...

Hersh returns to US president Barack Obama. He has said before that the confidence of the US press to challenge the US government collapsed post 9/11, but he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush. "Do you think Obama's been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What's going on [with journalists]?" he asks...

"The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple." And he implores journalists to do something about it.
More at the link.


  1. The Shrub, Cheney and Rumsfeld lied about weapons of mass destruction to get us into a war in Iraq to make tons of money for them and their friends. Supposedly airliners crashed into the World Trade Center buildings, a field in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon, but the fire was so intense at the Pentagon that there were no airplane parts found there. The Patriot Act allows all kinds of spying on the United States' own citizens -- and was put into place by The Shrub, not by Obama. Where was the uproar then?

    I hate it that our government has eliminated our right to privacy. We are no longer free. Everything we do or write or say is recorded by the government. Yet no one seems to care. 1984 has become a reality, Orwell had it right.

  2. The PATRIOT act was put into place by a Democrat-majority congress, and signed into law by Bush.

    I don't see what good it does to complain about Bush still - those of us who did at the time were told to shut up because we were idiots - but Obama is continuing or expanding many programs and policies that started with Bush during the "war on terror."

    I agree with the rant posted here. It's something I've been worried about journalistically - if our first amendment isn't working for us, then it isn't working.

  3. "Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria?"

    Gee, Seymour, much respect, but you should know the answers to your rhetorical questions?

    Anyone who compares Bush to Obama has a simplistic understanding of politics and a dangerously short memory of the last 5 years.

    "On 20 May 2009, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) by a 90–6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Obama issued a presidential memorandum dated 15 December 2009, formally closing the detention center and ordering the transfer of prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson, Illinois.The United States government disclosed on 21 September 2012 the names of 55 of the 86 prisoners cleared for transfer from Guantanamo Bay prison. All of the names made public were of prisoners President Barack Obama's interagency Guantanamo Bay Review Task Force approved for release from the prison. Previously, the U.S. government had maintained the names of prisoners cleared could not be made public because it would get in the way of diplomatic efforts to repatriate or resettle prisoners in their home country or other countries. In November 2012, the Senate voted 54–41 to prevent detainees being transferred to the United States."

    Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003 after terrorists headquartered in Afghanistan attacked us. He used fake intel to convince enough people that it was in our interests. Bush vetoed a plan for withdrawal in 2007 and wouldn't even agree to a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq until a month before the election where Obama said he would order that. The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq on December 18, 2011.

    No one gave a crap about Syrian victims until Obama used the threat of force. Then the war mongers in the GOP pretended to be peace loving hippies. Russia and China are still in the UN Security Council and our #1 ally Britain refused to go along. However, Obama was able to get Syria to start dismantling the chemical weapons. Progress.

    1. Seymour Hersh is the real deal as far as journalists are concerned- do you really think he's going to idly stand by and not challenge the authority of any politician on either side of the same coin?

      Sadly, this is the kind of bobble headed idiocy that passes for journalism these days:


      Ask the most cursory of questions, accept the most cursory of non answers. Everyone smiles- it's a wrap! And we all get to do it all over again tomorrow...

      And such thinly veiled and nervous laughter when someone dares raise their knickers on high!!!

  4. I like Obama but even I wish the 'journalists' would do their job and ask the hard questions... hold his feet over the fire the same way I wished they'd done with Bush.
    That, and on all the 'news' shows I watch they have on guests who just want to deliver party-line talking points... and the 'journalists' let them! They don't huff or puff on those tissue paper walls. Just nod their head at the canned statements. Useless blather, all of it.
    Now, I understand a lot of it is because TV shows need guests... and guests will not willingly stick their head into a shark tank... they only want to play softball and if you won't let them then they'll take their notes and go home. You don't even get close to these guys if the think you're looking for real answers.

  5. This all has a partisan ring to it. The press is beholden to market driven, corporate interests, whether they punch "R" or "D". Manufactured consent etc. NYT made the lying case for Iraq and they'll (and the others) will do whatever elite business in the U.S. pushes them to do.


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