October 19, 2008

Profile of Seymour Hersh

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubikcan @ 9:58 am

Recommended read: The Guardian’s profile of Seymour Hersh, the well-known writer for the New Yorker. Excerpt:

Though it was Woodward and Bernstein who uncovered the significance of the burglary at the Watergate building, Hersh followed up their scoop by becoming one of Nixon’s harshest critics and by breaking stories about how the government had supported Pinochet’s 1973 coup in Chile, secretly bombed Cambodia and used the CIA to spy on its domestic enemies. His 1983 book about Nixon, The Price of Power, is definitive. So far as the War on Terror goes, Hersh has already delivered his alternative history – Chain of Command, a book based on the series of stories he wrote for the New Yorker in the aftermath of 9/11 and following Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Among other things, Hersh told us of the bungled efforts to catch Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan; of the dubious business dealings of the superhawk Richard Perle – a report that led to Perle’s resignation as chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board (Hersh alleged that Perle improperly mixed his business affairs with his influence over US foreign policy when he met the Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in 2003. Perle described Hersh as ‘the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist’ and threatened to sue before falling oddly silent); and of how Saddam’s famous efforts to buy uranium in Africa, as quoted by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech, were a fiction. Most electrifying of all, however, was his triple salvo on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. It was Hersh who first revealed the full extent of this torture, for which he traced the ultimate responsibility carefully back to the upper reaches of the administration.


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