Monday, October 18, 2004

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror (Video)

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh: "BERKELEY - The Iraq war is not winnable, a secret U.S. military unit has been 'disappearing' people since December 2001, and America has no idea how irreparably its torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has damaged its image in the Middle East. These were just a few of the grim pronouncements made by Pulitzer Prize - winning investigative reporter Seymour 'Sy' Hersh to KQED host Michael Krasny before a Berkeley audience on Friday night (Oct. 8).

The past two years will 'go down as one of the classic sort of failures' in history, said the man who has been called the 'greatest muckraker of all time' and (paradoxically) the 'enfant terrible of journalism for more than 30 years.' While Hersh blamed the White House and the Pentagon for the Iraq quagmire and America's besmirched world image, he was stymied by how it all happened. 'How could eight or nine neoconservatives come and take charge of this government?' he asked. 'They overran the bureaucracy, they overran the Congress, they overran the press, and they overran the military! So you say to yourself, How fragile is this democracy?'

That fragility clearly unnerves him. Hersh summarizes his mission as "to hold the people in public office to the highest possible standard of decency and of honesty…to tolerate anything less, even in the name of national security, is wrong." He tries his best. More than any other U.S. journalist alive today, he embodies the statement that "a patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government," a belief defined by the conservationist Edward Abbey. "

By Bonnie Azab Powell
11 October 2004


Transcript: Jane Wallace Interviews Seymour Hersh - NOW with Bill Moyers


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