May 12, 2015

"Readers are expected to believe that the story of the Bin Laden assassination is a giant 'fairy tale' on the word of a single, unnamed source."

"This source fits the profile of nearly all of [Seymour] Hersh’s informants in the national security world: a grizzled veteran of the intelligence sector who, freed from the shackles of government work, has become a withering critic of the national security state and American hubris overseas...," writes James Kirchick, in Slate.
The problem is that Hersh hasn’t moved past 1969: It’s always My Lai, and the government is always composed of people as devious as the denizens of the Nixon White House....

Hersh’s placement of this article in the London Review of Books, a literary journal whose take on international affairs tends toward the Chomskyan... is notable in that it has become the go-to place for Hersh’s exposés of American perfidy in the Obama era.... The first piece Hersh published in the London Review of Books, a fantastical 2013 concoction accusing Syrian rebels of gassing their own civilians and the Obama administration of “cherry-picked intelligence” in its brief against the Assad regime, was passed over by [The New Yorker], as it similarly passed over his fable about the Bin Laden raid... The New Yorker, where Hersh has contributed since 1971, published Hersh’s thinly sourced calumnies when his target was the Bush administration. Yet the magazine suddenly lost interest the minute he started accusing Obama of “lies, misstatements and betrayals.”

29 comments:

Kevin said...

"the government is always composed of people as devious as the denizens of the Nixon White House...."

Oh puhleeeze....

The Obama White House makes the Nixon White House look like a bunch of Campfire Girls.

Lying about Benghazi. Lying about Obamacare. Lying about the IRS scandal.

Lying is the Obama White House SOP.

SMGalbraith said...

Hersh was Sabrina Erdely before Erdely became infamous.

It's easy to follow his MO: believe in "X" - something nefarious involving the US or Israel - then find an ex- this or ex-that (always unnamed) who will support your thesis.

No names, no sources, no details.

Rinse and repeat.

It is interesting that Remnick didn't want this one. Or apparently a lot of other stuff. Hersh has been noticeably absent from the pages of The New Yorker over the past 3-4 years.

holdfast said...

" is notable in that it has become the go-to place for Hersh’s exposés of American perfidy in the Obama era.... "

i.e. during the Bush era(s), lots of "mainstream" publications were happy to publish Hersh's anorexically sourced BS, but with Obama in the White House, the New Yorker and others suddenly have standards. Please - pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

Maybe Sy should try Rolling Stone, and claim that Bin Laden was actually raped by SEAL Team 6 on the campus of Abatobad community college.

eddie willers said...

The useful idiot becomes an idiot when no longer useful.

khesanh0802 said...

Hersh is the king of unnamed sources. I stopped reading him years ago. It IS interesting though that the New Yorker won't publish him now that he is writing about Obama.

Coupe said...

"You don't get teeth that yellow smoking tobacco." - Willie Nelson

All the Federales say,
they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away,

Out of kindness, I suppose...

Brando said...

I don't see why his theory on the bin Laden raid is so fantastical--he seems to be saying that rather than the CIA carefully trailing bin Laden's courier, finding the hideout, and planning a sophisticated operation, Pakistani intelligence tipped off to us where he was in exchange for reward money and further aid. That actually sounds more likely--why are they so quick to dismiss it?

The "secret"--that the info came from Pakistani intel rather that our own--would not have had to be shared with the SEALs or others carrying out the operation. And it's understandable that the U.S. would condition any reward on us being able to carry out the mission rather than Pakistan, to ensure he didn't slip out again (remember the grief Bush got for "missing" bin Laden at Tora Bora). And a lot of the "story" about the raid changed since day one (going from bin Laden shooting back, using women as human shields, etc.) so it's not too surprising that they'd have left out mention of Pakistani sources (who likely wouldn't want it known they'd helped us).

Big Mike said...

... and the government is always composed of people as devious as the denizens of the Nixon White House ...

I would say that this White House is much worse. That doesn't mean Hersh is right, but neither does it mean he's wrong.

J2 said...

the whole "buried at sea" angle was, in and of itself, so ridiculous, that any alternate scenario has a leg up on believability.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"and the government is always composed of people as devious as the denizens of the Nixon White House...."

Not to pile on, but this immediately jumped out at me, too. The Nixon crew could not have imagined getting away with the blatant crap the Obama Administration does routinely. Wonderful what a groveling media and an insensate, dependent electorate can do for a fella.

Brando said...

"I would say that this White House is much worse."

Even a lot of mainstream outlets have admitted the Obama White House has a dismal record on transparency even compared to its predecessor. Yet I imagine the second Clinton White House will put all previous administrations to shame when it comes to secrecy, corruption and abuses of power.

Let's hope I turn out to be wrong.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hersh is stuck on My Lai and Kirchick (or Slate writers/Leftists in general) are stuck on the Nixon Admin (and of course each subsequent Repub. Admin.) being uniquely perfidious--not like those paragons of virtue the Johnson, Kennedy, or Clinton administrations.

Nice that the author noticed the disparity (in Media treatment of thinly-sourced hit pieces) between the Bush & Obama admins, though; if a Slate author had shown the guts to extrapolate from the Hersh example to Media treatment overall it would have warranted a John McClane "Welcome to the party, pal!"

Shootist said...

The current government isn't "composed of people as devious as the denizens of the Nixon White House...."

Who knew?

JCC said...

The story as recounted by Hersh is too convoluted for even Dan Rather, and too complicated to be accurate. The Pakistan government gave up UBL, but in order to cover their own complicity in same, asked us to send in the Seals to blow up the guy, rather than just have one of their own quietly walk in, cap him and dump the body in the mountains where the original cover story was supposed to place him. No, it was easier to fly helicopters and special forces miles into Pakistan, shoot off guns & grenades, crash an aircraft, etc. And dozens of people were in on the scheme, Saudi Arabia was involved in the original hide-out, UBL was really a cripple, the SEALS lied about everything, etc etc. No, this is Hersh doing what he does, knocking down everything and everyone, all based on what? Some unidentified source of shaky provenance?

But it's fun to see the turning of the worm.

I Callahan said...

I imagine the second Clinton White House will put all previous administrations to shame when it comes to secrecy, corruption and abuses of power.

Let's hope I turn out to be wrong.


Let's hope we never find out...

Robert Cook said...

"Lying is the Obama White House SOP."

As it is with every White House, and every government.

"The story as recounted by Hersh is too convoluted for even Dan Rather, and too complicated to be accurate."

To the contrary, it seems entirely plausible, even the complicated skull-duggery and quid pro quo arrangements between the various parties. This is how the world works: everyone is working their agenda, and power and/or money is at the heart of virtually every decision or action.

Hersh's version seems more likely than our government's given that essentially the same information has been previously reported.

The version of bin Laden's death related by the Obama adminstration and dramatized in ZERO DARK THIRTY is the more romantic, satisfying story, and seems the more fabricated for that.

Unknown said...

Wait, what? What else is said to be changed? Not buried at sea? Then where is he?

Robert Cook said...

"Not buried at sea? Then where is he?"

Allegedly, his body parts, or some of them, at least, were thrown out of a SEAL helicopter over a mountain range.

kcom said...

"Let's hope I turn out to be wrong."

You really think Chelsea will be that bad?

machine said...

wazzup fantasyland!


worse than Nixon?!?!?!?


good luck wit dat.

Quaestor said...

Hersh is the patron saint of New Journalism -- you know, the journalism that contains more truth than truth can contain?

Crimso said...

Did Hersh bother to interview Robert O'Neill? If not, why not? It seems interviewing a supposed eyewitness/participant would be bare minimum in the area of due diligence. Was Hersh's source code-named Curveball? Too good to check? Getting a lot of mileage out of that Pulitzer.

Balfegor said...

No better thing to lie about than an intelligence coup. You don't let the Nazis know you've cracked Enigma if you can help it -- make up fake trails for your info instead. If Obama was lying about this, then good for him. Makes the disclosure of details post-assassination a lot more excusable if half those details were fake.

bgates said...

The problem is that Hersh hasn't moved past 1969

and everybody knows it hasn't been 1969 since 2008.

gadfly said...

The problem with the bin Laden assassination is that it is physically impossible to kill a dead man - and all evidence points to his having succumbed late in 2011 to his long-standing nephritis.

Since October 2001, when Al Jazeera's Tayseer Alouni interviewed bin Laden, no reputable person reports having seen him - up until pictures of an Arab with a short broad nose (nothing like th Semitic aqualine nose in his famous horse-riding portait) was represented by the Obama regime to be the now-assasinated Wahhabi prince.

The CIA made OBL the most feared man in the world when in fact his mujahideen did very little fighting - and we now know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned and carried out 9/11.

So Obama had this election he needed to win . . .

gadfly said...

Oops - I meant to say that OBL died in late 2001. Sorry.

averagejoe said...

bgates said...
The problem is that Hersh hasn't moved past 1969

and everybody knows it hasn't been 1969 since 2008.

5/12/15, 11:13 PM

LOL! bgates FTW!

Robert Cook said...

"So Obama had this election he needed to win . . ."

@Gadfly:

Yes, but it goes beyond that...American needs to exist in opposition to an all-powerful, unstoppable, unreasoning and remorseless bogeyman whose goal is to destroy us, in order to justify our own grotesquely wasteful military expenditures and to keep the rabble at home (that's us) scared and submissive. For decades the all-encompassing evil was Soviet Russia, or, more amorphously, "communism." Now, it's the even-more amorphous "terrorism."

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

We will always be at war with Eurasia.

Mick said...

OBL was dead long before the supposed "killing" at the behest of the Usurper, who was trying to portray himself as some tough patriotic American, rather than the foreign faggot Usurper that he is.

At the same time he was also trying to direct attention from the Birth Certificate controversy that was about to blow up--- and then magically a fake BC appeared w/in 3 days, which nobody saw, and nobody touched.

Then "coincidently" Loretta Fuddy, Hi. Director of Health, and fellow SOBUD adherent, who vouched for the fakery, mysteriously died in a plane water landing, just recently.

The Usurper leaves dead bodies in his wake everywhere, but the OBL killing was pure fiction, and all of ST6 were killed because of it--- except for the BS artist who claims that he shot OBL.

Hersh is controlled opposition meant to "prove" that OBL actually was killed at the behest of the Usurper.