Archive for the ‘SEYMOUR HERSH’ Tag





“All bizarre and nonsensical conspiracy theory of course.”

It is not at all clear why you should say that. The “of course” only emphasizes the lack of analytical basis for your total dismissal.

Especially when one considers that in the end you yourself suggest a theme to the material.

“Ultimately, they put the onus on Middle Eastern countries to explain themselves. The cables are America’s own explanations. Neither Iran nor many of its Arab friends and enemies like being held to account overmuch.”

In our own lifetimes, we have learned of many dark operations more impressive than the selected release of some not-all-that-secret documents, many of them having release dates of not too many years in the future. The term “conspiracy theory” is now consistently used to disparage those who are genuinely puzzled about the official explanations of certain big events.

Yes, we have the paranoid extreme, but that extends into the mainstream too, even into politics.

In the end you must judge major news events by the standards of the late I.F. Stone. You must read different versions and explanations and make comparisons and weightings. You must judge the purport of the material itself, what it is intended to say or not say.

We live in a shadow world as never before in human history with vast intelligence establishments working day and night and a press now reduced to a small number of owners who have their own reasons for giving slants to affairs or even completely misrepresenting them.

Truth is perceived infrequently, but there are immensely well-financed establishments busy “getting out the story” and even creating it in some cases. To say otherwise is to admit to extreme naiveté or perhaps dishonesty.

When was the last time a paper like your Telegraph or even the New York Times did some serious investigative journalism for readers? Especially where the earth-shaking matters are concerned, rather than mother’s milk stuff like the abuse of parliamentary expenses. Almost never.

Where were you with Blair’s countless lies? Bush’s lies and absurdities? We lived through a set of events in which, after the greatest peace march in history, Blair managed to twist the truth and lie his way into doing something against the overwhelming sense of the British people. And the press pretty well let it happen.

We only have a few genuine investigative journalists in the world, and they include notably Seymour Hersh and Robert Fisk. But even their work must be subject to evaluation. They can have things planted on them, and they make mistakes.

The WikiLeaks material is undoubtedly authentic, but that does not at all exclude an underlying purpose in its release.

It is a well-known practice of intelligence agencies to give large bits of genuine material, none of it too compromising, in order to get either an important piece of intelligence in return or to “bury” some damaging deception like a fish hook planted in a minnow.

The CIA used to brag of having a huge house organ whose keys could be played to create the sense of a Bach fugue of seeming news. It was talking about all the publications, both compliant and duped, in which it could plant a story and have it reverberate ultimately as a convincing event.

I’m not sure whether WikiLeaks itself falls into the compliant or duped category, but the nature of the material, the main themes plus the many important things undoubtedly missing, say something important to those listening carefully.

I am completely underwhelmed by the content of the military WikiLeaks, both this time and previously.

Very little there that well-informed people did not already know. Yes, of course, the juicy tidbits about so-and-so said are fun, and so they are meant to be, but they are not all that informative.

I am sure there are countless lies and atrocities contained in the universe covered so far by WikiLeaks, but they are not in the material released.

The idea that no one knows where Assange is also strikes me as slightly ridiculous in this age of massive intelligence operations and the trampling of individual rights in the name of fighting terror.

If you think otherwise because of Osama bin Laden, you are rather late in learning he has been dead since the bombing of Tora Bora. The United States has kept him alive, as it were, for a focus in its insane War on Terror.

Cui bono?

The US looks like an innocent victim, just guilty of some unpleasant gossip here and there. Who wouldn’t know that? Israel gains support for an attack on Iran.

The leaks serve Israeli-Pentagon interests.

And do so in a convincing, seemingly disinterested way.

These leaks also serve America’s now cancerously-swollen intelligence apparatus in seeking more repression and secrecy within American society.

Your off-hand dismissal is unfair and unwarranted.


“First of all, we need to know a lot more about each individual still being held in Guantanamo…”

That’s rather cowardly, to say the least.

We know more than enough.

These men were arrested and sent to Guantanamo against all international law.

They have been abused and tortured for years, again against all international law.

For years, they were allowed no lawyers, no visitors, and even the Red Cross was not allowed to visit.

The US has not only ignored international law and obligations, it ignores its own principles.

You cannot have a Bill of Rights worth spit if its provisions are completely ignored as soon as you put a toe over the border.

The very existence of this concentration camp – for that is precisely what it is – is an affront to people who love freedom and decency.

It is also the final proof of George Bush’s complete incompetence: he foresaw none of the consequences of creating this horror.


The case of Omar Khadr is the one I am thoroughly familiar with.

He has suffered, at the hands of American soldiers, beyond the understanding of most.

He was a mere boy, pushed by ideological parents, when he went to Afghanistan.

At the age of 15, he was shot twice, in the back, by cowardly American soldiers.

Then he was arrested and imprisoned in violation of all international conventions about child soldiers.

He was charged with a crime over something that is not even a crime in war, that is shooting one of your opponents.

But as we know now, he didn’t even do that. It has all been trumped up.

Khadr was tortured for years, again against international conventions. This included a particularly vicious American interrogator, well known for his brutality, having the boy with two horrible wounds trying to heal sit up regularly in uncomfortable positions, pulling at his wounds.

Khadr was held with no access or help for years.

I recall in many, many wars abroad having nothing to do with the US – civil wars and revolutions and colonial wars from Spain to the Congo – American soldiers of fortune and motivated idealists going off by the thousands to fight for one side or the other.

They weren’t subjected to this Nazi-like treatment afterward. This is a total disgrace on the part of the United States.

And our Prime Minister’s cowardly refusal to stand up for a citizen and an abused boy is also disgraceful, but he unfortunately reflects American sensibilities. To have asked for this boy, in view of a family history which includes a dead father who knew Osama bin Laden, would have been viewed as an unfriendly act by an insanely mad American government.

And we have the horrible irony that some of the images from that other ghastly place, Abu Ghraib, now being held back include images of American guards Sodomizing young prisoner boys. Our great investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, has told us this over and over, but America pays little attention.