Pulitzer Prize-winning Seymour Hersh says the Obama Administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a war with Syria. Hersh is a Pulitzer, Polk, George Orwell and National Magazine Award-winning investigative journalist who has written for the New Yorker since 1991, discussing military and security matters there. He covered the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and more recently the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal. The message of his London Review of Books essay was simple: Barack Obama’s haste to go to war and cherry-picked intelligence “data” pose a serious security threat to America.
Earlier this year, Obama said that Assad’s use of Sarin gas constituted a “red line” – mimicking Benjamin Netanyahu’s discussion of Iran’s nuclear capabilities – beyond which American intervention would be necessary. The largest and most widely reported of these attacks occurred on August 21, and the evidence regarding this particular attack was the focus of Hersh’s essay.
Hersh’s essay confirmed what many independent voices suspected, that Obama’s attempt to involve America in Syria’s Civil War was rash, as rebel forces have the capabilities and knowledge to make gas and rockets. The essay added concrete data, facts and information to this idea, and provided a clear illustration of exactly how the Obama Administration cherry-picked and manipulated the intelligence in favor of a Syria strike.
Hersh told the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone that the New Yorker, who previously published his work, passed on his extensive and detailed rich investigative report. The Washington Post passed on it too.
Later, Hersh said it was a mistake to believe the Post would publish such a provocative story.
“Why did I think a mainstream press paper would want to go so hard against, you know, from a freelancer? It was silly of me. I should have just gone to the London Review very quickly. My mistake,” said Hersh.
The Administration and hawkish Republicans created a narrative that was pushed out by the mainstream media. Investigative journalist Ben Swann and Hersh were the few independent voices who challenged the Administration’s narrative by reporting facts not covered by the main stream press.
Last week Ben Swann wrote, “For well over a year and half, I have been a dissenting voice in media on this issue. But to be the dissenting voice means taking a stand when others will criticize what you do.”
Watch Hersh respond to his critics in the video below.
In this latest Truth In Media episode I interview Dr. Ron Paul and talk about the future of the liberty movement and alternative media.
We are only two weeks away from the anniversary of 9/11 and how far we have come. The Obama administration has been making the case for using cruise missiles to strike Syria. Unlike 12 years ago when the U.S. entered Afghanistan or in 2003 when the U.S went to Iraq to prevent Saddam’s WMD’s (which were never found) this time, Americans aren’t buying it.
Two polls conducted this week make a strong point about how the majority of Americans feel about the U.S. carrying out cruise missile strikes against Damascus. The first poll, conducted by Reuters found that only 9% of Americans support any U.S. intervention in Syria.
The second poll, conducted by NBC News finds 79% Americans, including nearly 70% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans say President Obama should be required to receive authority from Congress before taking any action against the Syrian regime for its suspected use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.
It is important to note that the demand for the President receive “authorization” follows the Constitution but is not something President’s have done since WWII. This is a significant shift and one that likely reflects an American electorate that no longer believes whatever claims its government makes about the need for military intervention.
I talked Wednesday with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie about the need for Congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria. You can see the interview here:
So what has changed over the past 12 years since September 11, 2001? Could it be that the rise of alternative media over the past decade have provided a much stronger voice in balancing information for the American people?
For example, Monday Secretary of State John Kerry made the case that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime was “morally wrong”. He went on to insist that the only force in Syria with access to chemical weapons is the Assad regime. Secretary Kerry is of course, wrong. As we pointed out, Kerry ignored the fact that al Nusra Front the Syrian wing of al Qaeda in Iraq was caught with 2kgs of sarin gas.
Sec. Kerry’s claims along with claims by the rest of the Obama Administration have done little to nothing to shift the views of the American public. The national media has not been the one to challenge erroneous claims about chemical weapons, nor has the national media done much to cover the strength of al Nusra Front in Syria. The alternative media has.
It is alternative media such as Benswann.com that has explained that by the U.S. working to overthrow Assad, that we will, in effect, be handing Syria over to al Qaeda.
Now, with the British Parliament voting down action against Syria, and virtually no support around the world, President Obama is left in a tough position. A position that no President has found themselves in some time. That position… one where an increasing number of people have access to good information about what is happening in the Middle East and more importantly an American electorate that is becoming increasingly educated about U.S. foreign policy that doesn’t make much sense. It is a position President Bush did not find himself in as he led the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but it is a position American presidents will hopefully find themselves in going forward.