Seymour Hersh is a writer for the New Yorker who has broken several anti-administration stories over the last several years. Hersh styles himself an investigative reporter, but he has a history of coming up with “scoops” that can never be verified by anyone else. Here is part of the Amazon description of his recent book, Chain of Command:
In Chain of Command, Hersh takes an unflinching look behind the public story of President Bush’s “war on terror” and into the lies and obsessions that led America into Iraq. Chain of Command is a devastating portrait of an Administration blinded by ideology and of a President whose decisions have made the world a more dangerous place for America.
So there’s no question where Hersh is coming from. Still, he is respected in some circles, and once won a Pulitzer prize.
I’m a hard guy to shock, but this online chat conducted earlier today by the Washington Post is astonishing, for a guy who claims to be a mainstream journalist. Here are some excerpts:
Charlotte, N.C.: I seriously must wonder about this Bush manadate talk. You’d think the election was not close and that Bush won in a landslide. Kerry actually picked off two red states to Bush’s one blue. [Ed.: As several readers have pointed out, this is not correct. The reverse is true.] This nation is still very divided. The republicans swerve to the right at their own risk.
Seymour Hersh: you would be right in a rational world. welcome to the bush white house.
Washington, D.C.: Mr. Hersh,
Thanks for your fine work. Given the administration’s complicity in the human rights violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the fact that no one was held accountable, and the president’s reelection -do you think voters were by and large not bothered by the violations, or simply did not understand the scope of them?
Seymour Hersh: i think the bulk of the bush voters care very little about the way those who they perceive to be our enemies are treated. the reality is that far too many americans are not interested in the facts, or in reality. not a new concept, tho.
Germantown, Md.: Do you believe the president will strive for unity? Or will he skew more hard right?
Seymour Hersh: in my view, he’s got his mandate and he’s going to carry on with his mantra — bringing democracy to the middle east. pretty scary.
Paris, France: First, thank you for your extraordinary work on Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. My question was on Iraq’s WMD. A GAO Report from October 2001 (#02-38) – one month before the start of Iraq war planning – highlighted that “Army planners ‘stated that