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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I missed this.

But you shouldn't.

Sy Hersh on CNNThanks to TalkLeft, we now know that Seymour Hersh appeared on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on Sunday night, and discussed his New Yorker article about Dubya's plans to attack Iraq. Some of it is going to cause me to lose sleep:

BLITZER: Here's, among other things, what you write in the article: "A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was 'absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb' if it is not stopped. He said that the president believes that he must do 'what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,' and that 'saving Iran is going to be his legacy.' " So what's your bottom line? Do you believe, based on the reporting you did for this article, that the president of the United States is now aggressively plotting military action, a preemptive strike against Iran?

HERSH: The word I hear is messianic. He thinks, as I wrote, that he's the only one now who will have the courage to do it. He's politically free. I don't think he's overwhelmingly concerned about the '06 elections, congressional elections. I think he really thinks he has a chance, and this is going to be his mission. [Emphasis mine]

And some of it shows how much how what Dubya's administration is doing now resembles what happened before the Iraq war. Hersh's comments about how the administration is responding to his Iran article are very revealing:

BLITZER: Here are some of the comments we've gotten from top Pentagon officials, reacting to your article in the New Yorker.

Larry DiRita, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs: "We will not, other than to remind people that Sy Hersh has a single anonymous source who is not in government, and both Hersh and the source have made fantastic, unverified, and wrong allegations before."

You want to react to Larry DiRita?

HERSH: I think the last time that he was talking about was when I wrote about Abu Ghraib. I think the phrase they used in the Pentagon -- I was throwing "crap against the wall to see what will stick" at that point, when I first began to report that there were serious abuses in Abu Ghraib two years ago.

BLITZER: Another Pentagon spokesman, Brian Whitman says this in reaction to your article, and I'll read it: "The United States government has been very clear about its approach to dealing with Iran. The president and the State Department are working diligently with the international community to include organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations to address diplomatically the troublesome activities of the Iranian government.

Whitman goes on to say, "This reporter" -- referring to you -- "has a solid and well-earned reputation for making dramatic assertions based on thinly sourced, unverifiable anonymous sources. It should be noted that Mr. Hersh never sought any comment, clarification or interviews with responsible and knowledgeable officials of the Defense Department."

HERSH: The New Yorker sent a long, detailed memorandum to the Pentagon on Tuesday. I e-mailed other people in the government, getting no response, other responsible high-level officials, not getting a response.

And all I can tell you is that the response was given -- a very churlish response was given to us on Thursday night or Friday that didn't respond, as he doesn't, to the issue.

The question: Is there serious military planning going on? And all of this talk doesn't evade the issue. The answer is yes and they're not actually denying it. [Emphasis mine]

You can read the full transcript of the interview here. Hersh's portion of the program begins about one-third of the way down.

Crooks and liars has the video of the interview up here.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:23 AM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


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