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.”