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Whose sarin?

Seymour M. Hersh, 19 December 2013

... not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real ...

The Vice President’s Men

Seymour M. Hersh, 24 January 2019

... get it. A former senior official of the Office of Management and Budget described the president to me as ‘lazy, just lazy’. Reagan, the official explained, insisted on being presented with a three-line summary of significant budget decisions, and the OMB concluded that the easiest way to cope was to present him with three figures – one very high, one ...

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh: Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels, 16 April 2014

... a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’ The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian ...

Military to Military

Seymour M. Hersh, 7 January 2016

... extremists, much as was then happening in Libya. A former senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs told me that the document was an ‘all-source’ appraisal, drawing on information from signals, satellite and human intelligence, and took a dim view of the Obama administration’s insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups. By ...

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

Seymour M. Hersh, 20 May 2015

... comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful,’ Durrani told me. ‘For a long time people have stopped trusting what comes out about bin Laden from the official mouths. There will be some negative political comment and some anger, but people like to be told the truth, and what you’ve told ...

Secondary Targeting

R.W. Johnson, 23 October 1986

‘The target is destroyed’: What really happened to Flight 007 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 282 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 571 14772 0
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... Throughout the time I was working on my own book on the KAL 007 tragedy I heard reports that Seymour Hersh was working on a parallel book, and I looked forward to it keenly. Ever since he sprang to prominence with his exposure of the My Lai massacre 17 years ago I have read his writings with respect, sometimes with admiration ...

Rug Time

Jonathan Steinberg, 20 October 1983

Kissinger: The Price of Power 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 699 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 571 13175 1
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... Seymour Hersh belongs to that small group of American newspaper reporters who made national reputations during the Vietnam War and Watergate. He won a Pultizer Prize in 1970 for his exposure of the My Lai massacre. He exposed the secret bombing of Cambodia and the role of the CIA in toppling the Allende regime in Chile ...

I figured what the heck

Jackson Lears: Seymour Hersh, 27 September 2018

Reporter 
by Seymour M. Hersh.
Allen Lane, 355 pp., £20, June 2018, 978 0 241 35952 5
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... The world​ needs Seymour Hersh. Without his indefatigable reporting, we would know even less than we do about the crimes committed by the US national security state over the last fifty years. While most of his peers in the press have been faithfully transcribing what are effectively official lies, Hersh has repeatedly challenged them, revealing scandalous government conduct that would otherwise have been kept secret: the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the domestic surveillance programme run by the intelligence agencies in the 1960s and 1970s, the torturing of prisoners at Abu Ghraib ...

Dual Loyalty

Victor Mallet, 5 December 1991

The Samson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 256 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 571 16619 9
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Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship 
by Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn.
Bodley Head, 423 pp., £17.99, January 1991, 0 370 31405 0
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... undergoing a profound transformation. Walworth Barbour, then US Ambassador to Israel, is quoted in Seymour Hersh’s book as saying alter the 1967 war that ‘Arab oil is not as important as Israel is to us. Therefore I’m going to side with Israel in all of my reporting.’ Such a ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence, 19 February 2004

... Niger in his 2003 State of the Union speech, he named Britain as the source of the information. Seymour Hersh, in a New Yorker article last March, quoted a former American intelligence officer as saying that ‘at least one member of the UN inspection team who supported the American and British position arranged for dozens of unverified and ...

Iran and the Bomb

Norman Dombey: Don’t Do It, 25 January 2007

... to having an implosion capability, which it will need to make compact weapons. Yet according to Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker in November, the CIA recently completed an assessment of the evidence for the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme. The report, which was based on satellite and other data, concluded that there was ...

Brief Shining Moments

Christopher Hitchens: Donkey Business in the White House, 19 February 1998

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 746 pp., $30, February 1998, 0 684 80819 6
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‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-64 
by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali.
Murray, 416 pp., September 1997, 0 7195 5518 3
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The Dark Side of Camelot 
by Seymour Hersh.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £8.99, February 1998, 9780006530770
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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson , Bobby Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade 
by Jeff Shesol.
Norton, 591 pp., £23.50, January 1998, 9780393040784
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The Year the Dream Died 
by Jules Witcover.
Warner, 512 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 446 51849 2
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Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot 
by Jerry Zeifman.
Thunder's Mouth, 262 pp., $24.95, November 1996, 9781560251286
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis 
edited by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow.
Howard, 740 pp., £23.50, September 1997, 0 674 17926 9
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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection 
edited by David Barrett.
Texas A & M, 906 pp., $94, June 1997, 0 89096 741 5
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Taking Charge: The Johnson Whitehouse Tapes 1963-64 
edited by Michael Beschloss.
Simon and Schuster, 624 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 684 80407 7
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes 
edited by Stanley Kutler.
Free Press, 675 pp., $30, November 1997, 0 684 84127 4
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The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957-63 
by Philip Nash.
North Carolina, 231 pp., £34.70, October 1997, 0 8078 4647 3
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... said quickly: ‘That must have been the fourth piece – I missed it. Could you get it for me?’ I sent it over that evening. In a short while he called back to ask that I talk to Newman and obtain, as hypothetically as possible, his estimate about Cuban response to an invasion. Allowing for Schlesinger’s retrospective, self-serving grace-notes ...

Opportunities

David Gilmour, 1 June 1989

Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 357 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 7011 3459 3
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... peace efforts and instigating lethal military adventures. Many years ago William Shawcross and Seymour Hersh revealed the extent of his hooliganism in Cambodia and elsewhere. More recently Patrick Seale showed in his biography of Asad that Kissinger almost single-handedly wrecked the chances of a Middle East settlement after 1973. And here Christopher ...

Protocols of Machismo

Corey Robin: In the Name of National Security, 19 May 2005

Arguing about War 
by Michael Walzer.
Yale, 208 pp., £16.99, July 2004, 0 300 10365 4
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Chain of Command 
by Seymour Hersh.
Penguin, 394 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 7139 9845 8
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Torture: A Collection 
edited by Sanford Levinson.
Oxford, 319 pp., £18.50, November 2004, 0 19 517289 2
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... Angola – lest we must stop them here, at the Rio Grande, the Canadian border, on Main Street. As Seymour Hersh shows in his indispensable guide to the politics of American security after 9/11, these are by no means merely ancient or academic formulations. While liberal critics claim that the Bush administration lied about or deliberately exaggerated the ...

Text-Inspectors

Andrew O’Hagan: The Good Traitor, 24 September 2014

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State 
by Glenn Greenwald.
Hamish Hamilton, 259 pp., £20, May 2014, 978 0 241 14669 9
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... winding down on his freedom, Snowden still went to bed at 10.30, as he had every night during my time in Hong Kong. While I could barely catch more than two hours of restless sleep at a time, he kept consistent hours. ‘Well, I’m going to hit the hay,’ he would announce casually each night before retiring for seven ...

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