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Seymour Hersh and the Spineless Nay-sayers

By Jonathan Cook

April 08, 2014 "ICH" - A nice post from Interventions Watch, assessing the backwards and forwards on Seymour Hersh’s latest investigation suggesting that Turkey was behind the sarin gas attack on Ghouta last August.

I would go a little further. What I find irritating is seeing so many people who should know better invest their energies in abusing Hersh and his research. He is a lone journalist, even if one of the best, and one who has not been able to find a bigger publication than the LRB willing to publish his last two essays.

Yes, his sources are anonymous. So what does that tell us? Chiefly, that the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers has been supremely effective.

Those attacking Hersh have got their priorities way out of kilter. The enemy here is twofold:

1. A White House that is trying to close down all public channels of information that might be used to hold it to account.

2. A corporate media that is acting largely in concert with the White House’s anti-transparency campaign.

A journalist like Brian Whitaker or Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch ought be exercising their Twitter fingers to berate those who want to keep us in the dark about what our leaders are really up to. Instead of badmouthing Hersh, they should be demanding that our so-called liberal media – the NYT, WaPo and the Guardian – start investigating these claims to see whether they hold water. The reality is that these media outlets are studiously ignoring Hersh’s work.

But Whitaker and Bouckaert both have a vested interest in ensuring such investigations do not take place, given that they have already endorsed the official narrative. Were Hersh to be proven right, they would look like the supreme dupes of official propaganda.

There is a reason why Herman and Chomsky called their book on the propaganda model and the western media “Manufacturing Consent”. I’d rather have a Hersh sticking his neck out to try to disrupt the process of manufacturing our consent than a dozen spineless Whitakers and Bouckaerts doing their level-best to shore the process up.


Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001. http://www.jonathan-cook.net


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