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Seymour Hersh says official story of bin Laden killing is ‘one big lie, not one word is true’

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Guardian piece on the legendary journalist Seymour Hersh, 76, holding forth to young English journalism students.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” – or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an “independent” Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

Other great stuff:

“But I don’t know if it’s going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America – the president can still say to voters ‘al-Qaida, al-Qaida’ and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he says…

If Hersh was in charge of US Media Inc, his scorched earth policy wouldn’t stop with newspapers.

“I would close down the news bureaus of the networks and let’s start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won’t like this – just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” he says….

“The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” And he implores journalists to do something about it.

(One comment. The guy’s an investigative journalist. I remember when Hersh fired me with a passion for investigative journalism, back in 1975; he visited my college newspaper and when I asked him what to investigate said that Harvard had likely cooked its admissions standards to exclude radical troublemakers. I couldn’t confirm this. I lacked the chops. At that time, Nick Lemann said “to be an investigative journalist, you have to have a low threshhold for outrage.” Wonderful insight.)

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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65 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 27, 2013, 1:18 pm

    “The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won’t like this – just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” he says….”

    Russell Brand on Morning Joe. He resorted to gross sexism but he got a great point across about the complete vapidity and vacuousness of US major network news analysis

    And Mika Brzezniski says nothing when Joe Klein says it’s better having 4 year olds dying over there

    http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/10/23/morning-joes-drone-debate-whose-four-year-old-girls-should-be-killed/

    • Citizen
      September 27, 2013, 1:41 pm

      Mika is a zero compared to her father; she’s about as banal as they come in her job.

      • ritzl
        September 27, 2013, 5:24 pm

        @Citizen I’m kinda ambivalent about Mika. She could not have grown up so close to her father and be the proverbial bimbo. So I think she exerts her influence in the editorial/invitation department.

        I think she has her father on for cause. It’s a decision, particularly how she appears on camera.

      • Dagon
        September 28, 2013, 9:31 pm

        Well Maybe You are right,But she can hardly put a word in with that self centered bully sitting next to her .

  2. LanceThruster
    September 27, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Once there were giants.

    It takes a reminder such as this that it can seem maddening to be sane in an insane world.

  3. Krauss
    September 27, 2013, 1:39 pm

    to be an investigative journalist, you have to have a low threshhold for outrage

    He makes it sound as if you’d almost have to be unstable.
    Outrage in of itself isn’t the sign of an investigative journalist. Outrage doesn’t necessarily need to be moral in nature. And investigative journalism is, at its heart, a moral undertaking. To repair the ills of the world.

    I’m not surprised that Lemann got it wrong, though. Maybe this is why Lemann tried to climb the greasy ladder during his career instead of actually investigating the powerful.

    When I think investigative journalist, I think Glenn Greenwald.
    Intellectual, but fearless and moral.

    • Donald
      September 27, 2013, 5:20 pm

      On the subject of Lemann, he made the most grotesque historical comparison to the I/P conflict that I’ve ever seen. It’s in the New Yorker back in 2002. Here it is–

      link

      He compared the Israeli occupation to the occupation of the South after the Civil War. The Palestinians are the white Southerners and their use of terrorism is in his view the same as the KKK lynching blacks. Despite their use of terror, he thinks the Israelis should just give the Palestinians their state, even though he thinks this would be like the Union troops pulling out of the South and allowing the whites to impose Jim Crow. Remember again that the Palestinians are the southern whites in his analogy. Not the sufferers under Jim Crow. No, they’re the KKK. Just stunning. The obvious analogy (US theft of land from the Native Americans) is one he studiously avoids making, because it’s much more accurate.

      • Krauss
        September 28, 2013, 1:27 pm

        Wow, Donald, amazing that you had that somewhere in your mind.
        But it’s not hard to see why; it’s absolutely a grotesque comparison and reveals his ugly inner self for everyone to see.

        It’s quite amusing how fast you can spot a greasy career-climber even from afar.

      • Donald
        September 30, 2013, 10:47 pm

        “But it’s not hard to see why;”

        Yeah, exactly. In all my years of reading the MSM on this subject it was the most dishonest analogy I’ve ever seen. Absolutely stunning. So yes, it stuck in my head. (Googling for it was fairly easy, if you remember what to look for.)

        I’m not all that familiar with Lemann otherwise–I see his name here and there but couldn’t tell you anything else he’s written about anything.

    • radkelt
      September 27, 2013, 8:50 pm

      I.(izzy) F. Stone made the mold, rarely if ever to be surpassed.

  4. ritzl
    September 27, 2013, 1:40 pm

    I can’t imagine starting out a journo career today. The motivations, influences, and mentoring must be so vastly different than when Hersh or you/PW did. As you ask, who or what is going to light enough of a fire in new journos bellies (collectively or individually) to spend years developing personal contacts and deep subject matter insight?

    Greenwald and Taibbi? Is that it? Is that enough?

    What are we going to do when the Viet Nam/Nixon era aggressiveness is completely gone?

    • Citizen
      September 27, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Watch Chris Matthews spit on with great emotional energy without ever touching the root of anything he babbles about? Or watch Krauthammer’s absurdly controlled sentences of logic, usually assembled from his hidden and deeply contemptuous Zionism?

      • Kathleen
        September 27, 2013, 2:18 pm

        Chris will dig on domestic issues but stops way short when it comes to foreign policy. While he has voiced a personal opposition to a military strike on Syria and Iran he will not go so far to help inform the American public about these issues by simply having on people like the Leverett’s, Hersch, Jeremy Scahill who could bury Matthews shallow and inaccurate statements about Iran etc. The other night he had Eugene Robinson and Crowley from I believe the New Yorker who both repeated the neocons lines about Iran. Matthews is a coward on these issues. No cajones

      • ritzl
        September 27, 2013, 2:31 pm

        Thanks for mentioning Scahill, Kathleen. Maybe Morgan Spurlock, Yves Smith on other matters. They are out there.

        While the Leverett’s are subject matter experts (SMEs) with considerable insight and good media poise, they don’t seem to push their PoV too much. It’s like they’re analysts first and foremost, and journos a distant second. The seem to eschew the “I’ve got a story. Listen, dammit!” incessant, ego-driven (a good thing in this case) mentality. A pity that.

        As you say though, the Leverett’s should be on more shows.

      • ritzl
        September 27, 2013, 5:16 pm

        Re: The Leveretts Tavis Smiley interviewed Linda Rondstadt (Part I) last night and asked her the “why you” question. She responded with the vagary of unknowable nuance. Talent (knowledge/insight) is only part of the equation. Rondstadt was absolutely correct.

        I guess what she didn’t say, and couldn’t describe, is how you create “knowable” nuance. Part II is tonight, though I doubt she will or can expand on that.

      • RoHa
        September 28, 2013, 12:13 am

        “No cajones”

        No drawers to keep his knives and forks in?

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2013, 12:55 pm

        Did you hear Terri Gross’s interview with Rondstadt….stellar interview or maybe just Rondstadt being so sincere, brilliant, humble.

      • just
        September 28, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Linda Ronstadt was wonderful in that interview… what an incredible talent she has.

      • marc b.
        September 27, 2013, 2:57 pm

        Matthews is a buffoon. willfully clueless and absolutely irritating as a moderator. I watched him a few days during the initial Syria debate, and I can’t recall a single guest completing a sentence without being interrupted by a face cleansing cloud of electronic spittle from Matthews. same for Jesuit no. 2, who follows him on MSNBC, what’s-his-face with the glasses. yetch.

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2013, 1:06 pm

        He will never push it very far on foreign policy issues. Now he has been willing to come out and say he is against any military intervention with Syria, Iran but will not logically go to the point of having much smarter and far better informed experts on his program to discuss Iran, Syria..like the Leveretts, Prof Cole, even Dr. Zbig. Chris Matthews really seems to have a thing about not having people on who are much smarter than he thinks he is. The few times he has had Katrina Vanden Heuvel on you can almost see smoke coming out of his ears. He had Amy Goodman on once and her steady no nonsense focus on facts when it comes to foreign policy just drives people like Chris Matthews crazy. He surely gave Kristol, Frum, Gaffney and the deadly neocon group plenty of time to repeat their dangerous hooey about WMD’s in Iraq on his program before the invasion. Now he did get sarcastic with them always calling them the “best and the brightest” saying that with a shit eating grin on his face. He never went so far to have the experts on his program before the invasion who were questioning the validity of the neocons intelligence. Never had IAEA weapons inspector Scott Ritter (who did his damdest to stop that invasion) and went way out on a limb informing us quite awhile back that Israel wants to take out Iran so bad “Target Iran” Of course they found his achilles heel (his weenie) and took him down. Hope he comes back. Also Chris Matthews could have had Dr.Zbig on, El Baradei, CIA analyst questioning the intelligence. But he did not.

        So hear he has another chance to help the American public access verified information about Iran, the history of our negotiations or lack of by having the Leveretts on and he does not go there. Really a chicken shit on these issues Pathetic

    • Ellen
      September 27, 2013, 5:06 pm

      Greenwald is good, very good. Taibbi is mining the financial industry crimes and misdeeds, but is too often out of his realm and makes many factual errors. He should not be writing about the financial industry. Then again he writes for an overated pop culture rag, Rolling Stone. What can one expect.

      There is better and factual coverage on zerohedge.com — which sometimes has pieces on MENA industry, politics and finance.

      • ritzl
        September 27, 2013, 5:54 pm

        @Ellen I understand what you are saying, and zerohedge is also one of the best factual sites on domestic issues, But they don’t make the “Look at me!” splash that Taibbi does.

        Without that splash all the good points and research would go mostly unnoticed. Iow, and imo, without Taibbi (and/or his contrast that you point out), few would go to naked capitalism or zerohedge and their great analysis would go relatively unnoticed.

        I always wrestle with the “mostly correct” v. strictly factually correct contingents of advocacy, any advocacy. It seems to me that if not for the mostly correct branch, there would not be any noticeable advocacy at all. You have to get people interested. Interested enough to look deeper. Interested enough to look deeper enough to say what you just said.

        My analog to this is always the “Fosbury Flop.”

        It’s a quandry, to be sure.

      • Ellen
        September 28, 2013, 10:16 am

        ritzl, true the Tabbis of the world may be a little incompetent, but yes, he sucessfully sheds light into the corners we should examine.

        His employer, Jan Wenner of Rolling Stone is another gatekeeper. RS will never ever honestly cover the occupation industry or the Israelification of the USA.

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Jan Wenner of Rolling Stone another “gatekeeper” Yep

      • ritzl
        September 29, 2013, 12:26 am

        Thanks Ellen. Didn’t know that about Wenner.

        Peace.

      • john_manyjars
        September 29, 2013, 2:34 am

        Rolling Stone, for whatever its faults, is doing a lot more than the ‘serious’ mass media organizations to expose the rot in our government, IMHO.

        Newspeak, Faux, CNN, Time, etc- all mouthpieces for the giant conglomerates or billionaires that own them; stenographers for the White House and Pentagon in nearly all cases.

  5. Citizen
    September 27, 2013, 2:00 pm

    What do they teach in journalism classes in college these day? Aren’t most professors lefties?

    BTW, bin Laden death had been declared about a dozen times in prior years before Obama so declared it: http://www.activistpost.com/2011/05/big-lie-101-bin-laden-assassination.html

    • Ron Edwards
      September 28, 2013, 9:18 am

      “Aren’t most professors lefties?” They are not. They never have been. I figure you know this, but I also figure it’s worth underlining.

      For those who don’t know, universities were not “havens for the Left” during the 60s and 70s. They were and had been for some time targets for, if you’ll excuse the term, the Establishment’s aims through *very* direct means, and the strife on campuses represented pushback, especially when antiwar Vietnam vets began organizing there. The faculty were for the most part complicit with those Establishment aims; the few heroic exceptions have been conflated with the whole, because demonizing academics is an easy sell (you can see this today across the whole U.S. spectrum).

  6. Kathleen
    September 27, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Love Hersh his integrity his go for it dig for the truth, facts attitude and work ethic. If investigative reporters had an ounce of his integrity we would be living in a country that was much improved. Much.

    I was able to hook up Christian Peace Maker Team Member Peggy Gish up with Seymour Hersh on a Talk of the Nation program in I believe early 2003. I had hammered Neil Conan enough times to have Peggy on as a guest after she returned from one of her many trips to Iraq. Conan caved to my persistence. CPT had all ready been one of the earliest groups to document and take reports from former Abu Gharib prisoners (this was in early summer of 2003) and their family members. CPT had quite the files all ready to go on the torture taking place on Abu Gharib. Seymour and Peggy stayed in contact and Hersh used some of CPT’s reports in his Abu Gharib report in the New Yorker that came out in 2004 I believe.

    I had the great pleasure of running into Hersh standing in a line at Starbucks at Union Station in D.C. A long line. The woman behind me was talking with Hersh and he walked away and I turned to her and said “is that who I think it is.” Told her Hersh was a hero of mine. She responded “me too he is my husband” We talked then Seymour got back in line and I was able to ask him some questions. He was as nice as could be and let me know that he had just come back from Lebanon I think and had been trying to get into Israel and they would not let him in.

    The man has depth, integrity and digs for the truth like few do. Jeremy Scahill, Greenwald seem to be following in Hersh’s giant foot steps.

    Going to read the Guardian piece right now

  7. Walid
    September 27, 2013, 2:47 pm

    An epic-proportion spectacle was made of Saddam’s trial and execution while with Obama, the whole thing was a fast as 1,2,3 especially with the highly irregular quickie burial at sea. Looking forward to Hersh’s view of what really happened and when Bin Ladin actually died.

    • lysias
      September 27, 2013, 4:58 pm

      Yes, the record-time disposal of bin Laden’s body immediately made me suspicious also.

      If I had actually believed the government’s story, I, as a retired naval intelligence officer, would really have been outraged by the killing of bin Laden, because (at least assuming that the government’s account of 9/11 is correct) taking the man alive should have been Mission Number One, worth losing lives over, as it would have been an intelligence bonanza.

      • john_manyjars
        September 29, 2013, 2:36 am

        Not sure if said bonanza would have materialized, Bin Laden might have only been a figurehead after all.

  8. flyod
    September 27, 2013, 3:04 pm

    “he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush”..

    • seafoid
      September 27, 2013, 3:59 pm

      He probably is. Obama carried on with most of Bush’s policies and the NSA stuff is just grotesque.

    • libra
      September 27, 2013, 5:28 pm

      “he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush”

      Obama is his own Cheney.

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2013, 1:09 pm

        ouch

        But this move to negotiate directly with Iran would not be what Cheney or Bush would do

        Hell Hillary Clinton would not be doing this

      • libra
        September 28, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Kathleen: But this move to negotiate directly with Iran would not be what Cheney or Bush would do

        Very true, it’s what Nixon would do. And that’s meant as a compliment. At least Nixon had the vision and courage in foreign affairs to offset his legacy of running aerial warfare out of the White House and domestic spying scandals.

  9. Justpassingby
    September 27, 2013, 3:17 pm

    There are no US journalists there are propagandists.

  10. chris_k
    September 27, 2013, 3:26 pm

    ABC was told they used DNA to identify Osama’s body, Reuters was told it was facial imaging. Burial at sea is NOT a Muslim ritual, quite the opposite, Muslims are told to keep a dead body in a boat for land burial unless it’s a long journey and the body is rotting.

    • RudyM
      September 27, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Not to mention the absurdity of the idea that the U.S. government would suddenly develop sensitivity to Muslim religious practices and sensibilities when dealing with an accused terrorist, Osama bin Laden no less.

  11. LanceThruster
    September 27, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I will add the caveat that Bernie the Attorney still notes that it seems as if Hersh misses the elephant in the room, as it were, with his deconstructions.

  12. Annie Robbins
    September 27, 2013, 3:58 pm

    the public is so gullible. btw we killed the boogieman last night, buried him at sea and that’s the end of him. really, because we tell the truth.

  13. seafoid
    September 27, 2013, 4:05 pm

    “The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything”

    So true

    “They lie to us then lie to themselves about lying to us”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAYdc2_Y82w

    Poor journalism is hanging from the cross these days.

    • Henry Norr
      September 27, 2013, 4:34 pm

      My nomination for best song of the century: “Lies” by the Wiafs

      (Hey mama hey mama hey ma they lie) x 3

      You read the paper, watch the news
      and you think you’re well informed
      Well I got some news for you my friend

      That headline that you read
      the story that broke
      it was a scandal – yeah a scam
      political masterstroke
      Tell you what they you want you to hear
      close your eyes and open your ears

      (It’s easy), yes it’s easier that way
      (cause you don’t) cause you don’t have to think for yourself
      You said hey I tell no lies, I tell no lies
      Because I read it all in black and white
      It was on my TV yeah they were telling me just what to believe
      Yeah I tell no lies, I tell no lies
      And all the while they’re tellin’ you lies
      (hey mama hey, mey ma they lie) x 10

      Everyday you and me, we see what we are shown
      yes it can be hard to scratch below
      there are people at the top, they are hidden far from view
      they’re not gonna show their faces to the likes of me and you
      you never see them on the street,
      but you’ll always see the things that they do.

      (yes they know) yes they can get away
      (no price) no price is too high for them to pay

      Yeah I tell no lies, I tell no lies it’s very simple, yeah it’s in black and white and it’s on your TV oh we got everything you need to believe
      Hey I tell no lies, I tell no lies, I know why they’re telling lies
      why they’re telling you lies
      And all the while they’re tellin’ you lies

      Oh Lies lies lies (lies lies lies) x3
      (Hey mama hey mama hey ma they lie) x 8
      And all the while they’re tellin’ you lies.

      Listen to a great live performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE2S4d1vqHM

  14. Henry Norr
    September 27, 2013, 4:36 pm

    I seem to be in the mood for nominating favorites. Here’s my candidate for best line from the Guardian piece about Hersh: “We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he [Obama] want to go into another one for.”

  15. piotr
    September 27, 2013, 5:52 pm

    I was thinking about the What-about-abad, what is true and what is false.

    I think that it is true that in the aftermath of that action Bin-Laden was dead, because otherwise his people would post a video denying his demise. But he was also rumored to be dead prior to that action

    I also think that it is true that American special forces indeed stormed a residence (a “compound” if you will) in Abbotabad. Otherwise Pakistani journalists would uncover the truth that it was all quiet and tranquil in Abbotabad on that day.

    That would leave uncertain what exactly happen in that residence. If totally innocent Pakistani were killed that would also be uncovered. Otherwise we do not have any pictures or audio tapes or bodies or artifacts to analyze.

    The most intriguing element is that there were plenty of survivors according to “American authorities”, eighteen, all women and children, all went to the custody of ISI and were not heard about ever since. The second intriguing element is that the bodies of the killed persons are similarly unavailable. This gives room to assorted speculations, like CIA renting the facility for the occasion and staging the whole thing. Or that it was an actual al-Qaida facility for widows and orphans.

    • RudyM
      September 27, 2013, 8:22 pm

      I also think that it is true that American special forces indeed stormed a residence (a “compound” if you will) in Abbotabad. Otherwise Pakistani journalists would uncover the truth that it was all quiet and tranquil in Abbotabad on that day.

      As far as Pakistani news coverage, there was this interview that aired on Paksitani TV. The article contains a transcript (in translation), but unfortunately the original article’s video link is now dead and Robert’s seems unsure if he has found the original video again or not. Assuming the translation is legitimate, it’s still just one eyewitness (who could be serving who-knows-what? agenda).

    • Ron Edwards
      September 28, 2013, 9:22 am

      “… eighteen, all women and children, all went to the custody of ISI and were not heard about ever since”

      But you repeat yourself there. Which is to say, *my* grim interpretation is that the U.S. did in fact storm a residence and that most of the people there have been silenced, probably permanently.

  16. MHughes976
    September 27, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Mind you, if Hersh is making these very strong statements it would be nice if he would fill them out somewhat. Are we to wait for a book which is still in preparation?

  17. RudyM
    September 27, 2013, 6:03 pm

    I wish I could give the study of the media the attention I think it deserves (along with too many ever subjects to possibly deal with satisfactorily).

    I thought Robert McChesney’s The Problem of the Media provided some good background on how journalism got to the point it is today. If I recall correctly, he sees the professionalization of journalism, or at least the particular form taken by that professionalization, as part of the problem. He explains that journalistic ethics focused on achieving objectivity, in practice end up making more room for the voices of those in power. When those in positions of power speak, it becomes news. It’s safe to just report what elected officials (especially) said or did. Meanwhile, investigative journalism is risky because it could mean allowing the journalist’s own perspectives on a subject to shape research and reporting.

    I’m not suggesting that’s the whole problem, by any means. Corporate ownership, and, at least on some issues, Zionist ownership/editorial control, is also obviously important. Beyond that there is the penetration of the CIA, and perhaps other intelligence agencies (foreign or otherwise) into the media. I don’t think that just stopped after the Church Committee hearings. If anything, by the looks of the media today, the CIA compromising of the media has been a huge success.

    Nick Davies’s Flat Earth News (which I somehow never finished, though I expect to go back to the beginning and read it all eventually) gets into some that intelligence penetration of the media, as well as the straightforward problems created by massive cuts to news bureau’s covering overseas issues, and the lazy reliance on barely revised press releases (or other PR sources). The gist of what I read seemed to be: mainstream news largely consists of corporate PR and government propaganda.

    In practical terms, I simply have given up on the mainstream/corporate media, and I’m pretty suspicious of a big chunk of big name alternative media as well. That doesn’t mean I have given up on making use of it, but it’s just one dubious source among many. I am not comfortable absorbing a mainstream media account of an important story, without putting it alongside alternative account of the same story, or at least alternative criticism of the mainstream account. And though it might seem like a contradiction, I also regard mainstream media confirmation of an alternative media story as weighing in favor of the alternative media story’s truth.

    I hate to say it but anybody, including some of the much better than average reporters mentioned in the comments here, who is regularly given a platform in mainstream media, has to be looked at with some suspicion. Hersh certainly comes out with some interesting bits of information, but I suspect he holds back a lot. (Like maybe he could have said a lot more than the little he did say about the Israeli presence in Kurdish Iraq.) Presumably he would have to hold back on some of what he knows, in order to retain access to inside sources. But perhaps he has a role to play as controlled opposition.

    I have to admit, I’m happy to see Hersh say what he said about the Osama bin Laden killing story. My baby boomer brother was at one time a Hersh fan, so perhaps he will take more seriously the possibility that the whole bin Laden killing story is a sham, if Hersh raises fundamental questions about it.

    • seafoid
      September 28, 2013, 4:40 am

      “I am not comfortable absorbing a mainstream media account of an important story, without putting it alongside alternative account of the same story, or at least alternative criticism of the mainstream account.”

      Neither am I. It’s so interesting to see how newspapers spin things in their own house style. And to attempt to figure out how the whole system works.

      “an inherent feature of the international system of law is that it claims a single version of the good life as universally preferable and relies on different mechanisms of force to pursue the issue. There are huge differences in culture, politics and economic power. Those differences are not being leveled as the international system evolves but rather are features of the system itself.”

      Alice Walker
      “You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity.”

  18. W.Jones
    September 27, 2013, 9:02 pm

    “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011. The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

    We don’t know what evidence Hersh will bring. However, there is this:

    Pakistan TV Report Contradicts US Claim of Bin Laden’s Death
    By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
    Global Research, August 06, 2011
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/pakistan-tv-report-contradicts-us-claim-of-bin-laden-s-death/25915

    In my recent article, “Creating Evidence Where There Is None,” about the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden by a commando team of US Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan, I provided a link to a Pakistani National TV interview with Muhammad Bashir, who lives next door to the alleged “compound” of Osama bin Laden. I described the story that Bashir gave of the “attack” and its enormous difference from the one told by the US government. In Bashair’s account, every member of the landing party and anyone brought from the house died when the helicopter exploded on lift-off. I wrote that a qualified person could easily provide a translation of the interview, but that no American print or TV news organization had investigated Bashir’s account.

  19. Philip Munger
    September 27, 2013, 9:42 pm

    My top 10 American investigative writers (at least for today):

    1. Marcy Wheeler
    2. Glenn Greenwald
    3. Matt Taibbi
    4. Max Blumenthal
    5. Jason Leopold
    6. Dahr Jamahl
    7. Seymour Hersh
    8. Justin Raimondo
    9. Gregg Levine
    10. Howie Klein

    followed by Kevin Gosztola, Phil Weiss, Jesselyn Radack, F & H Leverett, Juan Cole, John Pilger, David Dayen, Paul Woodward – and others I left out unintentionally.

    On TV: Abby Martin, Amy Goodman. Not much else there…..

    It takes courage to be an investigative journalist. In the USA, it is getting bad. But in Honduras, since the U.S.-endorsed coup, several investigative journalists have been murdered. And so on.

    • Cliff
      September 28, 2013, 2:26 am

      1. Phil
      2. Glenn
      3. Max

      In terms of audacity, courage, and intellectualism.

      If you’re critical of American FP and do not mention Israel then you’re a FRAUD.

      I dunno the others on that list but I think a lot of so-called investigative journalists fit that bill.

    • Justpassingby
      September 28, 2013, 3:58 am

      Good post, will check some people out here.

    • MRW
      September 28, 2013, 9:02 am

      If you based it on honesty, your list would be vastly different. I think you are giving Phil short shrift. And Sy Hersh belongs at the top. Matt Taibbi, who wrote in the eXile copy for the week of Sept 11, 2001–because I was one of the few North Americans I knew about who read him then–that he was strung out on heroin on 9/11/2001 (6 PM, and in bed) now waxes lyrical about shit he never watched. And he sneers at whoever disagrees with what he found out later. He believes the Bush govt version. Taibbi was a heroin addict on 9/11/2001, by his own admission. Alone in Moscow. Mark Ames had left.

      • Philip Munger
        September 29, 2013, 4:18 am

        MRW,

        I thought I DID base my list on honesty. Phil didn’t make the top ten for more than one reason. His honesty, which is solid, wasn’t one of them. And I’m sure he recognizes the importance of most, if not all of the writers I placed ahead of him in this arbitrary listing.

        However, this blog, and his creation of a multi-viewed set of contributors and co-editors, most of whom are investigative in their approach and very honest, deserves to be on far more blog rolls, blog lists and so on than it gets on. And Mondoweiss should have gotten several awards for its efforts by now, even though that has not happened. Yet.

        That’s another story, though.

      • MRW
        September 29, 2013, 6:09 am

        Philip Munger,

        Gotcha. Once again my comment sounded harsher than it should have. I meant no criticism of you, BTW.

    • Kathleen
      September 28, 2013, 9:18 am

      Jeremy Scahill is at the top of the list for me. Thanks for mentioning Marcy Wheeler

  20. Robert
    September 27, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Walid,
    Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 of complications of Marfan’s Disease (kidney disease) . This is well covered in the websites http://www.whatreallyhappened.com, and http://www.veteranstoday.com.

    • tokyobk
      September 28, 2013, 1:48 am

      Whatreallyhappened.com where you learn that 7 of the (CIA-Mossad op) 9/11 hijackers are still alive, etc… and Veteran’s Today, which writes “The holy gas chamber is a fake. Which makes the entire Holocaust story a fake…. There was never a plan for exterminating Jews and there was never an instrument,” From its financial editor we learn that (of course) “The Jews in Hollywood” are responsible for taking away real American’s guns and that Israeli death squads were behind the shootings of Gabrielle Giffords, the Colorado movie shootings and at the school in New Town, Connecticut.” The editor of VT is not just a holocaust revisionist, by the way, but also a Hitler revisionist, feeling the Fuhrer acted rationally towards Jews in response to a world Jewish boycott of Germany and (supposed) Jewish domination of the global economy.

      • Walid
        September 28, 2013, 4:33 am

        TokyoBK, don’t go chasing windmills after these 2 sites and come back down to what Seymour Hersh is saying. He’s got the credibility to come out and say what happened with Bin Ladin. Anything to say about Hersh?

    • Philip Munger
      September 29, 2013, 4:23 am

      Marfans is a connective tissue disorder. Your comment, Robert is the first time I have seen it described as a “kidney disease.”

  21. RoHa
    September 28, 2013, 12:16 am

    “…official story of bin Laden killing is ‘one big lie, not one word is true’”

    Well, duuuh! Whoever thought otherwise?

  22. Emma
    September 28, 2013, 7:17 am

    ” … back in 1975; he visited my college newspaper and when I asked him what to investigate said that Harvard had likely cooked its admissions standards to exclude radical troublemakers. I couldn’t confirm this.”

    I heard this from a friend who went to Harvard at the time. I though he was joking. He said they stopped admitting student leaders and gave preference to jocks, which he claimed was how he got in.

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