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Seymour Hersh blasts Media over Russia Hacking Coverage

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  • Seymour Hersh blasts Media over Russia Hacking Coverage

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/25/...hacking-story/

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.

    Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public.
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    “It’s high camp stuff,” Hersh told The Intercept. “What does an assessment mean? It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief. And they’ve done it many times.”
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    Few journalists in the world know more about the CIA and U.S. dark ops than Hersh. The legendary journalist broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the Abu Ghraib torture, and secret details of the Bush-Cheney assassination program.

    In the 1970s, during the Church Committee investigations into the CIA’s involvement in coups and assassinations, Dick Cheney — at the time a top aide to President Gerald Ford — pressured the FBI to go after Hersh and seek an indictment against him and the New York Times. Cheney and then-White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld were furious that Hersh had reported, based on information from inside sources, on a covert incursion into Soviet waters. They also wanted retaliation for Hersh’s exposé on illegal domestic spying by the CIA. The aim of targeting Hersh would be to frighten other journalists from exposing secret or controversial actions by the White House. The attorney general rebuffed Cheney’s requests, saying it “would put an official stamp of truth on the article.”
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    While expressing fears about Trump’s agenda, Hersh also called Trump a potential “circuit breaker” of the two-party political system in the U.S. “The idea of somebody breaking things away, and raising grave doubts about the viability of the party system, particularly the Democratic Party, is not a bad idea,” Hersh said. “That’s something we could build on in the future. But we have to figure out what to do in the next few years.” He added: “I don’t think the notion of democracy is ever going to be as tested as it’s going to be now.”

    In recent years, Hersh has been attacked for his investigative reports on a variety of policies and actions authorized by the Obama administration, but he has never backed down from his aggressive approach to journalism. His reporting on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden dramatically contradicted the administration’s story, and his investigation on the use of chemical weapons in Syria cast doubts on the official claim that Bashar al Assad ordered the attacks. Although he has received many awards for his work, Hersh said praise and condemnation have no impact on his work as a journalist.

    Sy Hersh is my idea of an American hero.
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