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View Diary: Seymour Hersh: Obama's narrative for Syria strike was false (54 comments)

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  •  Hersh's story would have had some credibility (2+ / 0-)
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    NYFM, CenPhx

    if he stuck to professional standards of journalism which he of all people must know.  There's no way to tell from the piece he wrote whether he has devolved into a Lara Logan copycat quoting anyone without questioning their authenticity.

    Amy has said herself that the media is complicit in delivering lies to the public.

    Last September 1, as members of Congress were pontificating about the need for a vote on military action, I posted a diary here to draw attention to the vote they had already taken just two months earlier. In June, the House called for the President to take action to remove Assad with a 301-123 vote.  In August, they were outraged when he proposed limited military action.  How dare he follow the marching orders they gave him. It takes brass.

    Hersh doesn't seem to know that there was a plan before the President's plan.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:51:40 PM PST

    •  He was always well received by this community (3+ / 0-)
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      CenPhx, PatriciaVa, CIndyCasella

      when debunking the rationale behind George W Bush's international escapades.

      Sure, he's likely a CIA shill, at some level, but I suspect his reporting is as accurate now as it was then.

      •  I'm sorry. Your reply to my comment is (0+ / 0-)


        First of all, GWB callously joked in public on more than one occasion about the elusive WMD in Iraq. He debunked his own rationale and he made it easy for the press and the public to say that he lied.

        That situation is in no way analogous to or the equivalent of the Syria episode in August and September.  The story Hersh wrote doesn't comport with documented facts.  Why isn't he interested in the measure passed by the House?  Why doesn't he ask where the Armed Services committee and Intelligence committee got the information to support the language on Syria that they put in the NDAA?  

        If you haven't studied the proceedings in Congress related to Syria this year, Hersh's story might seem plausible. You'd also have to believe that Hersh is somehow reading Obama's mind.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:10:31 PM PST

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        •  What does that have to do with evidence (3+ / 0-)
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          PatriciaVa, JVolvo, CIndyCasella

          surrounding the alleged chemical attack?  You haven't said anything to refute Hersh's evidence.

          "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:14:51 PM PST

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          •  He doesn't have evidence. The weapons inspectors (1+ / 0-)
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            collected the evidence. Read their report.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:40:45 PM PST

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            •  I think you should read the report again. It (1+ / 0-)
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              clearly states that the sites were contaminated and evidence was manipulated and that they could not assess blame based on the science.  

              Yes, there was a small chorus of propagandists who claimed over and over again that the UN report fingered Assad, but that is patently untrue.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 07:20:26 PM PST

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              •  Someone upthread implied that Hersh has (1+ / 0-)
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                evidence and he does not.

                The weapons inspectors' report doesn't identify who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. Its findings were inconclusive.

                I don't care what propagandists say. I go by the report that was produced by the experts who conducted an onsite investigation. What do you know that they don't know for you to say that anything is patently true or untrue? What evidence do you have to say that you know better than they do? Where is your report that matches or exceeds the forensic quality of the  inspectors' report so that your findings are more conclusive than theirs?

                This isn't complicated. If no one knows who was responsible then no one can say Obama's narrative was false. You may think it was false. You may suspect it was false. But according to the weapons inspectors' report you don't know and no one does.  Furthermore, it wasn't a narrative that belonged exclusively to Obama.  As the Congressional Record shows, the narrative about Assad was written into a piece of legislation the House passed in June.

                You skipped over the history of the narrative and you didn't bother to trace it to its source. The House didn't write its legislation out of thin air. The narrative goes back further. But somehow, absent all facts, you think you know what's patently true.  Because you're all wrapped up in the politics and you have a biased opinion.  I get that.  My opinion may be similar but an opinion doesn't substitute for the facts. And the facts are inconclusive.

                The rumors about al-Nusra & chemical weapons have been around for a year. Read the Congressional Record for testimony from intelligence experts. The persistent rumors have never been proved. Other countries in the region, Turkey, for example, tried and failed to prove them. Still, some insist, particularly Israel, which believes it is vulnerable.  However, Israeli intelligence said it was sure Assad was responsible almost immediately which prompted questions in the press. Médecins Sans Frontières also reported almost immediately when 3600 people came streaming into the facilities it was using all at once. Its staff began exhibiting symptoms right away, too, from second hand exposure, a sure sign of chemical weapons.

                Nowadays people proceed to a political discussion based on one slanted stand-alone article without any substantive knowledge of the history, background, and facts so that they can even begin to ask some intelligent questions. All they know is whether it fits with their agenda. If it does, then it's patently true. Good luck.

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:49:22 AM PST

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          •  All he said is that the rebels had the capability. (1+ / 0-)
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            That's all.  Unless I've misread something.

            •  It has been rumored for a year that (1+ / 0-)
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              al-Nusra, an alleged al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, has had some ability to make chemical weapons or to gain access to the stockpiles Syria held as a non-signatory to any international  non-proliferation agreement.

              The testimony of experts, pro and con, is in the Congressional Record.  Why doesn't Hersh's source come to testify before Congress like others have already done if he has new information? He would find many members, maybe a majority, who are all ears. Is the source an American? If so, it would be his duty to come forth.

              Instead, Hersh writes a nutty story that makes it seem like he was given clandestine information that was being suppressed. It may come as a shock to him that the information is there for anyone to read in the Congressional Record. It wasn't suppressed. It was refuted and it was determined that there is a credible danger from the same group gaining access to Assad's stockpiles which were vulnerable. That risk has been mitigated and will be eliminated completely with the destruction of any remaining chemical weapons in Syria.

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:30:21 AM PST

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    •  Epistemic closure always seem to have problems (1+ / 0-)
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      with "professional standards of journalism" outside the box.

      "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

      by Superskepticalman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:36:35 PM PST

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      •  Are you familiar at all with the subject matter, (0+ / 0-)

        Syria and the use of chemical weapons there, to discuss it intelligently? Do you understand the details on each side of the debate?  

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:52:20 PM PST

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