How to torture Seymour Hersh

I love it when a sentence like this pops up in a review: “Do you want to be allied to a country that calls the Geneva Convention ‘quaint’?” Nicholas Lezard, on Guantánamo.

And Seymour Hersh, who’s making waves (what’s new?) with Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, gives Lakshmi Chaudhry a rough but entertaining ride:

LC: So what does the Abu Ghraib scandal say – the fact that it happened and the way it was handled by the Bush administration …

SH: Oh, c’mon. You can ask a better question than that.

Of course, it gets better.

Hersh makes an interesting point here: “When I wrote my first stories about My Lai, I remember vividly a Minnesota public opinion poll that showed that more than half of the American people didn’t think I should have published that story. They weren’t accusing me of doing anything wrong, but they didn’t think I should have written about it. So you always have this resistance to an ugly truth.”

Axis of Logic got off easy. The San Francisco Chronicle got the unexpurgated Hersh:

“Ask him why the Abu Ghraib scandal is important, and you’ll get an earful. ‘Why are you asking me that question? Are you trying to torture me? Is that a torture question? If you can’t answer that question, I’m not going to answer it.’ He’s picking up speed. ‘Why is it important? It’s important because — let me tell you why it’s important, in a nutshell! It’s important because it’s a symptom of a lack of care by the people at the top,’ he said.

‘The president and (Vice President Dick) Cheney and (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld dehumanized the opposition from the beginning — out of fear, out of anger, out of want of payback.’”

Here’s an excerpt from the book.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: