Seymour Hersh: "Nobody In This Government Talks to me"

Seymour Hersh: "Nobody In This Government Talks to me"
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Journalist Seymour M. Hersh, 70, announced his arrival in Washington nearly four decades ago by uncovering the U.S. military massacre of Vietnamese women and children at My Lai and winning the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. As a freelancer for the tiny Dispatch News Service, he did all this without even leaving the country. Newsweek dubbed him the "scoop artist," and from the start he has served as the official executive pain in the neck -- breaking such stories as the CIA's bombing of Cambodia and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's wiretapping of his own staff.

Recently ranked 26th on GQ's list of "50 Most Powerful People in D.C.," Hersh was among the first to expose the Abu Ghraib prison scandal (chronicled in his latest book, "Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib"), and he continues today to detail the Bush administration's alleged march to bomb Tehran. Persona non grata in this highly secretive White House, The New Yorker writer was recently dubbed "Cheney's Nemesis" by Rolling Stone magazine, and a former Bush insider told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in early 2003, "Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly."

The Jewish Journal recently spoke with Hersh in advance of his Oct. 4 appearance at UCLA Live, at which he will discuss American foreign policy and the abuse of power under the guise of national security.

Jewish Journal: You wrote in The New Yorker in the spring of 2006 that the United States might not have much more time to focus on Iraq because they had started planning to bomb Iran. That hasn't happened yet. Do you still think it will?
Seymour Hersh At that time it was considered far out. But it's not anymore. I'm still writing about Iran planning. It is very much on the table. And I can tell you right now that there are many Shia right now in the south of Iraq, in the Maliki party, that believe to the core that America is no longer interested in Iraq, but that everything they are doing now is aimed at the Shia and Iran.

JJ: You're not a fan of President George W. Bush. Do you look at things in terms of Jan. 20, 2009?
SH: Absolutely. Absolutely. No matter who will be there.

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