"America has many characters. We have Donald Duck and Seymour Hersh and they're approximately in the same category. And I give them the same credibility." --New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg.
I guess Seymour Hersh's New Yorker piece about the president considering nukes for Iran touched a nerve. Although no one in the administration has officially denied its veracity. But apparently, they're not fond of leaks they didn't start.
Pulitzer prize wining journalist Seymour Hersh does not need me to defend him against today's slanderous attacks from the trio of Republican thugs, led by New Hampshire Senator and Powerball second-prize-winner Judd Gregg, who owes his current term to beating a 94 year old grandmother. But I've known Sy since I was a child, playing with his kids in the neighborhood, occasionally tearing up his front yard. And I've been in touch with him in my adult years, always impressed with his ability to get out in front of a story, unlike so many of his colleagues. He has always been a fearless journalist, even when his phones have been tapped, and he's received harassment unimaginable to the Katie Couric's of the world.
No, the guy who broke the My Lai massacre story and exposed Abu Ghraib really doesn't need me to tell you that he has a lot more credibility in the court of public opinion than Bush's henchmen Judd Gregg and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. Gregg, who ran against Granny Haddock mostly on contributions from big business PAC's, is best known for portraying Al Gore and John Kerry in debate practice with George W. Bush. He is, quite literally, the administration's punching bag, so it's no surprise to hear him mouthing off on his Bill Frist-led Polish junket. But who the hell is Richard Burr? What would motivate him to utter the idiocy, "Seymour Hersh has too much time on his hands"?
Well, a quick glance at Wikipedia reveals him to be the first-termer from North Carolina who stepped into John Edwards' seat thanks to one of the most expensive campaigns in the country. He holds the record for big business PAC contributions. Of the top 100 corporate giants, 72 contributed to Burr, most notably, big oil.
When Burr previously ran for congress, he took large contributions from several chemical-oil companies including MTBE-Conoco in 1997, then sponsored a bill to offer them liability protection. The company was found guilty in 1997 of tainting groundwater in the state. Yes, that's the kind of guy Richard Burr is. He also sponsored the "Pandemic Drug Development act of 2005," in an effort to help Duke's Research Triangle profit from the fictional Bird Flu pandemic.
So the idea that these are the shills trying to discredit Hersh is ludicrous. These wiseguys, unlike Hersh, have really never done a thing for their country. The millionaire Gregg didn't even donate the $850K he won on his Powerball ticket. This is the guy talking about Hersh's credibility? Sy is a journalist with the best sources in the business (unlike, say, Judy Miller, Matt Copper, or the morally bankrupt Bob Woodward), a man who demonstrates what our sacred democracy and first amendment bequeath us, and these crooked apologists for one of the worst and most unpopular regimes in history want to dismiss him as having "too much time on his hands." These are, truly, hit men of the lowest order.
They say you can judge a man by his enemies. Even if I didn't know Sy Hersh, I'd say that anyone Richard Perle calls the "closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist" is okay by me.