The Left’s Hypocrisy? Dialing Seymour Hersh

If Obama Does ‘It’ … Well, We Simply  Won’t Cover It!

NYIt is not easy to criticize a solid professional journalist. It is much harder to criticize a Pulitzer Prize Winning and well-respected investigative journalist. And, it is extremely hard to criticize a professional multi award winning investigative journalist, who happens to be a friend I respect and like. I rather think of the following observation as raising the question (publicly, that is) rather than an accusatory criticism. This is not due to timidity or the fear of being royally attacked (which I know I will be), nor is it because of letting personal friendship determine the color and the tone of my commentary. I think when you read the following, objectively consider and weigh the hard evidence and undisputable track record presented, and pause enough to critically think about the ramifications and possible conclusions, you’ll agree: Raising the question versus pointing an accusatory finger.

It all started with an article I was reading at AntiWar.Com by Justin Raimondo. In his to-the-point and well-articulated commentary piece Raimondo criticizes the blinded partisanship of the Obama cult when it comes to their reaction and response- whether the pretense of naivety or out-right groundless defense of Obama’s ‘Libya War’:

Now that President Barack Obama has intervened in Libya, his army of apologists is mobilizing to defend his “humanitarianism,” declaring that his war isn’t at all like Bush’s wars. It’s something new, and different – and admirable.I’m not at all surprised. Are you? The anti-interventionist veneer of most American liberals and assorted “progressives” peels off quite readily when a little “humanitarian” lotion is applied – especially if it’s poured on thick by a liberal Democratic President with a domestic agenda they can endorse.

Yes, and you’ll note the Obama-ites went to the Council, not the Congress, to ask permission to strike: and just to show we’re not the Top Dog, they let the Brits and the Frenchies take the lead. What generosity.

The “argument” presented here is the one progressives have salved their perpetually guilty consciences with ever since this manifestly unqualified ex-“community organizer” took up residence in the White House: he’s not Bush! That’s why they remained silent when he extended our perpetual “war on terrorism” into Pakistan, why they kept mum as the PATRIOT Act was reauthorized at the behest of the administration, and why they put the covers over their heads and stuck their fingers in their ears as George Bush’s torture regime continued, unabated and even expanded, under Obama. It’s why they ignored our failure to withdraw from Iraq, as promised by candidate Obama, and why they smiled politely and changed the subject whenever anyone had the poor taste to mention these unpleasant subjects.

Corn supplements the Not Bush argument with a new variation, an ideological rationale for knee-jerk defenders of the Obama regime: the we’re-not-neocons meme. Obama’s war in Libya is an example of what Corn actually dubs “the Anti-Bush Doctrine,” which is “precisely the opposite of how the neocons of the Bush-Cheney crowd viewed the world.”

Back in the 1990s, the neocons lent their names to innumerable “open letters” urging Bill Clinton to strike at the Serbs, with prominent progressives such as Susan Sontag leading the charge. George Soros financed a “grassroots” pro-war campaign, and the neocons were more than happy to jump on board the bandwagon – just as they are today.

Pushed into war by a coven of relentlessly nagging neo-liberal Amazons, and a cabal of round-shouldered flabby-faced neocons, President Obama has been captured by ideologues just as surely as was his predecessor – and, I’ll predict right here and now, with equally disastrous results.

The article got me thinking: The previous hawkish administration with its Iraq-Afghanistan wars, PATRIOT ACT, Guantanamo, Kidnap & Torture, Assassins, NSA Illegal Wiretapping of All Americans …

It got me thinking about the present Obama administration: Iraq-Occupation, Afghanistan-Pakistan Wars, Bombing Yemen, Libya War, Extension & Reauthorization of the PATRIOT ACT, Jailing & Torture of Government Whistleblowers, Guantanamo, Bagram Prison Torture & Fiasco, NSA Illegal Wiretapping of All Americans …

Then, it made me jump out of my chair while asking out loud: Where the heck is Sy Hersh?! Where has he been during the last two years plus?! We are talking about issues, scandals, wars, abuses of power …basically, all those topics that are, and have been, right up his alley!! So where is he?! Why haven’t I, we, heard much of him in the last two and a half years?! I am sure we haven’t missed it since when he writes on these issues we get to (justifiably, that is) hear the thunder, post-thunder, and echoes of his exposés. He couldn’t have run out of ‘thunder topics’ with the Obama administration’s relentless and nonstop assaults internationally and domestically!

I didn’t want to rely on my thoroughness in keeping track of Hersh’ long-winded and detailed investigative pieces in the New Yorker. Instead, I went to the New Yorker’s website and ran a search, and what I got was the following:

3 articles. Three articles. Only three articles since Mr. Obama’s presidential victory. That’s it. None of them on the scandals, issues and abuses of the Obama administration. None of them on Obama’s drone-mania. None of them on bombing and killing civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. None of them on the dubious brief assault in Yemen. None of them on Bagram torture-abuse-secret imprisonment. None of them on Libya. None of them on jailing Manning-DOD whistleblower or bringing criminal charges against other government whistleblowers. Instead of listing the long list of ‘Nones,’ I’ll give you the only three articles written by Hersh at the New Yorker:

Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace- Published in April 2009.

Defending the Arsenal: In an Unstable Pakistan, can Nuclear Warheads be Kept Safe? Published in November 2009.

The Online Threat: Should we be Worry about a Cyber War? - Published in November 2010.

That is it. None of them on Mr. Obama, his hawkish administration, his military blunders or evil exercises, his continuation of prisons and torture, his ‘generals’ problems …No.

I went a bit further in this research venture. I started checking Hersh-New Yorker coverage of the Bush administration abuses during its first three years. In fact, I documented the exact time frame of existence (Bush first 2.5+ years). And, this is what I got:

13 articles. Thirteen hard-hitting well-written, thoroughly investigated, and unabashedly presented articles. Thirteen articles on abuses involving war(s), military, ‘generals’ games, prison and torture … You want to check it for yourself:

Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Point made, no?

Then I picked the last 2.5 years of the Bush administration, and here is the number of articles written by Mr. Hersh:

10 articles. Ten articles. Ten slamming, thunder-making, hard-hitting investigative articles. Here they are:

Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

Finally, I did my best to exclude factors such as death, being laid-off, major illness, etc. I could not find any of those factors. I also took into consideration the ‘writing book(s)’ factor, and when I compared the status on that factor for the same time period during the Bush-Cheney administration and Obama’s presidency, I found them to be pretty equal.

With all this, I raise the question: Is this a case of the left’s hypocrisy? Why have we been getting no dial tone when we dial Seymour Hersh-New Yorker? Is this a pure & simple case of blinded and biased partisanship that says: If Obama (A Democrat) Does ‘it’ we simply won’t cover it?! And, what do ‘you’ say?

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  1. Hi Sibel,

    While I respect the work that you do here and Sy Hersh’s work as well, I don’t see the point here.

    Why won’t the Obama groupies see the reality that Obama’s done and continues to do? Because not all but many are lazy, uninformed and choose to be. Recycle old comments. There was only one choice in 2008. Not true. There were others. But they were brutally censored by the corporate MSM. Also, many of thes people still think that we’re in a “post-race America”. Again, not true. For more on that, read one of Tim Wise’s books.

    With Sy Hersh, many parts of the progresisve media are shutting him down. Why? Because it’s a dog-eat-dog world, that’s why. There’s only so much airtime and publication space every day. There are also millions of people who write blogs and have websites just like the professional journalists do.

    Tune around to progressive radio or TV shows or look at publications online, and who do you see? The same “names”:
    Chris Hedges
    Alexander Cockburn
    Laura Flanders
    Amy Goodman
    John Nichols
    Cornel West
    Tavis Smiley
    Noam Chomsky
    and others

    Next question. Why do we have to hear from the same people all the time? Because it makes booker’s lives much easier. They know these people are “safe” and won’t cause trouble. Why does the corporate MSM consistently go to Jesee Jackson and Al Sharpton? Same reason. Both of these people know that if they go too far, they’re seen as “uppity” and then they’re cut off. So to an extent they keep their mouth shut, make money and everybody’s happy.

    No offense, but there are other great writers besides Mr. Hersh that deserve to be heard. When was the last time you saw Robert Fisk on a Stateside cable news show? Never. He’s been voted Best Investigative Journalist in the U.K. 7 times. Is he less valid than Sy Hersh in his work? No. How come others can’t be heard as well? I wrote a newspaper column in Japan for six months in a market with 3 million people. Just because these other two are more famous than I am, does that mean that I don’t deserve to be heard as well?

    In net etiquette books, they always say it’s important to link to others to network successfully. Now, how many people do that in reality? Almost no one. I’ve approached dozens of progressive blogs and sites regarding linking, and not one has ever replied. What does that tell you?

    It’s every person for themselves as they fight for audience share and if they’re lucky enough profit as well.So, if you’re saying I should feel sorry that Mr. Hersh doesn’t get more exposure, sorry but I don’t. Also, in case anybody’s wondering, politically I’m way left of center.

  2. @ mtorjman & Simon: I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but what does it have to do with this article? Please stay on the topic, even if this is a joke. Thank you.

  3. ZicaTanka says:

    Did Mr. Hersh pick up yet?

  4. @Zica: hello. Not yet. I don;t know why, but I have been getting tons of articulate responses/comments at Face Book and via e-mail, yet, not here. 1000s of people have read and downloaded from the site here, but they are holding back. hmmmm. We have to remedy this.

  5. ZicaTanka says:

    Maybe he voted for Obama and is still speechless. Are the comments you’re getting defending Hersh and or Obama?

  6. You need a real forum with real moderators. There is really no point in trying to communicate in a non-threaded manner. With the resources you hopefully attempted to utilize yesterday morning you could get something like phpbb installed, running and configured locally before taking it live – although that may impact the layout.

  7. @Jitter: Thanks. As for resources…that’s another story, but thank you for the patience.

    @ Others: I have to delete comments that rea not related to this post. Otherwise, it will pave the way to everything but the kitchen sink. Hope you understand.

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