Moar Obama Exceptional American Lying


It would be a Herculean task to compile a list of even 10% of the Con Man-in-Chief’s egregious lies over the course of his years of misrule, but two big ‘uns this week are acting as a burr under my saddle blanket.  Both directly and indirectly revolve around his role in the loose-cannon nature of what passes for Amerikan foreign policy and global misadventures from The Dark Side.

Stephen Lendman calls his recent V-Day remarks on Omaha Beach: ‘Obama’s Duplicitous V-Day Remarks’.  While contrasting Putin and Obama as polar opposites in terms of war and peace, he gets right down to the irrefutable facts of his wars in aid of US hegemony, including the many ways he’s flaunted the Nuremburg Principles, and his total disregard for the Rule of Law, while waging illegal wars of aggression, deposing (or trying to) leaders who don’t fit into the NeoCon Dream.

But back to his remarks on the 70th anniversary of V-Day:

“His comments addressed America’s European war effort alone – creating the illusion that US forces defeated Nazi Germany almost singlehandedly.

No nation contributed more with greater sacrifice than Soviet Russia. Without its heroic efforts, Hitler might have won.

Obama ignored its contribution entirely. His “tribute to all who served” included only US “soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guard, (and) merchant marines (who) risked their lives, and gave their lives so that we, the people the world over, could live free.”

“This was the (US) generation that literally saved the world – that ended the war and laid the foundation for peace.”

He urged “rededicating ourselves to the freedoms for which they fought” – ones he’s systematically gone all-out to destroy at home and abroad.

“Let’s make sure that we keep striving to fulfill our founding ideals,” he said.”

And yes, he did just that.  I won’t embed the video, but the transcript is here, and is of course the most jingoistic, syrupy praise of US and European troops’ heroics imaginable.  But this section, oh my; really takes the cake when one considers the Empire of Chaos’s recent machinations over the globe:

“What more powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom than the sight of wave after wave of young men boarding those boats to liberate people they’d never met?

We say it now as if it couldn’t be any other way. But in the annals of history, the world had never seen anything like it. When the war was won, we claimed no spoils of victory — we helped Europe rebuild. We claimed no land other than the earth where we bury those who gave their lives under our flag, and where we station those who still serve under it. But America’s claim — our commitment — to liberty; to equality; to freedom; to the inherent dignity of every human being — that claim is written in blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity.”

Lendman then contrasts that to Putin’s Saturday speech at Red Square (and yes, I detest the military might and hardware on display, as I do in Beijing) as having giving appreciation to all those nations that allied to stop Hitler (France, Britain, and the US).  He spoke again of the need for a multi-polar world, the need for equality among all nations in order to foster peace on the planet, and warned against (ahem) “strong-arm block thinking gaining momentum.”

Leaders from 30 nations traveled to Russia to mark the anniversary, but of course…not Obama, nor Angela Merkel or other Western clients of Amerika, but:.

“China’s Xi Jinping stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Putin. Its military forces for the first time marched with their Russian counterparts in the ceremonial parade. Its ships joined Russia’s Black Sea Fleet offshore.”

Well, yes, the pivots are pivoting, but not  much to Obama’ liking, and Xi Jinping and Putin signed many joint accords during Xi’s visit, including a New Silk Road.  White House response:

Meanwhile, Gorbachev was furious at Obama’ diss; Arch Getty, Professor of Russian and Soviet history at UCLA nailed down the main reason for Obama as a no-show (after opining that he looked even weaker for not attending):

RT: What’s the attitude towards this victory in the West now? Is it some kind of inconvenient fact when a lot of what we’re seeing now is to paint Russia as an aggressor, to sort of commemorate what should be a joint victory?

AG: I think it is an inconvenient fact. But for a lot of Americans it is even not a fact at all because they were taught in their schools frequently, that we, Americans, won the war. The Soviet effort has always been minimized here, and that’s happened even more lately. By the time we came ashore on D-Day in June, 1944, the tide had turned on the Eastern Front against the Germans for a year and a half. The Soviets faced 10 times as many German divisions, as we did in the West. That is not a fact for a lot of Americans because they are still living in ignorance of who did what, who turned the tide and what the scale of the thing was. And the more governments on all sides try to rewrite history for their own current purposes the worse that gets.

RT: Shouldn’t this victory be bringing Ukraine and Russia together?

AG: It certainly should, but it is not, and it won’t because Ukraine as a new nation, a new state more than anybody else has to create a useable past, a useable history. And they have done so in the most glaring kinds of ways that the Ukrainian Prime Minister, [Arseny] Yatsenyuk has said that WWII was about the Soviet Union invading Germany. War criminals in Ukraine, Bandera, people who killed Jews and many others are being touted as national heroes there for current political needs of the Ukrainian leadership. I’m afraid these celebrations are not going to do that simply because of the attitudes that are being taken.

And yeppers; here’s Yats making that bizarre claim:  “All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany,” he said. “We need to avoid it.”

Obama not attending: two accounts were that i) he had other fish to fry, perhaps lying about the TTP at Nike Industries, or ii) he said that some of those tanks in the parade had been in the Crimea. 

Let’s slide over to the Banderist Kiyiv Post’s Twitter account for a moment, and yes, they’ve gone full-bore Poppy), and Because: New Cold War

Cripes, they also tout a piece by Bernard-Henri Levy on their account. And via the sane truth-telling Russian scholar and expert Stephen Cohen:

“As Moscow prepares to celebrate Victory Day, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Cohen urged listeners to reject Washington’s attempt to “spoil” the 70th anniversary. “We have the Saving Private Ryan American narrative of World War II,” said Cohen. “I read often…that the liberation of Europe was Eisenhower’s achievement. This is historically untrue…America won the war in the Pacific and Soviet Russia won the war in Europe.”

The conversation raised important questions about historical memory and how the 27 million USSR dead are remembered in both Russia and the United States. Emphasizing the magnitude of the loss, Cohen remarked, “At least 60 percent of every Soviet family lost a member of the nuclear family—mom, dad, daughter, son—in the war. It meant that millions of children grew up without ever knowing their fathers.

International participation in the holiday has been under intense scrutiny amidst the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Last week, the White House said that President Obama will not be in attendance. According to Cohen, “The decision not to go by Washington and EU leaders is a grave mistake, because it won’t be forgotten or forgiven in Russia for a very long time.”

Blow me down; I had no idea that Cohen ha been made an editor at the Nation; he’d almost disappeared from sight (well, mine).

* * * * * *

Ack; now on to the Whopper Lies about ‘Operation Geronimo’, (ptui, gag).  You can’t have missed the outraged coverage of Sy Hersh’s ‘The Killing of Osama bin Laden’.  It’s all over the web as ‘Obama’s lies’, Obama’s Hoax’, etc., and well it should be.  Remember: Hersh broke the My Lai war crimes story, as well as Abu Ghraib.  In a panel discussion years ago, he spoke of soldiers telling him of field executions in Afghanistan, and yes…we saw the proof and the truth of that later, with hideous photos included.  If you were a President engaged in war crimes, cover-ups, or lies, Sy was not your friend.

It’s quite long, and really not based on ‘one anonymous US official’, as many note, but here’s a bit of a cheat sheet I found while poking around.

  • Pakistani officials knew about the raid and even helped the US pull it off.
  • There never was a firefight, neither in the yard outside the house nor once the Seals got inside.
  • The story of the courier whom the reportedly CIA traced, leading them to bin Laden, was a fabrication.
  • The story of the courier dying in the firefight was a cover-up “because he didn’t exist and we couldn’t produce him,” a retired senior intelligence official told Hersh.
  • The way the CIA actually found out where bin Laden was is that a “Pakistani walk-in” who wanted the $25 million reward came in and told the CIA about it.
  • Osama bin Laden was not armed, contrary to reports that he had a machine gun and was killed in a firefight, and he was not killed with just one or two bullets but “obliterated.”
  • “Seals cannot live with the fact that they killed bin Laden totally unopposed, and so there has to be an account of their courage in the face of danger. The guys are going to sit around the bar and say it was an easy day? That’s not going to happen,” that same retired senior intelligence official said.
  • “Despite all the talk” about what the Seals collected on site, the retired official said there were “no garbage bags full of computers and storage devices. The guys just stuffed some books and papers they found in his room in their backpacks.”
  • The story about bin Laden’s sea burial may be a fabrication.
  • The retired official told Hersh that bin Laden’s “remains, including his head… were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains—or so the Seals claimed.”
  • Obama was going to wait a week until after bin Laden’s death to announce it, and he was going to tell the American people that bin Laden had been killed by a drone, but after the Seals had to blow up their malfunctioning helicopter onsite, attracting attention locally, everything changed.
  • The story about the vaccination program carried out locally in an attempt to get bin Laden’s DNA—a story that “led to the cancellation of other international vaccination programmes that were now seen as cover for American spying”—wasn’t true.
  • Retired official again: “It’s a great hoax.”

It must be said: This story relies almost entirely on a single anonymous source, and Hersh’s sourcing tactics have been questioned before.

As for this story in particular: Skeptics are already pointing out problems with it.

Well, good God all-Friday, of course the  New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On Seymour Hersh’s Syria Report!  But Sy’s reputation and dedication to the truth have been  the reason that people talk to him. 

Remember the story Obama told about burying Bin Laden’s body at sea, lest his grave become an icon in support of Muslim Extremism?  Well, Sy spends a lot of ink on that issue toward the end of the piece, but in short form:

“Within weeks of the raid, I had been told by two longtime consultants to Special Operations Command, who have access to current intelligence, that the funeral aboard the Carl Vinson didn’t take place. One consultant told me that bin Laden’s remains were photographed and identified after being flown back to Afghanistan. The consultant added: ‘At that point, the CIA took control of the body. The cover story was that it had been flown to the Carl Vinson.’ The second consultant agreed that there had been ‘no burial at sea’. He added that ‘the killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama’s military credentials … The Seals should have expected the political grandstanding. It’s irresistible to a politician. Bin Laden became a working asset.’ Early this year, speaking again to the second consultant, I returned to the burial at sea. The consultant laughed and said: ‘You mean, he didn’t make it to the water?’”

Har har.  Myself, I’d long wondered if he hadn’t been dead for a long time, held in a deep-freeze, and would be taken out when the time was juuuuust right.  (Wish I were altogether kidding, but when Anthony Freda sent me this gruesome artwork, it made me chuckle in dark agreement.


Breaking Update (h/t: Kevin Gosztola):

45 responses to “Moar Obama Exceptional American Lying

  1. In either case, ‘Ranklin’ DeMan0 Rusevelt got N0THING!

    • dunno if i’m catching your drift, bruce, but so far: ‘the white house has made no comment’. moar har, har. but they are scared shitless of china and russia shaking hands, and of the asian development bank, and the brics bank.

  2. I haven’t yet looked at the CNN video, wendye, but I did read the entire article, and one pretty damning (if true) factoid would be that this was a prison compound, and not a secret hideaway as all reports gave us to believe.

    Another thought that surfaces is the parallel to the 9/11 attack as a staged event that was politically motivated, said event perhaps proceeding in ways not anticipated, (hence Bush’s seven minutes of ‘my pet goat’ moment which Michael Moore to his then credit targeted adroitly on Democracy Now.) I think that moment was a ‘this is not what we planned’ moment, followed by a terrified need to be not in contact with earthly happenings whatever they might be for the rest of the day.

    These guys are nothing but political papier maché, and no legacy considerations will wash the blood off. We might ask, what sort of books will inhabit that library that’s going to obliterate a few trees and/or playgrounds in Cook County, and who on God’s green earth is going to want to read them?

  3. Just watched the CNN clip. I am so glad I can’t afford cable.

  4. His comments addressed America’s European war effort alone – creating the illusion that US forces defeated Nazi Germany almost singlehandedly.

    That lie originated in the Truman administration, entered US history textbooks, and every commemorative celebration ever since. It is not original with Obama; it is now obligatory.

    The speech is atrocious not for its hypocrisy but for the intensity of its US cliches.

    So glad that Stephen Cohen still has a megaphone since NPR dumped using his fine analysis. Truth-teller yes.

    Sy Hersh came through with what is in my opinion is the best he’s done since breaking the My Lai story. Within the limits of what is no doubt a bunch of guys with a hidden agenda, some credible claims emerge.

    * A “walk in”, not brilliant US intelligence provided the initiation of the operation. Plodding bureaucratic vetting within the CIA, not derring-do got the validation of the claim that Osama bin Laden was an involuntary guest of the Pakistanis in Abbotabad.

    * The Pakistani government was brought in on the operation by first slow-walking the next shipment of counter-terrorism military aid. Most importantly the nature of the aid was up-armored limousines and other personal security equipment for members of the Pakistani government. Presumably earlier aid shipments had taken care of the high muck-dee-mucks. So this aid shipment struck closer to the people who who have to say yes to the operational details.

    * The Saudis and Pakistanis drove the decision to kill bin Laden. Neither wanted US interrogation of bin Laden and especially not the evidence that would come out in a US court. The Saudis did not want the extent of their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan exposed. The Pakistanis did not want the extent of their control of bin Laden since 2003 exposed.

    * The US Seal team so discharged their weapons into bin Laden in assassinating him that they put pieces into the body bag that they then dropped over the Hindu Kush. And that this was done with zero oppositional force from defense of the compound or from bin Laden himself.

    * Bin Laden was an invalid, validating the repeated reports of his liver cancer.

    * The helicopters essentially came from a Pakistani cantonment in which it trains its nuclear weapons technicians.

    * The first helicopter’s destruction meant that the carefully planned cover story went caput in one explosion that would be widely reported.

    * The US CIA burned a CIA undercover in a legitimate polio vaccination program to maintain the cover of a Pakistani ISI physician. And created a polio outbreak in Pakistan as well as destroying the credibilty of all Western vaccination programs in Pakistan.

    * The President vets information very carefully before acting.

    * The President does not vet public statements as carefully before delivering them.

    * Robert Gates is about protecting the CIA.

    * Zero Dark Thirty was a CIA propaganda film intended to legitimize torture. None of it was true. And Leon Panetta knew that. Which he was not concerned about leaking information to the producer and director.

    * The White House Communication Staff has sucked from the first day of Obama’s office. It continued to suck in creating the cover story to go with Obama’s hasty announcement. BTW, it still sucks.

    * The Presidency is about political posturing. Duh!!!!! And the next election is a huge burden to bear. It weighs more heavy than prudent management of credibility.

    * Robert Burns had it right: “O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

    The deception did accomplish one thing. It delayed any reaction to bin Laden’s death among jihadis until bin Laden was superseded by other jihadi leaders. Faded away like Abu Nidal and Arafat. Which makes one think that Hersh’s sources thought the time was appropriate to let their part of the truth out (or at least their shaping of the narrative) before it was totally lost to history.

    The next 20 months are likely to see more stories of the hidden history of various parts of the Obama administration, safe in the knowledge that even if a case is built in retribution, it likely will be dropped when the next administration arrives. Whoever it is.

    • well holy hell, thd; i thank you profusely for your blow by blow analysis, one or two points of which i missed. yes, americn exceptionally obligatory, but O put such a spin on it that it was hard to bear. after this piece of sy’s, a few state dept. tweets are sorta/kinda acknowledging russia’s part in ‘the victory’. but i hope you might tell me how much of the video i just embedded was…so, or just more voice of america-like propaganda. and bless your pea-pickin’ heart. ;-)

  5. sy was amazingly sanguine in the face of cuomo’s hysterical accusations, wasn’t he? he did exactly the right thing in not accepting his framing or premises, and stating his long-time journalistic experience, and saying ‘not that i got every story right’. but mostly, as far as i remember, he got the big, most damning ones right. it’s hard to remember any MSN venue that’s given him a voice recently.

    ‘papier maché’ is a wonderful metaphor, juliania, especially as you paint them with indelible blood. dunno about obama’s Prez library, but i remember how hideous dubya’s was designed. it looked as though it should house comic books, or ‘my pet goats’ sorts of things. wasn’t that a moment, though, that made wonder…about his freezing up so thoroughly?

    if i post a video that nato has up, would any of you who know more history than i (past what i was taught at school), be able to tell me how much of this is true, or how much just by way of movie theatre propaganda? well, i’ll stick up the tweet. i’d meant to try to learn some revised history, but i got busy,

  6. juliania2, good point. ” this was a prison compound, and not a secret hideaway as all reports gave us to believe.”

    More interesting is that until the walk-in only the Pakistani government and the Saudi government knew that bin Laden was there. Two “allies in the war on terror”. And he had been there since 2006.

    • and one funded by the *Saudis*, to boot. oh, yes, this story is growing some major legs now.

      nbc: our sources agree on this and this, but that doesn’t really affect the veracity of the official account”…or close.

      added: i read the Wiki on the yalta agreement, giving me more understanding of the several competing geopolitical forces at play, and the quid pro quos involved. roosevelt’s “my optimistic trust in stalin was not borne out in fact” or something; that, i believe, was john irving’s definition of *irony*.

  7. The NATO film does not look like revisionist history, it looks like the propaganda contemporary with NATO’s forming. It has the familiar narrative that those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s remember from TV histories of the postwar period. And news program retrospectives of “how we got here”.

    For the real history, start with James Carroll’s The House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. It was a European response to the Berlin blockade, with the Europeans enlisting the US as a backstop. (Most European countries were only beginning to rebuild after World War II.) Carroll’s book discusses how it quickly got integrated into the US Cold War strategy.

    • i guess that’s what i’d meant about ‘newsreel agitprop’ or so. thank yu for the book suggestion, amigo, but as i can’t read dead tree any longer, perhaps others may at least find the cliff notes. ;-) but even those sentences indicate quite a bit, and o, i know you know your nato lore!

      for now, i’ll have to beg off until morning, so that i can watch the video again and hopefully remember a few specific questions i’d had in terms of veracity. sleep well, and i am glad that the london review of books permitted sy a platform.

      i just sneezed 63 times and my head is more full of cotton wool that usual, so i’ll go keep my scheduled date with doctor who. ;-)

  8. Obama’s bear hug of American exceptionalism is crafted to cut over against the large number of Americans who consider him a traitor for getting elected in the first place. It seems to work well enough in preserving his conventional legitimacy as President. And give him the authority issue orders to the military, which in questions of legitimacy can be dicey situations. He must keep the loyalty of the military brass and the loyalty of all factions of the military rank and file at least to the point of their following orders. These bendings to rank nationalism are not idle political points no matter how galling they are to us. There has been a serious attempt over the past decade to subvert the US military to purposes other than then US national interest.

    But he does so in-your-face to progressives and so clumsily in otherwise articulate statements. It is irritating as hell, isn’t it.

  9. i can follow your thinking up until this; could you expand on it?
    “There has been a serious attempt over the past decade to subvert the US military to purposes other than then US national interest.”

    partially because from where i sit most all of O’s foreign misadventures *aren’t* in the nation’s interest, unless arms manufacture/sales. resource grabs for corporations (yes, since central american days), and hegemony by the empire are ‘the national interest’.

  10. ha, from Politico; ‘Blogger accuses Seymour Hersh of ‘plagiarism’ for bin Laden raid story’

    “R.J. Hillhouse, a national security blogger and former college professor, wrote on her blog, “The Spy Who Billed Me” that she had accused the Obama administration of fabricating accounts of its raid that killed Osama bin Laden back in August 2011. Hersh’s story, published in the London Review of Books on Sunday, is “either plagiarism or unoriginal,” wrote Hillhouse.

    The blog post Hillhouse is referring to dates back to August 7, 2011, only a few months after Osama bin Laden’s death. In it Hillhouse wrote, like Hersh, that the informant who led the CIA to bin Laden was a walk-in seeking financial compensation, that Pakistani officials were keeping bin Laden under house arrest with Saudi financial support, and that Pakistani officials had cooperated with the clandestine U.S. operation that killed him.

    Further, Hillhouse notes that her blog post identified the same two top Pakistani generals, Chief of Military staff Ashfaq Parvaz Kayani and ISI chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha, that Hersh claims were co-conspirators.”

    On the right sidebar: “U.S. officials fuming over Hersh account of bin Laden raid”, and moar fun: “Ex-CIA deputy director: No one collected bin Laden bounty” (michael morell) and anyway, whether someone walked in or not is *irrelevant*.

    Hillhouse’s accusation at her blogsite ‘the spy who billed me‘ (heh) links to two of her 2011 posts.

  11. If Hersh’s scenario is little more than a rehash of Hillhouse’s, which it appears to be, why print it now? He did expand the story with the macabre and hardly believable account of the dismemberment and disposal of OBL’s body. The addition of the Saudis paying the pittance for the upkeep of OLB’s compound/prison is another strange fiction that will feed red meat to the Believers and exposes some of the warped intentions of Hersh’s informed sources or his own delusions. I doubt the Saudis know how to write that small a check or did they use PayPal?

    Navy Seals are highly trained professional killers and I doubt they would go Berserker and empty the hundreds of rounds required to dismember a body into the dead OBL. OLB’s body was a trophy, the most important of their careers, that they were certainly ordered to return with to their base so the idea of them chucking most of it out of their chopper in the mountains is beyond preposterous.

    I don’t have to believe the official version of this story to see that Hersh has lost most of his marbles, his other recent stories reinforce that conclusion.

    • why do you reckon that the saudis paid ‘a pittance’, wayoutwest? they’re made of oil money, no? and really most sincerely wanted him under their thumbs (with the ISI as proxies). and good gracious, the ISI would have extorted all they could from them. sure, seals are trained assassins, but they were supposed to be showing a major firefight went down, weren’t they? and perhaps the bits in the bag being tossed out over the mountains would be useful when and if obama declared a drone got him (the dna proof, and all that).

      now hillhouse claims that info was pouring out of the compound by laptop, sy’s source said: nope. obama’s cia/dod claimed they found boatloads of intel files *and loads of porn* (talk about ‘red meat’!),

      hillhouse makes a good case for sy knowing of her exposé (not provable, unless he says so, of course), but that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t want his own sources and investigations to be on record (so to speak).

      well, i’m gonna go with sy on this one; nothing says to me that he’s lost his marbles, although that is indeed what we’re supposed to believe.

      • I think Hersh probably believes his fabulous tale is real and many other people in our Land Of Lies are desperate to see the lies we are fed exposed but dispensing with critical reading and thinking doesn’t really advance that goal.

        The House of Saud gives billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan and they stripped OBL of his citizenship and all funding, including from his family, in ’91 so why would they be involved in maintaining his residence in Abbottabad? The insertion of this nonsense into this fable does serve to support the fact-challenged meme of al Saud funding and control of al Qaeda today. This is a ‘belief’ that no amount of evidence to the contrary will change even though facts and evidence show them to be mortal enemies.

        Using the creepiest bits of this fantasy to support another unverified and undocumented claim about a drone attack is a bit too circular for me to follow. To ‘go with Sy’ without any real evidence, documents or verified follow-up investigation, after four years, seems too trusting of someone who recently claimed that Opus Dei controls our Special Ops forces and Iranian terrorists were being trained in Nevada.

        Too many people are primed and waiting to believe anything and everything that seems to counter the Hegemon even when the information is thin gruel and fails the smell test under amateur examination.

        No amount of discussion and criticism of the validity or integrity of Hersh’s claims will change the minds of those who want to ‘believe’ , that ship has sailed and this story will be added to the real and imagined evils of the US govt.

        • how nice to be called a ‘believer; by you, peter. i’m not sure that this paragraph is terribly explanatory, but it is what hersh said:

          “A worrying factor at this early point, according to the retired official, was Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. ‘The Saudis didn’t want bin Laden’s presence revealed to us because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money – lots of it. The Pakistanis, in turn, were concerned that the Saudis might spill the beans about their control of bin Laden. The fear was that if the US found out about bin Laden from Riyadh, all hell would break out. The Americans learning about bin Laden’s imprisonment from a walk-in was not the worst thing.”

          Alexander cockburn (RIP) penned this not long before his death: ‘Bin Laden’s Assassination: a Volcano of Lies; So Much for America’s Superior “Moral Worth”

          He knows some of the history of the compound in abbottabad, although he lost me in the competing wikileaks versions.

          you may enjoy your favorite paul craig roberts weighing in:

          ‘Seymour Hersh Succumbs To Disinformation’ The clincher:
          “If, as Hersh reports, lies comprise 99% of Washington’s tale of the raid in Abbottabad, why believe that 1% of the story is true and that bin Laden was killed. It is difficult to have murder without a body. The only evidence that bin Laden was killed is the government’s claim.”

          got that right.

          • Considering the motivation of Saudia Arabia, Pakistan and the US to not allow the death of Osama go unremarked, it doesn’t matter to any of them whether Osama really was killed that night or whether he died five years previously or, for that matter, if he was replaced by a drugged patsy.
            First, for their common purpose of internal control, all three governments are served by outlasting him. Second, given the huge level of name recognition worldwide and the strong emotional positive/negative biases therein, Osama’s death staged or not serves to relieve threats to all three. The US who enormously played up the threat of OBL can declare a huge and hollow victory. The Saudis who exiled OBL as an actual threat can be done with him as a resistance focus (they want that energy in ISIS) and they reduce the threat of the 9/11 report redaction being uncovered and souring relations with US (all in the past now). Pakistan which actually faces threats from hardline Wahaabist elements can point the finger at US in the matter of OBL and not so subtly sketch out what happens to resistance. Again, staged or not, OBL’s death allows the Pakis to blame US in the attempt to shirk the questions of ‘he was where? for how long?’ among their general populace who admired OBL.
            There was a considerable confluence of interest by all the major players in killing Osama bin Laden (world leader in name recognition?) whether he was already dead, not already dead or still not dead yet. For example, it seems quite possible that the Pakistani walk-in at the CIA was an ISI plant.

            • a fine analysis, lemoyne, although i’m not quite getting what you men here: “…and they reduce the threat of the 9/11 report redaction being uncovered and souring relations with US”. explain, please? (i just deleted what i supposed you may have been referring to as likely foolish)

              it also occurs to me that many have asked why bin laden never admitted to having anything to do with 9-11, as the fake videos of his admissions were all found to be so, no? or is that one of the components of your quote? but by now, it’s hard for me to think of anything that could sour neoCons on our partners in peace, the saudis. cripes, or bahrain (home of the fifth fleet) , for that matter. or the entire GCC, for that matter. oh, yes, and john kerry just met with them all, didn’t he? minus king salman (not a snub).

              • There are 27 pages redacted from the 9/11 commission report and it is clear that they are about Saudi Arabia (IIRC Bob Graham flat out said so) – if that info comes out coupled with the fact that almost all the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia like Osama Bin Laden as well…
                IF .. IF the Saudi support came out in that context it Might sour relations by causing some clarity in the electorate pressuring Congress … this was the weakest part of my argument but I wanted to maintain the parallelism: all 3 gov’ts had reason to wish OBL out of the picture.
                Just to be clear: for the same purposes of control propaganda, all 3 wanted the US to do the deed. [Whether or not he was already dead or not even dead yet.]
                You make the point that there was no real evidence of bin Laden’s involvement, there was no indictment but there is the killing: this is the keystone crime against ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the rule of law, etc. The decade of clamor for vengeance against OBL sucked the US populace into a crime against innocence itself, that has another face on the streets of Baltimore and Ferguson and …

                • i know of the redacted pages, but thank you for clarifying your meaning. i guess i’d thought it was an open secret that the saudis were named, especially given that even the MSM reported that the *only* flights in the air on 9/12 were winging the saudi royal family members home, out of ‘harm’s way’.

                  the other thing about the destroyed body of bin laden was the fact that obama, et. al., wanted to make it look like capturing him alive was utterly impossible, so they staged a massive firefight.

                  rule of law? constitution? yes, such a quaint notion. heh; i watched a debate at naked capitalism the other day in which joe firestone maintained that we aren’t living under a fascist state. someone finally mentioned sheldon wolin’s “inverted totalitarianism”, but why split hairs in the name of political correctness?

                  when ludwig (or various other ‘commie’ names) was around (where is he again, i wonder?), he objected to that term, but i never fully grasped his thinking.

          • I’m glad you included the PCR quote, it’s sad that Sy can’t even convince another well known conspiracy kook that his fable is accurate.

            I wish I could ‘believe’ what Hersh writes because he used to produce excellent researched and documented investigative reports that uncovered important stories but this fable doesn’t pass the smell test. We desperately need journalists we can trust to publish the facts not retired spook’s fantasies. .

            Some of the information in this story may be accurate such as the claim that the ISI or someone with power in Pakistan was protecting OBL but most of the rest is too complicated and contradicting. The murder porn about OBL’s body shows just how far off the rails Hersh has wandered.

            The ‘why’ and ‘why now’ question may be more important than the content of this story although that will be in the news for a while. Most people know the Govt lies or spins much of the info it releases. This is obviously an attack on Obama’s credibility or what’s left of it and it may also be an arrack on Hillary by Hersh or the shadowy people who he relies on for his scoops.

            If my conspiracy theory is valid I wonder who ‘they’ want as successor to the throne, Bush or Warren? .

            • OK WayOutWest please understand: with my counter arguments I am not trying to convince you that Hersh is correct. As PCR implies, the official stories of all three gov’ts do not even require the actual OBL to be present.
              I do accept the the reasonableness of the argument that the official story was supposed to be about a drone strike because then the ISI maintenance (or incompetence) never enters the picture and Obama gets a confirmed kill that people in the US will actually notice. That story couldn’t fly – it crashed with the helicopter. The raid was obvious enough in the blacked-out town and a crowd came to see what was going on while the SEALS waited. I understand it made the Pakistani newspapers and there was no covering up the fact that Americans did the raid. The hurried script rewrite leads to the need to rewrite again and again. Because helicopter crash and Occam’s Razor support Hersh’s narrative – to me it appears neat and fits both the geopolitical context and the few known facts we have. And we may not get more provable facts anytime soon.
              As to ‘Why leak now?’, consider that a simple explanation is a few pissed-off would-be ‘honest spooks’, shamed/inspired by Snowden, simply wanting to take both the CinC and the BS down a few notches. There are certainly a few inside who have woken up to find themselves in a fascist madhouse with a very scary hypocrite in charge. But I see that there is a Pakistani driven aspect to this story that provides yet aother lens to view it through…
              Of course, you may be correct in your assessment of Hersh here. Corollary Marcy Wheeler: We can not know anything about the events purported to be OBL’s demise. I still like the irony of ‘because helicopter crash’ and the fact that the ‘best military on Earth’ forgot to bring a spare, even though a crash (like Carter’s hostage raid) was their biggest fear. Hubris is a natural irony generator.

    • I disagree with the assertion that a couple of clips of hollow point well aimed at close range will not blow enough big exit holes in the victim’s chest to leave OBL essentially cut in half and the brave SEALS throwing chunks of bone and flesh in the body bag. Then they carry it down three flights, out of the compound and wait. And wait some more for the replacement helo. Then after hours of waiting and hours of flight and there they are at high altitude with a putrefying body causing the sealed body bag to balloon. Trying to release the liquid and gas they lose some parts (internal organs?) as well. I don’t find the ‘murder porn’ beyond belief: war and policing have been sanitized for US. I believe that the SEALS are highly trained to make corpses not to bring them back. If ID is needed head and hands are sufficient – those were probably in a separate package.

  12. You seem to be overlooking some important details that make sense to me, wayoutwest. The helicopter crash in the darkness of the blackout was not anticipated. The original plan was to announce a week later the ‘efficacy’ of a drone strike – the seals were proceeding on that basis, on the basis that their participation would be kept secret. They didn’t go berserkers; they did what they were ordered to do, murderous as it was.

    The official version changed so many times – that’s on the record. To suppose that was the result of hasty revisions, a recrafting of the original plan in light of the crash makes sense. It’s why I compared it to the ‘My Pet Goat’ moment. Plan gone wrong; hasty hush-up attempt. Elements of new story don’t fit.

    We knew that already, sure. But now some very unpleasant details are surfacing. Making sense of those, including those in a factual scenario that we already have, isn’t in itself macabre, though I will grant you those details certainly are.

    • You are using an unverified rumor about a drone strike story as factual support for another rumor about what happened to OBL’s body, this is how myths, fables and conspiracy theories are created. It may make ‘sense’ to you but it is not factual.

      The only corrections to the official version I recall were about the few seconds when OBL was killed in the compound and the actual circumstances of that incident. If you have other changes made in the story of the raid or the planning/intelligence for the raid I’d like to see them.

      Wendy has quoted above what Hersh wrote in his story about the Saudi’s involvement and it included ‘OBL’s upkeep’ and OBL ‘was Saudi’. and hiding the claim that the Saudis were ‘dropping money’ on al-Qaeda. First OBL was not legally a Saudi citizen and hadn’t been since ’91. There have been many claims that the rumor of al-Saud supplying support to al-Qaeda since ’91 is true but I have seen no verifiable evidence of that claim and I challenge anyone to produce any real evidence supporting those claims, more rumors and unverified claims won’t prove anything.

      Many people believe the rumor about the Saudi/al Qaeda connection today ignoring the complete lack of evidence or the fact that they are mortal enemies and again in Hersh’s story an unverified rumor is used as accepted fact to support another unverified rumor, Saudi involvement in this fable.

      • I confess that i switch from amusement to crankiness at your believing so ardently that what you believe (as in: your opinions and triumphalist challenges) is/are true, peter. i’m not sure which journalists can move you off your perch, but you apparently failed to check out mz hillhouse’s blog i provided you. she did offer that her sources were soooo sensitive that they never would have spoken to sy hersh. ;-) but:

        while quoting the NZ Herald picking up her story here, she brought:

        “Raelynn Hillhouse – who the Guardian says “regularly breaks news on the clandestine world of private contractors and US intelligence” on The Spy Who Billed Me blog – dismisses the New Yorker’s “puff” piece and suggests Islamabad approved the covert US assassination.

        She alleges the Saudis, using an intermediary, paid Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency to keep bin Laden under house arrest, necessary to stop his Wahhabist supporters dethroning the House of Saud.

        But Hillhouse doubts “we will ever have definitive answers”. Instead, the White House will probably pump up the patriotic version.”

        this piece of hers has her sources having told her:

        The cover story was going to be a drone strike in Pakistan. Things went south when the helicopter crashed. The White House freaked and the cooperating Pakistanis were thrown under the bus.

        by the by, on this thread of kevin’s announcing the big changes to FDL, michael cavlan kept goading him about having been banned, and his take as to why. but the long and the short of it seems to be that all it takes to comment again there is signing up for a disqus account (you can find out how easily if you haven’t one.)

        It’s noteworthy to me that you didn’t post your bits about PCR and hersh conspiracy theorists on Moon of Alabama’s thread to those speaking of it. i reckon you’re a bit more polite there, eh?

      • Sorry not to have replied sooner, wayoutwest. Yes, I take LeMoyne’s cautions, emptywheel’s as well, to heart, and indeed ‘makes sense’ and ‘fact’ are two very different kettles of fish. We don’t know the facts, it seems to me, and perhaps never will.

        I did go to the Hillhouse post way back; it’s a very brief read, somewhat tongue in cheek, and even in the comments one reader asked about an earlier blog post by somebody else that had similar claims in it. To which she replied that she hadn’t seen that one, and no doubt they were coming to the same conclusions from different roads – not quoting exactly but that was the gist of her response. I would take that as Hersh’s response to her as well, the same conclusions from different paths. That would seem to be a natural course of events.

        the reason it came out now timingwise would have to do with how long it takes to check and verify so many inferences. Hersh has, as we all do, various interests to report on and he forwards each of those when the piece itself is ready, I would think.

  13. in the name of due diligence, marcy wheeler doesn’t believe the body parts dumped over the hindu kush isn’t believable, although he doesn’t say why. the rest is good, and no doubt you’ll approve and agree.

    • Thanks for Marcy Wheeler’s review. I think her conclusion is essentially true:
      Everything you know about Osama bin Laden’s killing is wrong.
      By following Sy Hersh, Ms. Wheeler hit upon a core truth here. We do not KNOW anything about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden (if indeed that ‘s what it was). From the first flurry of propaganda from US and Pakistan, through the spinning tornado of new stories to cover holes in the previous tales, certainly including all the hoorah and hate from MSM commentators right up to Sy Hersh’s latest what is really known for sure about that night? The best we can hope for now is investigative pieces that are reliant on references to vague and/or secret sources. Propaganda, talking heads and reporters who dig up remnant evidence that can only be presented as hearsay. Very little, if any of all that can be called proven fact.
      I think nearly all can agree there was a Navy SEAL raid and they met their biggest fear: they suffered a helicopter crash like Carter’s hostage rescue. We can also agree on the stances of the US and Pakistan gov’ts as they [have] appear[ed] in the public record. However, the multifarious evolution of the war machine’s orgy of self-congratulatory salemanship may be unknowable. And its gloating hate and vengance in the name of justice is really not worth knowing.
      So, even though I don’t believe Hersh’s version as the definitive story its no slam on him. I accept the giant grain of salt – we can’t know much about this event titled OBL’s demise. Hersh’s reporting successfully draws a more complete picture that feels better aligned to the messiness of this modern world.

      • welcome, lemoyne, and thanks for your take. i agree with marcy on much of it, especially that people like a story. where she lost me in one key spot was: “This is yet another version, no more convincing than John Brennan’s tale that Bin Laden hid behind one of his wives”. and yes, the tendency for many of us is to engage in confirmation bias (including moi in this case), but sometimes a story sounds close to right *intuitively*.

        that’s one of the reasons paul craig robert’s comment made me crow with delight. “bin laden in a box”.

        ack, good on your letting me know about helicopters and ‘operation eagle claw’; i went and read. my stars, what a mess. but i now know why i remember so little of it: no teevee back in the day, and radio that played top 40 only. ah, the boondocks.

        as THD opined, more closer-to-the-truth narratives of the full spectrum domination war machine will come to light. and of course a huge component of that is an eagerly compliant media machine.

  14. Going back to my facetious comment about the library, it seems to be the U of Chicago initiated before actually having in some way ‘acquired’ the two possible Southside venues, Jackson Park and Washington Park. I found at reviews of both parks. Here’s part of one by DonyalleR:

    “. . .Sure the neighborhood around the park, also known as “Washington Park” could use a bit of a pick me up but the park itself is totally a local secret. Not only are there several baseball diamonds available for local leagues, walking paths, basketball courts, and tennis courts, and space for several neighborhood festivals but there is the south side of Washington Park that I think so many people forget about. You get deep enough in the wooded area here and you’ll forget you’re in the city. You can feed the birds or do a little fishing. My favorite part is the ample space available for my dog to run madly in circles. . .”

    Another for Jackson:

    “. . . we had such a lovely, reflective , quiet time here. It’s hard to believe this place is in Chicago. There’s a wooded island, a Japanese garden, bird sanctuary, as well as places to picnic and fields for playing soccer. . .”[C.PaulaD]

    All I can say is how dare they.

  15. wayoutwest, to answer your question: ” The House of Saud gives billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan and they stripped OBL of his citizenship and all funding, including from his family, in ’91 so why would they be involved in maintaining his residence in Abbottabad? ”

    Amy Goodman has an interview with Seymour Hersh where he repeats what he said in his article about the Saudi involvement. The Saudi’s weren’t funding a refuge for Bin Laden; they were funding containment – and according to Hersh they were secretly demanding Bin Laden be killed outright rather than taken alive, possibly because he might divulge names of those who had helped him when he was at large. But also because they would be afraid of the support Bin Laden had in Saudi Arabia, as were Pakistani officials in Pakistan.

    A last important matter for Hersh is that of the two doctors involved in the coverup – the one who was wrongly accused (he says) of providing the necessary DNA verification before the raid was actually launched, and has been imprisoned, his programs of vaccination wrecked. And the other a doctor who actually provided the verification and is named in the article.

  16. i can follow your thinking up until this; could you expand on it?
    “There has been a serious attempt over the past decade to subvert the US military to purposes other than then US national interest.”

    I was thinking primarily of the Christian Identity movement’s infiltration into the US Air Force Academy and the speaking circuits of the now-retired Gen. Boykin. I suspect that those efforts to ideologically purify and religiously sanctify the armed forces have not stopped.

    The destruction of the helicopter bugs me now. If the Pakistanis opened the door so that there would be no complications, was the helicopter pilot clumsy or did someone want something on that helicopter, or was there sabotage either from the US (why?) or Pakistani (why?) side? US secret helicopter missions seem to be pretty accident prone.

    Plagiarism isn’t borrowing of ideas or information; it is copying of expression. I think that Hersh is a good enough writer to avoid that trap.

    I also think that it is a nasty habit of high-profile journalist of borrowing information from hard-working bloggers without acknowledgement. It happens all the time, but it isn’t plagiarism. It is rudeness.

    • hmmm; then you’re thinking ‘holy war’. i reckon that some chrisianISTs may see that in *our* interests, but i’d wondered if you were speaking of the shadow military. no one, including Congress, wants to know what’s going on there, or didn’t a few years ago when i did my best to report on the various hearings on ‘mercenaries meet jsoc’.

      yes, i understand your more narrow definition of plagiarism, and good on ya.

      helicopter crash: interesting questions, but i can’t remember if the iranian ‘failed rescue’ included helicopter sabotage. arrgh, the wiki is sooo long at the end of a challenging day. dan rather, my stars.

      only slightly beside the point, i did finally remember the two SEALS who’d written books claiming they were the ones who ‘got bin laden’. are any of those stories even close to meaningful here? i srsly don’t want to go hunting past having found their names: O’Neill and Bissonnette. they may have just been hunting for their 15 minutes, prolly were.

      oy, do we need a song about now. there must be somethin’ else…we haven’t found. (we’ll keep searchin’ for The Light.)

  17. the rest of the DN interview transcript:

    AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Aaron Maté. Our guest is Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who just published piece in the London review of books called, “The Killing of Osama bin Laden.” It tells a very different story than President Obama told the United States after Obama — after Osama bin Laden was killed.

    AARON MATÉ: This morning on CNN, Philip Mudd, CNN ‘s counter terrorism analyst discussed Sy Hersh’s reporting.

    PHILIP MUDD: The assertion is not that somebody down the chain in the Pakistani military or security services might have known something. The assertion is that senior Pakistani generals, including the head of the security service knew for years. So, while that security service was losing officers in the fight against al-Qaida, there were also, at the same time, secretly sheltering the head of al-Qaida. I mean, let me break some news for you this morning: aliens abducted President Obama 15 minutes ago and Darth Vader is in the Oval Office making decisions for the United States. I have a secret source who told me that, why don’t we publish. This is nonsense. This is just ridiculous.

    AARON MATÉ: That’s Philip Mudd of CNN. Sy Hersh, do you want to respond to that? Darth Vader in the White House.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: No, of course not. I don’t care.

    AARON MATÉ: OK, let me ask —

    SEYMOUR HERSH: I mean, look, that’s childish. The reality is the Pakistanis told — there were meetings between the head of the Pakistani intelligence service, General Pasha, and Leon Panetta, that I write about. And I write about them based on, well you have to read the article to find out. The — I write about them very carefully. One of the questions always asked is, why did you do this to us? And particular, why bring in the Saudis. What happened is the Pakistanis, as some of you may know are very close with Saudi Arabia. There’s always been a chronic fear that the great Islamic bomb — at some point Pakistan might even give the Saudis a bomb. That’s been written about constantly. That’s a great concern. We really have a serious concern about maintaining great relations with — they’re very good right now with us and the Pakistani military. Anyway.

    And so the answer that was given, I’ll just tell you exactly what it was. The way they explained it was, first of all, the — they went to — they told the Saudis and the Saudis immediately said, do not tell the Americans about him. Why? And I can only give you the obvious reason that was given, because the last thing the Saudi Arabia wants is the United States to be — the begin interrogating Osama bin Laden and discover who might have been giving him money, which sheikh, where, in Saudi Arabia in 2001 and 2002, and before or even after. That’s not completely illogical.

    The second reason, of course, is, once the Pakistanis have bin Laden, they have leverage. They can let both the Taliban, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, know that they have him. They can let the jihadists in both countries also know that they have him. And they get leverage. They can make it clear to both those groups you have to talk to us more than you do. We want to know more about what’s going on or we’ll string this guy up. That’s all — that was the explanation given. Nobody liked it, but there was an understanding that Pakistan has its own point of view about the world and it isn’t only the same as ours. So we accepted it. We had not much choice, we wanted their help.

    But — so it’s not a case Darth Vader and sort of silly talk like that. This is serious stuff I’m talking about. This is the President of the United States, if not knowing the wrong information was given, certainly countenancing it, in fact triggering a whole sequence of lies that had to be — a whole story that had to be recreated. And nobody is talking about what I wrote about, this poor Dr. Afridi, the one that’s now in jail on charges — he was convicted of treason, reviewed and now in jail on charges of murder for 33 years or something like that. This is the guy that was going around in — providing vaccinations for various kinds of illnesses; hepatitis, I think among them. I don’t think it was polio, but he was providing that kind of service to the community. A physician, and he was also an asset of the CIA, and we were so worried, in America, that the story about — we got DNA via the Pakistanis before the end of — before 2010.

    You needed DNA. You needed the Pakistanis to get into Abbottabad, to get into — to take some DNA from bin Laden — we had other samples from his family — and make sure — the President wanted to know that was really bin Laden. And so a doctor — a Pakistani doctor had — was assigned to — his name was [Aziz]. Amir [Aziz] was assigned to move next door to the house in Abbottabad. In fact, journalists, after the raid, found his name in Urdu on a doorplate in one of the houses next to it. They to protect Aziz and so they created a story, the CIA in their wisdom, that Afridi was the one that went in and tried to get into the compound to take, unsuccessfully, to take —- to get a DNA sample from bin Laden, which, of course, led to a huge outcry against the idea that the Western intelligence media, the CIA and the Brits also often criticized for the same way, are behind some of the vaccination programs. This is a belief that certainly prevalent in Africa. And we’ve had tremendously adverse consequences for the health of -—

    AMY GOODMAN: Sy, we have ten seconds.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: Well the implications for the health, the well being of a lot of people, are pretty negative from this — a very dumb move by the CIA. These are all things to be considered. It’s not a Darth Vader moment. I’m sorry to say.

    AMY GOODMAN: Seymour Hersh, we want to thank you for being with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist in Washington, D.C. We’ll link to your piece in the London Review of Books called “The Killing of Osama bin Laden.” Coming up, CIA whistle-blower, Jeffrey Sterling is sentenced to three and a half years in jail. We’ll air an exclusive interview with him. This marks the first time the public has heard his voice since he was arrested four years ago. Stay with us.

  18. via the venezuelalysis newsletter: ‘Maduro in Moscow for 70th Anniversary of V-Day: “Victory Belongs to the Soviet People”

    “President Maduro expressed his gratitude to his Russian counterpart for the invitation and paid tribute to the immense sacrifices made by the Soviet people on behalf of humanity.

    “We come in name of the great Bolivarian motherland to give our historic recognition to the great Russian motherland […] The victory belongs to the Red Army and the Soviet people.”

    “If it wasn’t for the victory of Russia over Nazi Germany, there would be another history,” he added, speaking upon his arrival in Moscow alongside First Combatant Cilia Flores on Friday.”

  19. The West wasn’t completely silent about Russia’s involvement in World War Two, though assuredly memories have become distorted since that time and deserve to be cleansed and refreshed. I found a few years ago a copy of the English translation of Tolstoi’s “War and Peace” complete with commentary and maps showing the similar paths of Hitler towards Russia and of Bonaparte (gave it to my daughter as she’d done her senior thesis at college on ‘War and Peace.’)

    To me it was a surprise that such a compilation could even be undertaken during wartime – it’s a huge novel, and the maps and supplemental material to boot. I remember one article projecting that just as Napoleon was defeated, so would Hitler be, the outcome not yet a sure thing.

    • kewl on the old book, juliania; a treasure. no, i think the new cold war has caused a lot of the ‘forgetfulness’ about russia’s having lost, what, 27 million to the war? and so up close and personal.

      nato on twitter did give a nod to those bastard rooskies just after O’s speech, but as lendman said: they won’t forget.

  20. Moar due diligence:

    Where does one go online for the contrarian iconoclastic viewpoint in rather brilliant form? Tarzie’s Rancid Honeytrap, of course. well, he does not disappoint on the sy hersh story. toward the beginning:

    “But an alternative theory, one for which there is decidedly more evidence, is that I grow increasingly weary of credulous adults uncritically choosing sides in dust-ups between varying factions of the ruling class and its intelligence apparatus. Put another way, if it ain’t anticapitalist, it ain’t worth a fuck, no matter how many times it gives the poodles on Team Frick the finger. I was a liberal once, but I am apparently bereft of all residue to which these little Bad Dad/Good Dad spectacles call. I also have none of the cultish faith in the subversive power of information these dramas presuppose, particularly information imparted by journalists reliant on anonymous sources within the military, intelligence and diplomatic communities.”

    “Third, of the three governments discussed in Hersh’s story — the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — the US comes out smelling the best, by far. Hersh’s “blockbuster” threatens to create far bigger difficulties for officials in Pakistan — over conspiring with the US to kill Bin Laden — and for Saudi Arabia, whose payoff to Pakistan Hersh claims was rooted in fear that OBL would talk about Saudi involvement in 9/11. Hersh also does quite a lot of fear-mongering around Pakistan’s nuclear capability, both in his piece and in interviews.”

    maybe worse blowback for SA and pakistan, but i dunno about for obama…

    then: why no mention of rj hillhouse (plenty of explanations for that, of course), why this timing, possible shady anonymous sources, etc., then he quotes chomsky, for whom he decidedly has no love (only on a different story of sy’s):

    “[Hersh] is a terrific reporter and I am sure that he is reporting exactly what was told him, but his sources are intelligence officials and diplomats, unnamed, and their task is not to tell people the truth. Their task is to tell people what they want them to hear, maybe true, may not be true, but you got to understand that any report by any reporter from an unidentified intelligence or diplomatic source is reporting what they want you to believe. OK, maybe what they want you to believe is correct, maybe they have some other reason and so on, but you always have to understand that.”

    Well, he had me going, and i did love this comment:

    “I think you nail it in describing this as people picking sides – it’s the classic limited hangout in that it sets the boundaries from which you either argue that it’s conspiracy theory, or that it’s not – true or false, etc. To me there’s not a better form of propaganda than the form that sets itself up as the ALTERNATIVE to propaganda.”

    But when i went back today, tarzie had picked a few quotes of hersh’s from his recent interview on TRNN, and they are indeed hard to hear. a couple:

    “On US atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan:
    Torture, killings, mur–I mean, a lot of very bad stuff that, you know, I–one could argue that America had to get that bloody in the war on terror. That makes sense to me. But there was an awful lot of not so much smart stuff.

    On the impact of his story on President Obama:

    I’m a, I–you know, I support, you know. Just as a human being, I voted for him twice, and I think he’s the smartest president we’ve had probably since Lincoln. You know, he’s a pretty amazing guy. And I do end up, by the piece, by saying look, the Obama of 2011 a year before reelection, you know, some black dude wants to be elected twice in America, you’ve got to be kidding me. I mean, you know, I could understand reaching out and doing what you can. And the President we have now, who is hanging tough in Iran is a different person, and telling the Republicans to go stick it where the sun don’t shine. This is a different person. So you have to say that. But there’s no question then, I hope we can get a–we won’t get a statement from him. We won’t get a real statement from the White House because it’s an embarrassment. It wasn’t the best day in the sun.”

    well, as the valley girls used to say: “gag me with a spoon.” there are other possibilities for this…American Obama Gluck, of course. this is after exposing the atrocities at abu ghraib?

  21. Good on you, wendye. That Obama love was unexpected and exceedingly distasteful – had me wondering what threats might have been made to Mr. Hersh, it was so over the top.

    • he said in one phone interview (iirc) in which he was over-top-curmudgeonly that no, he’d lit *four big bombs*, including one under himself. so goodness knows what that glurge was all about. i haven’t kept up, but i’d imagine that the keepers of the flame will continue to paint him as a nutbar conspiracist. someone along the way mentioned that back in 2001, benazir bhutto said bin laden was already dead, hence: her assassination. wasn’t it hillary, by the way, who’d urged her to come home, that ‘she’d be safe’,and she did?

      oh, and i’ll pass on things mason, but margo schulter has long, long piece up on the death penalty. and mason has a second one up; quite a popular topic at fdl.

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