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Seymour Hersh Strongly Rebuked By The Assistant Secretary of Defense

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Seymour Hersh in a recent article claimed that U.S. Special Forces are in Iran setting it up for the coming invasion and digging into their nuclear development.

The Office Of The Assistant Secretary of Defense has released a scathing and really harsh statement about his article, his findings and his lack of credibility.

Defense Link

Statement from Pentagon Spokesman Lawrence DiRita on Latest Seymour Hersh Article

The Iranian regime’s apparent nuclear ambitions and its demonstrated support for terrorist organizations is a global challenge that deserves much more serious treatment than Seymour Hersh provides in the New Yorker article titled "The Coming Wars."

Mr. Hersh’s article is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed.

Mr. Hersh’s source(s) feed him with rumor, innuendo, and assertions about meetings that never happened, programs that do not exist, and statements by officials that were never made.

A sampling from this article alone includes:

  • The post-election meeting he describes between the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not happen.
  • The only civilians in the chain-of-command are the President and the Secretary of Defense, despite Mr. Hersh’s confident assertion that the chain of command now includes two Department policy officials. His assertion is outrageous, and constitutionally specious.
  • Arrangements Mr. Hersh alleges between Under Secretary Douglas Feith and Israel, government or non-government, do not exist. Here, Mr. Hersh is building on links created by the soft bigotry of some conspiracy theorists. This reflects poorly on Mr. Hersh and the New Yorker.
  • Mr. Hersh cannot even keep track of his own wanderings. At one point in his article, he makes the outlandish assertion that the military operations he describes are so secret that the operations are being kept secret even from U.S. military Combatant Commanders. Mr. Hersh later states, though, that the locus of this super-secret activity is at the U.S. Central Command headquarters, evidently without the knowledge of the commander if Mr. Hersh is to be believed.
  • By his own admission, Mr. Hersh evidently is working on an "alternative history" novel. He is well along in that work, given the high quality of "alternative present" that he has developed in several recent articles.

    Mr. Hersh’s preference for single, anonymous, unofficial sources for his most fantastic claims makes it difficult to parse his discussion of Defense Department operations.

    Finally, the views and policies Mr. Hersh ascribes to Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, Under Secretary Feith, and other Department of Defense officials do not reflect their public or private comments or administration policy.

Ouch! I laughed when I read this, as it is just a direct nailing of his credibility in the harshest way possible without using outright vulgar language. Mr. Hersh is finished if upon investigation his claims are found to be false. Sure you can blame your source, but claiming something is pure truth and reliance on a single source for absolute facts is asinine. Especially regarding such a potentially destructive accusation to not only diplomatic relations, but also world opinion.

Tipped by: Michelle Malkin

Other Commentary:

Chad at In The Bullpen has absolutely excellent coverage on this Hersh debacle. Including responses from Iran and Pakistan and this little gem:

Iran Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani ... declares no country would attack Iran because of their military might.
Yeah, sure, whatever.

Why are all the good names gone... has a lot to say on this.

Protein Wisdom adds a little humor.


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Posted by Digger on January 18, 2005 04:23 AM (Permalink)

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