Seymour Hersh (April 08, 1937 - ..)
Born: 8th April, 1937
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Journalist
Region: Chicago, Illinois, "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House", "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib", "My Lai 4"
Notable works: Vietnam War, Watergate Scandal, My Lai Massacre

Seymour Hersh Facts

Biography

Seymour Hersh, in full Seymour Myron Hersh, (born April 8, 1937, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.), American journalist whose reporting generally focused on the U.S. government and its involvement abroad. He was especially noted for his investigations into the My Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Hersh was the son of Polish and Lithuanian immigrants whose deep belief in American democracy had long informed his idealistic muckraking. After graduating from the University of Chicago (1958) and dropping out of law school, he landed at the City News Bureau of Chicago. Following military service, Hersh cofounded a suburban newspaper and then worked for United Press International and the Associated Press before a brief stint in 1967 as press secretary for presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. In 1969, acting on a tip, Hersh interviewed U.S. Army Lieut. William L. Calley, who recounted the killing in March 1968 of hundreds of South Vietnamese villagers in the hamlet of My Lai by U.S. troops under his command. Hersh's syndicated account helped end U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1954-75) and provided the basis for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book My Lai 4 (1970).

Joining the staff of the New York Times in 1972, Hersh did groundbreaking reporting on the Watergate scandal, though most of the credit for that story went to Carl Bernstein and Hersh's longtime rival Bob Woodward. Nonetheless, Hersh's investigation led him to write The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House (1983), a damning portrait of Henry Kissinger that won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among the subjects of Hersh's other books were the Soviet downing of a Korean Air Lines plane, Israel's acquisition of nuclear arms, and a much-criticized behind-the-scenes portrayal of Pres. John F. Kennedy.

In 1993 Hersh became a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, for which he wrote a series of articles on the war on terrorism and the U.S.-led war in Iraq (2003-11). Those articles--later collected in Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004)--culminated in Hersh's earthshaking expose of inmate abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, which he traced beyond the U.S. soldiers involved to policy formulated at the highest levels of the administration of Pres. George W. Bush. Hersh characterized Bush's prosecution of the war as the product of misguided neoconservative idealism. Having built his career on earning the trust of sources (usually unnamed) in the government, the military, and the intelligence community, Hersh described his mission as holding public officials "to the highest possible standard of decency and of honesty."

In May 2015 Hersh made headlines again with his allegations-- published in an article in the London Review of Books that cited Pakistani and anonymous U.S. sources--that officials of the U.S. and Pakistani governments, including U.S. Pres. Barack Obama, had lied regarding details of the 2011 raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, was killed. Among the allegations made by Hersh was that the Pakistani intelligence service had been holding bin Laden prisoner since 2006 and that Pakistani officials knew about the raid before it happened. The Central Intelligence Agency and the Obama administration denied the allegations.

In the course of his career, Hersh was the recipient of numerous honours. In addition to a Pulitzer Prize, he also garnered five George Polk Awards. The memoir Reporter was published in 2018.

Top 28 Seymour Hersh quotes

Bush can talk about 100,000 people wanting to go work in the police or in the army. It's because there's nothing else for them to do. They're willing to stand in line to get bombed because they want to take care of their family.
About
Army
Because
Bombed
Bush
Care
Else
Family
Get
Go
Line
Nothing
People
Police
I'm a better American than 99% of the guys in the White House.
American
Better
Guys
House
Than
White
White house
It doesn't matter that Bush scares the hell out of me. What matters is that he scares the hell out of a lot of very important people in Washington who can't speak out, in the military, in the intelligence community.
Bush
Community
He
Hell
Important
Important people
Intelligence
Intelligence community
Lot
Matter
Matters
Me
Military
Out
I don't think much of the journalism that I see.
I see
Journalism
Much
See
Think
If you think I write stories where it is all right to just be good enough, are you kidding? You think I have a cavalier attitude on throwing stuff out? Are you kidding? I am not cavalier about what I do for a living.
About
Am
Attitude
Enough
Good
I am
I write
Just
Just be
Kidding
Living
Out
Right
Stories
Maybe I am not an easy guy.
Am
Easy
Guy
I am
Maybe
I have always been a freelancer. I always work for myself.
Always
Been
Myself
Work
The day after 9/11, we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do - to expand NATO too far.
After
Day
Did
Expand
Far
George
Gone
Nato
Never
One thing
Russia
Should
The one thing
Thing
I don't necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.
Bin
Buy
Necessarily
Responsible
Story
I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever... Not that journalism is always wonderful - it's not - but at least we offer some way out, some integrity.
Always
Because
Clearly
Ever
Hope
Integrity
Journalism
Least
More
Offer
Out
Possibly
Run
Some
I say to people, 'Do you have any idea how hard it is to do that, to write 7,000 words in 10 hours or 12 hours for the front page of the 'New York Times' and to know that they trust you so much that that it's going to lead the paper?' It's hard. I mean, it's a feat.
Any
Feat
Front
Front page
Going
Hard
Hours
How
Idea
Know
Lead
Mean
Much
New
I hate to see the way journalism is devalued: We have to feed the machine; we have to feed the Trump outrage machine, to feed the anger against Trump, to feed the New York liberal anger.
Against
Anger
Feed
Hate
Journalism
Liberal
Machine
New
New york
Outrage
See
Trump
Way
York
I wrote a lot about Cheney in 'The New Yorker,' but I wrote very little of what I know. The only time I ever mentioned what he ever said at a meeting was when there were many people there who were not insiders, you know, other people not in the government, so my sources would be protected.
About
Cheney
Ever
Government
He
Know
Little
Lot
Many
Meeting
Mentioned
New
New yorker
Only
I didn't know I was gonna be a writer when I started out.
Gonna
Know
Out
Started
Writer
Tracking down people who did not want to be found was vital to what I did for a living, and I was good at it.
Did
Down
Found
Good
Living
People
Tracking
Vital
Want
Who
Writing about corporate America had sapped my energy, disappointed the editors, and unnerved me.
About
America
Corporate
Corporate america
Disappointed
Editors
Energy
Had
Me
Writing
Most of the important secrets that I've known about, the real secrets that are known about aren't worth publishing.
About
Important
Known
Most
Publishing
Real
Secrets
Worth
I'm not convinced that every secret has to be published. I think there are secrets worth keeping, and I think there are secrets not worth keeping.
Convinced
Every
I think
Keeping
Published
Secret
Secrets
Think
Worth
I don't think I've ever met a public official that didn't think he was doing the right thing. I can't think of one.
Doing
Doing the right thing
Ever
He
Met
Official
Public
Right
Right thing
The right thing
Thing
Think
I think the moment anybody seriously tampers with the First Amendment, you're going to see an outcry.
Amendment
Anybody
First
First amendment
Going
I think
Moment
See
Seriously
Think
You
Yeah, I shoot my mouth off. There's a huge difference between writing and thinking.
Between
Difference
Huge
Huge difference
Mouth
Off
Shoot
Thinking
Writing
Yeah
I joined the 'Times' in 1972, and I came with the mark of Cain on me because I was clearly against the war. But my editor, Abe Rosenthal, he hired me because he liked stories. He used to come to the Washington bureau and almost literally pat me on the head and say, 'How is my little Commie today? What do you have for me?'
Abe
Against
Almost
Because
Bureau
Came
Clearly
Come
Editor
He
Head
Hired
How
I came
I came out of a lower-middle-class background. At that time, everyone used to define themselves: Stalinist, Maoist, whatever. I thought they meant 'miaowist'. Seriously! Something to do with cats.
Background
Came
Cats
Define
Everyone
I came
Meant
Out
Seriously
Something
Themselves
Thought
Time
Used
Using words to make other people less big made me feel bigger, though the psychological dimension to that... well, I don't want to explore it.
Big
Bigger
Dimension
Explore
Feel
Less
Made
Make
Me
Other
People
Psychological
Though
Using
I sometimes think that we underestimate Trump, but that's just my opinion. I always like to tack the other way, I guess.
Always
Guess
Just
Like
Opinion
Other
Sometimes
Think
Trump
Underestimate
Way
I can't fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.
Certainly
I can
I write
Say
Write
I happen to write a lot of stories that make Kissinger look bad. I'd rather that the stories weren't true, but they all happen to be true.
Bad
Be true
Happen
Kissinger
Look
Lot
Make
Rather
Stories
True
Were
Write
I always believe in truth. Sometimes I know truth others don't. That puts me in a little bit of jeopardy sometimes.
Always
Believe
Bit
Jeopardy
Know
Little
Little bit
Me
Others
Puts
Sometimes
Truth

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