Seymour Hersh

Preparing the Battlefield


Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, author of the book Chain of Command and many important articles about the Bush administration’s Iran policy, discusses his new one for The New Yorker magazine, “Preparing the Battlefield,” Secretary Gates’s warning about long term consequences of an air attack, the turning over of much of America’s covert action under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command to avoid oversight, the backing of Sunni radicals in Iran, Baluchistan, Kurdistan etc. in order to try to provoke the Iranian government into escalating as an excuse for war.

MP3 here. (6:18)

YouTube here.

Seymour Hersh is an award winning investigative reporter currently writing for the New Yorker magazine.

34 thoughts on “Seymour Hersh”

  1. So what gives the US the right to commit acts of terrorism in Iran? I wonder if any Americans can please answer this convincingly for me?

  2. I’ve posed Reza’s question to my fellow residents and their hesitancy, snarls, and answers are scary. Maybe that’s just in my city.

  3. Have you people not learned a damn thing from september 11?……

    We “brown people” or “muslims” or whatever you want to call us, like to be murdered as much as you do.

    Why why do you insist on killing our people?

    Are we not allowed to fight back?

  4. Reza,
    The current and future victims of Empire have a sacred obligation to fight back – they have no choice. Empire will not stop with moral, religious or humanitarian appeals. It will not stop with diplomatic concessions or offers of contracts and petroleum fields. The US Empire is determined to destroy Iran as an example to the rest of the resource-rich world, punishing its people for their independence and for their daring to use their natural wealth to develop their nation and not to enrich the Western multinationals and bankers. Israel, for its own geopolitical reasons, is determined to use the US military to carry out its own regional ambitions – having no ‘market’ or economic means to extend its influence in the region. Fundamentally its not about ‘brown’ or ‘Muslim’ – remember the German war machine under Hitler invaded the resource-rich Soviet Union for plunder and to punish its people for their independence from Western imperialism, under the excuse that the Slavic people were ‘untermenschen (racially inferior)’ and ‘godless Communists’. They had to resist their planned extermination and eventually defeat the Nazis.

  5. the reason, the true reason this is occurring is to elevate the oil price. the accumulated profits from client oil producers are then used to prop up the collapsing western financial institutions. everyone can clearly see the oil price
    rising with the threats. it is the fastest way to secure the desparately
    needed capital.

    in effect the entire world is being made to pay a “tax” to keep the world’s single financial system from imploding.

    do not not be fooled! this happened in the eighties when the u.s during the reagan period publicly threatened the soviet union with a pre-emptive nuclear attack.
    of course it was all prearranged with the soviet regime so there would be no fatal mistakes.

  6. Robin,

    I agree with you. But what the American people should understand is that they will be the ones to pay the price of their leaders irresponsible actions.

    We iranians are pacifists and rational people. Your Israeli owned media likes to paint a different picture but that portrayal is far from the truth.

    However, we are the most nationalistic people and most family oriented people on this planet earth.

    If you murder our families and destroy our country for political lies and oil, i guarantee you now that all generations of Iranians, present and future, will be driven into a frenzy of rage and commit themselves to paying you back in kind, several times over

    The consequences will be devastating for americans all over the world.

    Somehow, somebody needs to stop the lies and get the american people to think about this nonsense and learn the truth before the world is destroyed

  7. REZA: They will call it something else other than terrorism that is how it is justified. When we do it, we call it “freedom fighting” or some kind of nonsense cooked up by an advertising agency somewhere over on Madison Avenue in NY, NY. Of course, we have no right to invade anywhere without any sort provocation whatsoever, it is actually a war-crime to attack or invade a country “pre-emptively”, or “preventively” (without being attacked first) you know. Of course they (the GOP) are also trying to find ways to make it seem like Iran has attacked or will attack us – you know they’ve tried making incidents up (see: “I’m coming at you” back in Feb.), blaming stuff on you (“these rockets were made in — Iran! “- – “Iran!”), or paying someone else to do stuff and/or then paying someone else to say it was you guys (while the president is clear, his alibi is he was reading a story about a pet goat to some schoolchildren when the even happened) (see 9-11).. unfortunately these people are capable of practically anything you can imagine and have already shot and killed several of our candidates – god knows what else they are capable of. ?

    In truth I think these people all need to be jailed, of course but since they are all wealthy aristocrats over here and tend to know how to grease the wheels in such a way that anyone/everyone who is in a position of authority knows to look the other way and not say anything. Everyone is scared here and we wonder when the president will start detaining and torturing us as well, he continually calls us traitors and many of his subordinates and mouthpieces planted in the media like to talk about locking all of us (liberals, doves) up in nazi-style concentration camps, which makes it hard on us poorer folk, you know being threatened and intimidated sometimes works on us you know.

    These war/s of choice or aggression and their resulting endless “occupations” or “civil wars” – “quelling sectarian violence,” or whatever the stand in term of the day is brought to you by Finkle, Murray and Steiner.. Yes they spend a lot of time on all of their double-talk and nonsense.. our government currently diverts what, I think it’s like hundreds of millions of dollars, or perhaps more – on payola for Madison Avenue types (i.e. U.S. Advertising Executives/Agencies) to run around and generate useful/helpful propaganda for the GOP (i.e murderous liars currently in charge of the US govt.), to pose as people online to make up fake commentary favorable to the administrations moves. etc., etc., and to fabricate entirely fake newscasts with fake reporters, even — and they put that stuff up as actual NEWS out here – and yes – that does tent to confuse some, but mostly it’s only the STUPID PEOPLE NOW !! (Somewhere between 30-40% of Americans perhaps) – but largely – (like 8 out of 10 people here you talk to, it seems lately – really – GOOD NEWS it’s no longer popular or cool in the U.S. to be a warmonger – Oh, sorry – Jeb, looks like you will never ever ever eVER EVER EVER EVER EVER BE President of the U.S.)
    We hate Bush and many of us are hoping and crying out for Nuremburg (sp?) type trials to commence once (if ever again) we regain control of our government.

    Please pray for us that we are successful this year in stopping the spread of violence and that Bush remains too

  8. Actually, Reza, the Democrats are just as responsible as the Republicans if Iran is attacked; Congress will be just as responsible as the president. And since the American people are not out in the streets, not doing sit-ins in their congressional representatives’ offices, etc., we should be adjudged guilty also.

  9. Your president Bush is the equivalent of a drunk school bus driver and Israel is the equivalent of Alcohol. Unfortunately, the people of Iran and Iraq are the pedestrians. Cheney is the devil

  10. anit-neocon/anti-neolib I agree with you 100%.

    All of America is responsible not just the GOP. While events that you disagree with unfold and all you do is sit around saying, “it’s not me” makes you just as guilty. Same as if you stood around at watched someone get raped or murdered, that is what America is doing right now especially in the Middle East.

    “A government of the people,by the people for the people”. If you believe in democracy then you’ll take ownership of everything your country does. Otherwise all Americans, cowards or not, are nothing but a mouth piece.

    Get off your fat credit card asses and start doing something to change things in your own country.

  11. Reza says:

    “Your president Bush is the equivalent of a drunk school bus driver and Israel is the equivalent of Alcohol. Unfortunately, the people of Iran and Iraq are the pedestrians. Cheney is the devil.”

    Reza, I’m a Canadian citizen. So, I can only speak for some Canadians.

    But almost everyone I’ve talked to or shared views with opposes our involvement in Afghanistan and hopes we will stay out of an American attack on Iran.

    Our media and government speak only for themselves and their big business interests.

    It’s my hope that the U.S government isn’t so stupid and amoral as to seriously launch an attack on Iran. And it’s also my hope that if the Americans attack and Canadians get involved that you will successfully resist off our military forces.

    Well, I’m a Buddhist and against violence—so I also hope that you can resist non-violently.

    I sincerely wish you and your citizens the best.


  12. If the Bush regime here in the states does go into Iran I can only hope that will finally be enough to get every able bodied American out into the streets and on their way to Washington. God forbid it takes something as terrible as that.

    Our Government, from the very highest levels have been compromised. Zionist controlled politicians from Dems to Reps have hijacked offices in every state. We are living in a Fascist country where the people’s interests mean nothing and the will of big business comes first.

    The sooner Americans wake up and realize the left and the right are one and the same, the sooner we have a chance to restore our nation. Look at the foreign policy of the last three Presidents, then compare it to Obama or McCain’s and you’ll see nothing is changing.

    Americans have been made slaves of the banking cartels. Real change will start when a viable Presidential candidate claims his first goal is to return the federal reserve back to the government and not allow the World Bank to continue raping us. We are borrowing our own money, then having to pay interest on it to some Rockefeller middleman. Except their is no money so they just print it out of thin air.

    When we live in a society where conflicts of interest are everyday business and no one seems to care, we are in serious trouble. News agencies should not be making campaign contributions to president elects or political organizations. Nor should we have lobbyists stuffing the pockets of Representatives and Congressmen. When elected Representatives leave a job and go on to public service their business interests should be severed. Those and many more ideas should be law. You can guarantee when Dick (and he is a Dick) Cheney leaves office he will go back to being on the board of directors at Halliburton where his stock has now risen ten fold since the illegal Iraq war started.

    Our Constitution has been shredded, The Bill Of Rights is only a memory, Habeas Corpus a dream. Congress has given this administration complete freedom to change everything America has spent the last 200+ years fighting and even dying for. You can be wiretapped and have your home searched without a warrant, arrested and held for no reason with no lawyer, deemed an enemy combatant and whisked away to a CIA holding camp in some far off country, then tortured. Or be forced to watch as your child has his testicles crushed courtesy of John Yoo.

    I don’t support Israel as many American and even some Jewish Rabbi’s don’t either. We all can see the terror and apartheid that has been inflicted upon the Palestinians for over 50 years. In fact all of the middle east for that matter, by US and Israeli foreign policy. You just won’t see it on the 6 o’clock news. Either way though Israel still gets their 3 billion dollars a year from us. Either way Arabs are being killed with US weapons. Then I’m called an Anti Semite. Because I question the USA’s unwavering support of a country who’s very existence is a violation of UN law. I’m called Antisemitic because I see the pure evil of a movement of people who will use any means necessary to get what they want. Whether it’s religion, violence, or simple name calling and labeling. So the solution is to vote them out right? Wrong, Obama pledges his allegiance to Israel yet talks about “Change we can believe in”. He talks about changing US foreign policy?

    I’m tired of being tricked and lied to. I’m sick of looking at these assholes smiling while innocent people die. I’m tired of my life becoming more and more controlled and dictated.

    It’s easy too see how people with no hope strap explosives to their bodies and just put it in Gods hands. I don’t think it’s right to do that. But you know what? I’ve never been in the position where our people have signed treaty after treaty, truce after truce only to be stabbed in the back and harassed at every occasion. Then called crazy extremists when they decide to fight back. I’ve never had my home plowed and family and friends beaten up and killed. My land taken so the Israeli’s can have a park or a highway. If you were fucked with over and over for a period of 50 some years you’d be hostile and desperate too.

  13. The above is right on the money..the "Global War on Terror" ( patent pending) is B.S. Why?:

    1. The Taliban actually DENOUNCED the attacks on innocent civilians on Sept. 11th and in their press conference asked the US govt to show them whatever proof they had and they WOULD HELP apprehend Bin Laden.

    2. Saddam ( the last rightful ruler of Iraq ) being a secular Pan-arab was an ENEMY of Al-quaeda..

    3. The Shia Iranians ( also an enemy of Al-Quaeda ) are next..

    4. Afghanistan was clearly all about building natural gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea and putting permanent military bases in place to protect them..

    Yes the "GWOT" ( aka new excuse for the machinations of the military/industrial/Likudnik/banking/oil interests of the Anglo-American Zionist cabal) is BS..

  14. Well Al Qaeda and the Northern Alliance were put there by the CIA. Just at different times and for different reasons. Al Qaeda was an (unintentional?) intentional group funded by the CIA to fight the Russian invasion in the 80’s. But like every other CIA funded terrorist organization eventually they see how they have been manipulated and turn on them, or better known as to the CIA as blow-back. A known phenomena that has been a part of our foreign policy for decades.

    I think the bottom line is that the US constantly sticks their nose in the middle of volatile situations on purpose as to cause instability. Or cause these situations secretly (to most of America anyways) and purposely then play the America as saviors card. Like our government did in many known cases such as WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and so on and so forth.

    Now you here that the Bush administration had Congress approve hundreds of millions of dollars to covertly go into Iran and further incite violence in hopes of provoking attacks on US or it’s allies. Congress knows this and still gave dictator Bush the money!!!

    This is an administration full of oil interests and men and women who are and will continue to make billions of dollars if these planned pipelines are built and war continues.

    We need to wake the fuck up before Martial law is enacted and they come door to door to collect weapons, like they did illegally after Hurricane Katrina. Most American people just shrug things like that off. While people in other counties who haven’t been completely brainwashed would have declared war on their government long ago! It’s time to stop these crooks!

    I’m not saying it’s time to go and commit violent acts against our government, what I am saying is we should all be in the streets by the millions protesting the continuation of the loss of our liberties. We should scare the shit out of them and let them know who really runs the show!

    FACT: Only a few thousand powerful people are in complete control of the media, governments and secret organizations that manipulate our world today. Over 2/3 have already been exposed. We outnumber them greatly! They are cowards and are afraid of being confronted with the truth. They hide behind armed guards, badges and affiliations of forces that are not FOR THE PEOPLE. We need to expose all of them for what they are. It’s time to wake up.

  15. Most american people do not know that their country is being run by Israel. If there is a war with Iran, i can tell you that 10,000 americans will die in the first month. Only then will Americans start asking questions. The question is, will they be shut up by the zionist controlled media, or will the american people figure out that they have been tricked, used and abused by Israel. Either way, i dont care. If my country is attacked and my family is murdered, i will devote my life to returning the favour


  16. I think it’s important to point out how Afghanistan is not the “good war” vs. the Iraqi ” bad war”..both are unjust…the Taliban were fighting a civil war that had nothing to do with the U.S.-until the U.S. invaded Afghanistan..It was all about 1. Building the natural pipeline to the Caspian across Afghan. and having permanent military bases to protect it..and 2. Circling Iran to benefit…..guess who? It’s like the old Abbott and Costello Who’s On First routine…Who is on first? I don’t know..Oh, he’s on third…there we go back on third base again….Israel as third base-our perrenial burden.

  17. Radical Muslims in Iran like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the holocaust denier, a man who threatens to wipe Israel off the map, supports terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas deserve the ridicule America and the rest of the civilized world have placed on them. They support men and women who wrap bombs around their waists, walk into busy restaurants and bus stations and blow themselves up. They support the murder of innocent children in the name of Allah. They are major financial contributors to terrorist networks and seek to rule the Middle East. Countries that finance terrorist networks are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Iran also wants to hold the Middle East and maybe the world hostage as they continue to develop nuclear weapons. The time for talking, negotiating, and offers of compromise is over. Iran must learn its lesson now. If the Mullahs in Iran fail to heed the worlds warning, America will respond. We will obliterate Iran and put a final end to it’s destructive ways.

  18. I hear you, Reza. The USA was a great experiment in democracy, but is no longer America the Beautiful.

  19. So says the Israel First “Patriot”…Actually only America, Israel and America’s subsidiary ( Canada ) consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization…Since without the work of Hezbollah, Israel would still occupy 1/2 of Lebanon they are clearly an anti-Zionist resistance group…”Oh, but Israel doesn’t deserve to have any enemies so therefore any enemy must by definition be a terrorist organization” That’s what you would say-which just shows how damn ignorant of the situation in the Middle East you are..Israel is just a shitty little burden created out of relatively recent immigration, terrorism ( it’s OK when THEY use terrorist tactics) massacres and ethnic cleansing..Oh, did I mention the Lavon Affair, the deliberate attack on the USS Liberty, Pollard and the other spies, the $5Billion/yrly bill and the deserved contempt of the whole Middle East…Wow, what a bargain..Listen “Patriot” this weekend maybe we should drive you out of your house and make you move to another state ( for starters-that’s where the Zionist terror began ) we’ll see how you like it..Read Washington’s Farewell Address dumbass and find out what a wise foreign policy would be!

  20. Very interesting commentary Bill. I suppose you also expect us to weep for Osama Bin Laden as a cast out child. You would like us to pity Saddam Hussein as simply an understood leader. In your messed up world, the victims of 9/11 deserved to be killed, the innocent justly murdered in order to make those poor down trodden Muslims lives worth something. I am terribly sorry your freedom is so worthless to you. I hope when our brave men and women who honorably serve our country read your post, they will forgive your naiveté.

  21. Now how the hell can you can come back with literary diarhea like that? Are you so drunk on Fox News propaganda that you’ve lost your mind? Where did I show any sympathy for OSL??!!! Yeah, to naive, ignorant dumbasses like you and McCain a secular Sunni like Saddam and the Shia Iranians ( both enemies of Al-Quaeda are just ragheads who need to be bombed..) Listen “Patriot” who at this site EVER sd the victims of 9-11 deserved anything except another ordinary day in their lives? But killing Afghans or Iraqis who had nothing to do with 9-11 is wrong..You’re naive..tell me how Bush’s wars have made you any safer…Oh, if only a democrat had been in the White House during 9-11 I doubt he would actually get points for that in your book the way Bush and Co. evidently have…No, “no salvation outside the Republican Party” neo-con cult members like you would be questioning every aspect of the GWOT…Saddam was an ENEMY of Al-Quaeda but here’s the rub: he was an enemy of Israel also, he was now trading Iraq’s oil for Euros, and we wanted to get the Anglo-American oil co’s back into Iraq-WHICH WE”VE NOW DONE-mission freakin’ accomplished? You bet…

  22. ” I’m so sorry your freedom is so worthless to you”…You people who wake listening to Hannity on the radio, Rush at lunch and O’Reilly at bedtime, dreaming about Ann Coulter have got to get out of that insane neo-con echo chamber…..Our freedom, nor our oil supply, wasn’t in any jeopardized by Iraq re-taking Kuwait which was once part of it…( And you acquire more oil TO SELL not to hoard, especially when you’re in debt )..How the hell was your “freedom” endangered by that?
    How are you made more free by continuing to occupy and Iraq ( or Afghanistan for that matter )…How? Tell me how…If Gov. Dean was president and had the exact same pointless, counter-productive foreign policy I doubt you would be so unquestioning…..To paraphrase you; I’m just real sorry that the lives of those 34 sailors deliberately snuffed out by Israel 6/8/67 mean so little to you…they must mean so little for you to not question our total support for Israel..

  23. And the problem with Iran is ALL about Israel maintaining it’s nuclear monopoly in the Middle East and trying to rein in Iran’s growing influence..Yeah, but why they shouldn’t have influence IN THEIR OWN REGION is never really explained or contemplated by dullards like you…It’s not even about Israel’s security since they have hundreds of nuclear hell bombs and the Iranians have a return address…but Israel wants to be able to continue to do virtually whatever it wants..such as the totally out-of-proportion saturation bombing of Lebanon-the only country I know who, by law, must have a Maronite Catholic president..All for two soldiers…how many prisoners do the Israelis have…
    And about growing Iranian influence which the Israelis and Bush’s corrupt Sunni friends in Saudi care so much about: Saddam was a human wall holding back Iran-another fact that you’re totally unaware of…You know NOTHING about the ME except what you hear on FOX!

  24. Oh, and the Gipper ( Pres. Reagan for you-anyone as clueless as you must be pretty young ) pulled our troops out of Beirut and “regretted” putting them their in the first place, considered it the worst mistake of his presidency…then Congressman McCain got up in the floor of the House and argued against deploying them there in the first place…Gee, why do you think President Reagan ( and McCain ) had such meager concern for American freedom? More facts down the memory hole…

  25. Bill I compliment you on your arguments. Every one of them. Isreal is the red-headed step-child we should never have adopted. Our alliance with them has caused us nothing but trouble. As you mentioned, they have spied on us, attacked our ships (USS Liberty), and used our weapons to kill and mame innocent civilians. Every problem we have with Middle Eastern countries is tainted by to our relationship with Israel.

    You are an honest and true liberal. It is nice to know that chaps like yourself didn’t disapear with George McGovern in 72′.

  26. Liberal?! You’re an ass…I supported Patrick J. Buchanan in ’92, ’96 and ’00…I subscribe to the American Conservative and American Free Press..I’m a paleo-Conservative…You’re a member of the neo-con death cult…aka the Republican Party….Smart conservatives stopped putting all their eggs in that basket a long time ago…I used to get Chronicles but then Sam Francis passed on….Yeah, a liberal who loves PJB, Sam Francis, Chilton Williamson, etc…Again, you’re an ass…
    Real conservatives put America First…Neo-con scum like you put Israel first and masquerade as “conservatives”…The way a tic might try to go unnoticed on a dog’s ass..

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