Military Is Afraid to Tell Bush, Cheney the Truth, Says Sy Hersh in ‘WP’ Online Chat

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Seymour Hersh, the famed reporter known for breaking stories from My Lai to Abu Ghraib, said in a Washingtonpost.com chat today that “the major media have been part of the problem since 9-11, merely because they have far too often taken the president’s public utterances at face value.”

He added: “There also is a terrific unwillingness, perhaps understandable (though not by me), to make a moral judgment about a president’s policies. There are plenty of people on the inside who are worried about the policies, especially among military guys, and I’m sure their views will increasingly become known.”

Hersh, who has rarely sat for such chats, was asked about voters’ lack of information on certain key issues, as revealed by non-partisan polls. “The most distressing issue, for me, in the election was the lack of information and the lack of interest in information about far too many of the electorate — obviously, I’m referring to many of the religious factions who voted for Bush,” he said. “The reality is that far too many Americans are not interested in the facts, or in reality.” He added, however , that this just might be “a loser’s lament.” (He backed Kerry.)

Some of the other exchanges:

Asked how the Republicans can refer to the narrow Bush victory as a mandate, Hersh said, “You would be right in a rational world. Welcome to the Bush White House.”

Will Bush now strive for unity? “In my view, he’s got his mandate and he’s going to carry on with his mantra — bringing democracy to the Middle East?. Bush will consider many scary options [there]. What he can do, as opposed to what he wants to do, is the issue. Not much intelligence for some of his desires. … I worry about the inability to the men running the U.S. government to accept information that challenges their assumptions and their belief. It’s very frightening and the fact is that our senior military are very reluctant to give Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld any bad news. Sounds insane, doesn’t it?”

On Iraq: “The military are scared of telling Cheney and Bush the truth and that will have to end within the next six months. They cannot deliver in Iraq what the president wants, and we’ll have to start getting out. So I believe anyway.”

Asked if the blue states should secede from the union, now dominated by the south, he said: “The other side tried that once and it didn’t work.”

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