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Boardman writes: "'Benghazi' is one of those kneejerk labels that right-wing folks slap on a story they don't actually understand but have determined the 'right' answer to anyway."

Former CIA Director David Petraeus. (photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
Former CIA Director David Petraeus. (photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)


Benghazi Mystery Explained by CIA Covert Op With Turkey, Syria?

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

13 April 14

 

Answer offered by Seymour Hersh gets little public attention

enghazi” is one of those kneejerk labels that right-wing folks slap on a story they don’t actually understand but have determined the “right” answer to anyway. It’s a hot button, not an argument, like the “ IRS scandal,” which the right is finally beginning to admit it got wrong because it ignored the law as written. “Fast and Furious” is another of some two dozen, mostly less known right-wing thought substitutes that aren’t supported by persuasive evidence. (Meanwhile, the scripted herd of Obama-haters pretty much remains silent about real Obama administration scandals, like civilian murder by drone or massive global surveillance, the sorts of things that throw the left into denial).

The latest explanation of “Benghazi” comes from a non-partisan reporter, so that’s a start, and it provides a credible framework for most of the anomalies associated with Benghazi. Even better, official spokes-people universally either refused to comment on the story or denied it flatly. So there’s hope.

“Benghazi” as a political story began with the Obama administration’s strangely dishonest early responses to the killing of four Americans in Libya on September 11, 2012. The story got legs when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately falsified what the administration was saying, and was followed by just about every Republican who’s talked about it since, perpetuating one lie or another. Nobody has seemed interested in the truth, which especially makes sense from a Republican perspective, since “Benghazi” provided a handy rhetorical cudgel with which to pound the table and the president in order to appear “tough.” But why has the Obama administration remained so opaque, tossing out one red herring after another for Republicans to gleefully chase, but still not offering a persuasive narative?

Even when Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer told Republicans recently to give up on Benghazi – “the public is now tired of it” – he was still clinging to the party line that there was a real scandal to be found somewhere, even though neither he nor anyone else seemed to know what it could be, even though they were sure it was “ worse than Watergate.”

If some truth about Benghazi is available, does anyone want to know?

So far, every report – from Congress and the executive branch and most of the media – has come to conclusions with serious critiques that fall short of scandal. Despite a variety of shortcomings and contradictions in the administration’s responses since September 2012, none of the investigations has produced a credible, fact-based explanation for the administration’s obviously misleading response at the time or its apparent stonewalling since. This changed on April 6, 2014, when the London Review of Books published “The Red Line and the Rat Line,” a long article by Seymour Hersh, focusing on evidence that the sarin nerve gas used in Damascus in August 2013 was likely a false flag gassing by rebel forces made to look like it was done by the Syrian government, in order to fool the United States into attacking Syria.

Hersh’s analysis of how Turkish and Syrian agents almost managed to dupe the United States into going to war based on a lie (they’d seen that work before, right?) is the focus of his article, in which Benghazi is only a tangential element. The “Libyan spring” began in Benghazi, and anyone who wanted to know could easily learn that the region was hot with jihadists among anti-government rebels.

By early 2012, Libyan president Muammar al-Gaddafi had been overthrown and killed. The U.S. had established a foothold in the Libyan turmoil. The U.S. also had access to Gaddafi’s significant weapons cache, which was largely unneeded in a Libya already awash in arms. But those weapons had other uses, one of which was to support the rebels in Syria trying to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Reportedly, Turkey was already operating the Benghazi airport, primarily to fly humanitarian aid to Syria, but also to smuggle arms to the rebels. Since the U.S. and Turkey both wanted Assad gone, the CIA helped set up a more extensive, covert supply line to those rebels. As Hersh reports:

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a “rat line,” a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI [Director of National Intelligence] spokesperson said: “The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.”)

Libyans attacked both the consulate and the CIA safe house in 2012

The Turkish report noted that CIA director David Petraeus had apparently run the rat line operation (his spokesperson denies there was such an operation) at the same time the FBI was investigating his extra-marital operations. (The CIA secretly coordinated its activities with Britain’s MI6.) Coincidentally or not, Turkish media reported an unscheduled meeting in Ankara between Petraeus and “his Turkish counterpart on September 2 in Istanbul, during which the spy chiefs discussed the Syrian crisis and the Arab republic’s possible transition process,” without providing further detail other than noting that this was the CIA director’s second visit to Ankara in six months. The report noted that a month earlier, U.S. and Turkish delegations met to discuss how to “coordinate ongoing efforts to extend humanitarian aid to Syrians and to produce a common road map to shape a possible post-Baathist era. The meetings also raised the issue of the need for a smooth transition in Syria to avoid chaos in the country in the event that President Bashar al-Assad’s government collapses.”

Equally circumstantial, and despite earlier security warnings, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, had come to Benghazi for a dinner meeting with the Turkish consul general Ali Sait Akin on September 11, 2012, reportedly for a discussion of furthering weapons exchanges. The attacks started later, after 10 p.m., leaving the ambassador and three other Americans dead. Soon after that, the CIA role in the rat line operation was severed, but the operation continued with the shell companies that had been established (staffed with American mercenaries), and with British, Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari backing. Whether another covert American agency replaced the CIA is uncertain.

Running for re-election in 2012, President Obama is unlikely to have wanted to disclose an ongoing covert operation, especially one which was politically dangerous, since it was arming Syrian rebels of all stripes, including jihadists, who were supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Worse for the Obama administration, the operation was arguably illegal, and at best controversial. According to Hersh:

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation…. for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.)

What’s better than watching Republicans chase imaginary wild hares?

Even today, disclosure is limited by official secrecy. Much of Hersh’s information comes from a “highly classified annex” to the January 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi. Distribution of the annex was limited to eight ranking Congresspersons and the staff who wrote it. Hersh says he has not seen the annex but has talked to one or more people who have. According to them, the only purpose of the Benghazi consulate was to provide cover for the nearby CIA station and its gun-running operation.

Given all that, what better tactic could the Obama campaign find in 2012 than letting Republicans make up and chase down imaginary conspiracy theories, only to come up empty time and again? Yes, the Obama administration ended up looking suspicious: incompetent, disingenuous, or dishonest. But that’s a political hit that seems far easier to take than what might have resulted from telling the truth in all its detail.

The CIA/gun-running aspect of Benghazi has been part of the story pretty much from the start, reinforced by the September 14 London Times report of the arrival in a Turkish port of a 400-ton arms shipment on a Libyan ship, “ The Victory,” with a captain from Benghazi. The story was picked up by Business Insider, which proceeded to run with it – in the wrong direction, if you assume that the most important question was whether Ambassador Stevens knew there were Libyan arms going to Syria. At the same time, Paula Broadwell, by then known as the CIA director’s mistress, publicly suggested that the attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi was meant to free Libyan prisoners there, a story plant that has the feel of a deliberate wild goose chase (which of course the CIA “ adamantly denied”). By May 2013, Business Insider was again focusing on the Libyan weapons freighter and quoting Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul, on the same day that he announced he was “considering” a run for the presidency in 2016, telling CNN:

I’ve actually always suspected that, although I have no evidence, that maybe we were facilitating arms leaving Libya going through Turkey into Syria…. I never have quite understood the cover-up – if it was intentional or incompetence – but something went on. I mean, they had talking points that they were trying to make it out to be a movie when everybody seemed to be on the ground telling them it had nothing to do with a movie…. Were they trying to obscure that there was an arms operation going on at the CIA annex? I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but I think questions ought to be asked and answered.

Perhaps the clearest, and most vitriolic, expression of the Benghazi gun-running plot came from rising right-wing celebrity blogger Katie Kieffer of Minnesota, whose post on April 29, 2013, began: “Liberals don’t want honest Americans like you to have guns. Liberals just want to arm foreign rebels in crapshoot attempts to ‘end global violence.’ But liberals feign ignorance when the rebels they arm end up being criminals who kill innocent Americans like the late U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.” In other words, the new right-wing Benghazi meme came down to this: Obama gave weapons to some jihadists – some jihadists killed Americans in Benghazi ­– therefore Obama is a murderer – and, no, we don’t have any evidence for that.

“Benghazi” outbursts continue, but most media ignore Hersh’s claims

A year later, as some 70 demonstrators prepared to protest Hillary Clinton’s satellite appearance at a San Diego healthcare event, the current right-wing version of Benghazi goes like this:

Is it not inconceivable to you that a Muslim terror attack, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, that resulted in the death of four Americans, would not only go uninvestigated but also unpunished as well? That is exactly what the Obama White House is doing. President Obama and then-Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton allowed a Muslim terror attackagainst the US Consulate in Libya to occur unchallenged, while they watched it in real-time on White House satellite feeds. Then Obama started firing staff to perpetuate the coverup.

The assertion that they “ allowed a Muslim terror attack” derives from an anonymous claim that unnamed sources gave unspecified warnings that the consulate was in danger. The “ satellite feeds” refer to an anonymous report that two drones, one replacing the first, observed the attacks and had the capability to send signals the White House could receive. The “staff firing” reference is about the Petraeus resignation after his extra-marital affair became public.

Hersh’s story has had little or no coverage in mainstream media, who were pretty much of one mind that the sarin attacks of 2013 were the work of the Assad regime, because they bought the official story that no one else had the capability to do that. Hersh’s article casts credible doubt on that assumption of certainty, and provides a more plausible motivation than whatever self-destructive impulse was assigned to Assad. Much of the Twitter backlash against Hersh is merely /ad hominem/ sputtering, and their debunkings of Hersh’s debunking of the official version of events were inconclusive, as Interventions Watch wrote: “The article has caused much consternation among those people in the corporate media and the NGO community who are 100% certain that the Assad regime was responsible for the attacks.”

So now there are new Benghazi questions coming from new directions:

• Is it possible that the Benghazi attack was orchestrated by the Islamist president of Turkey for the sake of freer rein in helping Syrian Islamist rebels?

• How much credence should be given to the YouTube recording of Turkish officials discussing a false flag operation designed to provoke a war between Turkey and Syria? ( Turkish officials have not denied the authenticity of the recording, but they claim it was manipulated and have shut down the YouTube site in Turkey.)

• Have the arms shipments from Libya to Syrian rebels included any chemical weapons? Or biological weapons?

• What did the White House know, and when did the White House know it?


William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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-24 # egbegb 2014-04-13 17:41
So why does not President Obama and Harry Reid want to find and publish all the facts? That is the scandal that most R's address. You are partially barking up the correct tree. Why does not your POTUS help? I I'm a right-wing folk.
 
 
+40 # tazia@aol.com 2014-04-13 17:53
Quoting egbegb:
So why does not President Obama and Harry Reid want to find and publish all the facts? That is the scandal that most R's address. You are partially barking up the correct tree. Why does not your POTUS help? I I'm a right-wing folk.


Because the only scandal is that the republicans in Congress chose not to fund additional money to embassies abroad. Why is it that you have issues with Obama and not with W? It was on W's watch that we 9/11 happened.
 
 
+8 # Old Uncle Dave 2014-04-13 18:46
Is it possible there was a CIA black site prison in Benghazi? That would be something the administration would want kept secret.
 
 
+12 # babalu 2014-04-13 20:02
That's a plausible one, Dave! My own pet theory goes like this: After seeing Romney jubilant after his press conference announcing the Benghazi raid, I recalled he went with his bagman to Israeli who have a lot of "retired" Mossad who would be willing to organize such an event. Too bad it was too early for an October surprise, but close enough!
Mossad involvement would also slow down the CIA explanation.
 
 
-1 # TomThumb 2014-04-15 11:28
I have read several rumors. First one was that Benghazi was an Israeli operation designed to embarrass the Administration and get their candidate elected. I saw a longer version of the Romney speech to the 'fatcats', where he whined about the 97% of takers. As I remember, in this longer version he told them that if an embassy was attacked before the election, like happened in Teheran in the 80 election, he would certainly use this.
The second rumor was that the consulate was essentially a CIA outpost. No news there, so is every American embassy. However the trigger happy idiots at the CIA received some false intelligence and attacked a 'friendly militia', one of 'ours' actually. The attack on Benghazi was in retaliation. Tommy Rimes
 
 
+2 # MidwesTom 2014-04-13 19:22
If the gun running operation was illegal, and secret, was Ambassador Stevens sacrificed to cover it up?
 
 
+3 # JSRaleigh 2014-04-16 15:33
Quoting MidwesTom:
If the gun running operation was illegal, and secret, was Ambassador Stevens sacrificed to cover it up?


I would say not. The killings are directly attributable to Congress refusal to fund adequate embassy security.

A covert gun running operation, especially if it wasn't authorized by the Obama administration is a plausible reason why the story has been so screwed up.

The CIA is treating the Obama Administration with the same lack of respect they've shown to Congressional oversight. The administration doesn't have any sources of their own to unravel Benghazi that aren't co-opted by the CIA.
 
 
+17 # cordleycoit 2014-04-13 19:45
It looks as usual that American generals ought not be given the simplest of plans without a guide to keep them from ending American lives unnecessarily.W hen will this festival of folly end? Our troopers are dying of incompetence of leadership.
 
 
+28 # babalu 2014-04-13 19:57
They will never stop because after decades of having inferiors lick their boots and call them brilliant, they believe themselves to be Masters of the Universe, just like the felonious Wall-streeters who also cannot foresee the results beyond their own viewpoint.
 
 
+19 # dbrize 2014-04-13 20:58
Well, there are generals and there are generals. "General shopping" is an old custom used recently by both Bush and Obama.

The late Col David Hackworth a real American hero, oft referred to the "Perfumed Princes"of the Pentagon. It was not a compliment.

That said however, our current JCOS deserve high marks for their insistence that military attacks of a pre-emptive nature (see Iran) are not for them. Their reluctance is both a good read on public opinion as well as an admonition to Obama of the folly in such attacks.

On a more unfortunate note, for a general interested in action, the place to be is in Special Ops, which have more than doubled under Obama. Now ongoing in over 130 nations.

Add to this the ongoing CIA/MI6/Mossad operations around the globe and the idea that Obama has "ended" the wars becomes laughable. Better would be to question whether he has any control at all over them.
 
 
+3 # Nominae 2014-04-14 19:03
Quoting cordleycoit:
.... Our troopers are dying of incompetence of leadership.


As ever they have in every skirmish and in every war since the American Revolution.
 
 
-2 # jstick 2014-04-13 22:49
“The article has caused much consternation among those people in the corporate media and the NGO community who are 100% certain that the Assad regime was responsible for the attacks.”

The New Yorker had an article several months ago about a fellow in London who is analyzing the Syrian war via the Internet and providing very accurate and useful information. His breakthrough was in determining that the Syrian military DID fire the rockets with the Sarin gas. He did this by matching photos of the distinctive fins on the gas-carrying rockets, found at the site, with Syrian government film of the very same unusual rockets on launchers mounted on Syrian army trucks. It was accepted as conclusive proof by the NGO community, the media and the White House.
 
 
+4 # futhark 2014-04-14 04:08
"(Meanwhile, the scripted herd of Obama-haters pretty much remains silent about real Obama administration scandals, like civilian murder by drone or massive global surveillance, the sorts of things that throw the left into denial). "

Wait a minute! From Politico.com, 2013 March 6 - "Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul staged the longest talking filibuster in recent Senate memory from Wednesday into early Thursday, railing with his colleagues for more than 12 hours against what they called the danger of drone strikes to U.S. citizens on American soil."

No Democratic senator has put in half as much energy as Rand Paul in speaking out against the abuse of power involved in the drone assassination program. This is why I am no longer a registered Democrat and refuse to fall into line as characterizing all Republicans as irredeemably evil and all Democrats as being universally good. Let's take the issues one at a time instead of making up stuff to support blatantly partisan divisions.
 
 
+13 # WBoardman 2014-04-14 08:59
futhark is right, of course, about the
Rand Paul media event --
which is one reason I used the phrase "pretty much,"
since nothing is reliably monolithic.

But I think the Paul filibuster supports my point
more than it counters it because
(1) it was one-shot grandstanding, and Paul's
failure to keep after the issue suggests he's not
interested in the substance of executive murder
as an ongoing issue, and
(2) the rightwing echo machine (For, talk radio, etc)
remained largely silent on drone killing, even
drone killing of a teenage American citizen.

As for Democrats, except for Kucinich (and a few others),
the party is largely shameless.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-04-14 09:00
Fox, not "For"
 
 
0 # nice2bgreat 2014-04-16 16:45
.
Did you know that, on the RSN comment section, you can re-edit your own posted comments... even after posting?

Click on the icon, bottom-left, and it re-opens the dialogue box.
.
 
 
+6 # RODNOX 2014-04-14 09:35
thanks again for your thoughts and rational disertation of an otherwise mangled subject
 
 
+5 # RMDC 2014-04-14 07:54
"This changed on April 6, 2014, when the London Review of Books published “The Red Line and the Rat Line,” a long article by Seymour Hersh, focusing on evidence that the sarin nerve gas used in Damascus in August 2013 was likely a false flag gassing by rebel forces made to look like it was done by the Syrian government, in order to fool the United States into attacking Syria."

I don't see why the world is not up in arms about this "false flag" operation that -- as US officials claim -- brutally killed 1400 people, mostly children. This means that Obama is guilty of authorizing the outright murder of about 1400 people, mostly children. Where is the world's media. Where is the outrage?

How come no one ever cares about a "false flag" operation. When it was claimed that Syria was responsible for the sarin gas attack, the world's media was livid and hysterical. Now that we know Obama and his CIA did it, there is no comment at all.

So I guess it is OK for Obama/CIA to kill 1400 people just in order to sway public opinion? Is that how it works? Is that how the media in the world works?
 
 
+14 # WBoardman 2014-04-14 09:10
RMDC –
the argument is NOT that the CIA/Obama were
involved in the sarin gas attack of August 2013.

That seems unlikely, but whatever the truth might be,
that charge is not what Hersh was arguing.

The allegation is that Turkish operatives (and possibly
others) were trying to create a violation of Obama's
"red line" that would push the President into taking
the US into another dumb war.

In any case, regardless of the facts of the gas attack,
the event and the media hoopla around it were
almost enough to widen the war.

If I recall correctly, much of the opposition to going to war
came from Republicans in Congress, not because they
oppose war, but because they oppose Obama.

It's an irony we might be grateful for, at least fleetingly.
 
 
+5 # dsepeczi 2014-04-15 08:04
Quoting WBoardman:
RMDC –
the argument is NOT that the CIA/Obama were
involved in the sarin gas attack of August 2013.

That seems unlikely, but whatever the truth might be,
that charge is not what Hersh was arguing.

The allegation is that Turkish operatives (and possibly
others) were trying to create a violation of Obama's
"red line" that would push the President into taking
the US into another dumb war.

In any case, regardless of the facts of the gas attack,
the event and the media hoopla around it were
almost enough to widen the war.

If I recall correctly, much of the opposition to going to war
came from Republicans in Congress, not because they
oppose war, but because they oppose Obama.

It's an irony we might be grateful for, at least fleetingly.


That incident largely showed Rand Paul for who he truly was. When Obama was just about ready to bomb Syria, Rand Paul stood up louder than anyone against attacking Syria and had my respect for that. Then, when Obama made peace, Rand Paul was out in public, criticizing Obama for NOT attacking Syria. That's pretty much the entire Republican plan. Their agenda goes like this ... "What does Obama think ? ... Then we're against that !"
 
 
0 # nice2bgreat 2014-04-16 16:56
.
Excerpt from Seymour Hersh: The Red Line and the Rat Line

"The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’ s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt. They pressed the DIA and other agencies for more substantial evidence. ‘There was no way they thought Syria would use nerve gas at that stage, because Assad was winning the war,’ the former intelligence official said. Dempsey had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. Last April, after an optimistic assessment of rebel progress by the secretary of state, John Kerry, in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘there’s a risk that this conflict has become stalemated.’

Continued below
.
 
 
0 # nice2bgreat 2014-04-16 16:56
.
Continued from above:

Excerpt from Seymour Hersh: The Red Line and the Rat Line

Dempsey’s initial view after 21 August was that a US strike on Syria – under the assumption that the Assad government was responsible for the sarin attack – would be a military blunder, the former intelligence official said. The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course. The official White House explanation for the turnabout – the story the press corps told – was that the president, during a walk in the Rose Garden with Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, suddenly decided to seek approval for the strike from a bitterly divided Congress with which he’d been in conflict for years. The former Defense Department official told me that the White House provided a different explanation to members of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon: the bombing had been called off because there was intelligence ‘that the Middle East would go up in smoke’ if it was carried out."
.
 
 
+2 # grandma lynn 2014-04-17 00:42
It comes back at us, that our US government policies, early on, decimated Native American tribal people in great numbers, and no public opinion cried out. It took the Dee Brown books for me to learn of the shame on our name. Government can do horrible things in our name, and we be left in the dust not knowing. Obama and Pelosi closed the books, left unexamined, how we got into our Iraq War under Bush / Cheney. It should have warned us that we would be kept conveniently ignorant, and less able to be a participatory democracy under Obama / Biden as under Bush / Cheney. We need courageous people like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, because we will be kept uninformed, otherwise.
 
 
+8 # I. Spoke 2014-04-14 09:24
This characterizatio n of the covert activity resonates to me with my observation of perpetual clever manipulation of information by the NSA & CIA during the time I was involved in the shadow world during the Vietnam war. Everything always looks grey to the outside world, by design.

I will also say that I started watching Seymour Hersh curing this same period, for me, starting with the My Lai massacre. He seemed to have accurate sources and an uncanny ability to see through the smoke screens that was remarkable for someone who did not have direct access to highly classified information. If anything, his sources over the last four decades could only be better. When one reads his material, it is NEVER a cursory soundbite style report. It is ALWAYS in depth, he unravels the deception, and exhaustively backs up his findings. My view is that he is obsessed with the truth found in facts. It would be the height of folly to dismiss any Seymour Hersh investigation armed only with an opinion.
 
 
+3 # I. Spoke 2014-04-14 09:28
curses. that is "during," not "curing".

Quote:
I will also say that I started watching Seymour Hersh curing this same period...
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-04-14 18:18
Couldn't agree more with I.Spoke
about Hersh's still amazing, impressive career.

But "curing" may be a correct Freudian slip –
actually Hersh was curing this same period,"
or at least give it his best shot.

It's not his fault the Pentagon cut off accountability
at the scapegoat Calley and kept it from shooting down
the higher officers who were circling overhead
as the killing went on or who took part in the later cover-up,
including a Major named Colin Powell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre
 
 
+2 # Nominae 2014-04-14 19:24
Quoting I. Spoke:
..... My view is that he is obsessed with the truth found in facts. It would be the height of folly to dismiss any Seymour Hersh investigation armed only with an opinion.


Excellent post ! I would simply like to add that it is *always* the "height of folly" to dismiss *any* fact-based argument on the basis of nothing more than an opinion.

People too often confuse opinion with *actual knowledge*. These terms are often diametrically opposed.

At best, an opinion is nothing more than a well-informed *guesstimate*. It is often even much less than that.

By definition, what an opinion *NEVER* is, would be "fact-based knowledge".

Therefore, anything *less* than fact-based knowledge is simply ego aggrandizing hot air and a colossal waste of time all around.
 
 
+1 # I. Spoke 2014-04-18 08:02
Quoting NOMINAE:

Therefore, anything *less* than fact-based knowledge is simply ego aggrandizing hot air and a colossal waste of time all around.


Such *TORTURED* rhetorical comments on a comment... not to mention, my comment was on Mr. Hersh's focus on facts, not any specific facts of my own. Comments in a comment section of an editorial news piece, after all, are just that, Comments.

The last I looked the definition of "comment" includes "opinion" in its scope.

I will say that my role in the Vietnam war involved handling Top Secret SCI material. As such, I did get more than a birds eye view of the ongoing discrepancies between official "facts" and reality. So, my opinion that Hersh tended to be spot on during that period, is at the very least, a well informed opinion.

It is still my opinion, but given the level of consistency I saw in Hersh's reports, I would expect that he hasn't deviated much with his integrity.
 
 
+3 # grandma lynn 2014-04-17 00:46
As ever, thank Fate that Seymour Hersh is among us.
 

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