Sy Hersh: We Pay Bush To Know These Things - What Did He Know When?

It was a year ago this month that Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that the White House (ie: Cheney) was pushing back against the release of a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that had failed to find any evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program. Once again I guess you could say Sy is the polar opposite of 'the boy who cried wolf'.'

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Wolf Blitzer had him on to discuss it and what to make of the new NIE and the recent claims by the President that he was just informed about it's contents a week ago.

Hersh: What's interesting here is the President's position. As you know today in his news conference he said he only learned about this the other week.

Blitzer: He said he only got the word from Mike McConnell, the National Intelligence Director, last week that there was in fact now a new the National Intelligence Estimate, although last Aug he was told there is some new information - we haven't vetted it - it's not yet confirmed - there may be some new information. He only says that he learned about the new NIE last week.

Hersh: Look, it's a lose-lose for them. Either he did know what was going on at the highest levels - the fight I'm talking about began last year. I was writing about something in November and also you mentioned earlier. They were aware of a big dispute inside the community that is between the White House and the community about this. Now, maybe he didn't know what was going on at the Vice Presidential level about something that serious. If so, I mean, we pay him to know these things and not to make statements based on information that turns out not to be accurate, or else he is misrepresenting what he knows. I don't think there is any question this is going to pose a serious credibility problem. I assume people are going to be asking more and more questions about what did he know, when. ...

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It's little wonder why Seymour Hersh is so often the target of fierce criticism from Bushco as he's been a thorn in their side just as he has many an administration before them. Sy has earned his place as one of the US's greatest investigative reporters/muckrakers ever after his exposing many of the greatest scandals of our time. He broke the My Lai massacre, the torture at Abu Ghraib, and the CIA's "Family Jewels" that led to the Church hearings, and even Clinton's bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, just to name a few of his more well known.

UPDATE: (Nicole) Marcy has a great NIE timeline...


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