call him a paranoid lunatic, but he’s usually right

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib torture story, is now looking into the administration’s systematic dismantling of the generally non-partisan CIA and its replacement with something much more right-leaning and agenda-driven… That, in part, was what he was discussing a few days ago when he appeared at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York. You can find a video and transcript at Democracy Now, and a good discussion at the Daily Kos site. Here’s just a little taste:

There’s a lot of anxiety inside the — you know, our professional military and our intelligence people. Many of them respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as much as anybody here, and individual freedom. So, they do — there’s a tremendous sense of fear. These are punitive people. One of the ways — one of the things that you could say is, the amazing thing is we (have) been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is. You do have to wonder what a Democracy is when it comes down to a few men in the Pentagon and a few men in the White House having their way. What they have done is neutralize the C.I.A. because there were people there inside — the real goal of what Goss has done was not attack the operational people, but the intelligence people. There were people — serious senior analysts who disagree with the White House, with Cheney, basically, that’s what I mean by White House, and Rumsfeld on a lot of issues, as somebody said, the goal in the last month has been to separate the apostates from the true believers. That’s what’s happening. The real target has been “diminish the agency.” I’m writing about all of this soon, so I don’t want to overdo it, but there’s been a tremendous sea change in the government. A concentration of power.

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2 Comments

  1. chris
    Posted January 28, 2005 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Did you see him on John Stewart? Truly frightening and fascinating.

  2. mark
    Posted January 29, 2005 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    No. We don’t get Comedy Central anymore. I haven’t seen The Daily Show since before the holidays. It’s one of the few things I miss.

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