Across the Bay

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Young on the Hersh Piece

Michael Young joins the party and takes apart Seymour Hersh's ridiculous New Yorker piece.

I would like to highlight one angle touched on by Michael that I think is spot on, and one that slipped my mind when I wrote my post:

The Fatah al-Islam story is instructive, because it shows a recurring flaw in Hersh's reporting, namely his investigative paralysis when it comes to Syria. In articles past, Hersh has acted as a conduit for those defending the post-9/11 intelligence collaboration between the U.S. and Syria, and lamenting the Bush administration's subsequent isolation of Damascus in the run-up to and aftermath of the Iraq invasion.

The "defenders" in question are none other than the two old CIA hands, Flynt Leverett and Robert Baer, quoted in both pieces.

Flynt's shilling on behalf of Bashar Assad needs no introduction. This has been his line all along. However, I think the quote by Robert Baer in the latest Hersh piece also fits into this angle.

The emphasis on the "cataclysmic" Sunnis, and presenting a simplified scheme, whereby the complicity of the Syrians with al-Qaeda is completely covered, is in fact intended to revive that argument noted by Michael. Syria is thus placed in the anti-jihadist camp, and all its ties to, and overt use of, jihadist groups (admitted, as I noted in my post, by their most ardent supporters) is willfully, and disingenuously, ignored.

So these guys are pushing for that same narrow agenda, one that is seriously problematic in light of Syria's obvious sponsorship of al-Qaeda-type groups in Iraq and Lebanon.

This only confirms the point of my earlier post that Hersh is merely acting as a water carrier. That's all that piece really amounts to.