Seymour Hersh – 2004-07-18 07:32:53
Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
“The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking,” the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was “a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher.”
(Hersh’s speech is available online at:
Hersh’s presentation starts at about 1:07:50.)
He called the prison scene “a series of massive crimes, criminal activity by the president and the vice president, by this administration anyway…war crimes.”
The outrages have cost us the support of moderate Arabs, says Hersh. “They see us as a sexually perverse society.”
Hersh describes a Pentagon in crisis. The defense department budget is “in incredible chaos,” he says, with large sums of cash missing, including something like $1 billion that was supposed to be in Iraq.
“The disaffection inside the Pentagon is extremely accute,” Hersh says. He tells the story of an officer telling Rumsfeld how bad things are, and Rummy turning to a ranking general yes-man who reassured him that things are just fine. Says Hersh, “The Secretary of Defense is simply incapable of hearing what he doesn’t want to hear.”
The Iraqi insurgency, he says,was operating in 1-to-3 man cells a year ago, now in 10-15 man cells, and despite the harsh questioning, “we still know nothing about them…we have no tactical information.”
He says the foreign element among insurgents is overstated, and that bogeyman Zarqawi is “a composite figure” hyped by our government.
The war, he says, has escalated to “fullscale, increasingly intense military activity.”
Hersh described the folks in charge of US policy as “neoconservative cultists” who have taken the government over, and show “how fragile our democracy is.”
He ripped the supine US press, pledged to bring home all the facts he could, said he was not sure he could deliver all the damning info he suspects about Bush administration responsibility for Abu Ghraib.