SEYMOUR HERSH, FIRST AMENDMENT TERRORIST….In an interview with Wolf Blitzer yesterday, neocon hawk Richard Perle said this about journalist Seymour Hersh (of My Lai fame):

Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly.

The ostensible reason for this bizarre remark ? which even caught even Blitzer off guard ? was a New Yorker article in which Hersh accuses Perle of benefitting financially from a war with Iraq, but Tom Spencer explains that there’s some very bad blood between Hersh and Perle that may help to explain Perle’s charge. Apparently it goes back a long way.

UPDATE: A reader warns me that I should be cautious about accepting at face value anything on David Irving’s site, which Tom linked to. However, the excerpt on the site is said to be from “Seymour Hersh’s The Price of Power (1983) pg 322,” so it can be pretty easily verified. If anyone has this book and can check to see if the excerpt is fair, please let me know.

Also, just for the record, Hersh’s book apparently says that Perle was “overheard discussing classified information,” which may or may not be anything serious ? and probably happens routinely in high-level Washington circles, even if it is in technical violation of the law. So who knows? However, whether serious or not, it certainly sheds some light on why Perle dislikes Hersh so virulently.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation