Seymore Hersh on the Media (and spy hypnosis, Appelbaum, Snowden)

This is not a security article per se, it’s far more US politics-centric than I like, and it neatly illustrates the Internet-age trap of “subtlety? no, for me to see something that’s there, it has to be outlined in bright flashing literalism.”

Nevertheless, the underlying concept is critically important to understand.

Spy hypnosis: If you’re interested in the intersection of mind-hacking and security, this brief interview with former brainwashed spy and supermodel Candy Jones is a must-listen. The ending bit alone really drives home the “Former Chekist Rule…”

The “Berliner Luft” (or maybe the nightlife) seems to be doing somebody good. Speaking on email: “This technology is not good enough. [Even PGP] is not 100% secure and it’s a usability nightmare too.”

Snowden has support from unusual quarters… a conspiracy-leaning blogger suggests the Snowden story has done as well as it has for a counterintuitive reason. Specifically, the NSA spying makes the 1% uncomfortable too.

As to the idea that Snowdenleaks is a CIA power grab, well, “former Chekist rule” — who knows. But the way things have gone, if that’s the case, I’d guess this is an example of an operation that went a tad beyond the intended effects. Which actually happens a lot, if you read history. “All progress depends on the miscalculating spy,” as Shaw might have put it. Just ask the ’60s! (I find this idea terrifying. Can has 19th century back?)

“Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist”.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” – or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.[…]

“I’ll tell you the solution, get rid of 90% of the editors that now exist and start promoting editors that you can’t control,” he says. I saw it in the New York Times, I see people who get promoted are the ones on the desk who are more amenable to the publisher and what the senior editors want and the trouble makers don’t get promoted. Start promoting better people who look you in the eye and say ‘I don’t care what you say’.[…]

“I would close down the news bureaus of the networks and let’s start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won’t like this – just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” he says.

Hersh is currently on a break from reporting, working on a book which undoubtedly will make for uncomfortable reading for both Bush and Obama.

“The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” And he implores journalists to do something about it.”

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