Seymour Hersh Discusses American Military Strategy on Iranian Radio

Seymour Hersh of “The New Yorker” has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq for many years. This certainly should come as no surprise to folks familiar with his name, his work, and his style of dangerously activist journalism.

On March 11, Hersh added a new wrinkle to his résumé by not only doing a radio interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, but also actually discussing what he believes is the American military strategy towards Iran including what he called "an intensive planning for an air strike" and  "some sort of on the ground operation."

I kid you not.

The shocking interview was transcribed at the IRIB website (h/t NRO’s Michael Rubin, emphasis added throughout):

Question: Mr. Hersh there is so many people who predict that there would be a US military strike on Iran, most of them to say this is going to be an air strike. According to Iran's geo- strategic position which is mountainous and the US air strike could not be followed by ground strike, what could the US military do in order to be successful and does the US have the ability to launch a ground strike on Iran or not?

Answer: I am somebody who has an opposition to the government and so I do not sit down at the table with people in the White House and the Pentagon officially and discuss these things. The best I can tell you is nobody knows for sure what is going to happen. It is very possible that President Bush and Vice President Cheney, all their language is just a bluff and it is designed to make Iran give up and stop its nuclear fuel cycle research. I don't think so, but it is possible. I do know there is an intensive planning for an air strike and one of the problems you have when you start the process is if the air strike isn't successful or it doesn't lead to what they want, I mean a capitulation by Iran. The next step would be they are considered some sort of on the ground operation. All of this has to be considered in the planning but this is just planning. What I have been writing about for over year is still planning. It is going to be planning until the president wakes up one morning and says I want to strike Iran and then it happens. That order so far has not come.

Shocking, wouldn’t you agree? What do they call it when an American citizen – even a journalist – discusses military strategy with the enemy when our nation is at war?

While you ponder, here’s another question posed to Hersh:

Question: As our supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has stated in case of any attack upon us we have got the right to retaliate against American interests and bases at any place of our choice. So doesn't US administration fear about targeting its bases around our country and its establishments or killing its forces and etc?

Answer: You know I can just tell you it should and again as I wrote in the New Yorker magazine we are doing more than targeting Iran where inside your country. There are a lot of aggressive activities by the United States. I think we and the Israelis, I have written this, have contacts with Baluchis and the Iranian Kurds all of whom in some cases are happy with the government or in opposition to the government and we are also setting our troops across the border. So there is a lot of aggression by the United States right now on Iran and what happens next nobody knows. So far, Iran has been very quiet.

Astounding, wouldn’t you agree? NRO’s John Podhoretz had a much stronger view of this despicable event:

I've heard of "useful idiots" before. But Sy Hersh has now invented a new category: the "useful Jew." Maybe  Ahmadinejad could enlighten Sweet Sy about how all the relatives he had who died in the Holocaust didn't really die or didn't exist or should have died.

I quite agree, John, especially after seeing Hersh’s answer to the following question:

Question: Most international analysts believe that the US ultimate goal is to fight against revolutionary Islam and to dominate of the region's energy and oil. But Mr. Jimmy Carter stated that the overthrow of Saddam did not have anything do with energy and oil. So what is the real goal of the US administration in the Middle East?

Answer: Nobody knows what is in the president mind and Mr. Cheney. We don't know what they think. He attacked Iraq in 2003 in response to the Sunni Al- Qaeda in America. Why he would attack Iraq have never been clear because Saddam Hussein was secular. He was a Sunni but he did not like Jihadists. So it is unclear to me what Bush was doing. You could argue that the neo-cons want to get rid of any threat. They never liked Saddam. He was a threat to the other countries in the Middle East, to Israel. Perhaps what we are doing is for Israel and oil but I don’t think this president believes that he really thinks his mission is to spread democracy in the Middle East, even though, you could argue that Iran is probably the most democratic country. The elections there certainly indicate people vote what the way they believe but he believes to spreading democracy and right now we are working with some of the most undemocratic countries in the Middle East, you know Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia that do so. It is very strange.

No, Sy. What is strange is an American, and a Jew, giving such information so happily to the sworn enemy of both the United States and Israel. You must be very proud of yourself.

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