Preparing the Battlefield: Scott Horton Interviews Seymour Hersh

An Antiwar Radio exclusive!


Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, author of the book Chain of Command and many important articles about the Bush administration’s Iran policy, discusses his new one for The New Yorker magazine, “Preparing the Battlefield,” Secretary Gates’s warning about long term consequences of an air attack, the turning over of much of America’s covert action under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command to avoid oversight, the backing of Sunni radicals in Iran, Baluchistan, Kurdistan etc. in order to try to provoke the Iranian government into escalating as an excuse for war.

MP3 here. (6:18)

27 thoughts on “Preparing the Battlefield: Scott Horton Interviews Seymour Hersh”

  1. I just wrote ny congressional representative asking him to vote nay to Congressional Resolution 362, and telling him some of its consequences to Iran and to the USA. One can find a link to Congress at Justin Raimondo’s column. I’ll write my senators tomorrow re Senate Resolution 580. SAY NO TO WWIII.

    1. Do you honestly believe that your supposed people in this government actually care what you think or believe?

      They only answer to a higher power (money). Their higher power is the Israeli lobby and the international corporations.

      Anything from the American people ends up in their circular file.

      America-land of the sheep and the home of the slave!

  2. If the United States attacks Iran it will be the greatest disaster. I cannot over-emphasize this.

  3. Here it goes, everything everyone around here has feared for at least as long as we’ve known about Securing The Rhelm. Iraq was a first step, a staging area. Now the covert activity, the overt threats and the authorizing resolutions respecting Iran. The United States is everty bit at war with Iran right now as we were with National Socialist Germany immediately prior to December 7, 1941.

    1. The US has alawys waged war against nations that can not possibly strike back at the US on military grand scale.So the American people will think they have defeated such formidable foes such as Greneada,Panama,Iraq,etc.

  4. @ Seymour Hersh: If you happen to read this post Seymour could you please grant me a favor? Could you contact your contacts and tell them to call for a nation-wide general strike for the purposes of bringing this War on Iran thing to a screeching halt? I’d ask the “Anti-War” people but they are, from top to bottom, absolutely f#@king useless! Lol XD

    @ anti-neocon/anti-neolib: You get’em tiger! ;)

    How do I post a link? I wanted to post a link to the youtube video where Cheney says “So?” when told that 2/3 of the american sheeple wanted to get out of Iraq!

  5. One point needs to be made – a determined minority can get their way if they are in power. All they need to do to stay in power is to be ruthless in destroying any opposition. Look at Robert Mugave in Zimbabwe. The whole world despises him but he will stay in power. Look at Israel which is a wretched, racist, land stealing criminal enterprise. They want Iran’s blood and they will get it because they control the media in the US and are ruthless to dissenting opinions. The Neocons will run America until they are physically thrown into the streets, or better yet out of the country. The average person will not “buck the system”. The New York Times today had an article on the famous Stanley Milgram experiments back in the 60s where people were asked to shock a victim by an authority figure. The majority of the people tested were willing to shock the victim to simulated “death” rather than disobey the authority figure. It seems that the majority of people willingly suspend their own moral authority to anyone in control.
    Only thing that will turn this country around is for enough people to get unruly. Remember that the NAACP was around since 1909 and never made much progress. Then in 1964, Watts burned and three months later Congress passed the first civil rights bill.

    1. Ah yes, an “authority figure”–precisely right. In the Milgram experment it was a supposed technician in a white laboratory coat.

      Nothing new really, as the Captain of Kopenic well knew:

      On October 16, 1906 Voigt was ready for his next caper. He had purchased parts of used captain’s uniforms from different shops and tested their effect on soldiers. He had resigned from the shoe factory ten days previously. He took the uniform out of baggage storage, put it on and went to the local army barracks, stopped four grenadiers and a sergeant on their way back to barracks and told them to come with him. Indoctrinated to obey officers without question, they followed. He dismissed the commanding sergeant to report to his superiors and later commandeered 6 more soldiers from a shooting range. Then he took a train to Köpenick, east of Berlin, occupied the local city hall with his soldiers and told them to cover all exits. He told the local Police to “care for law and order” and to “prevent calls to Berlin for one hour” at the local Post Office.

      He had the treasurer von Wiltberg and mayor Georg Langerhans arrested, supposedly for suspicions of crooked bookkeeping, and confiscated 4002 marks and 37 pfennigs – with a receipt, of course (he signed it with his former jail director’s name). Then he commandeered two carriages and told the grenadiers to take the arrestants to the Neue Wache in Berlin for interrogation. He told the remaining guards stand in their places for half an hour and then left for the train station. Later he changed to civilian clothes and disappeared.

      [wikipedia s.v. Wilhelm Voigt]

    2. In A Question of Torture, Alfred McCoy reports that it is very likely the Milgram experiment was part of the Nazi/American MK-Ultra torture regime, as recently seen – with both roles played out – on Jose Padilla in his South Carolina brig.

    1. Notice–“the people who knocked these buildings down”.

      Curious phrasing.

  6. Let me tell you a little truth…


    Until congress fears the people “more” than they fear AIPAC and WS and other sepcial interest
    nothing, absolutely nothing, will change.

    My t-shirt says…Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over.

    1. Julia,

      Yes, indeed, the longer this whole thing goes on the clearer it becomes that we’re quite beyond elections and congresses and the like. Gary Leupp, writing today at Counterpunch about how McCain polls better than Obama at the moment on the question of who best will handle Iraq, explains that the polls themselves are part of a larger pathology the cure for which can only be a “real revolution”. I find myself yet again in the position of not being able for reasons of consciemce to vote for any of the five leading candidates for president. For all intents and purposes, what the system has to offer me is only disenfranchisement. There is only one course left short of hermitage in such circumstances: direct action, action of the type witnessed in Ukraine two years ago, peaceful but absolutely unrelenting. I read of more and more people that have reached this conclusion, intelligent, well informed people, who see no sense in looking to the ballot any longer. There can be little question that war with Iran would tip the balance on the economic catastrophe now in process. And this, perhaps, the sole remaining occasion for hope.

    2. Right on julia!

      Those are my sentiments exactly…Burn Washington to the F#@king ground and start over!

      1. Why bother starting over? Sow the site with salt and move ahead with our lives. There is no need for authority figures with guns telling us what to do.

  7. Have you guys ever done a piece on the Iran Policy Committee (IPC)? As far as i know, it was established in 2005 by Cheney and run by neo-cons (all the usual dual US/Israeli citizens) with the mandate to vilify Iran and create outrage about Iran in the international press through lies and propoganda. It seems they have been quite successful so far. Namely, by painting Ahmadinejad as a virtual Hitler and mistranslating his comments up until this day. It seems that the IPC is led by Elizabeth Cheney, who received 85 million in funds to pursue the project and that the translation service used exlusively by American media to translate Farsi and Arabic ( is operated by Cheney’s brother-in-law…..THis stuff is all gold…why has nobody mentioned anything about it

  8. Sir, when I see how the Bush administration handels the natural disasters in the South of the country (Kathrina) and the most recent one in the Midwest (Iowa) and compare this with the money spending in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, then I know, the war against Iran will come, may be in three or six months. It might be executed by the U.S. or by Israel the “proud protectorate” as Yossi Sarid coined this phrase in May this year. Interestingly enough the Bush people never mention the position of the Russian Federation. The Russiam FM many times asked the U.S. admin. to provide evidence that Iran has nuclear bombs or that they are working on nuclear bombs, there is no reply from Mr. Bush or Ms. Rice. We only know from Ms. G. Meir (IL), Mr. Olmert (IL), Mr.S. Peres (IL), Mr. Gates (U.S.) that Israel has nuclear bombs and this already since 1972, at least. However, this the Bush admin. and their allies don’t want to know.

  9. The Israeli lobby,the Bush-Cheney oil buddies,Christians-zoinists,and the military indusrials wanted to invade and occupy Iraq.They all got their wish.Iraq is now totally destroyed for the sake of Israel.Iraqi oil is going to totally controlled by the seven sisters oil giants.War will be maintianed to the benefits of the military indusrils.Next is Iran,and then suadi Arabia,and no end in sight for the Armagadonists!

    1. “no end in sight for the Armagadonists!”

      Because Jesus is not genuinely going to Rapture them away from their troubles. Millenialist fantasies have plagued Christians for 2000 years now. (Think of the First Crusade.)

      Once they give up (for now), they will get worse. They will probably turn to Reconstructionism, which wants a totally Christian country, like Puritan Massachussetts, but with modern control technology.

      Lester Ness

  10. Thanks to Hersh’s journalism, “The Last Transition…” (Sept 06) was intended to raise everyone’s awareness to what was already visible about our Iran policy from outside the White House. The first of his New Yorker articles, “The Coming Wars (Jan 05) and “The Iran Plans” (Apr 06), surfaced during Scott McClellan’s White House tour. My book set these events in the global context of post-9/11 America and followed them through the Israel-Lebanon War, which Hersh had addressed in “Watching Lebanon” (Aug 06).

    While discussing “What Happened” with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC on Memorial Day, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan provided us with insights into the mindset within the Administration. When Olbermann, referring to the White House’s campaign of deception to sell the Iraq war to the American people, asked “Scott, are they doing that now about Iran?” McClellan replied, “I certainly hope that is not the case… we don’t know… I don’t know… but they’re still in this ‘permanent campaign’ mode; they haven’t backed away from that…” Keith continued by asking Scott directly if he would be suspicious of new statements that sounded very similar to what he had heard from within the Administration in 2002 regarding Iraq. McClellan replied, “You would need to take those comments very seriously… and be skeptical.”

    I suggest that we reread all Hersh’s articles, including “Shifting Targets” (Oct 07) and “A Strike In The Dark” (Feb 08) – while bearing McClellan’s admonition in mind – and be very skeptical. With “Preparing The Battlefield” (July 08), Hersh has handed us his ‘coup de grace’ on Bush’s Iran Initiative for our consideration. Don’t you think it’s about time we heard some serious outrage from more than Hersh? Where are this country’s leaders?

  11. The U.S. usually does obliterate countries ( God bless the poor Serbs ) that can’t fight back and often ( Serbia, Iraq, the C.S.A., etc) don’t want any conflict in the first place..But this time perhaps the Russians may jump in and take out our shipping, our Navy in the Gulf, perhaps our satellites-that’s all it would take..Iran and Russia are members in the Caspian Sea alliance..The Chinese could also jump in and either help Iran with whom they’ve negotiated energy contracts or see it as an opportunity to take Taiwan…Of course, in the long run, it would be better for America if Bush’s foreign policy fails anyway so why care? And when we’re the aggressor who is making the conflict happen how can we just rally around the flags ( U.S. and Israeli )?

  12. I don’t know about Russia,but I doubt China will do anything military. We are too busy doing productive things like harvesting the wheat, planting the rice, enjoying the new lichees and plums.

    Guys, don’t self-dramatize too much. You aren’t going to burn DC or have another Revolution. Most of you are going to sit around, complain, drink beer, shoot the beer bottles — at the most. The wiser ones will learn to raise your own veggies, fix your own bikes and roofs, sing the Blues.

    Lester Ness

  13. For a coup you need dissenting Generals, retired or active..You need voices in the media, you need influence in high financial circles…In short, you need an elite to replace the one we have’re right, I don’t see it happening either..

  14. I am sorry to be so mousy in my first comment above. Everyone should do more than just write their congresscritter, much more. Stop WWIII, if you can.

  15. I am sorry tht I sounded like such a mouse in my first comment, and appreciate lear k posting this great video and knowing that there is a strong truth movement in Germany. Just sorry that it did not mention the the other two causal elements, Israel and Zionism.

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