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Our political landscape is completely flooded by a massive tide of official propaganda. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that the few visible points of surviving dissent are often found among those individuals who had previously represented the highest peaks of journalism and academic scholarship.
Seymour Hersh falls into that category. With a Pulitzer Prize and five George Polk awards, Hersh certainly ranks as one of the most renowned reporters of the last half-century, known for breaking the stories of the My Lai Massacre, the Abu Ghraib prison, and other landmarks of investigative journalism.
A few days ago, he dropped a bombshell perhaps as big as anything in his career, reporting the inside story of how the American government had destroyed the Nord Stream energy pipelines, conduits absolutely vital to the European economy. Not only were the attacks an act of war against Germany, one of our closest NATO allies, but the explosions probably produced the greatest peacetime destruction of civilian infrastructure in the history of the world, with the value of the $30 billion pipelines being far larger than the losses inflicted by the 9/11 attacks.
- How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline
The New York Times called it a “mystery,” but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now
Seymour Hersh • Substack • February 8, 2023 • 5,200 Words
When the attacks occurred last September, a multitude of observers including myself noted that top Biden Administration officials had repeatedly threatened to eliminate the pipelines and then crowed when a series of mysterious underwater explosions accomplished that task.
- American Pravda: Of Pipelines and Plagues
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • October 3, 2022 • 3,900 Words
Indeed, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University reported that leading mainstream journalists had privately told him that everyone believed that America had been responsible although neither they nor their editors would ever publicly mention such a scenario. And when Sachs did so on Bloomberg TV, his interview was cut short and he was quickly yanked off the air.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs [Columbia] on Bloomberg causing chaos saying US was most likely involved in Nordstream leaks according to data & other experts 😂😂😂 “even reporters tell me …. privately of course …” and that we are on a pretty dangerous path to a nuclear conflict pic.twitter.com/U6FsC2tdp6
— Detty (@0ddette) October 3, 2022
- Jeffrey Sachs as Righteous Rogue Elephant
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • October 10, 2022 • 3,500 Words
But while there had been a great deal of informed speculation, Hersh has now provided a detailed narrative of exactly what transpired, including the allegation that the Biden Administration had employed questionable legalisms to avoid informing our Congressional Intelligence committees of the operation as was required by law. If Hersh is correct, our top government leaders may be in serious legal jeopardy.
Yet one of our greatest journalists was forced to break that enormous story with sweeping international implications on his own Substack platform rather than in the headlines of a top newspaper or magazine. After five decades, the arc of Hersh’s career has retraced its steps, and he has returned to his roots as the fiercely independent journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize covering the Vietnam War.
Glenn Greenwald, himself a formidable investigative journalist, has similarly been pushed out of the mainstream media, but his new nightly newscast System Update had become an important project of the Rumble platform, often drawing 100,000 or more views. Appropriately enough, he devoted a recent program to discussing the deep implications of Hersh’s exile from mainstream journalism and the ignorant attacks launched against him by junior reporters whose entire careers have been spent regurgitating official government propaganda.
Hersh’s situation is shocking but hardly unique. Over the last year, the mainstream and much of the alternative media have adopted near-lockstep positions on the Russia-Ukraine war, with the range of allowed opinions probably being narrower and more uniform than had even been the case in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks two decades earlier. Only the most determined and courageous voices have been able to stand against the force of this ideological hurricane.
Consider that for nearly twelve months the phrase “Russia’s unprovoked invasion” has been repeated in almost every media story and news outlet although that description is absolutely contrary to the facts. As I wrote soon after the war began:
Although FoxNews has become one of the outlets most rabidly hostile to Russia, a recent interview with one of their regular guests provided a very different perspective. Col. Douglas Macgregor had been a former top Pentagon advisor and he forcefully explained that America had spent nearly fifteen years ignoring Putin’s endless warnings that he would not tolerate NATO membership for Ukraine, nor the deployment of strategic missiles on his border. Our government had paid no heed to his explicit red-lines, so Putin was finally compelled to act, resulting in the current calamity.
Macgregor had been a finalist to succeed John Bolton as National Security Advisor and a guest on FoxNews some 60 times, but he immediately disappeared from the broadcast media.
Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, one of our most distinguished political scientists, had spent many years making exactly these same points and blaming America and NATO for the simmering Ukraine crisis, but his warnings had been totally ignored by our political leadership and media. His hour-long lecture explaining these unpleasant realities had quietly sat on Youtube for six years, attracting relatively little attention, but then suddenly exploded in popularity over the last few weeks as the conflict unfolded, and has now reached a worldwide audience of over 17 million. His other Youtube lectures, some quite recent, have been watched by additional millions.
Mearsheimer’s lengthy explanation of the origins of the Ukraine war has now accumulated 28 million views, quite possibly more than any academic lecture in the history of the Internet. But almost every media outlet and mainstream journalist covering the topic has completely ignored all of the important facts he presents.
During his long and distinguished career at the CIA, former analyst Ray McGovern had run the Soviet Policy Branch and also served as the Presidential Briefer, so under different circumstances he or someone like him would currently be advising President Joe Biden. Instead, a few days ago he joined Mearsheimer in presenting his views in a video discussion hosted by the Committee for the Republic. Both leading experts agreed that Putin had been pushed beyond all reasonable limits, provoking the invasion.
- American Pravda: Putin as Hitler?
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • March 7, 2022 • 7,900 Words
McGovern and a couple of other national security experts were interviewed on RT regarding Hersh’s story. One of them mentioned a German source he knew who had allegedly confirmed many of the details.
Several days ago I disputed the circumstances of Russia’s Ukraine war with a couple of establishmentarian commenters on my own website. I emphasized that my understanding of the origins of the conflict and its current circumstances was drawn from such figures such as Mearsheimer, Sachs, Macgregor, and McGovern, individuals who had built their reputations over decades but were now excluded from the mainstream media for their dissenting views.
I pointed out that very high-ranking academics or other experts have too much self-respect to comply with a mindless 99% MSM narrative that they firmly believe to be false, and they also possess considerable confidence in their own contrary analysis. So I listen carefully to their views and if these make sense to me, I think they might be correct. Meanwhile, the 99% of the views I see on the other side can easily be explained by media herd-mentality and careerist pressures. All of those latter voices are well aware they that they may be promoted if they effectively advocate the official party line but lose their jobs if they fail to do so.
I had noticed exactly that same pattern prior to the disastrous Iraq War a couple of decades ago.
In the patriotic fervor following the 9/11 attacks, few national media figures dared challenge the plans and proposals of the Bush Administration, with Paul Krugman’s column at the Times being the rare exception; expressing “unpatriotic sentiments” as very broadly defined could severely impact a career. This was especially true of the electronic media, with its vastly greater reach and therefore subject to more extreme pressure. During 2002 and 2003, it was very uncommon to find an Iraq War naysayer anywhere on network television or among the fledgling cable alternatives, and even MSNBC, the least popular and most liberal of the latter soon began a sharp ideological crackdown.
For decades, Phil Donahue had pioneered the daytime television talk show, and in 2002 he revived it to high ratings on MSNBC, but in early 2003 his show was canceled, with a leaked memo indicated that his opposition to the looming war was the cause. Conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Bill Press, both Iraq War critics, hosted a top-rated debate show on the same network, allowing them to spar with their more pro-Bush opponents, but it too was cancelled for similar reasons. If the cable network’s most famous hosts and highest rated programs were subject to summary termination, lesser ranking personalities surely drew the appropriate conclusions about the risks of crossing particular ideological lines.
My old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who ran the NSA for Ronald Reagan and possessed among the strongest national security credentials in DC was similarly blacklisted from the media for his opposition to the Iraq War. Numerous other prominent media voices were “disappeared” around the same time, and even after Iraq became universally recognized as an enormous disaster, most of them never regained their perches.
- American Pravda: Our Great Purge of the 1940s
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • June 11, 2018 • 5,500 Words
A few months before the outbreak of the Ukraine war, I produced a lengthy compendium of such similar cases over the last few decades, examples of scholarly and journalistic giants who had correctly challenged the official narrative on important issues and suffered severe retribution as a consequence, sometimes being purged from public life.
- John T. Flynn, Harry Elmer Barnes, A.J.P. Taylor, and David Irving on World War II
- Sydney Schanberg on John McCain and the Vietnam War POWs
- William Odom on the Iraq War
- Julian Assange on WikiLeaks
- Stephen Cohen on Russiagate
- Nicholas Wade on the Origins of Covid
At this moment, the facts are not yet settled regarding Seymour Hersh’s journalistic account, and perhaps his story will prove to have been mistaken. But given the past pattern of similar examples that I have carefully investigated, I think there is an excellent chance that his narrative will turn out to be largely correct.
- American Pravda: Giants Silenced by Pygmies
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • November 22, 2021 • 12,200 Words
From the first moment, there had been overwhelmingly strong circumstantial evidence that the American government had played a crucial role in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, an act of colossal recklessness. Yet although one of our greatest journalists has now provided the exact alleged details of what actually happened, our entire mainstream media has greeted that story with a complete wall of silence.
Given this reality, I am hardly surprised that for the last three years my own analysis of the origins of Covid has received exactly the same silence. Once again, there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that the global Covid outbreak was the blowback from a botched biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), an act of absolutely colossal recklessness that has now killed over a million Americans.
Perhaps at some point, the full details will come out, but until then I would recommend the series of articles I have published since April 2020, along with several podcast interviews that effectively summarize the material.
- Covid/Biowarfare Series
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words
Kevin Barrett, FFWN • February 16, 2022 • 15m
Geopolitics & Empire • February 1, 2022 • 75m
Red Ice TV • February 3, 2022 • 130m