By Sarah Brown
Feb 07, 2008
Seymour Hersh, one of the world’s best known investigative journalists, has turned his attention to the mysterious and controversial bombing of a Syrian facility by Israel last year.
In a new article for the New Yorker magazine, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, best known for his work exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, says evidence indicates the bombing was a warning to Syria and its allies, including Iran.
Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East.
Q: Why did Israel bomb a target in Syria?
A: Well I don’t have the answers to that direct question – one thing that is terribly significant is that the Israel and its chief ally the US have chosen to say nothing officially about this incident and that’s what got me interested – whoever heard of a country bombing another one and not talking about it and thinking they had the right somehow not to talk about it?
In 1981 when Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in Iraq they were very noisy and public about it. In this case they said nothing publicly, but after a few weeks they began to leak [information].
They began to tell certain reporters very grandiose sort of stories about what was going on – ships arriving with illicit materials, offloaded by people in protective gear … from a port in the Mediterranean across to the bomb site, commando’s on the ground, soil samples.
And none of it turned out to be true, really, at least I could find no demonstrable evidence for it.
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