A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist has accused President Obama of lying to the American people earlier this year when he blamed President Bashar al-Assad for a sarin-gas attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians in August.
Seymour Hersh, 76, who had previously described the official account of the 2011 raid which killed Osama Bin Laden as ‘one big lie,’ claims the current administration ‘cherry-picked intelligence’ on Syria.
Hersh first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
In Sunday’s London Review of Book, Hersh accused the administration of ‘cherry-picked intelligence,’ citing conversations with intelligence and military officials.
‘A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analyzed in real time, as the attack was happening,’ he wrote.
According to Hersh, the situation reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when President Johnson’s administration had reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of their early bombings of North Vietnam.
Hersh also said that his contacts spoke of ‘immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy’ regarding the current President.
‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy [Obama] when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’