Hold It All

Tag: Seymour Hersh

Share the Wealth with Andrew Ivers: The Hersh Files

My name is Andrew Ivers and I will be giving a talk about the news industry inspired by Reporter, the recently published memoir of investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. He’s probably best known for unearthing the My Lai massacre in 1969 and for his Abu Ghraib coverage in 2004, but he has also reported on Watergate and the CIA and written books about Henry Kissinger, the Kennedy administration, Israel’s nuclear program, and the killing of Osama bin Laden. I plan to focus mostly on the nature of journalism during the Vietnam era, but hopefully the conversation will bring in other topics as well.

Bio-wise, I’m a freelance editor in and from St. Louis and I’ve been friends with Mark since I was a student of his at SLU. Previously I’ve worked for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the journal World Affairs, in Washington. If you’re interested, you can read some of my writings here.

Join us
Sunday 29 July
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Andrew begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Andrew Wimmer
5712 Arendes Dr.
South City Saint Louis
63116

“Just Mow ‘Em Down”

Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the very few well-known atrocities committed by U.S. forces in Vietnam. Compare mainstream coverage of this anniversary with the following …

Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, Four Hours in My Lai  (New York: Penguin Books, 1992).
Seymour Hersh, My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (New York: Random House, 1970).

On March 16, 1968, over a hundred men of the Army’s Charlie Company of the Americal Division entered the village of Mỹ Lai and murdered over five hundred people, overwhelmingly women, children, and old men.  A military cover-up of the mass murder ensued. Lieutenant William “Rusty” Calley was the only member of the company or of the higher command who received any punishment, initially, a sentence of life imprisonment with hard labor, which became three and a half years under house arrest, after which he was released. Some in the Army were relieved as the Mỹ Lai massacre was eventually termed a “tragedy,” later to be viewed as an “incident.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Why did the Americans come here to destroy everything?”

1.

In  War without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam,  German historian Bernd Greiner explains his focus:

“At the heart of this book are the wartime atrocities and war crimes committed by the ground troops. To be more precise, acts of violence which were carried out in close proximity to the victims and in the full knowledge of their identity. We are talking of attacks on the physical inviolability of non-combatants or those no longer involved in fighting—-torture, rape, murder and mutilation. Read the rest of this entry »

Reputation

On Shirin Ebadi, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (With Azadeh Moaven)

But a personal story is more powerful than any dry summary of why a given law should be changed. To attract people’s attention, to solicit their sympathies and convince them that these laws were not simply unfair but actively pathological, I had to tell stories. Iranian culture, for all its preoccupation with shame and honor, with all its resulting patriarchal codes, retains an acute sensitivity to injustice. The revolution against the shah, after all, had premised itself on the ethos of fighting zolm, or oppression; it was a revolution conducted in the name of the mustazjin, the dispossessed. People had to see how the dispossessed had now become the dispossessors.

 

Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is an inspiration of staying in the struggle for the long haul. Unlike 4-5 million other Iranians, she stayed put in the Islamic republic and worked from within to offer humane resistance to the religious fundamentalism that would cost her own career as a judge.  She is both a strong feminist, using her lawyer skills to advocate for women in a system that sees them as merely half the value of men, and she is also a faithful Muslim, although one different than those Khomeini wanted to hold up as a role model for women.  She is also a dissident, who was willing to take strong stands, oppose the Republic’s interpretations (not defame it), did jail time, was on a death list, raised her daughters, did the proverbial twice as much work as the man, and stayed put.  The authorities weren’t going to drive her away. Read the rest of this entry »