During the Watergate years, you devoted a great deal of time to Henry Kissinger. If you were going to write a book about this administration, is Dick Cheney the figure you would focus on?
Absolutely. If there's a Kissinger person today, it's Cheney. But what I say about Kissinger is: Would that we had a Kissinger now! If we did, we'd know that the madness of going into Iraq would have been explained by something -- maybe a clandestine deal for oil -- that would make some kind of sense. Kissinger always had some back-channel agenda. But in the case of Bush and this war, what you see is what you get. We buy much of our fuel from the Middle East, and yet we're at war with the Middle East. It doesn't make sense.
Kissinger's genius, if you will, was that he figured out a way to get out. His problem was that, like this president, he had a president who could only see victory ahead. With Kissinger, you have to give him credit: He had such difficulties with Nixon getting the whole peace package through, but he did it. Right now, a lot of people on the inside know it's over in Iraq, but there are no plans for how to get out. You're not even allowed to think that way. So what we have now is a government that's in a terrible mess, with no idea of how to get out. Except, as one of my friends said, the "fail forward" idea of going into Iran. So we're really in big trouble. Real big trouble here.
This seems to be something that Bush has in common with Nixon: the White House ignoring everyone and seeking to become a government unto itself.
One of the things this administration has shown us is how fragile democracy is. All of the institutions we thought would protect us -- particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress -- they have failed. The courts . . . the jury's not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn't. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that's the most glaring.
What can be done to fix the (media) situation?
[Long pause] You'd have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You'd actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn't think you could control. And they're not going to do that.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Taibbi interviewed Hersh
Taibbi interviewed Hersh:
Posted by lukery at 4/19/2007 12:24:00 PM