So Seymour Hersh is making news with an anonymously sourced conspiracy theory about the Obama administration and the Bin Laden raid. Forget that Hersh is constitutionally incapable of writing a credible story. And even forget that Hersh’s tall tales about the Bush administration were embraced with nothing like the broad skepticism he’s faced in going after Obama. What remains puzzling is this: Even if Hersh’s allegations are true, they’re trivial compared to the Obama deceptions that we can actually verify.
Islamabad was in cahoots with Washington on the Bin Laden raid? If that’s a geopolitical scandal what do you call Barack Obama’s message to Vladimir Putin that he could accommodate him on missile defense once reelected by Americans under the opposite impression? What do you call his giving away the store to Iran behind the backs of Israel and Saudi Arabia (and the American Congress)? What do you call a deal with Russia to remove Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons that results in Assad retaining and using chemical weapons? What do you call Obama’s vowing to have “Israel’s back” only to announce a reassessment of the bilateral relationship?
There are more examples, of course. The duplicity around the Bowe Bergdahl swap, the whopper about the filmmaker causing the Benghazi attack, the tactical intelligence leaking against allies, and so on. The point is there’s enough scandalous dishonesty to fill a piece far longer than Hersh’s and anyone could do it simply by going through the last six years of front-page news stories.
But since few Americans seem terribly interested in the falsehoods staring them in the face, a conspiracy theorist like Hersh has to go way out into the margins to come up with something to sell as a scoop. Only in the Obama age are Seymour Hersh’s implausible accusations against his country less damning than the plain truth of American policy.