I address this to the "Seymour Hersh Crowd",which infests the Media and the Internet , and which rushes to publish openly provocative,sometimes highly classified information - usually with the intent of badgering or embarrassing the administration currently in power.
I refer to Hersh specifically, because he has a long,long history of publishing information with no apparent regard for whom it will harm, or how it will affect the United States.
During the Cold War, for example, Naval Intelligence had to feed Hersh false information to keep him from revealing that our submarines were tracking Russian nuclear missile subs all over the world , and that the "patrol box" for the Russian "boomers" extended to a few hundred miles from our coastlines.Hersh (whom I sincerely doubt was a Russian agent) was nonetheless eagerly read by Soviet Military intelligence operatives, as he seemed able to get into the nooks and crannies they couldn't approach.
Had Hersh succeeded in publishing his "scoop", American sub crews would have been in even graver danger than the hair-raising level at which they operated. We are pretty sure now the Soviets would not have engaged in a use-them-or-lose-them pre-emptive strike , but at the time, such a conclusion was by no means "a given".
We all know of Hersh's award winning reports on the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam war,and of his Abu Ghraib reports. That his stories had a devastating effect on US morale and prestige, and may have endangered American lives did not seem to bother him a bit. He had his stories, by heaven, and he was going to run with them !
One of his more recent efforts was a detailed report-published 4/17/06 in The New Yorker-claiming precise knowledge of a planned US attack on Iran. His report-supposedly straight from the horse's mouth-turned out to be from quite another portion of the beast's anatomy; but it has been published,re-published, and embellished-upon in countless Internet screeds, by folks who apparently share Hersh's "I know what's best for America" worldview.
I don't know how to tell you Hersh-ites this, but the people you probably dismiss contemptuously as "bloody wogs" do know how to read. They do read the garbage you write , and they tend to react - sometimes violently.
People in places like Iran know how to do a lot of things: train and support terrorists , build long-range rockets,produce and maintain stores of bioweapons and chemical weapons,fly airplanes by remote control, use Google Satellite Mapping to get up-to-date reports of enemy positions, store information on laptops, enrich Uranium , build nuclear weapons , communicate by encrypted cellphone, and other useful things. I'm told many can even count up to 20 without having to use their toes.
In the case of Iran, the immediate response to Hersh's story could easily have been an attack on shipping in the Gulf of Hormuz, a multi-national response to that attack, and escalation into a no-holds-barred global conflict : the sort of "self-fulfilling prophecy" nobody cares to imagine - and the sort of conflict Hersh-ites point to ( after triggering ) and snarl : "I told you so !"
Freedom of the Press is one of our most important and most cherished rights ; but - like all rights,it carries with it a burden of responsibility : a concept the Hersh-ites and their enablers have never seemed to grasp. Some of them claim "true loyalty lies in being disloyal" - but - if they are unwilling to be loyal to their own country, who can they be trusted to be loyal to ?
I'm almost afraid to ask !