Hersh Receives Adams Award for Integrity

Journalist Seymour Hersh, whose career includes exposing U.S. intelligence abuses, received an award for integrity from an organization of former U.S. and Western intelligence officials who share Hersh’s ethical concerns about such abuses.

The trademark “Oscar” for Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) was presented to longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh at a dinner in Washington on Sept. 22. The symbolic award is a candle sitting atop the traditional corner-brightener candlestick holder.

Seymour Hersh receiving the annual Integrity Award from the The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence on Sept. 22, 2017, in Washington.

SAAII confers its annual award on a member of the intelligence profession or related field who exemplifies the courage, persistence and devotion to truth of Sam Adams, a CIA analyst on Vietnam who exposed lies of the generals in Saigon and was then silenced.

Adams, a descendant of the famed Adams family of the American Revolution, died prematurely at age 55 in 1988, regretting that he had not gone public with his information earlier to stop the slaughter in Vietnam. [To learn more about the organization and previous honorees, go to samadamsaward.ch.]

Hersh, now 80, first came to national prominence in 1969 when he helped expose the massacre of Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai. More recently, Hersh revealed the U.S. military’s torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 and, in 2014, debunked Western propaganda that sought to justify a major U.S. military attack on Syria by pinning a sarin-gas attack on the government.

With tensions with North Korea on the front burner, this year’s citation was unusually topical. It read:

“The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence presents its INTEGRITY AWARD for 2017 to Seymour M. Hersh — Know all ye by these presents that Seymour M. Hersh is hereby honored with the traditional Sam Adams Corner-Brightener Candlestick Holder, in symbolic recognition of Mr. Hersh’s courage in shining light into dark places.

“It has been said: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ We are likely to find out soon enough if that is the case.

“Sy Hersh, this year’s Sam Adams honoree for integrity, has had the courage to use his unparalleled access to sober-minded senior officials to expose U.S. government misdeeds. This may prove to be a more effective deterrent to President Donald Trump attacking North Korea than the nuclear bombs and missiles at the disposal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“How can this be true?  Because truth tellers in our national security establishment would tell Sy. And even if Sy’s words could appear, at first, only in German, as was the case when Sy exposed Trump’s lie about a Syrian Air Force’s ‘chemical weapons attack’ in early April, there is a good chance the world would quickly know – this time, hopefully, before a U.S. attack ‘in retaliation.’

“It seems likely that Trump would be more hesitant to risk having to sit in the war-crime dock at Nuremberg II, than he would be to risk the carnage that an attack on North Korea would bring to the entire peninsula, and beyond. Such is the potential power of the pen. Sy Hersh’s pen.

“Presented this 22nd day of September 2017 in Washington, DC, by admirers of the example set by the late CIA analyst, Sam Adams.”


24 comments for “Hersh Receives Adams Award for Integrity

  1. Hank
    September 26, 2017 at 18:36

    We need more like Him.

  2. Ecoute Sauvage
    September 26, 2017 at 10:24

    Sy Hersh deserves every prize available, but WHY can he no longer be published in the US or in the UK?

    Only the German Die Welt will publish his stories on Syria – not just the New Yorker, but even the London Review of Books have turned him down.

    What is THIS website doing about it?!

  3. geoff
    September 26, 2017 at 04:46

    well done sy hersh and thank you

  4. Hugh R. Hays
    September 25, 2017 at 18:02

    Thank you all for supporting integrity.

  5. Virginia
    September 25, 2017 at 16:02

    Sorry, I can’t seem to forget how Hersh wouldn’t stand behind the recording made public of his conversation about Seth Rich being the one who leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. I do appreciate the good honest journalism Hersh has brought forth, when he showed courage and benefited the public. However, as other commentators above have noted, his record is not 100%. Whose is? No one’s perhaps, but can’t SAAII do better? How about Robert Parry?

  6. Nathaniel Heidenheimer
    September 25, 2017 at 15:39

    I hope there is a caveat in there about his shameless propaganda for CIA re JFK and his foreign policy… Or is this Sy’s quid pro quo?

  7. September 25, 2017 at 14:27

    Congratulations to Sy Hersh! And thank you for going to dark places to shine a light!

  8. Brendan
    September 25, 2017 at 10:24

    It looks like this is fake news then:
    “Seymour Hersh Dumped from Award Ceremony over Discredited Chemical Weapons Story”

  9. September 25, 2017 at 09:52

    Hersh is good but you will notice that he doesn’t mention Israel in his articles much.

    • evelync
      September 26, 2017 at 10:50

      sorry, if I misread you, Regensordo, but if you are saying that Hersh doesn’t mention Israel in his articles because he’s Jewish and thereby either knowingly or unwittingly harbors preferential views towards the policies of Israel, I don’t think that’s fair. I also don’t think that’s correct. I just did a bit of research on this subject – that is I googled Hersh and Israel to access some of what he may have written.

      I’ll start with a quick quote from Hersh from his wikipedia page before delving into your assertion a bit more:

      “When, in October 2007, he was asked about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hawkish views on Iran, Hersh stated that Jewish donations were the main reason for these:

      “ Money. A lot of the Jewish money from New York. Come on, let’s not kid about it. A significant percentage of Jewish money, and many leading American Jews support the Israeli position that Iran is an existential threat. And I think it’s as simple as that. When you’re from New York and from New York City, you take the view of – right now, when you’re running a campaign, you follow that line. And there’s no other explanation for it, because she’s smart enough to know the downside.[28]”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Hersh ”

      Since I’m a Bernie supporter (he’s someone who I believe also values the truth) and he’s also Jewish, I’ll point out that he’s had no problem harshly criticizing AIPAC and the horrific right wing Israeli policies and their failure to treat Palestinians like equal human beings or to even consider that Israeli culture would benefit from embracing Palestinians who have every bit as much to contribute as anyone else on this planet.
      Yeah, in what would have been his speech to AIPAC he was diplomatic and polite but he was blunt about the unacceptable treatment by Israel of the Palestinians who are under siege. Instead of groveling at the feet of this right wing group like Hillary clinton did and Donald Trump did.

      I read Hersh’s piece from 2008 on Israel’s air strike on a Syrian facility which was leaked as supposedly Israel’s successful destruction of a new Syrian nuclear plant…….

      Hersh, apparently, interviewed people in Israel, Syria, U.S., Switzerland, and more including a Chinese envoy. The article reads like a John Le Carré novel. Twists and turns that leave the reader (me anyways) with the uncertainty of whether or not the target was a nuclear facility in progress, who leaked it and for what purpose, whether or not the Americans knew, whether or not the whole thing was intended by “our side” as a warning to Iran that “we” will not abide nuclear projects on “their side”.
      If Hersh had a bias towards this particular Israeli government he would not have laid out this exposé which is, IMO, a shot across the bow of any propaganda value that “our side” may have invested in this event. My view is that this article is an honest effort to get to the bottom of a murky event.

      Hersh ends with this evidence of Israel’s thinking that, if correct, surely underlies their actions:

      “In Tel Aviv, the senior Israeli official pointedly told me, “Syria still thinks Hezbollah won the war in Lebanon”—referring to the summer, 2006, fight between Israel and the Shiite organization headed by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. “Nasrallah knows how much that war cost—one-third of his fighters were killed, infrastructure was bombed, and ninety-five per cent of his strategic weapons were wiped out,” the Israeli official said. “But Assad has a Nasrallah complex and thinks Hezbollah won. And, ‘If he did it, I can do it.’ This led to an adventurous mood in Damascus. Today, they are more sober.”
      That notion was echoed by the ambassador of an Israeli ally who is posted in Tel Aviv. “The truth is not important,” the ambassador told me. “Israel was able to restore its credibility as a deterrent. That is the whole thing. No one will know what the real story is.”
      There is evidence that the preëmptive raid on Syria was also meant as a warning about—and a model for—a preëmptive attack on Iran. When I visited Israel this winter, Iran was the overriding concern among political and defense officials I spoke to—not Syria. There was palpable anger toward Washington, in the wake of a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded, on behalf of the American intelligence community, that Iran is not now constructing a nuclear weapon. Many in Israel view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as an existential threat; they believe that military action against Iran may be inevitable, and worry that America may not be there when needed. The N.I.E. was published in November, after a yearlong standoff involving Cheney’s office, which resisted the report’s findings. At the time of the raid, reports about the forthcoming N.I.E. and its general conclusion had already appeared.
      Retired Major General Giora Eiland, who served as the national-security adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told me, “The Israeli military takes it as an assumption that one day we will need to have a military campaign against Iran, to slow and eliminate the nuclear option.” He added, “Whether the political situation will allow this is another question.”
      In the weeks after the N.I.E.’s release, Bush insisted that the Iranian nuclear-weapons threat was as acute as ever, a theme he amplified during his nine-day Middle East trip after the New Year. “A lot of people heard that N.I.E. out here and said that George Bush and the Americans don’t take the Iranian threat seriously,” he told Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News. “And so this trip has been successful from the perspective of saying . . . we will keep the pressure on.”
      Shortly after the bombing, a Chinese envoy and one of the Bush Administration’s senior national-security officials met in Washington. The Chinese envoy had just returned from a visit to Tehran, a person familiar with the discussion told me, and he wanted the White House to know that there were moderates there who were interested in talks. The national-security official rejected that possibility and told the envoy, as the person familiar with the discussion recalled, “‘You are aware of the recent Israeli statements about Syria. The Israelis are extremely serious about Iran and its nuclear program, and I believe that, if the United States government is unsuccessful in its diplomatic dealings with Iran, the Israelis will take it out militarily.’ He then told the envoy that he wanted him to convey this to his government—that the Israelis were serious.
      “He was telling the Chinese leadership that they’d better warn Iran that we can’t hold back Israel, and that the Iranians should look at Syria and see what’s coming next if diplomacy fails,” the person familiar with the discussion said. “His message was that the Syrian attack was in part aimed at Iran.” ?

      If Hersh allowed a pro Israel bias to influence him, he could not have, IMO, written this article exposing the unfortunate paranoia/reality – based on how you choose to look at it – underlying foreign policy choices that often bypass wiser decision making and public airing of policies leading to bad unintended consequences for all concerned.

      And on another note, from the same article, but worth mentioning, Hersh makes a sobering point on group think in our foreign policy – I’ll just quote a segment from it:

      “The story of the Israeli bombing of Syria, with its mixture of satellite intelligence, intercepts, newspaper leaks, and shared assumptions, reminded some American diplomats and intelligence officials of an incident, ten years ago, involving North Korea. In mid-1998, American reconnaissance satellites photographed imagery of a major underground construction project at Kumchang-ri, twenty-five miles northwest of Yongbyon. “We were briefed that, without a doubt, this was a nuclear-related facility, and there was signals intelligence linking the construction brigade at Kumchang-ri to the nuclear complex at Yongbyon,” the former State Department intelligence expert recalled.”
      ……………..’Robert Carlin, an expert on North Korea who retired in 2005 after serving more than thirty years with the C.I.A. and the State Department’s intelligence bureau, told me that the Kumchang-ri incident highlighted “an endemic weakness” in the American intelligence community. “People think they know the ending and then they go back and find the evidence that fits their story,” he said. “And then you get groupthink—and people reinforce each other.” ‘

  10. Fran Macadam
    September 25, 2017 at 02:30

    Trump didn’t want to start WW3, but he did want to do what it takes to derail the ridiculous Russian conspiracy charges, and did what boosts every President with Congress, Wall Street and the gullible portion of the public – making random acts of war.

  11. September 25, 2017 at 00:08

    Seymour Hersh reported on the Idlib chemical incident which led to Donald Trump’s ordering 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, where Mr. Hersh could only find a German newspaper to publish, after no American media would touch the information – and wrote that Donald Trump knew the Syrian government didn’t carry out the chemical attack. Donald Trump was intent on provoking a retaliatory attack despite the risk of potential major military escalation – in other words, Trump wanted to start World War 3, but thankfully the Syrian armed forces chose not to respond.

    Trump repeated the lie “Bashar al Assad using chemical weapons on his own people” during the United Nations speech. Donald Trump puts out a public image of being a Christian and/or man of God, however his speaking lies and pushing for world war – war the opposite of peace, and against the teachings of the Prince of Peace – reveals his true nature is anti-Christ.

  12. tina
    September 25, 2017 at 00:01

    Please feel free to use ZINGHAZI. I am not that way . I do not copyright anything. Sometimes my jokes are funny, and I am not a professional.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    September 24, 2017 at 22:05

    While the SAAII celebrate the great journalism of Seymour Hersh, the journalist at the WaPo are arguing amongst themselves to the quality of their reporters, and how they so far have been reporting on the Awan brothers.


    My Mother always told me, how one lie only leads to another lie, until the truth jumps up and bites you in the ass. Possibly the WaPo journalist should have been raised by my mother.

    • tina
      September 24, 2017 at 23:58

      Hi Joe, new word for you vocabulary “jared e-mails”. But, what about his private e-mail server in the Whitehouse? What about all those private deals with Israel? From ,and here, I am totally making this up, ZINGHAZI!! Yes, our beloved Kushner used a private e-mail server, but, his e-mails…. Sure Trump drained the swamp.

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 25, 2017 at 09:04

        I’m impartial to who suffers from the consequences of ignoring security protocol. Rules are rules, in this case. Party affiliation, and political ideology, go out the window once you are found guilty of a security breach. An officer is held to the same restrictions as an enlisted person. A department head, is to observe the same security rules, as a part time temp worker. Rhetorical claims of draining anything isn’t a satisfactory qualifier if all an administration does is replace one load of slimy creatures with another pile of slithery life forms.

        Good to hear from you tina. Joe

  14. Abe
    September 24, 2017 at 19:03

    “Those who support, either explicitly or implicitly, the meddling in Syria’s affairs by hostile foreign powers are, of course, delighted that Hersh’s revelations are being kept out of the spotlight. They don’t want every side heard, only their side. And those of us who expect all the evidence to be aired, so we aren’t corralled into yet another disastrous ‘intervention’ in the Middle East, are being mischievously denounced as Assad loyalists.

    “A good example of this kind of wilful misrepresentation is by Brian Whitaker, the Guardian’s former Middle East editor. In a recent blog post, he has accused me and Media Lens, among others, of being ‘loyal supporters of Hersh’ – and by insinuation, of Syrian leader Bashar Assad – of being ‘sarin denialists’, and of demonstrating blatant hypocrisy in approving Hersh’s use of anonymous sources when we oppose reliance on such sources by other journalists. […]

    “the issue of using anonymous sources does not need to be judged according to our own standards, but rather those of the corporate media. Mainstream editors have repeatedly proved they have absolutely no problem using anonymous sources when they support the official narrative, one that promotes war. Liberal papers like the New York Times are filled most days with stories from unnamed officials, telling us what we are supposed to believe. The fake ‘revelations’ of Saddam’s WMD were largely sourced over many months from anonymous officials. Whitaker himself worked as an editor at the Guardian when it was running similarly unverifiable stories from anonymous sources.

    “So our complaints about Hersh’s treatment are based, in part, on the glaring hypocrisy of journalists like Whitaker. Why are anonymous sources fine when they confirm the narrative of the security state, but problematic – ‘flaky’ – when they challenge it? Whitaker doesn’t have a problem with Hersh using anonymous sources, any more than does the Guardian, New York Times, New Yorker, or London Review of Books. They have a problem with Hersh using anonymous sources when those sources say things that are not supposed to be said. […]

    “Whistleblowers and those who challenge the powerful often need protection in the form of anonymity from the likely retaliation of state actors. Anonymity is never ideal, but sometimes it is necessary. And when necessary, as in the case of whistleblowers, safeguards should be put in place. They appear to have been in the case of the Hersh investigation. Fact-checkers like Scott Ritter were used to ensure the story was technically plausible, and Welt editors say they were given the identities of Hersh’s sources. The intelligence officials who spoke to Hersh may be unknown to the reader, but they are apparently known to the editors overseeing the story’s publication.

    “Contrast that to the anonymous government, military and intelligence officials who regularly brief journalists anonymously, often to spread what turns out to be misinformation. There is no reason why any official needs to be unnamed when they are acting as spokesperson for their government. The only protection such anonymity confers is protection from accountability.”

    The Useful Idiots Who Undermine Dissent on Syria
    By Jonathan Cook

  15. evelync
    September 24, 2017 at 19:00

    My cup runneth over these last few days.

    -This SAAFII honoring of the great Sy Hersh.

    – At his speech at Westminster College in Missouri, where Churchill and Gorbachev were also invited to speak along with U.S. presidents and a British prime minister my dear maligned Bernie Sanders WENT THERE!!!!
    He said that most Americans don’t know these things. He then talked poignantly about America using foreign policy in a peaceful non authoritarian way, like the Marshall plan.

    -And finally, ‘cause even this took a bit of courage IMO, Roger Goodell, surprised me. He stood with Colin Kaepernick against pumpkin brillo pad head aka Dotard.
    And Kaepernicks mother, in response to Trump’s calling her son a “sonofabitch, said something like – I’m that proud bitch!

    Seymour Hersh has worked in the trenches along with many brave people honored here on Robert Perry’s fine electronic newspaper.
    For the moment honesty and courage seem to be gaining a bit of ground.

  16. Y
    September 24, 2017 at 18:08

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    Thank you,and congratulations on your award Mr.Hersh; you are in the best of company.

  17. evelync
    September 24, 2017 at 18:07

    Thank you Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence!!!!!
    Thank you for honoring Seymour Hersh for his great courage and honesty and hard work. Mike K said “Of course truth telling becomes a magnificent obsession for men like Hersh”.
    And it’s a credit to SAAFII that they stand against the tide of lies to honor dedicated people like Hersh.

  18. Henry the K
    September 24, 2017 at 18:06

    Unrelated but I find it curious that no one mentions the real reason behind |Trumps demonic insistence on THE WALL.——- It is ALL about contracts and kickbacks by the billions—-nada mas.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    September 24, 2017 at 14:35

    The Sam Adams Award ceremony should replace the White House Correspondent Dinner. Congratulations to Seymour Hersh. Joe

    • jo6pac
      September 24, 2017 at 16:47


  20. mike k
    September 24, 2017 at 12:56

    A well deserved award. Of course truth telling becomes a magnificent obsession for men like Hersh, and they will continue in spite of lack of recognition or financial reward, often risking legal or other attempts to shut them up. We desperately need such people in times such as these.

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