Noted Journalist to Speak at New School
Seymour Hersh to discuss censorship
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
The Lang community will soon have a rare treat: an opportunity to engage one of most legendary investigative journalists in American history, Seymour Hersh. He will be the keynote speaker at The New School for Social Research conference Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy, which runs from February 24 to 26.
Hersh built his career by revealing how national security is often used to abuse power. His talk will open the conference intended to explore how difficult, or easy, it has become to attain facts on a global and national level.
“If you are interested in learning what is hidden from the public, you will come,” Hersh said in an interview with the *New School Free Press*.
If it were not for his Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations and government officials confiding in him, the American people may have never known about Nixon secretly wiretapping his own staff, the CIA bombing of Cambodia, or many of the details regarding the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.
“As the public, we can dissent collectively, but it’s much easier for the government to hide knowledge than for us to get access to it," said Hersh. "All governments want to hide what they’re doing and protect themselves, and it’s appalling to me how easy it is for them to do so," he added. Although Hersh expressed a belief that this issue has improved under Obama, he still said the government hides facts from the public and across sectors of bureaucracy.
This month's conference is the 21st in a series founded by psychology Professor Arien Mack. More than 15 speakers, including prominent analysts, professors, journalists, and government officials will convene in order to to explore the roles that each sector of society and culture plays in concealing facts. Daniel Ellsberg, the government official who released the Pentagon Papers implicating Nixon and Henry Kissinger 40 years ago, is one of many guests expected to draw a large audience. The documentary "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," was also released in 2009.
Organizers of the event published on the event website (socres.org/limitingknowledge), that they hope it will “not only examine the question of limits in the new global environment but the ways in which limits may both support or undermine democracy.”
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