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Investigative journalist to deliver Tresolini Lecture

Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and reporter, will deliver the annual Tresolini Lecture on Oct. 3.

Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who uncovered the My Lai massacre and Abu Ghraib prison abuse, will deliver this year’s Tresolini Lecture at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in the Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author will deliver “A Report from Washington on the Obama/Bush-Cheney Foreign Policy.”

The event is free and open to the public.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Hersh has focused his efforts on the abuse of power, particularly as it applies to national security. He has uncovered civilian massacres, military abuses, fabricated evidence used to justify wars, illegal wiretapping and CIA scandals.

Since 1993, Hersh has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker, where he has frequently jump-started national debates on new issues.

The Tresolini lecture series was established in honor of Rocco J. Tresolini (1920-1967), a former professor and chair of the department of government.

Hersh’s address here comes as the prospect of another conflict abroad looms, says Brian Pinaire, associate professor of political science and organizer of the annual lecture series.

“With the recent debate over the use of drones at home and abroad as a backdrop, and in anticipation of a war-oriented action of some kind directed against Syria, Seymour Hersh’s sharp journalistic perspective is more necessary than ever,” Pinaire said.

“Our nation is about to engage perhaps the most profound foreign policy questions [it has] faced since 9/11.”

Starting as a police reporter

Hersh will be the latest in a long line of luminaries to deliver the Tresolini Lecture. These include former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former Vietnam War-era strategic analyst Daniel Ellsberg, Presumed Innocent author Scott Turow, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former Watergate-era White House Counsel John Dean, Bush v. Gore attorney David Boies, and Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Hersh worked as a police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago. He served in the U.S. Army before taking up reporting duties for both UPI and the AP. He briefly suspended his career as a journalist when he joined the campaign of presidential aspirant Eugene McCarthy in 1967. He wrote for the New York Times from 1972 to 1979.

He is the author of seven books on topics that include the Kennedy family (The Dark Side of Camelot), Nixonian policies under former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (The Price of Power), Israel’s nuclear arsenal (The Samson Option), biological and chemical warfare (America’s Hidden Arsenal), and the war in Iraq (Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib).

His accolades include a Pulitzer Prize, five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize, and more than a dozen others.

Most recently, Hersh has focused on the war in Iraq, concerns over unrest in the Middle East, and the abuse of surveillance powers that Congress granted the government in the wake of 9/11.

Hersh is the subject of a forthcoming biography, titled Seymour Hersh: Scoop Artist, by Robert Miraldi, a professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz.

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Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013

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