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Source: University of Waterloo

UW Hagey lecturer, Seymour Hersh, to talk about U.S. policy in Middle East

October 23, 2006

Acclaimed journalist Seymour Hersh will discuss the role of the United States in the Middle East during a public lecture at the University of Waterloo next month.

Hersh will present UW's annual Hagey lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. in the humanities theatre, Hagey hall. Admission is free; no tickets are required.

His lecture is entitled U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib to Today. Earlier in the day, he will address a student colloquium looking at national security and investigative journalism. The colloquium, which is not open to the public, begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Davis centre, room 1301.

Hersh is widely acknowledged as the most influential and admired investigative reporter of the past 35 years. His special focus is, and has always been, the abuse of power in the name of national security.

His journalism and publishing prizes include the Pulitzer Prize, a record five George Polk Awards, the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize and more than a dozen other prizes (Sigma Delta Chi, Worth Bingham, Sidney Hillman, etc.) for investigative reporting.

His ground-breaking reports include many that are landmark events in American journalism: the Abu Ghraib prison abuse in Iraq, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the CIA's bombing of Cambodia, Henry Kissinger's wiretapping of his own staff, and the CIA's efforts against Chile's assassinated president, Salvador Allende.

Most recently, Hersh's articles in the New Yorker have probed the underside of the Iraq war and the intelligence and military quagmire caused by the conflict.

Hersh began his newspaper career as a police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago. He served in the army, before working for a suburban newspaper, then for United Press International and Associated Press. In 1967, he joined the presidential campaign of Eugene J. McCarthy as speech writer and press secretary.

He joined the New York Times in 1972, working in Washington and New York. He left the paper in 1979 and has since been a freelance writer, with two six-month returns on special assignment to the Washington bureau of the Times.

Hersh has published seven books. His book prizes include the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Award for biography and a second Sidney Hillman award, for The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. He has also won two Investigative Reporters and Editors prizes; one for the Kissinger book in 1983 and the second in 1992 for a study of American foreign policy and the Israeli nuclear bomb program, The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy.

UW's premier invitational public lecture series since 1970, the Hagey lecture -- named after Gerry Hagey, the university's first president -- is co-sponsored by UW and the UW faculty association.

Hagey lecturers have distinguished themselves in some scholarly or creative field and their work cuts across traditional disciplines and national boundaries. Previous lecturers have included Nobel laureates in various disciplines, internationally renowned scholars, architects, peace activists, and well-known artists.



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