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Listen to the audio from the 2013 festival

Seymour Hersh is one of the world’s most celebrated investigative journalists. He first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 when he broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in which hundreds of unarmed civilians were murdered by US soldiers. The story won Hersh a Pulitzer Prize.

Since then he has won five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

In 2004, he broke the story of the US military’s mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, another story which sent shock waves around the world. He has more recently published stories on the close collaboration between the US and Israel in terms of both the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon and the planning of an attack on Iran.

Hersh is based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters and is also working on his tenth book – tracing the line in American foreign policy from Dick Cheney and George Bush
through into the Obama administration.

Invitation to another war – Thursday 18 April 3pm
What wars will the US be fighting in the next ten years? Hersh will start with looking back at Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and then focus on Iran and other pressure points.

This is intensely relevant to New Zealand – as an ally we may again receive an invitation to join in this next war, an invitation that will be hard to turn down.

How do you find out the truth? – Friday 19 April 12pm
A case study of how Hersh found out the real story of the My Lai massacre from government and military officials and agencies who desperately sought to keep it concealed. This is investigative journalism and how you do it is a conversation for which Hersh is supremely qualified. He formed his investigative style early on in his career when, as the ranking Associated Press correspondent, he enraged senior military officials and some of his colleagues early in the Vietnam War by leading a press walk out of an official  press briefing by a four-star general. Instead of the official story, Hersh has focused on one-on-one interviews with high-ranking officers and other, and he now has an extraordinary network of people who provide him with detailed information.