* Following this interview, Asharq Al-Awsat received the following statement from General Barry McCaffrey, to whom Seymour Hersh referred in his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published December 18, 2008:
“I categorically deny Seymour Hersh’s false accusation that I ‘executed 400 prisoners of war’ during the first Gulf War. The facts of the battle in question have been well-documented in numerous official military and media reports. Mr. Hersh’s statements to Asharq Al-Awsat not only mischaracterize those facts in a false and damaging manner, but also far exceeds the inflammatory retelling of that story in Mr. Hersh’s own article published in The New Yorker. I am confident that Asharq Al-Awsat’s readers will see Mr. Hersh’s statements for what they are: an effort to re-write historical facts to support his own views.”
– General Barry M. McCaffrey, U.S Army, Retired.
In response, Seymour Hersh sent Asharq Al-Awsat the following statement:
“I have read General McCaffrey’s statement. In the telephone interview I gave to Asharq Al-Awsat last month, my passing reference to General McCaffrey was not aimed at reexamining the issues I raised in a 25,000 word article nine years ago in The New Yorker, but dealt with the journalistic issue of named and unnamed sources. My one-sentence oral summary of that article did lack precision and nuance. Of course, commanding generals of a division in combat do not directly engage the enemy, and I did not say that about General McCaffrey in my initial article and I do not believe it today.”