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The BFM Wire Seymour Hersh Special

The BFM Wire Seymour Hersh Special

I'll begin the show today by playing an interview I did with Seymour Hersh, yes, *the* Seymour Hersh. He's one of the most renowned investigative journalists anywhere in the world, he's won the pulitzer prize, and has blown the lid on a range of big stories including the My Lai Massacre cover up during the Vietnam war and more recently the atrocities committed by American troops on Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

I spoke to him this morning about his latest piece in the New Yorker magazine whose title speaks for itself, "Perparing the Battleground". Hersh details how the Democratic Congress approved $400m dollars for the Bush Administration to escalate covert operations within Iran. He says the White House is seeking to destabalise the country's religious leadership, gather intelligence about a suspected nuclear weapons program, and take out high-profile targets.

He reports that regime change in Iran is a long-stated goal of this administration, despite the opposition of many high-profile figures in the military and intelligence communities. What's more, with Bush's time running out, and the prospect of a democratic president come November, Hersh says things may become much more serious in the short-term.

We talked about how the US press has dropped the ball in holding the administration to account, why anyone would talk to him about such classified information, and why the Democratic Congress, fearing handing the republicans an "issue" in the presidential race by not supporting the war on terror, may have approved the funding.

Read the article at newyorker.com.

*1240 - Tim Wood, laboratory project director for Auckland's district health boards *

At twenty to one I'll be speaking with (above). Auckland's 3 DHBs are currently considering scrapping government funding of lab tests for patients in the private system. Last week Angus spoke with Dr. Ian McPherson, CEO of Southern Cross, who called the idea blatant cost-shifting which would penalise people already taking the strain from the public health system by paying for their own care. He said it'll push up premiums, push more people into the overcrowded public system, and may even lead people to shun getting the tests in the first place. So why do it? 4 other DHBs already have, and were the savings worth it? Hopefully Tim will have some answers.

*1300 - Paul Shanks, Surfbreak Protection Society president*

At one I'll be joined on the line by (above). He's part of a group camped out at the site for the controversial Whanagamata Marina, who are, according to Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, protesting the development in the interests of protecting the historical and cultural values of the area. But there's a bit more to it. Apparently the building is on hold while the developers answer questions about their ability to pay for the thing, so right now, there's not a lot of conflict with the protesters. However, the Whangamata Marina Society President has said they will certainly resist *any * attempts to stop development.

*1320 - Counterclockwise*

Selwyn Manning joins us at one twenty for counterclockwise. Today we'll be taking a look at the allegations made in the Sunday Star Times by Nicky Hagar that the National party is using PR firm Crosby/Textor as campaign consultants. Selwyn will analyze Key's response to the claims – that the opposition needs people like this because they don't have access to government departments, and his worries this morning that once again, National's emails have been hacked.

*1340 - Mihirangi*

And at one forty I'm to be joined in the studio by a Melbourne-based, NZ musician who goes by the name of Mihirangi. She's had quite the career thus far – playing along side the likes of Michael Franti, Lee Scratch Perry, and even Alice Cooper – and has just released her first solo album. Solo being the operative word. If you've ever seen Liam Finn weave his magic with a loop pedal, you'll have some idea of what Mihirangi does – only she does it all with her voice. She's been described as worldly, yet other-worldly, and both an activist and a dreamweaver, so really, what's not to like?

ENDS

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