Laureate 2005: Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh
Photo: The New Yorker

Seymour Hersh
has been one of the most renowned US investigators since his revelations on the Vietnam war (My Lai). Last spring he revealed that the torture of prisoners in the Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib goes back to orders by the US government or the Pentagon.

Seymour Hersh received the Leipzig Media Award as a lifetime achievement award. As author for The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize he began his career writing about the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War in 1969. Later, Hersh also revealed the complicity of Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor, in ordering the carpet bombing of Cambodia, and the CIA’s involvement in the coup against socialist President Allende of Chile.

When the story broke about incidents of torture at US military prison Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Hersh furnished proof that these were ordered by the US government and the Pentagon. The jury believes that "Hersh represents the guilty conscience of American journalists who increasingly and uncritically publish official government statements."

- 2005: The Ridenhour Courage Prize
- 2007: Democracy Prize of the Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik (Newspaper for German and international policies)