Skip to comments.Ellsberg Calls on Insiders to Leak Details of Alleged War Plans
Posted on 09/14/2006 8:41:56 AM PDT by wjersey
When Daniel Ellsberg, the defense analyst, leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, it created one of the most significant newspaper stories -- and battles -- of the century. One thing it did not do was prevent the Vietnam War, although it may have shortened it. Now he is calling on officials within the government to leak "the Pentagon Paper of the Middle East" to modern reporters, to short-circuit another possible war.
Ellsberg's challenge is found in the October issue of Harper's magazine, to appear next week. E&P has obtained an advance copy.
The article is titled, "The Next War," with the conflict in question a possible face-off between the U.S. and Iran. Ellsberg, based on unconfirmed reporting by Seymour Hersh and others, believes there is a "hidden crisis," with government insiders aware of "serious plans for war with Iran" while "congress and the public remain largely in the dark."
His remedy: "Conscientious insiders" need to leak hard evidence to the press and public, while risking their current and future employment, as he did in the early 1970s.
But Ellsberg is hardly the hero of his own story. While proud of what he did, he faults himself for waiting far too long in thed 1960s. If he had leaked in 1964, it might have halted the entire enterprise in its tracks, he feels. In the same way, he hails former Clinton and Bush terrorism expert Richard Clarke for blowing the whistle on trumped-up evidence used to support the invasion of Iraq -- but as in his case, this came after the Iraq adventure had already come to fruition.
Indeed, Ellsberg had called for insiders, such as Clarke, to come forward before the Iraq invasion, in a January 2003 interview with E&P.
Now, in the Harper's article, therefore, he declares: "Assuming Hershs so-far anonymous sources mean what they saythat this is, as one puts it, 'a juggernaut that has to be stopped'I believe it is time for one or more of them to go beyond fragmentary leaks unaccompanied by documents.
"That means doing what no other active official or consultant has ever done in a timely way: what neither Richard Clarke nor I nor anyone else thought of doing until we were no longer officials, no longer had access to current documents, after bombs had fallen and thousands had died, years into a war. It means going outside executive channels, as officials with contemporary access, to expose the presidents lies and oppose his war policy publicly before the war, with unequivocal evidence from inside. Simply resigning in silence does not meet moral or political responsibilities of officials rightly 'appalled' by the thrust of secret policy. I hope that one or more such persons will make the sober decisionaccepting sacrifice of clearance and career, and risk of prisonto disclose comprehensive files that convey, irrefutably, official, secret estimates of costs and prospects and dangers of the military plans being considered.
"What needs disclosure is the full internal controversy, the secret critiques as well as the arguments and claims of advocates of war and nuclear 'options'the Pentagon Papers of the Middle East....
"The personal risks of doing this are very great. Yet they are not as great as the risks of bodies and lives we are asking daily of over 130,000 young Americans with many yet to join them in an unjust war. Our country has urgent need for comparable courage, moral and civil courage, from its public servants. They owe us the truth before the next war begins."
Ellsberg's most recent book is "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers."
One bullet,one collaborator.
Something that could potentionally prevent, shorten or end a war...is not good?
I despise the fact that sedition is completely legal in America now. How the hell can a country defend itself this way?
TRAITORS SHOULD BE SHOT. Nuff said.
We have to stop playing around with people who leak information. Lock them up or shoot them for treason.
Shortening a war is Great when it protects those we love.
Shortening a war so it can be fought later when the enemy is stronger is just plain stupid.
The little worm misses the media limelight.
What a putz.
I didn't know this turd was still suckin' in air. Pity.
Why Ellesberg never got the Rosenberg treatment escapes me.
Neville? Is that you?
Glad to here that traitors still have a voice on FR, stuey.
And the circle is now complete.
Depends on the side effects. Wars are not just meaningless spasms of violence. There are *usually* issues involved.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)
See also Patrick Henry, a "warmonger" of the late 18th century. "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death". (He got Liberty!)
You mean like surrender?
Exactly what in my statement was traitorous?
And if someone does, and violates the secrets act, would he be considered a co-conspirator, and prosecutable?
Doesn't *everything* usually depend on *something*? Sounds relative.
No, did I say that?
Was I specific, or did I just say...something?
Ellsberg = scum.
There are people who think that ending a armed conflict between parties is the end all and be all.
And I don't think Daniel Ellsberg or his cohorts are either willing to take responsibility for what happens when armed conflict ends, or even interested in what happens.
The shining example that people like Ellsberg use to illustrate the power of dissent to end armed conflict is the Vietnam war.
I would guess that the millions that were murdered and imprisioned in the bloodbaths that followed the US Congress's decision not to support South Vietnam might think it is not such a shining example.
I don't remember Richard Clarke being actively involved in the "no WMD in Iraq" stuff, he was the "Bush ignored the terror threat" person. I thought.
No, you really didn't SAY anything.
You would have preferred that the facts of how we got into Vietnam not have been made public?
Only if we win.
Silence speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.
He would have had to give the information directly to our enemies as opposed to the NY Times, Washington Post etc...
It depends. Does it actually preevent a war, or does it merely delay it and ensure that when it does finally come, that it is more terrible?
So would surrendering. Yes, not everything that shortens the war is good.
In Star Trek - Deep Space Nine, there was an excellent episode on this type of traitorism. These really smart people (I think part of a genetic experiment) were brought to the station to analyze some captured war plans. They did an excellent job, and got access to more stuff.
They looked over all the data, and concluded that the Federation was going to lose, and the losses would be enormous.
So they decided the patriotic thing to do was to end the war. When the Federation refused to listen, they decided they should leak information to the enemy to end the war quickly -- in order to save billions of lives.
Needless to say, they were caught before carrying out the treason, although in the end they were not punished.
And of course, in the end the federation won the war.
Benedict Arnold thought the war with Britain was going badly, and was going to cost america everything (and himself as well). So he decided it would be "better" if he helped Britain win quickly, for everybody's sake.
As a result, people like Daniel Ellsberg are now called "Benedict Arnolds".
Yes, it does depend.
Exactly. There is always going to be some wishy-washy Soccermom type (or soccerdad) that is soft on terror, yet has access to sensitive information.
Do you normally align yourself with traitors, or is this a one-time basis?
You mean like winning? Why not just surrender. That would prevent, shorten or end it. Sheesh, you're a FReeper?
I really don't align myself with anyone, I just enjoy monitoring reactions.
Good thinkin'! If FDR had only thought like that, he could have greatly shortened WW-II by capitualting to the Japs.
And Churchill! If only Churchill were more like Ellsberg all that unpleasantness could have been avoided.
Too bad for the enslaved Chinese, Poles, Czechs and all, but think of the great bargain vacations we could all enjoy in Großdeutschland.
Have been for a while. Where did I mention surrender?
Did I mention capitulation?
I actually meant "capitulating", of course (spell chequer is you're freind). Next time you want to capitulate, rent a room, ok?
In a word, yes.
Regardless of how the war started, it was a war that needed to be fought, all Ellesberg did was ultimately to lead to the Khmer Rouge killing two million in the Cambodian Killing Fields.
Iraq is nothing like Vietnam. Dan's like another Dan: a washed-up, lefty loser.
He'll go to his grave mumbling, "Vietnam, Vietnam . . ."
"One bullet,one collaborator."
I want to echo your sentiment.
It was a rhetorical question. I knew you'd been around for a long time. I saw your other posts and I know what you mean. Just struck a bad chord with me.
"Something that could potentionally prevent, shorten or end a war...is not good?"
I didn't say you said surrender, I just wondered if surrender met your criteria.