Dear Ellsberg.Net List Members,
Forty years ago today, on June 13, 1971, the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, provided to the Times by Daniel Ellsberg. Daniel had a very long day of media interviews today in commemoration, and in conjunction with today’s official declassification of the Papers.
Here are some highlight quotes from Daniel:
- In an op-ed today for the Guardian (UK): “What we need released this month are the Pentagon Papers of Iraq and Afghanistan. . . .”
- On NPR (audio): “Vietnam was a fiasco for thirty years, essentially, that would not have stood the light of public discussions had the very documents in the Pentagon Papers been available [much earlier] during that [whole] time. 50,000 American lives and several million Vietnamese died. . . because the Congress and the American public had been kept in the dark.” On releasing them, “I expected to go to prison for life.”
- On NBC with Brian Williams (video): “The Pentagon Papers, the whole episode, reveals the power [government insiders] could have to save lives, and to save this country from disaster, if they were willing to risk their own careers.”
- On MSNBC.com (web video extra): “A policy that looked increasingly crazy, or unproductive, or hopeless outside, was seen by many people inside, with all the access to the classified information, as just as crazy, and just as hopeless, a policy that could not have served any purpose other than to keep each president from being called. . . a ‘quitter,’ a ‘loser,’ in a war that was hopelessly stalemated and unwinnable.”
- On CBS (video, starts 18:45): Reading the Pentagon Papers for the first time “made me believe that what I was involved in, in Vietnam, was not a noble cause that had gone wrong. It was unjustified homicide.”
- Last week, Daniel also spoke to the New York Times and CNN about the anniversary and the official declassification.
- Finally, if you haven’t seen in already, “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” is streaming for free tonight and tomorrow (6/13-14) on the PBS site, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Papers.