Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Government Privacy News

Pentagon Papers Ellsberg Supports Wikileaks 464

wierd_w writes "Daniel Ellsberg says: 'Every attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.' Due to the recent debates over the pros and cons between the wikileaks releases and those of the historic 'Pentagon papers,' Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers in 1971, has written an editorial on the subject declaring that he rejects the mantra of 'Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad,' and that further 'That's just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that every attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pentagon Papers Ellsberg Supports Wikileaks

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Wtf pentagon? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:44PM (#34493390)

    You kids! Get off my lawn!

  • by AdmiralXyz ( 1378985 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:45PM (#34493416)
    The other day, Lieberman (who is looooong past his expiration date as a politician. Let's get with the program, Connecticut) was mouthing off on Fox News about how the New York Times should be investigated for espionage for cooperating with Wikileaks and publishing the cables. It's like, has he really never heard of New York Times v United States []? This wasn't that long ago, and it was the same newspaper to boot. And apart from the really right-wing Neocon wingnuts, find me a person today who doesn't think the leak of the Pentagon Papers was ultimately for the best. Why should Wikileaks be any different?
  • by fishexe ( 168879 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:51PM (#34493526) Homepage

    And apart from the really right-wing Neocon wingnuts, find me a person today who doesn't think the leak of the Pentagon Papers was ultimately for the best.

    I know! Joe Lieberman! said aside from right-wing Neocon this point that's basically what he's become. So shoot, can't name one.

  • by black6host ( 469985 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:01PM (#34493704)

    Have you ever been to the memorial to those that lost their life in Vietnam, located in Washington DC? What I refer to as "The Wall". No winning there. I remember watching the news videos of the last remaining people being pulled from the U.S. Compount in Saigon by helicopter. Not much winning there either.....

  • by paulsnx2 ( 453081 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:03PM (#34493730)

    The Leak is Leaked and every corporations are pressured by the government to take silly actions against Wikileaks. All before we get any analysis of the content. Now it seems that everyone blasting Wikileaks must be for selling boys for sex parties (one of the cover ups documented in the leaks).

    Yeah, they called Putin "Batman", and yeah the US has been twisting arms all over the world to get governments to lie to their people. But selling pretty little boys out for sex and covering it up because an American company was involved?

    The "Danger" to American Diplomacy is accrued when our diplomats are involved in totally unethical and immoral behaviors. The "Danger" gets paid out when the documentation of such things gets out to the public. If our government wants to protect its diplomatic efforts, then DON'T ACCRUE the risk in the first place. Then you don't have to fear the leaks.

    And if Mastercard and Visa (who now look like they want a world safe for the KKK and those that sell "Boys for Sex") would just wait for the Analysis before bowing to pressure, then they might get out of this without looking like fools.

  • by Somewhat Delirious ( 938752 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:05PM (#34493754)

    What I can't get my head around is al those people that spend their time complaining that Wikileaks is not careful enough in redacting the documents and is putting lives at risk. I mean talking about a skewed world view... Not one death on the whole planet has been directly or indirectly attributed to any of the Wikileaks revelations. Not one! Not even by US state officials who would have every reason to do so if they could only find one!

    Meanwhile, what digging in the wikileaks files has confirmed or revealed (so far) about the US: torture ongoing after Abu Graib, systematic lying to the electorate and the governments of friendly powers, the killing of thousands upon thousands of civilians including women, children, the elderly, even handicapped people by US armed forces, lying about civilian death tolls, the killing in cold blood of enemy forces after they surrendered, systematically turning a blind eye to the use of torture by allied forces, complicity in having allies break their own national laws in order to support the US war effort... do I have to continue?

    Seriously you really want to spend your time and energy arguing about the way Wikileaks redacts the leaks?

  • Re:Wtf pentagon? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:06PM (#34493770)

    How do I get an "Offtopic" on an article about the Pentagon Papers asking what the Pentagon papers are? That seems to be directly on-topic.

    Probably because they were annoyed that you were too lazy to spend 5 seconds googling it instead of asking a rather useless question here where it will get, at best, a link to a source that would probably be near the top of the search results anyway. At worst it will lead to a bunch of additional uninformed posts to clutter up the thread.

  • by Saishuuheiki ( 1657565 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:06PM (#34493778)

    Divulging classified information may be a felony, but it's a felony in this country. It's hard to argue we should arrest a foreign citizen who hasn't set foot in American territory or stolen the documents himself. Now arresting the person who leaked the documents to Assange is a different matter.

    By your point of view, if someone leaked information detailing Iran's nuclear program, we should immediately send them back to Iran to be executed. After all, it's clearly against the law

  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:08PM (#34493802) Homepage

    Either Assange is subject to US law or he isn't. If he is, he should be protected by the First Amendment. If he isn't, then they have no legal right to prosecute him.

    All of the idiots who want to temporarily suspend the law to punish one person always forget that it could be their turn sooner than they think. And, frankly, I'd rather not continue to establish the precedent that the world's most powerful country gets to arrogantly ignore international law and kidnap people to kill or torture them. In fifty years, it could be someone else putting hoods over US citizens who dare to mention the truth in public.

  • Re:Wtf pentagon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:08PM (#34493806) Journal

    I'm guessing you got that mod because the Pentagon Papers were quite famous, and anyone posting on Slashdot should be able to look up something that famous themselves rather than asking us to explain it to them.

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:09PM (#34493812)

    Why would you think that?

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    "Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" seems pretty clear to me. Rights belong to the people, all the people, not just citizens or certain classes of people.

  • No, in other words, she worked directly with a group funded by the CIA.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:17PM (#34493926) Homepage

    Assange is going to come out of this a hero. The "rape charge" is already falling apart. The press is now mostly supporting Assange. Give it a week, and there will be calls for resignations of some Government officials.

    Some of his opponents are already in trouble. One of the "commentators" calling for calling for Assange to be killed [] is now the subject of a complaint that he was inciting to commit murder.

    Meanwhile, Wikileaks [] remains online, and response times are good.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:18PM (#34493938) Homepage Journal

    The New York Times, after publishing the Pentagon Papers, did not have its bank accounts frozen. Their legal defense was able to proceed without losing their defense fund.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:24PM (#34494050)

    I have not studied the issue, but I have seen credible arguments that the leak of the Pentagon Papers was ultimately destructive of the best interests of the American people. I do not have an opinion one way or the other at this point and the event happened far enough in the past that I am not going to do the study needed to decide. I will say that those who at that time promoted the idea that publishing the Pentagon Papers was a good idea were pushing a destructive political agenda.

    Eh? You haven't studied the issue, you don't intend to study the issue, but you'll go ahead and declare that those who supported the release were pushing a destructive agenda. Why doesn't that surprise me? Seems like the sort of thing that people do when they can't be bothered to actually get informed on a subject. Just find some source that agrees with their pre-conceived notions and declare their verdict on the issue.

  • by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:28PM (#34494102)
    All you have to do is look at how that post was modded to know why you don't see opposing opinions on the matter (unless you browse at -1).

    There are some valid points on both sides, and my personal beliefs on the matter tend run in line with Wikileaks. However, anything brought up here that may look at this with any negative light on Wikileaks are usually censored with mod points (and, based on my experience, met with anti-American insults).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:31PM (#34494160)

    Considering that Vietnam wasn't a war, and that we haven't had a war since WWII...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:32PM (#34494180)

    Actually, this smells of a 100% typical CIA op. It is the same organization that planned to topple the Cuban regime by chemically shaving Castro. Can you get any more stupid than that?

    You should not believe Tom Clancy's books so much, you know. In reality, Jack Ryan never shot anyone in London, and the only non-GS job he's ever had was his brief appointment as a Secretary of the Treasury, where he was instrumental in helping Lehman Brothers sink.

    While his dumber subordinates were covering for Madoff.

  • Different era (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JockTroll ( 996521 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:36PM (#34494232)
    That was the Seventies. This is the 21st Century. Back then people rioted, now they keep their heads down. Nowadays, Ellsberg would be silenced, nobody would print his story, and he would have an international arrest warrant issued against him for, huh, farting without authorization. Welcome to the Age of the Wimp.
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:41PM (#34494316) Homepage Journal

    Pffft. Those same people didn't seem to mind Wikileak's standards for redaction when they published papers by governments hostile to the US. Indeed, as I recall, those people didn't object in the slightest to leaks about any other government at all. Or indeed, leaks about corrupt organizations (other than popular American brands).

    The US government's position that Wikileaks has endangered informants is also questionable (given that one of those "informants" was feeding bad information and assassinated 7 CIA agents, another was a hoaxer, an unknown number of these informants have been killed by Predator strikes, and an unknown number have been discovered through inept US handling). It's also not terribly consistant with history, since informants have traditionally been regarded as expendable and informing entirely at their own risk.

    (I'd also note that informants for other governments over the course of history and for the Taliban have generally had a low survival rate at the hands of the US or other Western powers. I'm curious as to how these objectors explain why it's ok for one side to persecute collaborators but not the other.)

    It's one rule for those you like, another for those you hate. Politics as usual.

    It's also the American obsession with winning. The idea of losing is evil in their eyes, although anyone going to war is naive to pretend that the outcome is guaranteed. The reality is that the war cannot be "won" - partly though ineptness on the Allied forces, but also because nobody has been willing to actually say what "winning" means. There's no victory conditions to achieve and therefore no benchmarks to test against. The "war against terror" has no defined opponents (even the "Taliban" isn't a unified entity but an ill-defined collection of tribes and external parties with few - if any - objectives in common and certainly no leadership structure), so we can't even say "winning is beating such-and-such an opponent in some way".

  • by Peter Trepan ( 572016 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:44PM (#34494368)
    If our government wants to protect its diplomatic efforts, then DON'T ACCRUE the risk in the first place. Then you don't have to fear the leaks.

    I think putting this fear in the hearts of the powerful is the point of, and value of, Wikileaks. Regardless of whether they've broken a world-changing story so far, they've produced a chilling effect on corruption.
  • by jkauzlar ( 596349 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:50PM (#34494452) Homepage

    One more thing: people seem to forget that (unlike Ellsberg), Julian Assange does not actually have a classified status. I.e. he didn't actually leak the cables, or for that matter anything he publishes on the site. To the extent that the information is damaging, it is as much a failure on the part of our national security to protect the information from being leaked in the first place. Wikileaks is just an easy target. To actually clean up our fragile intelligence classification system would be expensive and, though it is the real problem here, those responsible for making the information so easily 'leak-able' have chosen to demonize the messenger instead.

    This is why I support Wikileaks and not those trying to hush them. If this is a national security issue (and not just a transparency issue), it has everything to do with our gov't's ability to keep the information secure and nothing to do with wikileaks. Let me say it again: he didn't commit espionage to obtain the information; he was GIVEN it.

    That being said, the press needs to be questioning the gov't to find out what steps have been taken to limit access to information that endangers our national security. I'm guessing nothing unless they find a way to outsource the mgmt of classified information to a multi-national company like Haliburton for twenty-seven times the cost, otherwise there's no money for it.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @07:04PM (#34494626)

    winning isn't a matter of who got the most kills.
    War isn't a round of counterstrike.

    If you decide who won based on the kill ratio or kill totals then Germany won world war 2.
    If you lose 10,000 soldiers and the other guy loses 100,000 but he ends up controlling whatever you were fighting over and/or he still has lots of soldiers there and you don't then he was won.

  • What?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @07:34PM (#34495006)

    I wish there was a +1 - holy fucking shit moderation. Every time I think my opinion of the US government can not get any worse, something else comes up. What's next? Am I going to find out they've been abducting little girls from daycare and shipping abroad as sex slaves to fund human mind control research?

    Don't answer that, I'll wait for the Wiki Leak.

    There really is no limit at all to human depravity.

  • by FatLittleMonkey ( 1341387 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @08:06PM (#34495314)

    Julian Assange [...] didn't actually leak the cables [...] If this is a national security issue, it has everything to do with our gov't's ability to keep the information secure and nothing to do with wikileaks.

    I just used the last of my mod-points, but you deserve to be modded up just to make sure more people see this point.

    The reason it was leaked is that, IIRC, 3 million people have access to this intel. We heard about it because of wikileaks, but isn't it likely that much much more has been sold to any nation that wants it?

    There might be a few allies who, out of politeness, haven't sought this info, but very few rivals. So the only people this stuff is news to is us.

  • by Maudib ( 223520 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @08:13PM (#34495390)

    The Vietnam war was, strategically, about stretching it out to siphon Soviet assets
    How many Soviet combat troops were there in Vietnam again? Oh right, zero. The soviets provided limited support, but Hannoi wasn't such a fan of the Soviets, so it was very limited. The U.S.'s grand strategic vision was to commit half its fighting force and political capital to a theater with almost no Soviet involvement? How does this not qualify as a loss? At best it would be an egregious miscalculation...

    The military defeat didn't happen until after the US and allied forces withdrew and Congress reneged on promised support to South Vietnam
    "allied forces withdrew", yes, this is what happens when you are loosing a war and decide to stop fighting it. The fact that there was a political element changes nothing. People like to say the U.S. didn't loose military. Who the hell cares? This isn't college football, there is ostensibly a reason/objective for waging war, achieving it is winning. Failing to achieve the objective (or never having one) means you lost.

    "war is the continuation of politics by other means." This isn't some hippy revisionist history theory. Its Von Claus, the grand daddy of western military theory and the Prussian says we lost.

  • by lennier ( 44736 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @08:22PM (#34495470) Homepage

    Because I have studied those people. I know who made a big deal back in the early 70s about the Pentagon Papers. I don't need to do a study of the Pentagon Papers and what was in them and what effect that had on the country.


    You haven't studied the issues "those people" were concerned with and spent their lives addressing, yet despite living in a wilfully self-created bubble of ignorance about them, you somehow believe you have "studied those people"?

    How does that chain of illogic even begin to make sense for you?

  • Re:What?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @08:25PM (#34495498) Homepage Journal

    The locals including a US contractor, DynCorp, taxpayers money, and a US government-organized cover-up.

    But remember kids, it's just diplomatic gossip, that would be irresponsible to make public!

  • Re:Difference (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Breeze ( 140484 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @08:25PM (#34495502) Homepage

    Every government on the planet is calling for Wikileaks to shut down. It seems like they are twisting the legal system, and that we are being governed by immoral, corrupt bastards who will break any law, twist any fact, in their effort to smear anyone who dares speak the truth.

    Under that standard, and under the belief that Tom Jefferson said that a corrupt government has no authority, I see that Wikileaks has no option but to use any and all means to defend itself. The governments will piss on their own laws and due process to crush Wikileaks; therefore Wikileaks is perfectly justified in trying to destroy the governments' credibility by publishing every bit of damaging info that they can.

    Anyone who thinks that any truly dangerous information that Wikileaks has isn't already in the hands of our enemies is living in a dream world. Wikileaks' greatest "crime" is revealing that the massive security appartus of the state has no idea what the hell it is doing and is useless against anyone with a brain. It's a money & freedom consuming monster that does more harm than good to the society it purports to protect.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @10:10PM (#34496276)

    Regardless of whether they've broken a world-changing story so far, they've produced a chilling effect on corruption.

    It isn't so much corruption that is shut down, as American diplomatic operations []. Dealing with actual corruption would require a scapel, not the blunt object of the Wikileaks releases.

    Battered by a scandal which seems to provide a fresh wave of embarrassment with each passing day, the US government is being forced to undertake a major reshuffle of the embassy staff, military personnel and intelligence operatives whose work has been laid bare by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

    The Obama administration was yesterday facing a crisis in its diplomatic service, amid growing evidence that the ongoing publication of a tranche of supposedly-confidential communiqués will make normal work difficult, if not dangerous, for important State Department employees across the world.

    "In the short run, we're almost out of business," a senior US diplomat told the Reuters news agency, saying it could take five years to rebuild trust. "It is really, really bad. I cannot exaggerate it. In all honesty, nobody wants to talk to us ... Some people still have to, particularly (in) government but ... they are already asking us things like, 'Are you going to write about this?'"

    "We're going to have to pull out some of our best people – the diplomats who best represented the United States and were the most thoughtful in their analysis – because they dared to report back the truth about the nations in which they serve."

    Julian Assange’s EgoLeaks []
    WikiLeaks’ Selective Morality []

    WikiLeaks Reportedly Outs 100s of Afghan Informants []

    ... in spite of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's claim that sensitive information had been removed from the leaked documents, that reporters scanning the reports for just a couple hours found hundreds of Afghan names mentioned as aiding the U.S.-led war effort.

    One specific example cited by the paper is a report on an interview conducted by military officers of a potential Taliban defector. The militant is named, along with his father and the village in which they live.

    "The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans," a senior official at the Afghan foreign ministry told The Times on condition of anonymity. "The U.S. is both morally and legally responsible for any harm that the leaks might cause to the individuals, particularly those who have been named. It will further limit the U.S./international access to the uncensored views of Afghans."

    One former intelligence official told the paper that the Taliban could launch revenge attacks on "traitors" in the coming days.

    Blood Already on Assange’s Hands (and the WikiLeaks-Gitmo Connection) []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @10:16PM (#34496304)

    When Lenin and his crowd of happy murderers took over Russia during WW1, the various Revolutionaries who started running the Russian foreign Service started publishing ALL of the Tsar's Diplomatic files.

    As the Tsar had been talking with everyone in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, his diplomats had sent home thousands of reports - polite and impolite, about all sides of the War, and how it all started.

    The diplomatic cr%p hit the fan, and outraged people and governments everywhere; it was one of the reasons President Wilson announced his policy of "Open Agreements, Openly Agreed to" as part of his peace plans.

    We've been here before, and we'll be here again. Diplomacy is about haggling with people you'd prefer to shoot, which results in agreements that everyone hates, but can't live without.

  • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:01AM (#34496858)

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    -George Orwell

  • Re:Difference (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:24AM (#34497316)

    No, he is quite correct. Every government in the world is corrupt, not only that but every government that has ever existed was corrupt. The only difference between them is the degree of corruption. Anyone who believes otherwise is a naive dolt who has no business outside of a kindergarten.

    Why is this so? It is very simple: governments are nothing but collections of people with power over others. In this analysis it is irrelevant what basis that power is derived from - be it hereditary despotism or democratic media circus or something else entirely - it matters not. That is because people are imperfect and corruptible to various degrees irrespective of their location in the world or a political scheme they were raised within. Laws of probability alone guarantee that a number of corrupt individuals is present, and was present, in every possible governmental scheme, with the absolute numbers present increasing with the size of a government. Even if others within the same government detect the corruption and work against it (which itself is based on chance) there will be only so many that get expelled and due to natural generational cycles they will be replaced with new crooks elsewhere.

    Its basic, historically testable, undeniable logic. It is the way things are. Corruption-free government is a theoretical ideal that has never been (and will likely never be) achieved as long as the nature of the human race does not somehow change dramatically.

  • by itsthebin ( 725864 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:30AM (#34497360) Homepage

    The PR war has already been lost on this one. Anyone associated with Wikileaks will be branded a terrorist within days*, with the full assent of the US public

    how well will logic resolve if the numbers come in that more than half the population of the world supports the leak/publication of these documents ? democratic terrorists ?

    I am Australian and it is extremely disturbing to me to see just how much influence the US Govt has over who is elected Prime Minister of Australia.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:16AM (#34497894)
    Also, now I know for a fact that many people here are just anti-American,

    You miss the fact that many of us are anti-Republicrat. I love the USA and hate the idiots running it into the ground the last 50 years. Both sides of the fence, most 3rd parties, and a sadly growing number of the general population that are happy to give up essential liberties to infringe on other's liberties they don't like.

    Don't bother protesting, both my mind is made up, and my country's collective government's mind.

    Ah yes. Another prick who has made up his mind that he's right and anyone who disagrees is obviously wrong and you don't need to think about anything, ever. You are the reason this country is going down in flames.
  • by TheTurtlesMoves ( 1442727 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:56AM (#34498088)
    Yea, who gives a f**k about the rest of world. We aren't real people anyway. As long as Americans aren't at risk. It's OK.
  • by Serious Callers Only ( 1022605 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:35AM (#34498238)

    The PR war has already been lost on this one. Anyone associated with Wikileaks will be branded a terrorist within days*, with the full assent of the US public.

    Those who collaborated with Wikileaks will be making the perp walk and showing up on every TV channel until the message is drummed into everyone's head.

    Do you enjoy living under tyranny? I ask because what you are describing with relish are the actions of a tin-pot dictatorship at the level of North Korea. Is that what you wish America to become?

  • by MartinSchou ( 1360093 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:24AM (#34498410)

    Why are drug smugglers being kept in Guantanamo? Wasn't that particular prison designed for highly dangerous terrorists? Drug smugglers aren't terrorists.

    Now, one can argue that the drug trade funds terrorism, and that argument is being made quite a bit, but why not bring terrorism charges against every day US citizens buying and selling drugs then?

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.