Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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This discussion has been archived.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:No Surprise There (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @05:57PM (#34493626)

    Go ahead and post one. Who keeps you from doing it?

    Freedom of speech swings all ways, it also means that you may post here something that people might not like. I would like to see it! Give me ONE good reason why Wikileaks is wrong in what it's doing. So far nobody manged to convince me, but I would very much enjoy reading a good reason why Wikileaks should cease to exist.

    I do think that Wikileaks did a great service to the world, but I do not benefit from listening to opinions that match mine. People telling me that I'm right do not give me any meaningful input. I already "know" that I'm right. People are always in the assumption that they're right. But to be "more right", I need more input. More input allows me to adjust my position, to test that input against my existing input and either verify or falsify my point of view. Welcome to science. It works for opinions, too!

    Only an input that challenges my point of view and presents me with an antithesis can offer me more insight. So please do. I would be happy to hear it!

  • Re:raep (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:19PM (#34493958) Journal

    No, but there was this:

    Ellsberg later claimed that after his trial ended, Watergate prosecutor William H. Merrill informed him of an aborted plot by Liddy and the "plumbers" to have 12 Cuban-Americans who had previously worked for the CIA to "totally incapacitate" Ellsberg as he appeared at a public rally, though it is unclear whether that meant to assassinate Ellsberg or merely to hospitalize him.[24][25] In his autobiography, Liddy describes an "Ellsberg neutralization proposal" originating from Howard Hunt, which involved drugging Ellsberg with LSD, by dissolving it in his soup, at a fund-raising dinner in Washington in order to "have Ellsberg incoherent by the time he was to speak" and thus "make him appear a near burnt-out drug case" and "discredit him". The plot involved waiters from the Miami Cuban community. According to Liddy, when the plan was finally approved, "there was no longer enough lead time to get the Cuban waiters up from their Miami hotels and into place in the Washington Hotel where the dinner was to take place" and the plan was "put into abeyance pending another opportunity".

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:33PM (#34494200) Homepage

    Some of the cables shed light on why closing down Guantanamo is so hard. The US has some captured Kuwaitis, and Kuwait doesn't want them back. [] Kuwaiti Minister of Interior Shaykh Jaber al-Khalid Al Sabah: "If they are rotten, they are rotten and the best thing to do is get rid of them. You picked them up in Afghanistan; you should drop them off in Afghanistan, in the middle of the war zone." About a group of Iranian drug smugglers the US had captured after their boat foundered, he said "God meant to punish them with death and you saved them. Why?"

  • by Maudib ( 223520 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @07:04PM (#34494632)

    From wikipedia:
    "In another example, a memo from the Defense Department under the Johnson Administration listed the reasons for American persistence:

            * 70% - To avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat.
            * 20% - To keep [South Vietnam] (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands.
            * 10% - To permit the people [of South Vietnam] to enjoy a better, freer way of life.
            * ALSO - To emerge from the crisis without unacceptable taint from methods used.
            * NOT - To 'help a friend'[3][9]"

    - If the leadership of one of the world's two super powers is continuing a war with no end it sight, simply to avoid humiliation, its pretty easy to get the impression that they are loosing.

    - If after 4 years of war military leadership says that it will take 2x-3x current troop levels to win, one could conclude that there isn't much optimism for the current strategies chances.

    These are perfectly reasonable interpretations of the the book. You should read it.

    Of course the fact that leadership decided to quit the field after determining the war was un-winnable given the available resources should be enough to persuade anyone.

  • by anyGould ( 1295481 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @07:25PM (#34494904)

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

    Hate to break it to you, but if you bomb like a war, and shoot like a war, you're in a war. No matter what the government decides to call it.

    Same reason I can't kill you with a knife and say "no, I'm not allowed to murder people. That was a 'love tap'."

  • by hrvatska ( 790627 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @09:09PM (#34495822)

    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.

    Maybe you should take some time to study the issue. It could also be that the motivation of the people trying to suppress the publication was political. Maybe they knew that if the American public was aware of the real circumstances of the war it would rapidly lose support. Unlike subsequent wars, the Vietnam War relied on a draft to provide cannon fodder. Over two million Americans fought, more than 300,000 were wounded, more than 75,000 were permanently disabled, and nearly 60,000 killed. I'd say the American public had a right to know everything about why we became involved in Vietnam and what our long term odds of prevailing were. Daniel Ellsberg helped write the Pentagon Papers. He knew exactly what was in them and felt it was vital that the American people be aware of that information. He expected to spend the rest of his life in prison when he leaked them. He performed a great public service and was willing to sacrifice his freedom for the remainder of his life. Anyone that is willing to spend the rest of his life in prison in order to provide vital information to the public is a patriot in my eyes.

  • by SETIGuy ( 33768 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @11:30PM (#34496708) Homepage

    the odd of getting a conviction on anything more than receiving stolen property are a toss up at this time.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. The cables are not stolen property. Data can only be property if it is subject to copyright. US government documents are never subject to copyright. The only way they could get him on receiving stolen property is if the media that the cables were on was US government property. I doubt anyone at wikileaks would have accepted it if that were the case. If the DOJ tries him for receiving stolen property, the case would be laughed out of court by the first judge that saw it.

    I also doubt that an Espionage Act conviction would survive. Its pretty clear that the act only applies to actions by people within the United States, otherwise we would be using it to prosecute and execute all of the Gitmo detainees for lying in an attempt to interfere with US millitary forces.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous