www.democracynow.org – Forty-one years ago, Beacon Press lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the U.S. government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. It is now well known how The New York Times first published excerpts of the top-secret documents in June 1971, but less well known is how the Beacon Press, a small nonprofit publisher affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, came to publish the complete 7,000 pages that exposed the true history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Their publication led the Beacon press into a spiral of two-and-a-half years of harassment, intimidation, near bankruptcy and the possibility of criminal prosecution. This is a story that has rarely been told in its entirety.
The U.S. Senator who divulged the Pentagon Papers in Congress says Edward Snowden and other citizens with access to classified information should have the same immunity as members of Congress to make public secret documents exposing government wrongdoing.
Before Daniel Ellsberg, American’s most important whistleblower until Snowden, leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to The New York Times and The Washington Post, he went to Congress to find a Senator willing to make the Papers public.
Daniel Ellsberg: There was no law against leaking the Pentagon Papers nor is there now against Wikileaks
Daniel Ellsberg is a former US military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will remain in a London prison until a British court takes up a Swedish request for extradition for questioning on sexual crime allegations. An international group of former intelligence officers and ex-government officials have released a statement in support of Assange. We speak to one of the signatories, Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971. “If I released the Pentagon Papers today, the same rhetoric and the same calls would be made about me,” Ellsberg says. “I would be called not only a traitor—which I was then, which was false and slanderous—but I would be called a terrorist… Assange and Bradley Manning are no more terrorists than I am.”
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses the events leading to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, earlier CIA attempts to provoke N. Vietnam retaliation, Robert McNamara’s role in hiding evidence that the second Tonkin Gulf incident never happened, the possibility an earlier leak of the Pentagon Papers would have prevented the Vietnam War and saved millions of lives, the sociological explanation of how government secrects are kept and the U.S. penchant for planning false-flag operations that sacrifice American lives.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses evidence that Robert McNamara never told LBJ the August 4, 1964 Tonkin Gulf attack on the USS Maddox and Turner Joy never happened, information revealed in recorded phone conversations between LBJ and McNamara released in 2006 and Gareth Porter’s own phone conversation with McNamara. Note: recorded on June 22, 2009