Scott Horton Interviews Daniel Ellsberg

Scott Horton, August 08, 2009

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Daniel Ellsberg, author of the article “Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years,” discusses the 64 year cover-up of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, how the A-bomb is a mere trigger for the 1000X stronger H-bomb, the massive loss of civilian life in the allied fire-bombing of German and Japanese cities, the U.S. president’s free hand to commit atrocities in wartime and the need for government whistleblowers to step up and prevent the next false pretext for war.

MP3 here. (28:42)

Daniel Ellsberg is the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. In 1959 he worked as a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), John McNaughton, working on Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification on the front lines.

On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, he worked on the Top Secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

10 Responses to “Daniel Ellsberg”

  1. According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. And according to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. Please see the article by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, "The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy" in the 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 D 5 linked to NAVSTAR obtain a CEP of 30-40 metres, enough to destroy any hard target. A First-Strike Capability won´t be complete without the missiles in Poland to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles. Even if it´s only for blackmail, the Russians may have no choice but implementing LaunchOn Warning.

  2. Given that American debt is spiraling out of control, what difference does it make what the Americans plan for the future if they cannot afford it? The only thing that keeps the game going is the fact that the government in Beijing would probably fall if the dollar collapsed, because they have so much money tied up in American securities, so they keep buying them to maintain the fiction that they are sound. In Chinese Turkestan we just had a reminder that not everyone in China is happy about living under Bejing. Everybody in power in the governments of the industrial economies stands to lose their seat when the music stops, so they play on, for now, but this golden era for the rich West must of necessity be over soon when the oil runs out. The major nuclear crisis that must soon be faced is seeing to it that when America can no longer afford more military than the rest of the world put together, they do not just bury their aging bombs abroad or drop them into the bottom of the sea when they close down their bases. Does it not seem a little foolish that they spend billions on nuclear deterrence and then claim that many small bands of 11 September attackers managed to get around all of that or that airplanes full of South American cocaine manage to just slip through such expensive air defenses? This involves a major league double-think does it not?

  3. It is becoming increasingly apparent that U.S. bankruptcy offers the only hope for ending the threat of global nuclear war. Any sane person outside the U.S. will try to avoid being caught in the ramifications of the final collapse of the dollar. Naturally, not everyone will be successful, but this is what happens when a problem becomes so large that it encompasses the entire planet. As for the American population, it has a truly grim future awaiting it.

  4. A savvy opponent will develop an anti-satellite capability to destroy the tracking and targeting systems. That is why the U.S. Air Force is so bitterly fanatical about achieving and maintaining "full-spectrum dominance." That is also why, when the Chinese fired a missile to obliterate one of their own satellites, the U.S. reacted so nastily. The Chinese were serving notice that they are seeking to achieve the necessary anti-satellite capability to prevent U.S. "full-spectrum dominance."

  5. U debt is not spiraling ou of control. The SU is merely inflain the value of its birdcage-bottom currency and passing the inlaionary factor on to the ret of the world holding US deb instruments.

    Most impotan of all, US ciizens are sittin on their fat butts sucking down their Coors and letting it all happen. Thsi nation and its itizens have totally lost their Integrity, Ethics, Morality and Honor as they sleep through the utter destruction of heir so-called Democracy. Until a single anker and Golsdman sach executvie goes to jail, this nation is not worth a tinkers DAMN!

  6. The only hope to end the threat of global nuclear war resides in the hands of armed American patriots committed to preserving their Democracy and hunting down the Wealthy whiteboys who have LOOTED, PILLAGED, RAPED & DESTROYED this nation and itsa ciizens.

    Unfortunately, today America has far more COORS-GUZZLING dishonorable cowards and shills than it does honorable, proud patriots willing to FIGHT to preserve their families and their nation.

  7. “Unfortunately, today America has far more COORS-GUZZLING dishonorable cowards and shills than it does honorable, proud patriots willing to FIGHT to preserve their families and their nation.”

    And Raimondo is wondering why AW.com has <$1K in donations? "Monday Morning Update: I see that as of Monday morning, we are under $1,000 in contributions – a truly ominous trend. If this goes on, we’ll be off the Internet in a little over a week…"

    The door swings boths ways… In and out.

  8. Claus-Erik. I tried to arrange an interview with Bob Aldridge, but he's deaf and so it's a no go.

    Why not interview him yourself via email or something and I'll blog it.

    –Scott

  9. http://www.rys2sense.com/anti-neocons/viewtopic.p… Nagasaki the Forgotten Bomb

  10. [...] Razing Japan to the Ground: U.S. War Crimes in WW2 Daniel Ellsberg interviewed by Scott Horton [...]

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