Scott Horton Interviews Daniel Ellsberg

Scott Horton, January 04, 2010

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Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, discusses the losing battle of Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy (who both presided as senators over the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in 1964) to defeat the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, LBJ’s decision to escalate the Vietnam War despite the prescient predictions of disaster by advisor Clark Clifford, the doublethink prospect of destabilizing Pakistan in order to stabilize it, how “effective” counterinsurgencies often provoke civil war, the re-arrest of Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, the underestimation of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the inadequacy of currently proposed treaties on nuclear weapons.

MP3 here. (1:00:14)

Daniel Ellsberg is the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers and the articles “U.S. Nuclear War Planning for a Hundred Holocausts” and “Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years.”

In 1959 Daniel Ellsberg 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. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dkmnow, Tajitj. Tajitj said: Daniel Ellsberg « Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton: http://bit.ly/8mlWKj [...]

  2. I thought a hundred warheads were enough for Nuclear Winter. By the way, I read somewhere that the Uni of Colorado recently made a study on Nuclear Winter. But as former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-always points out : A First-Strike Capability is suicidal. Pursuing Nuclear Primacy and at the same time being aware that Nuclear Winter would finish us off anyway is insanity at its very highest level.

  3. If one google Uni of Colorado/Nuclear Winter it´s revealed that 100 warheads Hiroshima-size are enough for Nuclear Winter. In a previous interview Dr Ellsberg agreed with me (and Bob Aldridge, David Guinness) that a First-Strike Capability eventualy leads to Launch On Warning. What are the missiles and the radars for that Obama will deploy at sea and in the Balkans and when is deployment ?

  4. Of course, everybody takes it for granted that it´s only for blackmail. Implementation of Automatic Launch On Warning is suicide by mistake and could be a danger after deployment of missiles and radars at sea and in the Balkans. And it doesn´t make any sense at all as 100 warheads only Hiroshima-size is enough for Nuclear Winter according to Uni of Colorado. "Bloody fools in the Pentagon, they are all bloody fools" as Brigadier Harbottle stated. We can only commit suicide once. Bob Aldridge realized this and resigned. We ought to urge the bloody fools in Pentagon´s First-Strike Planning Office to resign.

  5. The worst of it in a way is that we´re sleepwalking into it because of Lockheed, etc. shareholders greed and unawareness of Bob Aldridge´s work and message. His most recent book is America in Peril. http://www.plrc.org EVEN IF IT´S ONLY FOR BLACKMAIL, IT´S SUICIDAL. That´s the reason Bob Aldridge resigned. He knows everything and he is right in everything.

  6. According to Uni of Colorado 100 warheads Hiroshima-size is enough to produce Nuclear Winter.

  7. I would like to recommend a book for everybody concerned about the threat of nuclear weapons. The book is UFOs and Nukes by Robert Hastings. Anybody in this forum read it yet?
    This is an important work and everyone concerned for our future should read it and act accordingly. Thanks to the brave souls such as Daniel Ellsberg for speaking out in the name of peace, truth, justice and freedom.
    Have a great day and may peace be with you always.

  8. [...] on the one country in the region which already has nukes: Israel. With 600 nuclear-tipped missiles, at a minimum, armed and aimed at god-knows-who, Israel has stubbornly refused to even acknowledge the existence [...]

  9. [...] on the one country in the region which already has nukes: Israel. With 600 nuclear-tipped missiles, at a minimum, armed and aimed at god-knows-who, Israel has stubbornly refused to even acknowledge the existence [...]

  10. [...] honestly. Any realistic assessment of the situation must include the fact that Israel presently has hundreds of nukes, many of which are no doubt aimed straight at [...]

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