In the 1960s, Ellsberg was a high-level Pentagon official, a former Marine commander who believed the American government was always on the right side. But while working for the administration of Lyndon Johnson, Ellsberg had access to a top-secret document that revealed senior American leaders, including several presidents, knew that the Vietnam War was an unwinnable, tragic quagmire.
Officially titled "United States-Viet Nam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,"–the Pentagon Papers, as they became known–also showed that the government had lied to Congress and the public about the progress of the war. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In, 1971, Ellsberg leaked all 7,000 pages to The Washington Post, and 18 other newspapers, including The New York Times, which published them.
Not long after, he surrendered to authorities and confessed to being the leaker. Ellsberg was charged as a spy. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed on grounds of governmental misconduct against him. In April 1973, the court learned that Nixon had ordered his so-called "Plumbers Unit" to break into the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist to steal documents they hoped might make the whistle-blower appear crazy. In May, more evidence of government illegal wiretapping was revealed. The charges against Ellsberg were dropped. This led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. (...)
Also, the PBS series POV is streaming “The Most Dangerous Man inAmerica: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” on June 13 and 14.
In this interview, Ellsberg says, "Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, would feel vindicated that all the crimes he committed against me–which forced his resignation facing impeachment–are now legal. " (Thanks to the Patriot Act and other laws passed in recent years.) And he says all presidents since Nixon have violated the constitution, most recently President Obama, with the bombing of Libya.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:39