Ellsberg on “Countdown With Olbmermann”: Leak the Pentagon Papers of Iraq and Afghanistan Through WikiLeaks

by Ellsberg.Net on December 14, 2010

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank April 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I thought that the editors of the Wickileaks book by the Guardian, David Leigh should have been forthcoming. None of the State Department personnel or MI5 or German Intellegence who were closely monitoring this fiction were duly credited with the stories they claimed Julian Assange leaked. When Momar Quadaffi severed diplomatic relations over the fabrications and began to sing the truth back in January, The west decided to infiltrate Libya with weapons and soldiers of fortune and once again, the NY Times, the Guardian, and the other newspapers that claim to be behind the Wikileaks disclosures are fabricating more like as though it was the Invasion of Iraq all over again. This book is only meant to throw the reader off.

Jerry February 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Dr. Ellsberg,

My wife and I just watched the documentary “The Most Dangrous Man in America.” Although I have been very familiar with The Pentagon Papers for years, it was still a very powerful, as well as moving film.

I wanted to introduce myself, and my son, Matthew Erwin, who is currently serving a three-month sentence at the Air Force Brig at Vandenberg AFB, CA.
He was charged with Missing Movement and Desertion, having chosen not to deploy to Qatar, and instead, to fall off the grid. He turned himself in, two weeks later to AFOSI Agents. Needless to say, I was not happy, but my son did what he did for a number of reasons.

Myself, I contiunue to maintain my Army Reserve status (I have chosen not to serve on AD since this situation with my son, however) as a US Army All-Source Intelligence Officer (CPT), with 25 years of service (AD, reserve, IRR). My academic major (BA) also happens to be in Intelligence Studies.

To make a long story short, my son was raised to be a progressive. We chose the Air Force for Matt, if anything, as a “lifeboat,” so to speak, as socio-economic conditions in the US continue to crumble.

Matthew has always known alot from me about the history of US Foreign Policy, etc (the UNCLASS stuff, of course). We thought that the military MIGHT be a better place to serve, under Obama. However, with the escalation in Afghanistan and the drone attacks in Waziristan, these events contributed to my son’s decision. I remember Matt telling me ominously “I’ve been watching Democracy Now every day…” (our favorite daily news source, as well as a good Open-Source Intel. feed).

I admit, I’ve been whoring myself to Uncle Sam since these recent wars began, although the Intel field was something I fell in love with as a military job in the 1990’s, while struggling at the time to put 20 yrs. into the reserve component of the Army. Although Matthew already knew alot of the same information (I knew as far back as 2002 that they were not going to find WMD’s in Iraq, just going by the Open Source intel provided by Scott Ritter, speaking as an activist) that many military deserters later read before making their decision, we both thought he could “handle it,” and serve a career in the USAF. This may have been a bad assumption on my part, because even my performance has suffered, during certain tours performed within the last three years (overhearing people from Northrup-Grumman bragging about the possibility of stealing more MOS’s away from the Army, etc).

My son worked in contracting, which in-itself is a highly lucrative field, particularly as these wars continue. The Air Force is now even offering a $100,000 bonus for a six-year reinlistment. However, Matt’s never been a money chaser (unlike his Dad, within the Intel. field). He would rather personally enjoy his work, and belong to something he personally believes in (which is actually important at his age). I know he did not particularly like his job (his NCOIC told hardly anyone does), and I could only speculate on what his actual experiences were within the military-industrial complex.

I summary, my son was heading overseas to an actual vacation (R&R) spot for a tour, where his job would have been technically easier than it is, stateside. He was even expecting to put on his E-4, within a month of being overseas. However, along with other reasons, he chose to follow his conscience. Even though he was coerced into “cooperating” (he avoided contact with me prior to turning himself in, where I could have helped him keep his mouth shut), he still did not make any anti-war statements, or take an anti-war stance. This at least helped to keep him from being nailed with a worse discharge, etc.

If Matt and I could gain anything positive from this experience of his, It would be the opportunity to somehow meet with you in the near future, at one of your speaking engagements, etc. Myself, I am a regular contributor to Democracy Now, have sent a contribution to WikiLeaks (whatever happened to the check), and have added my name to a petition on behalf of Bradley Manning. I only get to speak to Matt for 15 minutes at a time, and have not yet addressed the idea of him being involved with the Anti-War movement.

Also, please excuse the website: I was inspired by Jim Rawles at Survivalblog to become involved in Survivalism, and to offer myself as a consultant, due to my own professionally-related hobby of researching Peak Oil, other areas of resource depletion, previous failed/collapsed civilizations, etc (along with training myself in organic gardening, food preservation, etc.). However, due to recent events since 2008, both globally and locally, I will be taking down the site within a month, mainly for OPSEC reasons, as more questionable people are being drawn into this following, many carrying their own self-fulfilling prophecies (I tried to convey Survivalism as a vehicle for self-reliance and continual self-improvement, regardless of what the future brings. Regardless, the collapse of this civilization is well underway).


Jerry and Matthew Erwin
Vancouver, WA (USA)

Mark Gunson February 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Dear Mr. Ellsberg:
Completely off topic here, but I just saw some interviews with Saint John Hunt, the son of E. Howard Hunt about his fathers involvement in the JFK assassination. It sounded more credible than any story so far about what happened to president Kennedy and it linked the same group of people who worked on the Watergate break in to the assassination. Saint John Hunt recorded a deathbed confession from his father that he was involved.

I am very curious what your take on this might be since it relates to that time that you served in government and to the people involved in the Watergate scandal itself. A link to the interview I saw:

Sorry to drift off topic, I’m just very interested if you have any thoughts about this.
Mark Gunson

Tom February 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

In a sense, it’s not surprising how many problems Wikileaks has right now.

At the beginning, it was THE story that would shake up media as we know it. Now what’s happeened? The usual battle involving egos, money and power.

Assange is fighting to keep Wikileaks going. Apparently, now he admits that yes, he has hyped future releases on purpose. Former associates now wreck the network and then write tell-all books about it. Hollywood studios and documentaries are done about Assange. The hype regarding who said what continues in his rape case.

Will this end up like the O.J. Simposon case? In that, can you name one key figure that didn’t go onto a book deal or a TV presenter’s job on Court TV?

The powers that be and other whistleblower sites (WMR, Cryptome, etc.) are really pissed of that Assange has been getting all of this megahype. Now, it’s time to bring him down a notch.

Gene Laratonda February 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

I just finished watching the 1 hour and 27 minute documentary, “The Most Dangerous Man in America”.

I must say that you are indeed a hero and that former President Richard Nixon is a dirtbag. Hearing Nixon say that he does not care about civilian casualties, that he considered blowing up the dikes and flooding and killing 200,000 people, that he would use a nuclear bomb, makes me cringe at the possibility of more corruption at the highest levels of government.

I wish someone would come forth on one of the biggest lies to the American public… the drug war.

Tom February 7, 2011 at 3:25 am

Hi Mr. Ellsberg,

What are your thoughts on the Egyptian revolution? I know that Obama and others are going to spin this every way possible to try and maintain U.S. power in the region as long as possible.

But, does it seem almost surreal how they and various pundits are splitting linguistic hairs?

What is a “revolt”?
What is an “uprising”?
When does an “uprising” suddenly become a “revolt”?
Or, does it then become a “revolution”?

Also, consider the parallels between Egypt and the States (unemployment, growing despair and others). If the same revolution happened here, what would they say? There’s always the fringe element that exploits people’s fears to make money.

However, you can’t deny that the similiarities are there and growing all the time.

Glen Rickerd January 27, 2011 at 1:24 am

Mr. Ellsberg,

I just completed an etical inquiry paper for an honors ethics seminar course at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA not far from Berkeley. In the paper I primarily used two documentaries as sources: The Fog of War about Robert McNamara, and your excellent “most dangerous man” docuentary, to compare and contrast two very different ethical frameworks, and two very different choices, faced with identical information and nearly identical circumstances. I found the investigation and the writing of the paper from an ethical standpoint very compelling.

In the late spring, I have opportunity to do a brief presentation at Stanford at a researh symposium for junior college students. The title of my short talk will be,

The ethics of whistle blowing: Robert Macnamara, Dan Ellsberg, and why their decisions are still matter in the era of Wikileaks.

The thing I encounter most often on campus is complete ignorance of the history, and a fatalistic apathy about what government is doing today. I would love to have a chance at making sure that I have my facts right for this presentation, and if there is any way to raise the consciousness at this local level, I’d love to ask you about the possibility of speaking at our campus. The Honors Program here would be most enthusiastic and appreciative if there were a chance to make that happen.

Your example of the hard choices you have made in your life have given me new inspiration that individuals can really make a difference. At all levels.


Ellison January 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I realize that January 25, 2011 at 1:47 AM is a bit late to thank you for your actions in revealing 5 presidents allowing the Vietnam War to kill our young men and women.

I watched “The Pentagon Papers” 2003. I was in Vietnam in 1966 to 1968. I heard about you in 1971 but did not realize that there were 47 volumes and 7,000 pages involving the US Gov. and its actions in unprovoked war.

I frankly was trying to recover from my combat experience and attempting to readjust to civilian life without any help from family, friends, or employers. I received even less help form the US Navy and was lied to by two psychiatrists I sought help from. The VA refused to emit PTSD until 1980 and in 1985 I self destructed and spent the next 20 years in a wasteland of no family, no friends, no job, and just getting through the day was all I could consider. I spent 6 years fighting the VA to get my claim granted and that experience has been a horror and has taken a toll on me as great as the war.

I realize now I was the guy you were trying to save and I can think of a lot more guys that you saved. I feel grateful to you for your work to save our Country but have to say I have in my life watched this country go down hill since that night Nixon’s men broke into your Doctor’s office.

I see a Corporate Government not a Federal Government and a people who don’t care that it is they who own this country and should hold our representatives to account by which I mean the two houses of Congress and the President and the Courts.
We now stand without a Bill of Rights and without regulation that keeps business honest.

I have written much on this subject but nothing came of it. So I am glad that we are blessed with you who stood up and actually helped a lot of young men and women to be pulled back from the furnace of war.

I have been unable to reconcile the wars we have steadily been in since 1990 or the treatment of our Veterans as a result of these wars and there is no end that I am able to see in sight.

I hope you being closer to the truth and older, meaning more experienced then I , are able to find some comfort in your life and work.

Thank you for your understanding and courage and willingness to help me and those like me….

Ellison Hunt

L.A. Puffer January 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Dr. Ellsberg: I worked with the law firm and particular legal team that represented one of the Plumbers in the trial held in California years ago. It
was a defining moment that began to shred my political “innocence” as a young idealistic woman. Now, soon to be 60, I wonder if I might be in contact with you to tell you some of the story of what went on behind the scenes? I don’t find many people are even familiar with this chapter of your journey and I still harbor observations and questions that go deep and resonate within my life and values now as a citizen. I live in the East Bay/Oakland.

Mo Davies January 20, 2011 at 5:07 am

Dear Mr Ellsberg – We watched a movie early this week, here in Australia, about the Pentagon Papers and your actions in releasing those papers, plus the subsequent furore and eventual downfall of President Nixon. We would simply like to say thank you for following your conscience and honouring your integrity. Wonderful stuff, with far-reaching consequences. It is wonderful to see someone maintain their beliefs and remain steadfast in action against global conflict. Happy 80th birthday – you’re a real hero and deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for sure.

laurel heiss January 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm



Steve Baggarly, Norfolk Catholic Worker January 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Dear Daniel,
I don’t see any other way to contact you or to view your speaking schedule, so I’m trying this. Any chance you’d come to Norfolk, VA as the main speaker for a fund raiser for Bradley Manning? I’m with the local Catholic Worker community and many people here would love it if you could ever come.
Thanks for your time, Steve Baggarly

Tom January 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Just finished reading Mr. Ellsberg’s latest interview re: Assange. Now, here are some other points to consider:

Just because Sweden’s rape laws are different from the States, the U.K. and other countries, does that alone mean that they’re a joke?

Assange did apply for a Swedish work permit. Having worked under work permits in Asia for ten years, I know about the ins and outs of the system. If Assange is so careful, are you seriously saying that he NEVER stopped to look at the entire Swedish legal system? Or, he was so preoccupied that he only looked at free speech protection laws? I find that hard to believe.

While Michael Moore, John Pilger and others support Assange, that’s one thing. But also, are all of these people famous journalists AND intl. law experts as well (specializing in Swedish rape law)?

If I leak documents and get arrested, will all of these people help me as well?

If as Moore says this is just a whitewash to get Assange in Stateside jail and then killed, how come lots of other progressives aren’t willing to back Assange w/his legal costs? It’s because they’re terrified of being labelled as a “terrorist” and arrested. To his credit, Mr. Ellsberg is taking a balanced approach to dealing with this case based on facts and not Wikileaks Megahype. However, can you name one other person that would literally put their career on the line for Assange? I can’t.

Assume Assange is extradited to Sweden and then to the States. Who’s going to help him at that point? The govt. here is sending people undercover to spy on “terrorist” threats like Code Pink and other “subversive” groups. With that kind of mentality going on (and a global depression), where are the donations for an Assange Legal Defense Fund going to come from? Rich progressives said to hell with Air America. Are they going to now suddenly change and go all out for Assange? Are we going to see a “Save Assange” telethon with (famous name here) as the host? Not a chance.

With a few rare exceptions, when push comes to shove most people will say Assange is on his own. We live in a society where it’s actually frowned on by many progressives to protest. Protesting is for the unemployed or retired people. I don’t have time for this.

Also, have a go at these “alleged” rape victims all you want. But, you can’t deny that one reason Sweden’s rape laws are general is to try and give real rape victims more courage to report this and protection as well? You also can’t deny that here in the States, rape victims (both women and men) are still treated like dirt in many cases. Since rape is so horrible, how come so many victims still refuse to testify? Easy answer: would YOU want to be treated like crap by society for something that’s not your fault?

Maybe that’s one of the most frustrating things in this case. People are so caught up in this “Assange is my hero” megahype that they refuse to deal with all of the aspects of this case. In a sense, it’s like hard core Obama supporters. No matter what Obama does, their guy is the “Perfect President” that can do no wrong. Despite all of this, they’ll still vote for him in 2012 (instead of the neocon nutcase opponent). Why? Because there’s only two choices. They know that’s crap. But, nobody seems to care anymore about things like that.

Tom January 10, 2011 at 4:33 am

Just read online that Twitter messages are being subpoened re: Wikileaks. Also possibly Skype content as well.

If the grand jury goes after Skype, I wondetr how their management will deal with this? They’re trying to get more investment to become a major player in the Stateside market. If the govt. cracks down on them, will they say no? Or, will they cave in like Amazon and the others in the name of “national security”?

I’d be impressed if the new CEO actually said, hang on a minute. Assange hasn’t broken any Stateside laws. So until he’s proven guilty, we’re not turning over anything. Then again, can he and the board of directors stand up to Obama and the neocons that want Assange killed?

Deb January 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Daniel Ellsberg,

Thank you for all you’ve done for America. May many others find themselves similarly motivated to do what’s right for our country.

Tom January 6, 2011 at 3:47 am

Hi Mr. Ellsberg,

A happy 2011 to you and everyone on the site.

Arkay January 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

Dear Mr. Ellsberg:

I am one of your most ardent supporters and fans, so I was greatly saddened–I cannot even put into words how much–to learn that you have joined the chorus of voices who have decided that there cannot be any merit to the claims of Assange’s alleged victims–and have decided it solely because of testimony from one side and one side only. I am very dubious of the state intervention and prosecutorial motives relating to the Assange case, but I cannot safely declare one side or the other truthful, particularly as regards the women in this situation, who may very well be victims of state overreach themselves.

I simply am not situated to declare one story correct and one story false, and neither are you. Proximity to one side of the story can make us even *less* neutral, of course; talking to one party does not make one a fair judge of the other party or parties’ story.

Please know that any time a respected voice like yours joins the debate without hearing both sides, it is giving aid to people who are determined not just to declare unfair state intervention–which I think is a given at this point–but also to doubt “whether rape is always rape,” and to discount the voices of abuse survivors in a way that does great and demonstrable harm to the cause of womens rights worldwide.

Michael Rapson January 2, 2011 at 2:58 am

How many “terrorist” attacks on NYC during New Year’s Eve celebrations, that keep Holder from sleeping, this year? ZERO. They couldn’t even invent any.

Randy December 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Dear Mr. Ellsberg,

Below you will find the links to two documentaries on YouTube about Wikileaks and Julian Assange, that I thought might be of interest to you and the people who post comments on your website.

WikiRebels: The Documentary | WikiLeaks & Julian Assange (2010)

Frost over the World – Julian Assange (2010)

Wishing you and your family and Happy, Healthy and Wonderful New Year.

With kind regards,

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ante December 30, 2010 at 2:02 am

i am happy that you are alive and support Julian Assange. Your honesty and love for freedom are crucial for all people in the world.

Tom December 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm

A suggestion. While Wikileaks and Assange are doing important work, keep in mind that others are doing the same thing. When was the last time you heard or saw Allan Nairn mentioned (other than on Democracy Now)?

Let’s try to not get carried away with the global “Assange Sexy Bad Boy Man of Mystery” hype.

Lee Cason Doss December 28, 2010 at 6:05 am

Mr. Ellsberg,
Please take excellent care of yourself; we need you!
As our children’s challenging futures have been so obscenely mortgaged, your exceptional voice is crucial.
I sincerely hope that powerful, elite corporate leaders, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates & friends, & their counterparts globally, will begin to listen to your messages, take them to heart, & begin to join forces —– for truth & wisdom & courage —– WITH you.

Tom December 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Hi Mr. Ellsberg,

Happy 80th. Do I also say happy 80th arrest as well :)?

How do you feel about all of the Global Wikileaks Hype? I know in every story the MSM will look for the hype factor. That aside, it seems like people are getting lost in trying to make a profit off it. Books, documentaries and more all seem to be rehashing the same thing;

Do we need Wikileaks?
Is there some new “angle” on Assange that hasn’t been analyzed?

Nobody’s talking about the problems that rape survivors go thru (both women and men). Why? Because there’s nothing “sexy” in it to make a profit off of. Frankly, maybe next to unchecked govt. power that’s the saddest part of this whole story?

Henry Pelifian December 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

It is amazing that our democracy elects to invade two countries on false premises and there are neither investigations nor indictments by either Congress or the current executive branch. Our modern presidencies need much greater accountability. It appears the two political parties are conspiring for their own ends to protect one another from accountability, especially on foreign policy and wars. They are unable to investigate themselves on momentous and serious matters, only on much lesser crimes.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and as far as Afghanistan the planning for this criminal act was done substantially in the United States and Germany, which has been amply reported on in the media. The lack of competence by the Bush Administration despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on security seems to have been lost on the American mainstream media. Instead, more wars and more funds are spent on security are making us all more unsafe. The current administration is only compounding the mistakes of the past administration.

Ron Paul summed it up well in his speech in the Congress.

William Haxton December 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I happen to be one of the people Dan Ellsberg unknowingly helped when he released the Pentagon Papers to the world. I was a C-141 pilot in the US Air Force at the time, flying ammunition, food and medical supplies to Vietnam, bringing caskets back. I missed the New York Times and Washington Post stories because I was serving a 30 day assignment in the Phillipines, but was able to get my hands on a copy of Time Magazine, mid to late June 1971 as I remember it. A little later I bought the paperback copy of the Pentagon Papers, read it front to back (not easy to do), read parts of it again, then hooked up with the War Resistor’s League in San Francisco and applied for discharge from the Air Force as a Conscientious Objector. Also not easy. But that ordeal was nothing compared to what Mr. Ellsberg experienced; still, it was enough to completely convince me of the hell that accompanies his kind of heroism. I actually had a chance to meet him a few years ago, on a houseboat at a New Year’s Eve party in 1998. When we spoke, I was surprised to learn that he wasn’t aware that the Pentagon Papers had had such a direct impact on an individual life. Looking back, it could not be more clear that my life pivoted around their publication. It’s important for America that Mr. Ellsberg’s work eventually brought the Vietnam War to an end. It’s important to me that it brought my war to an end.

Michael Rapson December 21, 2010 at 9:59 am

They want to go after everyone who threatens their empire.
How much longer before the people go after them, I wonder? There are a lot more of us than there are of them.

Glen December 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Another way in which the DOD is punishing military whistleblowers is by confining them for weeks at a time on military psychiatric wards under fraudulent diagnoses. They did this to me. I am a US-educated medical doctor with a board certification and 14 years of active duty service, including two wartime deployments. In 2008, after I had protested being ordered to comply with torture in Afghanistan and after I tried to report possible narcotics violations to my chain of command, I was threatened, harassed, denied pay and advancement, and ultimately ordered to enter a military psychiatric ward and then held against my will for three weeks despite meeting none of the medical criteria for an involuntary psychiatric confinement. I have since learned that the Army does this regularly to silence whistleblowers and obstruct investigations. Published reports include “Whitewashing Torture” by David DeBatto in Salon.com. I know of one other Army physician who was subjected to this treatment, who has also gone public with his ordeal, and I suspect there are more. This program may affect only a handful of soldiers, but the effects are profound and wide-reaching, since it frightens into silence other soldiers of conscience and corrupts the work of the medical personnel involved, including military psychiatrists. I have tried to go public without success.

Boots December 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I would like to see what cables WikiLeaks can come up with, if there are any, concerning the 9/11 attacks. Would they leak them if they found them? Would the newspapers print them?

We all know governments lie and their is reasonable evidence that should have been looked into by the 9/11 Commission that was not, which leads to the rational thinkers of the worlds supposition that 9/11 was a false flag op.

Tom Paine December 18, 2010 at 2:55 am

Mr. Ellsberg:

In a letter to a Navy friend, John F. Kennedy beautifully wrote: “War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

Thank you Sir for your great service to our country, your sacrifice, and your uncommon valor in reminding us all what it truly means to be an American Patriot. Strength and Peace.

Vidyut December 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

I applaud your courage and commitment to honesty in Nations. The world needs more of you. As someone living in a country that seems to unconsciously import its value system from the US, I can only hope that India also imports heroes like you.

Daniel Robert Snodgrass December 17, 2010 at 1:08 am

Daniel Ellsberg’s leak made our government squirm. I was 17 (w/draft card) when Nixon resigned, Thank you!

Julian Assange’s leak made corporations take notice, Thank you!

Kathleen Bergin December 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm

US lawmakers held hearings today on Assagne and Espionage Act. Links at First Amendment Law Prof Blog:


Steven December 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

Eric, like you I wasn’t around at the time of Mr.Ellsberg’s “Pentagon Papers” event but what got me tuned in on him was a so-so documentary called “The Most Dangerous Man in America” which gave some insight into what you’re asking. I would say, yes.

flo b. December 16, 2010 at 4:48 am

Just seconding what Jonas and 99 said.

Tears of gratitude

Eric December 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I wasn’t alive when you released the Pentagon Papers, but was it as bad/crazy as it is now with Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange?

By bad/crazy I mean all the people calling for his assassination, people talking about censoring those news outlets which published the cables, the Swedish court things, and amongst everything else with Mastercard/Visa, Amazon, and Paypal.

99 December 15, 2010 at 5:13 am

I think I’ve been rendered speechless by this whole state of affairs and it keeps making me cry with gratitude when Daniel Ellsberg steps up to set the world straight about what’s actually going on.

pelican3915 December 15, 2010 at 12:06 am

Daniel Ellsberg’s Words of wisdom & burning questions- interested in Gillard & Rudd’s comments on Free speech indeed all of the Australian government’s !!

Pepijn December 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Daniel Ellsberg,
Thank you for your continued effort in fighting for a free press and freedom of information.

I must say that the latest polls I have seen that document the lack of support of the US population for Wikileaks have somewhat frightened me. Not only because people seem to be en masse buying into the US government spin and the hysteric populist rhetoric of some politicians but because it shows a much deeper problem with US public opinion: the idea that merely uttering the empty phrase “national security” gives the US goverment the right to sacrifice with impunity thousands upon thousands of foreign civilian lives in military operations. Previously you could have argued there was not sufficient information availble for the public to question that empty phrase (though the false pretenses under which the war in Iraq was started have been public for a long time now). Now finally an organization has provided some much needed information and people STILL buy into that empty phrase “national security”, apparently unable to see the incredible disproportionality between condemning a few leaks that have not been linked to any life whatsoever being put in danger and endorsing wars that have led to the mass slaughter of civilians. Slaughter that, with the surge in Afghanistan and the intesified use of air strikes, appears only to be intensifying. Apparently on the moral scales of much of the US public the words National Security seem to nicely balance out thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths in far away countries.

Jonas December 14, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Excellent interview, and kudos to Olbermann for having a real hero on his show.

Leave a Comment