Resignations and Leaks in U.S. State Department Signal Growing Dissent Against Iraq War
Interview with Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. government military analyst who released the "Pentagon Papers," conducted by Scott Harris
Daniel Ellsberg was a career U.S. government military analyst when, in 1971, he leaked the now-famous "Pentagon Papers" to the press, which bolstered opposition to the Vietnam War. The 47-volume Defense Department internal study of the U.S. role in Southeast Asian conflicts for more than three decades was classified top secret. The documents chronicled the lies and deceit employed by government officials to justify U.S. military intervention in the region's wars. Mr. Ellsberg, originally a strong supporter of the Vietnam War, became a committed opponent, risking his career and freedom when he released these documents to the New York Times.
He was indicted by the Nixon administration for the unauthorized release of state secrets and faced a possible 115-year prison term. But the charges were dismissed in 1973 after it was revealed that President Nixon had authorized White House aides to burglarize Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in an attempt to discredit him.
In an indication of growing internal opposition to the Bush administration's plans for a "pre-emptive" war in Iraq, several career State Department diplomats have recently resigned in protest. In Britain, an intelligence agency operative leaked a document from the U.S. National Security Agency outlining Washington's plans to spy on United Nations delegates from nations whose votes are being sought by the U.S. to pass a resolution authorizing war in the Security Council. British authorities recently arrested an employee at the government Communications Headquarters for violating that nation's Official Secrets Act. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Daniel Ellsberg, who reflects on the current White House drive for war with Iraq and growing dissent now bubbling to the surface within the government bureaucracy.
Ellsberg's book, "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" is published by Viking. Visit Daniel Ellsberg's website at www.ellsberg.net
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