In the 1960s, Daniel Ellsberg traveled to Vietnam to study conditions on the ground, as the war escalated during the Johnson presidency. While there, he slowly but surely came to the conclusion that the war was not only immoral but also unwinnable. And, upon his return Stateside, he told this to anyone whose ears he could catch, be they Defense Secretary Robert McNamara or Ambassador Averell Harriman, as Sasha Abramsky detailed in a recent Nation profile of Ellsberg as he approaches his 90th birthday. When these senior figures didn’t listen, when the war continued and the list of lives lost grew longer by the hour, he made the momentous decision to go public with his insider knowledge that that war was based on a web of lies. The Pentagon Papers published in 1971 by The New York Times changed the course of history.
Fifty years after leaking the Pentagon Papers, he shows no signs of slowing down. Join a conversation with the OG whistleblower and Katrina vanden Heuvel about trying to open eyes kept deliberately shut by those who would prefer to avoid having to deal with the crises of our times.
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