- I asked Dr. Daniel Ellsberg this question on Tuesday,
November 15th, after he had just completed his lecture to instructors,
professors, students and members of the public that were in attendance
to hear him speak at William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey:
Dr. Ellsberg, which bomb do you think will go off first - Fitzgerald bringing
another indictment, or the military attack on Syria and Iran? His answer
was frightening - he offered that the war would probably come first, initiated
in all likelihood as an engineered distraction to negate the effect of
the expected upcoming indictments.
- Daniel Ellsberg is an American achiever and a TRUE patriot
akin to the Spirit of '76 inculcated into our national psyche by the writings
and documents of our Founding Fathers. Ellsberg achieved national notoriety
when he exposed the "Pentagon Papers" to The New York Times in
1971. Ellsberg is yet another high-credentialed achiever and newsmaker
that summarily ignores any and all obstacles thrown in his way to block
his getting the truth out to the American people. He is the latest in
a growing number of high profile members of the American Resistance, forced
to inform the American people by going around the mainstream media.
- First, some background on Dan Ellsberg. Ellsberg served
in the US Marine Corps, worked in the US Department of Defense and the
Department of State, the latter positions focusing on issues relating to
Vietnam. He then joined the RAND Corporation in 1967. He was almost immediately
assigned to a special project authorized by then-Secretary of Defense Robert
McNamara. The project was a top secret study detailing the decision-making
processes that got US involved in the Vietnam War.
- Just as on an ever-increasing basis today, certain leaders
and people-in-the-know back then were becoming increasingly outraged and
frustrated over the war in Vietnam. A similar outrage is increasing today
on a virtually a daily basis concerning Bush's bloodthirsty war-mongering
and the horrific carnage he is causing in Iraq. This immoral war has seriously
damaged both the American economy and our personal freedoms. The outrage
is becoming increasingly intolerable as Bush and his cohorts lie and propagandize
day after day after day.
- Ellsberg's project became known as the "Pentagon
Papers." It exposed the ploy utilized by former President Lyndon
Baines Johnson in reporting that US Navy destroyers had been attacked by
elements of the North Vietnamese Air Force in the Gulf of Tonkin. That
revelation was a bald-faced lie! Congress gave Johnson war-making powers
and the Vietnam War was fully underway!
- How does this differ from "weapons of mass destruction"
today? And Bush didn't even need to prove Iraq and Saddam's involvement.
There was, we now know, absolutely no involvement by either Iraq or Saddam
in 9-11. There was, we now know, no Gulf of Tonkin attack either!
- It was the frustration on the part of patriot Ellsberg
that motivated him to risk everything, even incarceration for life. It
was this growing anger within him listening to the lies of Johnson, McNamara
and Westmoreland that finally caused him to break. He photocopied 7,000
pages of data and presented them to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
As usual, the Congress was asleep at the switch and not the least bit
interested. But back then, also, there was still some vestige of a "free
and independent press."
- Ellsberg released the 7,000-page copied study to The
New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. The American
public became aware of the criminal activities planned and executed by
Washington, and the contempt our politicians exhibited for human lives
and other people's national sovereignty. It exposed our government's lust
for wreaking mass murder and destruction upon the people of foreign lands
for no real justifiable reason. To spread his message comparing the similarity
between then and now, Ellsberg organized his observations and analogies
and decided to hit the lecture circuit to initiate public awareness of
the never-ceasing and ever-increasing criminality of the American political
- Before commenting on Dr. Ellsberg's efforts and lecture
points, it is worth noting the similarities that should serve as a standard
in terms of American citizens and voters relating to their government of,
by and for the people. At this time, recall the frustration of former Alabama
Governor, George C. Wallace, indicating that there wasn't "a dime's
worth of difference" between Democrats and Republicans. That observation
obviates the necessity of voting, as both parties are just different sides
of the same coin. And observe how that held true in the life and times
of Wallace, LBJ, Nixon and Watergate.
- The Vietnam War was launched in full by Democratic President
Lyndon Johnson's lies concerning a non-existent attack by the Vietnamese
Air Force. Consider as well the irony of LBJ and McNamara setting up the
American people and Congress citing this phony attack, when a real attack
upon our Navy by Israel actually took place in 1967 against the USS Liberty!
If Johnson wanted to pick a fight with some nation to generate a profitable
war, why didn't he just honestly report the real attack and inform the
American people of such? It is obvious that even back then, Israel had
total control of American politicians. Israel's excuses that it was a
mistake are pure unadulterated nonsense; and this was yet another criminal
cover-up by our anti-American pro-Israel Zionist-owned and controlled press.
- Yet, there is still another anomaly. Democrat Johnson
started the war, yet it was the Republican Nixon administration that was
doing its best to silence Ellsberg from blowing the whistle on a Democratic
administration, and also making monumental efforts to cover it up! This
certainly lends a lot of credibility to the no "dime's worth of difference"
observation. It also emphasizes the futility of voting.
- Dr. Ellsworth's sobering opening remark set the tone
for his briefing: "This is the first case [The Pentagon Papers] where
the United States Government sought an injunction against the American
press to silence criticism of government operations." He points out
that the Nixon administration did their best to intimidate and threaten
American newspapers into total silence. Remembering that Ellsworth first
took his complaints to the Senate, where that branch of government showed
additional complicity along with a rogue Republican administration covering
for a rogue Democratic administration, Ellsworth felt he had no other choice
but to try airing the criminal government conspiracies in the press.
- He offers that Nixon's Attorney General, John N. Mitchell,
was shocked over the "wave of civil disobedience exhibited by the
American press." The Nixon White House first threatened the newspapers
directly, and then targeted the media corporate conglomerates with anti-trust
lawsuits. Ellsberg offers that the Nixon White House developed a paranoia
offering that "everyone was committing treason against America and
the administration." And this statement meant to include even the
law firms representing the media!
- Does this all sound familiar? Do the paranoiac smears
of "unpatriotic," or "cut and run cowards," or outright
charges that accusations against the administration are coming from "traitors"
to the United States ring a bell? Isn't the same thing going on right now?
Isn't anyone not supporting Bush considered a "traitor?"
- It would seem that the Bush administration and its sycophants
seem to think so. Every time I hear a Rush Limbaugh or a Bill O'Reilly
offer that the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are terrorists and
therefore deserve to be tortured and murdered, the latter inhumanity suggested
specifically by FOXNews' O'Reilly, I am amazed at their total lack of knowledge
about these hapless victims of political human trafficking. Many were
simply civilians arbitrarily rounded up; others among them were simply
captured by a political opposition force and then SOLD for bounty to American
forces manning these prisons.
- What legal protections were afforded these prisoners
as prescribed by American law? Obviously Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Falwell,
Robertson and all the legions of Bush sycophants are ignorant of both due
process of law under the United States Constitution, as well as both the
foundations and principles of the Geneva Conventions, the latter as old
as our Constitution. Who are the accusers? Where and what evidence exists
as to their combat or non-combat status? Can they face their accusers?
Can they cross-examine them? What specifically are the charges against
them? Can they have legal counsel? What about a speedy trial? What ever
happened to "name, rank and serial number?" What about Miranda
and "the right to remain silent?"
- None of these protections of basic human rights mean
anything to Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and the rest of the Bush media propaganda
gang. And where now is there that spirit of the "free and independent
press" that existed in 1971? Judith Miller was cited by Ellsberg
as an example of government bullying of the press; more to the point, however,
is the use by the Bush White House of Miller to splatter the front pages
of The New York Times with the falsehoods regarding Saddam's weapons of
mass destruction. This isn't reporting from the "newspaper of record"
- it is criminal propaganda that resulted in dead American soldiers and
tens of thousands of dead and maimed innocent civilians of an innocent
- Ellsberg pointed to similarities between the manufactured
and poorly-forged "intelligence documents" related to Niger yellowcake
to efforts by E. Howard Hunt to forge false and incriminating documents
to be used against Democrats. He headed the effort to break into DNC headquarters
in order to photocopy "evidence" to be used for blackmail. Nixon
gangsters were looking beyond the Pentagon Papers, and sought to discredit
Ellsberg in the same way; via blackmail and character assassination. When
all those efforts failed, American government used its trump card: "the
- Federal prosecutors from the "Justice Department"
charged Ellsberg with 12 felony counts, whereupon a guilty verdict carried
a possible prison term of 115 years! After the Supreme Court failed to
come through for Nixon and found the administration's injunction against
19 newspapers unconstitutional, the Nixon gangsters then resorted to the
law and its threat of violence, force and incarceration. In today's "Bush-Über-Alles"
environment, Ellsberg might be classified as an "enemy combatant"
according to "laws" favored by Limbaugh and O'Reilly. Today,
he wouldn't even be allowed to defend himself legally or to be represented
- Although Ellsberg did not draw an analogy to the media
support now available to Bush, support that wasn't available to Nixon,
he did note the major difference in terms of the party of opposition having
the majority and thereby launching the Nixon impeachment proceedings.
He did, however, point to a possible change in political environment coming
on the heels of the 2006 Mid-Term elections.
- Ellsberg pointed out that the Vietnam War couldn't be
won; he offers the same conclusion today with respect to Iraq. He faults
himself for waiting to long during the Vietnam War for blowing the whistle
that led to the anti-war movement that finally ended the bloody conflict.
He is trying to make up for that delay by speaking out actively today.
- He decries the lack of Democratic opposition to Bush's
imperial war-mongering - and he is especially critical of U.S. Senator
Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., not only for supporting the war, but for demanding
that the conflict be intensified by sending in even more American troops.
- Ellsberg opined: "I think it will be a long time
before we get out of Iraq, very long, with Democrats or Republicans."
This quote was from the same lecture given a couple of days earlier at
Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, and covered by Sarah N.
Lynch of the Morris County Daily Record on Sunday, November 13th. Lynch
continues to quote Ellsberg: "The [D]emocratic base would be glad
to see us out, as I would. That does not mean we are going to get [D]emocratic
leaders who are going to give up those bases in Iraq in the midst of those
- Quoted in the Lynch article and repeated again at the
WPU lecture hall, Ellsberg continued: "If there's a terrorist attack,
I think the president will get what he wants, and here's what I think he
wants. This is my belief. I believe that what he wants is a new Patriot
Act that's already been drafted, I feel sure, that will make this Patriot
Act look like the Bill of Rights."
- Lynch in her article, "Vietnam critic sees new war,
same lies," goes on to say, "Other possible goals that Ellsberg
believes are in the minds of the administration could also include resorting
to military rule on our own soil, imposing a draft on men and women and
launching attacks on Syria and Iran."
- Offering his opinion on the future of a "free and
independent press," Ellsberg related that he foresees a future where
the ruthless suppression of journalistic expression will be undertaken
in any case where criticism of the administration is even suspected. He
offered that presently, there is no "official secrets act."
Ellsberg even touched upon Title 18 USC 793 and 794, and identified these
as the "Espionage Acts" enacted by the Wilson administration
during World War I. He avoided explaining the penalties of Section 794
- But Ellsberg pointed out that three categories of criminal
acts addressing "leaks" and revelations by the press will soon
be invoked to greatly increase prosecutions of reporters for doing what
was done when the press exposed the Plame-CIA scandal: the Intelligence
Identities Protection Act, a narrower interpretation of privileged communications
revelations, and virtually anything concerning nuclear information.
- Ellsberg continually reiterated the need for action.
"What I and Richard Clark did wrong, is that we waited too long,"
he laments. Considering the lack of Democratic leadership, increasing evidence
of a one party system, an ineffectual media combined with an effective
and powerful neoconservative propaganda machine led by Limbaugh and O'Reilly,
and the intended ruthlessness and planned suppression of human rights in
America, an American Resistance is indeed our only hope. But we may yet
luck out - Patrick J. Fitzgerald may be the match that will really ignite
- © 2005 All rights reserved
- Ted Lang is a political analyst and freelance writer.