Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


The Real News Network

Opinion | The Man Who Leaked the Pentagon Papers Has a Final Warning for America

2 min read

Hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Produced by Wyatt Orme

Edited by Kaari Pitkin, Stephanie Joyce and Anabel Bacon

Engineered by Pat McCusker

Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud

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Daniel Ellsberg fully expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after he leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and The Washington Post in 1971. The documents revealed decades of government lies and mistakes in about the war in Vietnam, and eventually, they helped end it.

The charges against Ellsberg were ultimately dismissed but, he had a secret: The Pentagon Papers were only supposed to be the beginning. Alongside the documents about Vietnam, he’d copied thousands of pages of other documents about America’s nuclear war planning that he believed would shock the public conscience. But a series of mishaps kept those documents from ever coming to light.

Now, after revealing a terminal cancer diagnosis in March, Ellsberg is reflecting on his life, the secrets he wasn’t able to reveal and threats to the world he’s leaving behind.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]. Follow Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Twitter: @lourdesgnavarro

“First Person” was produced this week by Wyatt Orme. It was edited by Stephanie Joyce and Kaari Pitkin, with help from Anabel Bacon. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker. The rest of the “First Person” team includes Olivia Natt, Rhiannon Corby, Sophia Alvarez Boyd, Derek Arthur, and Jillian Weinberger. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski, Shannon Busta, Allison Benedikt, Annie-Rose Strasser and Katie Kingsbury.

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