Daniel Ellsberg's Vietnam Memoir

Eerily Presages Iraq Debacle

by Stan Moore

Dissident Voice

April 7, 2003



Daniel Ellsberg's book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, was published by Viking Press in 2002.  Ellsberg was a former U.S. Marine officer who went on to work at high levels in the Pentagon as well as with National Security Consultants at the Rand Corporation.  Ellsberg had access to high level secret documents and had first hand contact with policy shapers in the U.S. government during the Vietnam conflict.  And his exposure to the relentless pattern of lying by the U.S. President and Presidential Cabinet officers to the American public and the U.S. Congress about a whole range of significant matters related to the war effort in Vietnam eventually led Daniel Ellsberg to take drastic steps to stop that war.


Ellsberg saw constant lying by the U.S. Government to the American people in situations where the U.S. committed military provocations against North Vietnam, even in the early 1960's.  And the U.S. government insisted to the public that it was the North Vietnamese who had provoked American retaliation, in complete disregard of the truth.


Ellsberg saw top-secret analyses of the political and military situations related to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and he learned that communications between the U.S. Government and the U.S. public were again knowingly false. 


The U.S. Government knew its military tactics were deficient and bound to fail, yet it kept requesting more funds and more young men to go to Vietnam to prop up puppet governments and ultimately give their lives for reasons that were outright lies.


Ultimately, Ellsberg photocopied hundreds of pages of top-secret documents on these matters and risked his own future by turning those documents over to the public press.  The ensuing uproar helped turn the American public against the Vietnam War, once the truth about the war became better understood by the public.  Ellsberg was prosecuted by the U.S. government and risked many years of imprisonment, but the government case was eventually dismissed.


Not surprisingly, Daniel Ellsberg opposes the War on Iraq, and continues to see the pattern of false agendas, deception and outright lying by the U.S. Government to the American public.  Ellsberg has been arrested within the past two weeks in his protesting of the War on Iraq, and his views are available online at http://www.ellsberg.net


Stan Moore lives in San Geronimo, CA. He can be contacted at: hawkman11@hotmail.com



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