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Daniel Ellsberg

June 29, 2011

isolation – “…Manning is still being held absolutely unconscionably in what they call prevention of injury [inaudible] not necessary as far as the prison psychologist has said, which means being interrupted every five minutes to respond during the day, having no exercise in his cell for 23 hours a day. The rationale for that is pretty thin. His physical condition is deteriorating under that. He gets one hour a day to do figure eights in a closed office, essentially. And no sheet or pillow–after all, he might commit suicide with those. So in other words, they’re using every method, I would say, short of waterboarding to break him down and get him to say, I would guess falsely, but false or true, accusations against Assange which will help them in their prosecution of Assange if they can get him. So it’s torture, in a word. The isolation that he’s been subjected to for the last seven months now has been–it’s not obvious to a layman. We’re so familiar with that being–people being subjected to that. We’re not really aware, I think, of how many psychological studies have definitely identified that as torture…How do we know? They admit it, basically. They just say, oh, it’s ordinary treatment for national security prisoners. How many national security prisoners they have at Quantico I’m just not sure. I’ve waited 40 years for a national security prisoner like this one to turn up who said, I’m willing to go to prison for life or even be executed because, he said, this was information the public needed to know, it should not be sequestered in some safe in DC. He said the public needed this to be a democracy and to change conditions that he understood to be atrocious, atrocities in Iraq, including turning over hundreds and hundreds, thousands, perhaps, of people to what we knew would be torture, and tortured considerably more than he’s been subjected to. It was clearly illegal. WikiLeaks has revealed this, under Obama in 2009, that Obama’s administration was clearly violating the law in neither stopping the torture of prisoners that we were turning over or investigating it. The WikiLeaks shows that the orders went out again and again and again: do not investigate further. That’s an illegal order, plainly. It’s our international obligation to investigate any credible allegation of torture. So, strictly speaking, Obama’s own officials, or even he himself, is subject to questioning here about clear-cut violations of the law. That wasn’t true with the Pentagon Papers, by the way. They were three years old at the time that they were released, the most recent of them. They didn’t deal with the Nixon administration. There weren’t any clear-cut criminal violations they revealed then in the way this is. So I can see why Obama is particularly sensitive about these releases…” (Daniel Ellsberg: We Need Whistleblowers to Stop Murder)

the war for the people– “The Quagmire Myth and the Stalemate Machine” is an award winning essay by Dr. Ellsberg which was published in 1970 for the M.I. T. Center for International Studies. His book, PAPERS ON THE WARS, was published by Simon and Schuster in July 1972. It may be of interest to our readers to learn that Daniel Ellsberg entered the Marine Corps approximately eight months after Hank Hohenstein (who assisted Manuel Klausner in interviewing Ellsberg) had enlisted. Though they had never served together, their training was very similar and both became infantry officers and served in infantry battalions. Their paths, though diverse, were entwined with the Department of Defense, since Hank remained very active in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1969. As late as 1968 he was privileged to attend various secret briefings when the credibility gap became too great to tolerate. As Hank states, “One did not have to read the newspaper nor be an especially astute tactician to understand that the military were not only deceiving the American people but even dedeiving themselves and that we were fighting a war we had lost militarily. But more importantly, because of our actions in Vietnam, we had lost the ‘other war,’ the war for the people.” (Why I Did It!: An Interview with Daniel Ellsberg)

whistle-blowing – “…The mainstream media manages to ignore, to a degree that is, things that come out. They can claim, well, it’s not reliably sourced. Who knows? But they don’t follow it up. Somebody asked me earlier, “Did anybody consult with me about whistle-blowing?” Actually, there is one case. Sibel Edmonds is a very interesting case. And she was the — you may remember — was the FBI translator who was fired for what later an investigation said was essentially because she was a whistle-blower and because she was telling the truth and what she said was the truth. And yet she’s known as the most gagged person in America, the ACLU case that went up to the Supreme Court, because they kept using, in an unprecedented way, the State Secrets Privilege to keep her from testifying in court, testifying in open testimony, and so forth…” (Daniel Ellsberg – More Dangerous Than Julian Assange?)

Daniel Ellsberg, Ph.D. (born April 7, 1931) is a former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006. On December 9, 2010, Ellsberg appeared on the Colbert Report where he commented that the existence of WikiLeaks helps to build a better government. On March 21, 2011, Ellsberg along with 35 other demonstrators was arrested during a demonstration outside the Marine Corps Base Quantico, in protest of Manning’s current detention at Marine Corps Brig, Quantico (Wikepedia).

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