2011-06-13 On 40th Anniversary of Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg Speaks Up in Support of Pfc Bradley Manning

ImageEllsberg calls for immediate termination of court-martial.

WASHINGTON. DC— Today the National Archives and the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon Presidential Libraries will at long last release the entirety of the Pentagon Papers, 40 years to the day after the New York Times’ publication of large portions of the top secret documents. Daniel Ellsberg, then an analyst with the RAND Corporation, had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Times in order to reveal information about the Vietnam War to the American people.

The full contents of the Pentagon Papers will also be available online at www.archives.gov/research/pentagon-papers.

The original release of the Pentagon Papers is perhaps the most famous instance of whistle blowing in the history of the United States. The documents, officially titled, “Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force,” were classified as top secret. Disclosure of the information is credited with adding significant public pressure to end the Vietnam War.

Ellsberg is using the occasion to speak out in support of PFC Bradley Manning—the Army intelligence analyst who stands accused of releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks—as Ellsberg has done since Manning was detained a year ago (May 26, 2010).

“If Bradley Manning did what he’s accused of, then he’s a hero of mine,” Ellsberg said. “I wish I could say that our government has improved its treatment of whistle-blowers in the 40 years since the Pentagon Papers. Instead we’re seeing an unprecedented campaign to crack down on public servants who reveal information that Congress and American citizens have a need to know.”

President Barack Obama recently stated, "Ellsberg's material was classified on a different basis [than the WikiLeaks disclosures.]"

"That's true," Ellsberg says. "Mine were top secret.” The Pentagon Papers were much higher in classification than any of the secret materials alleged to have been released by PFC Bradley Manning. The Pentagon Papers were similarly large in scope to the information Manning is accused of releasing.

Ellsberg faced twelve federal felony counts, for a total possible sentence of 115 years in prison. All charges against him were eventually dismissed by his trial judge on the grounds of what the judge called "the totality" of governmental misconduct toward Ellsberg during his period under indictment, "which offends a sense of justice."

Ellsberg asserts that Manning, too, has been subjected to governmental misconduct "that offends a sense of justice." That includes abusive, punitive and illegal conditions of detention for over nine months (until recently), with prolonged isolation amounting to torture.

He also argues that Bradley Manning cannot get a fair military trial as President Obama has already publicly declared him to be guilty. Since any military judge and jury serve under the President’s command, this amounts to a directed verdict by the Commander-in-Chief. Such ‘Unlawful Command Influence’ makes a fair trial by courts-martial impossible, and this process should be immediately terminated for Manning.

“History has vindicated Daniel Ellsberg, and history will vindicate Bradley Manning. Both men are American heroes,” said Jeff Paterson with the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Forty years ago the Pentagon Papers helped to build public pressure to end the Vietnam War. Today WikiLeaks revelations are helping to catalyze democratic movements across the Middle East. History is on the side of those who reveal—not those who conceal—information.”

PFC Bradley Manning, 23-years-old, was detained in Iraq one year ago on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his first public court hearing, now expected to begin later this summer. Over 4,300 individuals have contributed $333,000 towards PFC Manning’s legal fees and related public education efforts. The Bradley Manning Support Network is dedicated to securing due process and a public trial for PFC Manning — and to eventually winning his freedom.

*For those seeking more info (especially members of the press):

Contact: Matt Smucker,
717.209.0445, jms@beyondthechoir.org

Bradley Manning Support Network

This is a huge news. I ever

This is a huge news. I ever thought this would happen, a day where in the Pentagon Papers is free to read for everybody. The once-explosive report unveils that the government, through 4 different organizations, lied about the reasons for our participation in the Vietnam war. This is the 1st time members of the community can see the record in its whole without a security clearance. Experts claim, however, that they will learn nothing of substance which has not been formerly revealed. The report is being revealed precisely 40 years after the New York Times released the first installment of the edited report. I found this here: Pentagon Papers released in their entirety .

For insiders

“I was Typhoid Mary. I was a Leper with a bell around his neck. I've come to realize... The fear of being cut-out from a group of people you respect, and whose respect you want, and normally expect. Ah, that keeps people participating in anything, no... matter... how... terrible.” Daniel Ellsberg

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer