Daniel Ellsberg

by Elsberg.net 


Daniel Ellsberg was born in Chicago in 1931. After graduating from Harvard in 1952 with a B.A. summa cum laude in Economics, he studied for a year at King’s College, Cambridge University, on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Between 1954 and 1957, Ellsberg spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as rifle platoon leader, operations officer, and rifle company commander.

In 1959, Ellsberg became a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation and a consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. Ellsberg joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) John McNaughton, working on the escalation of the war in Vietnam. In 1965 Ellsberg transferred to the State Department to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification in the field.

After returning to the RAND Corporation in 1967, Ellsberg worked on the top-secret McNamara study, U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. Ellsberg’s subsequent trial on twelve felony counts, posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, leading to the convictions of several White House aides and figuring in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, scholar, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He was awarded the 2006 Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm, Sweden “…for putting peace and truth first, at considerable personal risk, and dedicating his life to inspiring others to follow his example.”

Ellsberg is the author of four books: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (2017); Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002); Risk, Ambiguity and Decision (2001); and Papers on the War (1971).  He is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst; a Distinguished Researcher at UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library; and a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Selected Articles and Interviews


Daniel Ellsberg Isn’t Stopping Now, by Sasha Abramsky, The Nation, 3/26/21

The Whistleblower: Truth, Dissent and the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg (podcast), The GroundTruth Project, April 2021

The Truth-teller: From the Pentagon Papers to the Doomsday Machine, The Great Transition Initiative, April 2019

Preventing Nuclear War

Daniel Ellsberg Thinks We’re in Denial About Nuclear WarNew York Times Magazine, 2/8/18

Daniel Ellsberg Address at Stanford University on The Doomsday Machine  (video), 5/22/18

Daniel Ellsberg Talk at Google: The Doomsday Machine (video), 2/1/18

Daniel Ellsberg Address: The Doomsday Machine, The Commonwealth Club – San Francisco  (video), 12/12/17

The Doomsday Machine, AcTVism Interview with Daniel Ellsberg, The Real News Network  (video), 10/10/19

Is Nuclear War Inevitable? NY Times, 12/28/17

The Secret History of the Bomb, by Rick Perlstein, Esquire, 11/21/17

Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

The Deceit and Conflict Behind the Leak of the Pentagon Papers, by Ben Bradlee, Jr., Washington Post, 4/8/21

How Richard Nixon’s Obsession with Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Sowed the Seeds for the President’s Downfall, by Christian Appy,  Westport News, 4/23/21

Seeing the Pentagon Papers in a New Light, by Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica, 2/3/21

Daniel Ellsberg on the Release of the “Top Secret” Pentagon Papers (video and transcript), The Real News Network, 6/13/19

Panel on the Pentagon Papers with Gar Alperovitz and Janaki Natarajan, the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst  (video), 10/28/19

Daniel Ellsberg Explains Why He Leaked The Pentagon Papers (audio), Fresh Air, National Public Radio, WHYY-FM, 12/4/17

Daniel Ellsberg – The Original WhistleblowerThe Times, 12/9/17

In ‘The Post,’ Democracy Survives the DarknessNew York Times, 12/21/17

Daniel Ellsberg Is Still Thinking About the Papers He Didn’t Get to Leak, by Andrew Rice, New York Magazine, 11/28/17

The Interview Burns & Novick Missed in ‘The Vietnam War’ Series, “From Protest to Resistance” conference marking the 50th anniversary of the March on the Pentagon (video), 10/21/17

Secret Decisions That Altered the Vietnam WarU.S. News & World Report, 6/13/16

Secrecy and Whistleblowing

A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg and Charles Sennott, WGBH Conversation (video), 10/23/19

My Papers at UMass Show How Much Is Concealed From the Public, Scholars, and Congress, Past@Present, 10/28/19

Daniel Ellsberg on the Release of the “Top Secret” Pentagon Papers, Real News Network  (video), 6/13/19

He Faced Off with Nixon, See His Advice to Whistleblower, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN (video), 10/1/19

Daniel Ellsberg Has Some Thoughts on Trump’s Whistleblower, Vice.com, 10/7/19

Daniel Ellsberg, Leaker Of Pentagon Papers, Reflects On Current Whistleblower Situation, WGBH (audio), 10/27/19

Ellsberg, Co-conspirators Share Untold Stories Behind Pentagon Papers LeakDaily Hampshire Gazette (video), 10/28/19

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg Speaks on Pentagon PapersThe Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 10/31/19

Whistleblowers Preserve American Democracy: A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg and Marc Steiner (video),The Real News Network, 9/25/19

A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg, George Perkovich, and Natasha Bertrand, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (video), 4/10/18

Daniel Ellsberg and John Dean on Whistleblowing and the Perils of Abusing Power Open Society Foundations (video), 9/22/09

Decision and Risk

The Dollar Auction, Unendable Wars, and Gambling with Catastrophe, lecture at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts – Amherst (video), 10/29/19

The Ethics and Risks of Threatening Omnicide, Talk at the Annual Friends of the Libraries Reception at University of Massachusetts – Amherst (video), 11/1/19

Ellsberg Archive at UMass – Amherst

UMass to Get Trove of Daniel Ellsberg’s Private PapersBoston Globe, 9/24/19

The Daniel Ellsberg Collection, UMass Special Collections and University Archives (video), 9/24/19

UMass Amherst Buys Historic Papers Of ‘Pentagon Papers’ Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, New England Public Media, 9/25/19

Historic Collection of Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s Life Work Acquired by University of Massachusetts Amherst, 9/24/19

Ellsberg Engages with Audiences at UMass Amherst, Inside UMass, 10/31/19



Daniel Ellsberg Leaks Documents Showing U.S. Military Sought Nuclear Strike on China in 1958 - by DemocracyNow

Post a Comment