Daniel Ellsberg: US needs another Snowden
“We wait on the edge, the leading edge of what The Times has called ‘a slippery slope’ into a large war in the Middle East. It is time for the Congress to debate these issues fully which it has not done. To be any use, it has to be an informed debate. It can`t be limited to the lies of government officials, or the silence. It has to rely on the kind of whistleblowers that did not exist to keep us [Americans] out of Vietnam or Iraq,” Daniel Ellsberg told RT.
He believes that it was a lack of such whistleblowers that gave the US those wars, and it needs those whistleblowers right now.
“We need another Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, and many more of them to inform Congress what this country is being asked to get into,” he said.
Ellsberg expressed concern that silence is tacit approval for the Administration to move forward with its military campaign.
Ellsberg, 83, was asked whether he is worried that there are very few people to follow in his footsteps, particularly at a time like now.
“There is pressure of course to have even fewer whistleblowers. On the other hand, the example of what Edward Snowden has done in terms of pressures for reform of the NSA which would not exist without him. I think that example may encourage people to say: ‘This is something I must consider doing,’” he said.
RT spoke with Ellsberg at an event at the National Press club in Washington DC on Thursday. It was held as the US embarks on a new military campaign abroad. “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower Ellsberg talked about the need for people to expose the information that could help deescalate a war.
The event was sponsored by “Expose Facts”. It is a whistleblower organization that was launched in June. Ellsberg is a founding member and the face of a new campaign that aims to encourage more government employees to disclose noteworthy information. The campaign is growing as the Obama administration drums up support for military expansion in Iraq and Syria.
Daniel Ellsberg is one of the most reviled US government whistleblowers today. He is a former strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House. Ellsberg released the classified Pentagon papers to The New York Times, The Washington Post and 17 other newspapers in 1971. He was prosecuted but then the charges were dismissed in 1973 on the grounds of governmental misconduct against him. More whistleblowers has been charged and prosecuted under the Obama administration than every previous administration combined.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.