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Daniel Ellsberg lecture: "Secrecy, Freedom and Empire"

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Nichelle Beardsley
Location Details:
Zellerbach Auditorium Bancroft Way & Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, CA

PENTAGON PAPERS WHISTLEBLOWER DANIEL ELLSBERG TO UNVEIL NEW BOOK, SECRETS: A MEMOIR OF VIETNAM AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS Panel of distinguished scholars joins former Pentagon official and Nixon target at next Independent Institute Policy Forum WHAT: The Independent Institute, the World Affairs Council of Northern California, and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley present an evening with Daniel Ellsberg: “Secrecy, Freedom and Empire: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers” WHO: -- DANIEL ELLSBERG is the world-renowned, former Pentagon official and whistle-blower who made headlines around the world in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers at the height of the Vietnam War. In addition to his widely acclaimed, new book, SECRETS, he is the author of RISK, AMBIGUITY AND DECISION. Panelists: -- BARTON J. BERNSTEIN is Professor of History at Stanford University; author of THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION: A Documentary History; and editor of TOWARDS A NEW PAST: Dissenting Essays in American History, POLITICS AND POLICIES OF THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION, and TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA: Recent Interpretations. -- EDWIN B. FIRMAGE is Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah; co-author of TO CHAIN THE DOG OF WAR: The War Power of Congress in History and Law; and co-editor of THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL SYSTEM and RELIGION AND LAW: Biblical, Jewish and Islamic Perspectives. -- DAVID R. HENDERSON is Professor of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School; author of THE JOY OF FREEDOM: An Economist's Odyssey; and editor of the FORTUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ECONOMICS. WHEN: Tuesday, October 23, 2002, 8:00 p.m. Doors and bookstore open at 7:00 p.m. Program begins at 8:00 p.m. Author book signing after the program WHERE: Zellerbach Auditorium Bancroft Way & Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, California Directions: Driving and parking directions available online at Or take BART to the Downtown Berkeley station. COST: $18.00/person ($14.00/person for Independent Institute and World Affairs Council Members; $10.00/person for students ) RSVP: Order tickets through Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988 or online at (limited seating) URL: The Independent Institute ( is a non-politicized, scholarly public policy research and educational organization that hosts Independent Policy Forums to encourage discussion of critical issues. ***************************************** The Independent Institute Presents: An Evening with DANIEL ELLSBERG (please see bio below*) "SECRECY, FREEDOM AND EMPIRE: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" October 23, 2002 Co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Northern California and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley Daniel Ellsberg began his Vietnam-era career as a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, and a staunch supporter of U.S. global interventionism. But, in October 1969, Ellsberg--fully expecting to spend the rest of his life in prison--smuggled out of his office and made public a seven-thousand-page top secret study of decision-making in Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers. At this upcoming Independent Policy Forum, Ellsberg will tell the story of his becoming the most important whistle-blower of the last fifty years, risking his career and his freedom to expose the deceptions and delusions of U.S. leaders from Truman onward. Based on his new book, SECRETS, Ellsberg will provide an insider's view of the secrets and lies that have shaped decades of U.S. foreign policy to the present. His exposure began on his first day at the Pentagon, August 4, 1964, which was also the day of the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident. In time, the more he learned from top decision-makers, confidential documents, and reports of secret maneuvers, the more skeptical he became about the conduct and impact of U.S. foreign policies. The release of the Pentagon Papers set in motion a chain of events that included a landmark Supreme Court decision, the arrest and trial of Ellsberg, the crimes of Watergate, and the end of the Nixon presidency and the Vietnam War. As the U.S. pursues the current War on Terrorism, Ellsberg's insights into governmental intoxication with power could not be more timely or important. Praise for Daniel Ellsberg and his new book, SECRETS: "In Secrets, Daniel Ellsberg not only shows he is a brilliant policy analyst, but he has written with breathtaking excitement of how he released the top secret Pentagon Papers, which electrified the nation by exposing the official lies, fantasies, and tragedies of our war in Vietnam." -- BEN H. BAGDIKIAN, former Assist. Managing Editor, Washington Post "A riveting inside account . . . a chilling tale of life at the bureaucratic top, and what profound compromises it takes to stay there." -- SEYMOUR HERSH, Pulitzer Prize Winner "Daniel Ellsberg demonstrated enormous courage during a difficult and turbulent time . . ., courage which undoubtedly saved American lives . . . and helped to hold politicians accountable for mistakes they refused to admit." -- SENATOR JOHN F. KERRY "This is an honestly and lucidly told narrative by someone who single-handedly changed the course of history. Its message of the menace of secrets rings true today." -- DANIEL SCHORR, Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio "Secrecy is the greatest threat to democracy. It masks the accountability of government officialdom. . . . Ellsberg reveals the immorality of past leadership. Little has changed since." -- SENATOR MIKE GRAVEL (Ret.) "Daniel Ellsberg takes us back to a time and place in our recent history when a single courageous act was imperative for democracy-government by the people, for the people-to exist. The most important exposé of Washington since the Pentagon Papers themselves, Secrets is essential reading for any American who wants to understand true patriotism." -- MARTIN SHEEN, Actor and Activist "Makes a remarkable and riveting story that still shocks 30 years later. . . . Ellsberg creates page-turning human drama and suspense. . . . Ellsberg raises serious ethical questions about how citizens, politicians, the press and officials act when confronted with government actions they consider immoral and perhaps illegal." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Secrets is a well-crafted, windmill-tilting autobiography by the famed cold warrior turned antiwar activist. . . . When portions of the so-called Pentagon Papers were released by the New York Times and other publications, he [Ellsberg] writes, sitting president Richard Nixon at first seemed happy to have support for his don't-blame-me argument, then worried that secret documents from his own administration would be leaked to the media-which, Ellsberg writes, set in motion the chain of spying that ended in the Watergate affair and Nixon's resignation. Throughout, Ellsberg is convinced of the justice of his cause-as will be many of his readers, on seeing the evidence amassed here of the criminality of our recent politics. Thoughtful, full of righteous indignation-rightly so-and likely to be of great interest to students of the Vietnam War and domestic resistance thereto." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS "If our nation could absorb its lessons we might all face a better future." -- HOWARD ZINN, Professor of Political Science, Boston University *In 1971, DANIEL ELLSBERG made headlines around the world when he released the Pentagon Papers through the New York Times and Washington Post. A native of Detroit, he earlier graduated from Harvard University, served as a company commander in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years, and then returned to Harvard to complete his doctoral degree in economics. In 1959, he joined the RAND corporation's Economics Department as an analyst, and in 1964 he was recruited to serve in the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during the Johnson Administration. Following a two-year stint in Vietnam for the State Department, Dr. Ellsberg eventually returned to RAND. In 1973, during the Watergate scandal, John Ehrlichman and G. Gordon Liddy were indicted along with two White House officials in connection with the burglary in 1971 of the office of Dr. Ellsberg's psychiatrist. In addition to his new book, SECRETS, he is the author of RISK, AMBIGUITY AND DECISION, and his scholarly articles have appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Economic Journal, and American Economic Review.
Added to the calendar on Tue, Feb 3, 2004 10:25AM
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