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Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg Dead at 92

by via Common Dreams
Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst-turned-peace activist who revealed that the U.S. government had been lying about its devastating war on Vietnam, died Friday (June 16), four months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 92.
Daniel Ellsberg (1931-2023) was best known as the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers to news outlets in 1971, exposing damning information about the Vietnam War that Washington had concealed from the American people and the world.

Ellsberg became an outspoken anti-war campaigner who issued stark warnings about nuclear weapons and the detrimental impacts of the military-industrial complex.

He died at his home in California surrounded by family members, according to a social media post by his son Robert. In a 2019 interview, Ellsberg said, "My experience with the Pentagon Papers showed that an act of truth-telling, of exposing the realities about which the public had been misled, can indeed help end an unnecessary, deadly conflict."

"This example is a lesson applicable to both the nuclear and climate crises we face," he added. "When everything is at stake, it is worth risking one's life or sacrificing one's freedom in order to help bring about radical change."

In a March essay he penned to announce his terminal cancer diagnosis, Ellsberg elaborated: "When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would gladly have accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War, unlikely as that seemed (and was). Yet in the end, that action—in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon's illegal responses—did have an impact on shortening the war. In addition, thanks to Nixon's crimes, I was spared the imprisonment I expected, and I was able to spend the last 50 years with Patricia and my family, and with you, my friends."

"What's more, I was able to devote those years to doing everything I could think of to alert the world to the perils of nuclear war and wrongful interventions: lobbying, lecturing, writing, and joining with others in acts of protest and nonviolent resistance," he continued. "It is long past time—but not too late!—for the world's publics at last to challenge and resist the willed moral blindness of their past and current leaders."
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