Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst who leaked 7,000 documents during the Nixon administration exposing “a top-secret history of the Vietnam War to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan in 1971 [which] revealed that the U.S. government had systematically lied about the nature of the conflict since its involvement” according to the Daily Caller. The leaked documents were called the “Pentagon Papers”, and President Nixon used to the Espionage Act to go after Ellsberg. The case was eventually dismissed at the Supreme Court, and Nixon’s overzealous targeting spiraled into his downfall.
These days, Ellsberg is speaking out about the court martial of Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial charged under the Espionage Act for leaking thousands of documents pertaining to U.S. involvement in the wars in the middle east. Ellsberg also had some harsh words for Obama, criticizing the President for using the Espionage Act 6 times during his Presidency to target whistle-blowers, when the Espionage Act had been used only 3 times by all previous Presidents.
“[Obama is] doing his best to assure that sources in the government will have reason to fear heavy prison sentences for informing the American public in ways he doesn’t want.”
“In other words, he’s working very hard to make it a government where he controls all the information,” Ellsberg added.
Ellsberg is also greatly concerned over Attorney General Eric Holder’s targeting of reporters, especially Fox news reporter James Rosen. Ellsberg hopes that the Department of Justice’s abuse of power in collecting the phone records of various reporters will wake people up to the fact that media in this country is at serious risk of becoming like the state propaganda media outlets in many countries. I agree with Ellsberg when he says that firing Eric Holder “would be the first step of resistance in the right direction, of rolling back Obama’s campaign against journalism, freedom of the press in national security.”