Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Interview: Daniel Ellsberg

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 16, 2010

How many high-ranking government officials these days are willing to pick up a rifle and step onto the front lines, as you did? And if they did, how much longer do you think we would be in Afghanistan?
There are two types of courage involved with what I did. When it comes to picking up a rifle, millions of people are capable of doing that, as we see in Iraq or Vietnam. But when it comes to risking their careers, or risking being invited to lunch by the establishment, it turns out that's remarkably rare. There should be at least one leak like the Pentagon Papers every year. I'd love to see a lot more of it, and I think this film has the power to help people find that courage.

As you say, Vietnam was a crime perpetuated by five presidents. But was Nixon particularly foul in his blatant disregard for human life?
He was really kind of normal for that level. Look — Obama is making a choice now that will lead to the deaths of many thousands of civilians in Afghanistan by American hands. By ordinary standards of presidents, he is a decent man. But those standards aren't good enough. He's in a position either to kill or not to kill, and he's made the decision to kill. I wouldn't say he's worse than Nixon, but I wouldn't say he's a lot better, either. Wow — I've never said that in such a way before.

Well, in that case, I'm glad I have my tape recorder on. Although if I didn't, I suppose I could have just asked the FBI for a copy.
Lots of luck in getting that. Thanks to Obama, that's all beyond the reach of civil suits now.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Deep cuts, Review: A Single Man, Review: It's Complicated, More more >
  Topics: Features , Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Howard Zinn,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE TRIALS OF NADIA NAFFE  |  March 04, 2013
    Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream.
  •   HIP-HOP TRIVIA GROWS UP  |  February 26, 2013
    In their fourth year of operation, the Hip-Hop Trivia squad is finally taking the night (somewhat) seriously.
  •   OCCUPY DENIED DAY IN COURT  |  February 22, 2013
    It took more than a year for Suffolk County prosecutors to come to their senses.
  •   CZARFACE SOARS ABOVE THE CLOUDS  |  February 11, 2013
    This week 7LES and Inspectah Deck drop Czarface , a full-length work of adventurous genius revolving around a metal-clad protagonist who feeds on destruction.
  •   THE BPD ADDS INSULT TO INJURY  |  February 05, 2013
    At times, this kind of decision makes you wonder whether the BPD is saving its best awards for officers who've been involved in the death of civilians.

 See all articles by: CHRIS FARAONE