Skip to content

Daniel Ellsberg on Edward Snowden

The Washington Post has published an opinion piece by Daniel Ellsberg. Like Snowden, Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act because he released the famous “Pentagon Papers” to the press in 1971. The Pentagon Papers were top-secret documents that exposed that successive presidents had lied about the Vietnam War.

You really should read it, but here are two short quotes:

Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I agree wholeheartedly. More than 40 years after my unauthorized disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. One lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden’s leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts, just as power corrupts.

I hope that he finds a haven, as safe as possible from kidnapping or assassination by U.S. Special Operations forces, preferably where he can speak freely.

What he has given us is our best chance — if we respond to his information and his challenge — to rescue ourselves from out-of-control surveillance that shifts all practical power to the executive branch and its intelligence agencies: a United Stasi of America.