Daniel Ellsberg showed up unexpectedly. Dave Dellinger, a noted pacifist from the East Coast, called Ken Tilsen and told him that a high ranking/high profile member of Secretary of State Robert McNamara's Whiz Kids wanted to testify at our trial. When Dan arrived, none of us knew what was afoot. In retrospect, if he had released the "Pentagon Papers" at our trial, we'd still be in solitary confinement! Dan had been inspired by Randy Keillor and others of the War Resisters League to consider exposing the history of lies behind the Cold War and the reasons for the Vietnam War. He had served in Nam twice as a Marine officer. Dan had top civilian security clearance. When his biography is fully told, few will dobut that Dan knew more about American foreign policy than anyone.
**Please note that the College of Continuing Education at the University of Minnesota sponsored this event as part of its series of Great Conversations. Daniel Ellsberg was a trial witness for the Minnesota Eight. We will received no income from this event. CCE covered the costs of the event.
Ellsberg is a true American hero. He went through the transformation which is the goal of the classical knightly Hero's Quest. He confronted his inner dragons, and so ours. He risked his life. He put himself in harm's way, consciously.
The "Pentagon Papers" http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/pent1.html refer to a mult-author, multi-volume study of American foreign policy in respect to Indochine since the end of World War II. Dan was one of the few who read all volumes. He spied a pattern of knowing deception by and between and among military/political/governmental organizations and individuals which lead to and sustained the Vietnam War. His, (1092) is a handy complementary book to have when trying to grasp the staggering expanse and depth of these decades of deception.
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