Young Man: "Dr. Franklin, what kind of a government did you give us? A monarchy or a republic?"
Benjamin Franklin: "A republic, if you can keep it!"
When Mr. Ellsberg--a former military analyst and Marine--leaked the papers, we were reaching the tail-end of our illegal invasion and occupation of Indochina. Ellsberg copied and leaked the top secret report at his job for the RAND Corporation, a think tank that does analysis for the military, and other federal agencies.
Like McClellan, Ellsberg was in the private sector when he made his revelations. While he was a maverick for doing it at all at the time he did it, his comments on Scott McClellan's new revelations (really just corroborations of what the public already knows or suspects) are rife with an irony he couldn't escape:
“I hope that people take a good look at it,” said McClellan of his book. “It has an important message.” One-time analyst for the Department of Defense, Daniel Ellsberg, shares McClellan’s view, but wishes he had told his story earlier. “He could have saved endless numbers of lives if he’d told us at that time, what he’s telling us now,” said Ellsberg.
In the 1970’s, Ellsberg blew the whistle on the Nixon White House [Ed.--This is inaccurate. The years covered in the Pentagon Papers are from the Johnson years, predominantly, though it covers the entirety of the American involvement in Indochina beginning in 1945.] by leaking the so-called pentagon papers about the Vietnam War. In front of Wednesdays’ anti-Bush crowd, Ellsberg said that President Bush failed Americans by condoning torture and eavesdropping.
Ellsberg wishes that he too would have spoken up sooner. “I worked for the president then. “I didn’t think the constitution applies to me and that’s what people on the inside think,” said Ellsberg.
He now hopes that McClellan’s book will inspire other government workers. “Don’t wait five or ten years until we’re into the war and the bombs are falling before you tell the truth,” said Ellsberg. ("Former White House Press Secretary Turns on Bush in New Book," KUTV, 05.28.2008)
Republics--like forests--eventually fall into a decline. A good majority of the American public once supported this president--especially in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, 2001. Ultimately, he's just another vapid reflection of ourselves, one that's just as stupid, ignorant, and selfish. More to-the-point: How does Mr. Ellsberg and the rest of us know that Scott McClellan and others in the Bush administration haven't been leaking information on criminal activity in the White House? How else would we know as much as we already do, and how soon will we all forget out of convenience?
On Daniel Ellsberg: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1871.html
"Former White House Press Secretary Turns on Bush in New Book," KUTV, 05.28.2008 http://www.kutv.com/content/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=e77a020d-b55c-4156-851b-5bc25d7b066f
The Pentagon Papers: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/pent1.html