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The Truth-Teller: From the Pentagon Papers to the Doomsday Machine

The Truth-Teller: From the Pentagon Papers to the Doomsday Machine

Daniel Ellsberg

Editor's Note: This interview was initially published by the Tellus Institute in April of 2019.

The growth of the military-industrial complex poses an existential threat to humanity. Daniel Ellsberg, peace activist and Vietnam War whistleblower discusses with Tellus Senior Fellow Allen White the continuing existential threat posed by the military-industrial complex—and what needs to be done about it.


I highly recommend reading Ellsberg’s (2017) The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Having visited a below ground launch complex and a Minuteman II missile silo at Whiteman AFB back in the 1970s, I can attest that seeing the beast changes one forever, forcing one to imagine the unimaginable sans any semblance of denial. As we trudge through the current crisis of climate change, I’ll simply remark that a common thread is a lack of respect for the precautionary principle. The aliens that find earth might just incorporate that into our epitaph.


Thank you Mr. Ellsworth’s for a trip down memory lane and more insights as to what as been going on for almost ever.

You were charged and dismissed but now our government jails whistleblowers. What did they learn since your arrest in getting convictions. Or did congress write the laws to protect themselves and the executive branch. It is now coming back on them and the republicans and some democrats are lawless and executive branch gets away with everthing we hold dear.


Daniel the Truth-Teller, Donald the Cheating-Conman.

WTFU America, make "Never Again mean something.


He also did a 12 part interview with Paul Jay on The Real News Network which I thoroughly recommend, where they discuss the book and the topics it concerns.


It is with a great sense of awe and gratitude that I read the words of Ellsberg, one of the greatest public servants in my lifetime. This man has more courage and wisdom than everyone in the current administration, Congress, and the so-called "Defense " department-----COMBINED.


Daniel Ellsberg, is, the "People’s Defense Department."


If Daniel Ellsberg had been telling the truth today, he would be in solitary confinement in a super max prison and his fellow journalists would be praising his captors, not supporting him.

Are we closer to nuclear holocaust today than during the Cuban missile crisis or the Euro missile crisis? Evidence suggests we are. Events leading to a nuclear exchange could breakout at any time. There are numerous flash-points where the nuclear powers could become entangled in places their strategic interests clash. No one seems unduly concerned. We are in more dangerous times now. The Cold War was the peace: we are now in an era of war. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.



What Ellsberg says is true of the MIC. But it’s not just them, it’s also Silicon Valley which is heavily involved in military surveillance. In fact, as Yasha Levine lays out in his history of the Internet Surveillance Valley, there is no real dividing line between them anymore.

Things are different now because of nuclear weapons, which means no aggressor can be sure of getting away with any pre-emptive strike. Example: from its very first nuclear test China had announced a “no first use” policy and until today it has, reportedly, less than 300 bombs to serve as deterrent. Now, it’s unlikely that they’d stopped at, say, 250 if that’s not sufficient to deter anyone. Evidently they’re confident that, perhaps, even if only 30 bombs get through any enemy defences, it would be sufficient to make large parts of their targeted nation uninhabitable. Both China and Russia, now designated by the neocons as adversaries, know their own strengths, and if attacked, are likely to retaliate with full force. They probably know they must or they WOULD be wiped out. The neocons too are equally sure of the consequences, and despite their bragging, are unlikely to risk being exterminated themselves (for despite their braggadocio they’re not really courageous people). So all the fear spread by both left and right are unwarranted.

I don’t understand when people make statements like this. The left spreads fear? As in we have to prepare for war with Russia and China? Lets take the epitome of a leftist, Eugene Debs. This guy went to jail by advocating against the U.S. fighting in world war 1. He was a true leftist! Who made up the anti-war movement back in the 60s? I think too many people are lazy enough to conflate Democrats, and specifically mainline corporate democrats, as ‘leftists’. Which is in no way true! Anyone who reads the articles/comments at Common Dreams should know that the corporate Democrats get very little support here.

YES! With the insane one that has the nuclear codes and an itchy trigger finger the evidence is clear to me that we are in danger of being on the eve of destruction!