March 17, 2011

A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg: “WikiLeaks and the Pentagon Papers: Government Secrets and the Public’s Right to Know”

Posted by Cara Solomon

We’re very excited about this one.  Forty years after leaking the Pentagon Papers to the press, Daniel Ellsberg will discuss with lawyer-journalist Scott Horton the WikiLeaks disclosures and the U.S. government’s attempts to prosecute Army Private Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Please join us for the conversation March 24, beginning at 5 pm in Austin Hall West.  All are welcome, and food will be served.  Following the conversation, we’ll show the Academy-Award nominated documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Update:  Video of the event!  And articles here and here.


Daniel Ellsberg, a former strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, worked on the top secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Scott Horton is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, where he covers legal and national security issues.  As a practicing attorney, Scott has focused on investment in emerging markets. He is also a life-long human rights advocate, serving as counsel to a number of human rights and democracy advocates in the former Soviet Union and directing major research projects dealing with U.S. government interrogation practices in the war on terror and the practice of extraordinary renditions. Mr. Horton is a lecturer at Columbia Law School, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the board of NYU’s Center on Law and Security, the National Institute of Military Justice, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association.

This event is co-sponsored by HLS Advocates for Human Rights and the HLS Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

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