Daniel Ellsberg On Leaking In The Age Of Trump (HBO)

Daniel Ellsberg On Leaking In The Age Of Trump (HBO)

Tomorrow, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to
announce a new game plan for busting leakers, both in the White House and
across U.S. intelligence agencies, who continue to undermine and humiliate the President. Just this morning, another leak surfaced: embarrassing transcripts of phone calls
Trump made to the leaders of Mexico and Australia back in his first week in office: — These people should be fired! They should be out of government,
they’re disloyal to our government… — So far, those leakers have managed
to remain anonymous, but the Justice Department does have one
alleged informer to make an example out of: Reality Winner, a government contractor accused
of handing classified information to the press. She’s currently being prosecuted
under the Espionage Act— a once-rare practice that increased
dramatically under President Obama, and could become even more common
under the Trump administration. The first American ever charged
under the Espionage Act— for releasing information to the press— was Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst who, in 1971, leaked the top secret
indictment of the War in Vietnam known as the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg narrowly escaped conviction
and became an anti-war activist. David Noriega visited Ellsberg
at his home in California. — Daniel Ellsberg’s home office is
crowded with books, notes, and pictures from the time he spent in Vietnam
as a member of the foreign service. — This is when you were in Vietnam for a couple years. — In the late ‘60s, working as an analyst for the RAND Corporation, Ellsberg helped write the Pentagon Papers before he turned against the war and leaked them. He was not only charged with a felony for the leak— the Nixon White House also sent a team of burglars, including some who would later
participate in the Watergate break-in, to steal files from his psychiatrist. Parts of the 27,000-page file that the FBI
kept on Ellsberg are lying around his office. — It begins with a memo about the break-in. — That’s the first memo on the second page. — The Nixon administration went after Ellsberg hard, but he escaped by a hair— the case against him fell apart when
the judge found out about the break-in. — There were a lot of right ways to
end this political prosecution, and this was one of them. — If convicted, Ellsberg would have faced 115 years in prison. — I assumed I was breaking the law,
and that I would be prosecuted. And that the effect would
probably be a life sentence. — So you had to square yourself with the idea
of spending the rest of your life in prison before you could start really
start releasing this information. — I think I wouldn’t have started doing that if
it weren’t for the example of young Americans who were going to prison
to protest the war non-violently. And it didn’t take a lot of thought or anguish. — So the decision to be willing to go to prison
to end the war wasn’t that difficult for you. — No, it was a question of realizing
that this could make a difference, and that it was worth going to prison if there was even a small chance
of shortening the war. — So there’s this moment of realization,
or radicalization perhaps, where you realize you’re willing
to make this sacrifice. Do you think it’s possible for the government
to effectively and decisively suppress that? — They suppress it in nearly everyone. It seemed to me so self-evident
this was worthwhile when, at the moment, when I came to it, that I hoped that my example would
make many other people realize, “Oh, I can do that, and that’s the right thing to do.” It didn’t happen, until Chelsea Manning. And then three years later, we had Snowden. It’s basically not easy to find others. Those are the three who’ve done that
on a large scale in 40 years. — Ellsberg sees Snowden and Manning
as fellow travelers, and he’s ardently defended them
in the face of controversy. And he draws a distinction between them
and people who leak for political advantage and with the tacit approval of their bosses. — So the people who are leaking I think are
doing so in part for institutional reasons, to protect their institutions. It’s not so much the public at large. We’re really seeing leaks that are dangerous to the President,
embarrassing to the President, by agencies that feel themselves
endangered by the President. And that’s the standard kind-of leak. — You were the first person to be
prosecuted under the Espionage Act, for releasing information
to the American public. Since then, the use of that statute, in that context, has skyrocketed, you could say. — Nine or 10 prosecutions under Obama
doesn’t seem like so many, but it’s three times more than
there were before Obama. Now, I expect there to be quite a few under Trump. I think that Obama set a very bad precedent there, of using the Act. — We have our first sort of high-profile,
likely Espionage Act case with Reality Winner, and I guess I’m wondering, if Trump begins to use the Espionage Act against leakers and journalists
to an unprecedented degree… — Yeah, which he hasn’t done yet. — …which he hasn’t done yet. do you think that could ever completely
chill the impulse of the whistleblower? — There will be people like Manning and Snowden who are prepared to take the consequences. The Pentagon Papers of Afghanistan I’m sure would
look just like the Pentagon Papers of Vietnam. I’m sure we can stand more whistleblowing
than we’re now getting. We need it. You can’t have a free society,
you can’t have a democratic society, without unauthorized disclosures.

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61 Replies to “Daniel Ellsberg On Leaking In The Age Of Trump (HBO)”


  2. If you're a White House leaker and you're reading this THANK YOU. You're doing this great nation a GREAT service.

  3. Funny how the democrats appear to be the ones most concerned about leaks, but Vice (with it's Trump obsession) needs to include Trump's name in the title…

  4. See how quickly that leftist reporter changed the topic when the old guy started blaming Obama for setting a bad example! #LeftistViceCucks 🐸

  5. the only people that would try to leak against Trump are liberal retards who think they are smart enough to get away with it.

  6. Vice this is such propaganda it's unbelievable; comparing Trump leakers to this man is a disgrace to his legacy. He should be ashamed that his act of selflessness has been compared with the power hungry dems.

  7. He really looks like Jim Morrisons father, just look at this picture:

  8. " they should be fired (and persecuted) because they're disloyal to our government"

    what kind autocracy is this?

    even Venezuela
    a socialist DICTATORSHIP

    didn't fire it's attorney general for going against Maduro's regime.

  9. HOW THE HELL am I supposed to take any of this seriously, when the only person being charged with any sort of misconduct is named REALITY WINNER?!?!

  10. If there were no leaks, we wouldn't no half the sh*t going on. Dems, Repubs. Doesn't matter. Both parties have bullshit comin out the ears. Can't trust a damn thing being said by any politician. This siding with party bullshit is what those DC pricks want, for you to take sides and be divided, that way they play to our lesser nature and get us to harp on each other while they decide "what's good for the people".

  11. aaaahahahahahahah that super camp mustache man mincing his way out of the car at 1:48 jesus christ as if people looked like that back then

  12. I think its funny.

    First everyone is like: the russians blah blah blah…

    Now everything is getting leaked so russia and other american enemies kan know what is going on without doing shit.

    Democrats and liberals (nazis of today) will do everything to get back into power

  13. I admire his determination to face the consequences of leaking classified information. To stand up for what he believed in. He for sure got lucky as hell. You swear an oath working for the federal government. To honor these laws. So you are a traitor and should spend your life in prison. The law is the law. It should not and will not change. If you are a "leaker" personality type (not trying to target liberals here but…) be a journalist. You'll be doing this country a favor. This country needs a government that moves forward not always fighting with backstabbing employees.

  14. Vice are hacks. Not because of this video, but the fact that they stopped their archives being able to be accessed so people can't contradict themselves.

  15. the real leaker is Melania Trump lol…. she hates her husband soooo much the disgust is written on her face every time we see her!

  16. I think its funny how often both parties switch their stance on leakers and wikileaks, all of y'all are a bunch of hippocrits

  17. Funny thing is some leaks are no doubt coming from the different "factions" in the WH against each other-like Bannon and Kushner. But those are the types of leaking that's just petty shit-the type of leaking he's talking about is a whole different thing and if done right definitely is a service. But whistleblowers (as opposed to leakers) always have to be as sure as can be possible that what they are doing is the right thing

  18. The DNC leaker was Seth rich Seymour hersch confirmed this it was not a Russian hacker it was Seth rich and he was murdered. John Podesta is a pedophile

  19. There's leaking because you went looking to commit espionage for money, fame, foreign interest, or partisan politics (Snowden). That's not leaking or whistleblowing, that's espionage.
    And there's leaking because you've had to watch really evil going on in front of your nose (Ellsberg, Manning). That's real whistleblowing.

  20. "these people should be fired, they are disloyal to our government" hate to break it to you buddy, but they don't owe loyalty or allegiance to the government, but rather the Country and Constitution.

  21. im betting 100 bucks right now mike pence is the leaker i fucking know it has to be him he desperately wants the job

  22. At least Daniel Ellsberg had the balls to leak the information then put his name behind it. The modern day leakers are gutless compared to Mr. Ellsberg.

  23. I got a question here please. Why would he most honest / smart / people whistle blow and take credit for it?…Would be safer if Dan or Snowden or Manning would mail their stuff to many media streams and kick back and watch….am I wrong here?
    To add to that, when they mail it they would give credit to the big brother of the Pentagon / NSA…etc (Return address of Big brother)

  24. Ellsburg is what is known as controlled opposition — he looks like he is on your side, but in reality he is more like a double agent. Ellsburg is a member of the CFR (Council Foreign Relations) this private group created by Rockefellers has elite members from business, media, banking & govt. It is basically the people that tell our govt what to do in foreign relations. Members of CFR come in and out of govt – the endorse policies that are not there to benefit the US people or country, but policies that help the elite Davos crowd – all so known as globalists. The are basically why we have bad trade deals (NAFTA & China) and why US gets involved in wars that they allow to drag on with never actually winning. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanstan – and they promote covert operations that over throw govts they don't like — this happened Iran, Congo, Chile, Brazil, Greece and many more. Ellsburg is full of shit, he was ALLOWED to leak those papers (CFR no longer needed War in Vietnam – did what it was suppose to do, bankrupt USA and force us off a gold standard. Ellsburg is up there with Noam Chomsky (who works at MIT LOL) – these guys never criticize Central Banks and this is where the power lies.

  25. Our stupid president undermines himself, bc he’s a psychopath with supreme narcissism who can’t take responsibility for anything he’s done, and he’s running out of people who are willing to fall on his sword for him.

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