• Quote of the week

    “Today the path to total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by the Congress, the President, or the people….outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government, a bureaucratic elite which believes our Constitution is outmoded and is sure that it is the winning side…. All the strange developments in the foreign policy agreements may be traced to this group who are going to make us over to suit their pleasure…. This political action group has its own local political support organizations, its own pressure groups, its own vested interests, its foothold within our government, and its own propaganda apparatus.”

    quoted directly from UN sources. Senator William Jenner (1954)

The Daniel Ellsberg Story You Won’t See in ‘The Post’ – WhoWhatWhy

Thanks to the critically acclaimed movie “The Post,” which opens this weekend, the story of whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is again part of the public discourse. But there is much more to it than the movie shows, Ellsberg tells WhoWhatWhy in this recent podcast.

Ellsberg sought to make public those documents in 1971 to help bring about an end to the Vietnam war. But they were not the only files he had carried out of the Rand Corporation that he hoped to release later. Certain other papers he had taken could possibly have ended the Cold War, reduced the global threat of nuclear annihilation and stopped the development of what he saw asThe Doomsday Machine.”

For more on that, below is WhoWhatWhy’s podcast with Ellsberg, conducted just a few weeks ago.


Long before Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks, there was Daniel Ellsberg. Forty-six years after the release of the Pentagon Papers, he is once again front and center in the issues we are talking about. Ken Burns controversially chose not to include Ellsberg in his look back at Vietnam. Steven Spielberg has made the Pentagon Papers the ultimate macguffin of his new film The Post, with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

But Ellsberg, when he left Rand Corporation in 1971, took with him more than the Pentagon Papers. He carried out a whole additional set of documents on America’s nuclear policy and its command and control in the 1950s and 1960s.

The papers were the result of Ellsberg’s work as a military analyst at Rand. At that famous defense think-tank, his work focused on how presidents could better understand when and how to launch nuclear weapons using disciplines like decision theory and the study of ambiguity.

After leaving Rand, Ellsberg held the papers back, planning to release them when the war in Vietnam ended. Unfortunately, in a remarkable side story, the papers were hidden so well by Ellsberg’s brother that they were never found. Nonetheless, while the original papers were forever lost, using his notes and memories Ellsberg has virtually reconstructed this history, which he reveals in his new book The Doomsday Machine.

That’s the subject of this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, in which Jeff Schechtman talks with Daniel Ellsberg.

As the North Korean crisis once again elevates nuclear war to the realm of conceivability, Ellsberg explains how his early work in economic decision-making was applied to ideas like “launch on warning” and “use them before you lose them.” He also discusses the cold calculations that measured the utility of a “first strike” against how many hundreds of millions of civilian deaths could be considered “acceptable.”

Ellsberg shatters the myth that only the president can launch nuclear weapons. He offers chilling insights, showing how President Dwight Eisenhower set the stage for the delegation and even the sub-delegation of the power to launch nuclear weapons. This policy continued for decades and probably still exists today.

For the title of his new book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (Bloomsbury USA, December 2017), Ellsberg borrowed the phrase “The Doomsday Machine” from Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

In a sobering look back at the dawn of the nuclear age, Ellsberg offers both a clarion call for change and a reminder that what is past is prologue.

Click HERE to Download Mp3

 

For The Full Text Transcript:

See The Source: The Daniel Ellsberg Story You Won’t See in ‘The Post’ – WhoWhatWhy

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  • Famous Quotes In History

    “Very soon, every American will be required to register their biological property (that’s you and your children) in a national system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging. By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will affect our security as a charge back for our fiat paper currency. Every American will be forced to register or suffer being able to work and earn a living. They will be our chattels (property) and we will hold the security interest over them forever, by operation of the lawmerchant under the scheme of secured transactions. Americans, by unknowingly or unwittingly delivering the bills of lading (Birth Certificate) to us will be rendered bankrupt and insolvent, secured by their pledges. They will be stripped of their rights and given a commercial value designed to make us a profit and they will be none the wiser, for not one man in a million could ever figure our plans and, if by accident one or two should figure it out, we have in our arsenal plausible deniability. After all, this is the only logical way to fund government, by floating liens and debts to the registrants in the form of benefits and privileges. This will inevitably reap us huge profits beyond our wildest expectations and leave every American a contributor to this fraud, which we will call “Social Insurance.” Without realizing it, every American will unknowingly be our servant, however begrudgingly. The people will become helpless and without any hope for their redemption and we will employ the high office (presidency) of our dummy corporation(USA) to foment this plot against America.”

    -Colonel Edward Mandell House

    “Warburg’s revolutionary plan to get American Society to go to work for Wall Street was astonishingly simple. Even today,…academic theoreticians cover their blackboards with meaningless equations, and the general public struggles in bewildered confusion with inflation and the coming credit collapse, while the quite simple explanation of the problem goes undiscussed and almost entirely uncomprehended. The Federal Reserve System is a legal private monopoly of the money supply operated for the benefit of the few under the guise of protecting and promoting the public interest.–”

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