Daniel Ellsburg- Whistleblower

Nick Kafejelis

The Victim

The people of the United States.

The Happening

The man's name was Daniel Ellsburg. He worked in the Pentagon when the second alleged attack on a U.S vessel in off the coast of Vietnam, which he found out to be falsified information that was spread to the public. Ellsburg, angered by President Johnson's increasing number troops deployed in Vietnam, travels to Vietnam to work in the American Saigon Embassy in order to work out a peace solution between South Vietnam and North Vietnam.

The Truth Exposed

Ellsburg then was given the task of conducting a report on what he titled to himself, "evidence of a quarter of a century of aggression, broken treaties, deceptions, stolen

elections, lies and murder" which were officially known as the Pentagon Papers, secret documents that explain the deception used by L.B.J to persuade the American public to put support behind the involvement of U.S troops. To go into more detail it explained the USS Maddox incident, which was when the U.S warship was allegedly attacked by North Viet Cong forces, was only a hoax where the Maddox fired rounds into the night claiming to be attacked. So in 1969, Ellsburg began to print out illegal copies of the government public censored Pentagon Papers and slipping small amounts from the text into the New York Times, which they then published into their paper. Soon after, the government blocked the Times from publishing the top secret information and when that was done, Ellsburg began feeding the information to different newspapers across the eastern seaboard, exploiting a very deceitful administration. L.B.J's and Nixon's Administrations,now on the brink of public humiliation, take the New York Times to court int the case known as New York Times Company v. The United States which ends in the victory of the Times to run the publication of the Papers without government censorship or interruption.

Life as a Whistleblower

Soon after Ellsburg released the papers in 1971, he was labeled as a traitor by the U.S government and at this point the Nixon Administration. Nixon decided it would be necessary to tap into Ellsburg's phone calls and 'bug' any place he resides. Nixon was afraid that Ellsburg contained the knowledge of NIxon's plans to use nuclear weapons and more troops in Vietnam so he conducted his use of CIA agents know as the 'Plumbers' to watch every move of Ellsburg. The same CIA agents would be eventually used in the Watergate scandal and that is where Ellsburg was saved. Since it was found out that Nixon was spying on the Democratic Convention, he resigned from office thus causing Ellsburg's accounts of high treason to be dropped marking an end to his government surveillance. Ellsburg's life went on as a normal citizens would, he was married and had several children. He wrote several books about his experiences with being a whistleblower. Ellsburg brought a new age of American skepticism. No longer was a president seen as a man of the people, but of the government. He exposed that presidents lie almost all the time to secure the mind of the people for his own political views. He gave the American public the power to question the government and finally realize the common man is the boss of his democratic government.

My Reaction

I saw Ellsburg as two people, a hero and a traitor. He gave the people the ability to see past the lies of politics and open their minds to skepticism so that a president does not seem as glorious as he is perceived, but a politically broken man that will resort to his own beliefs to attempt to benefit others. I saw him as a traitor because he stepped on the code of secrecy, he thought of himself and not the public and how they would react. He could have caused mass riots and national turmoil over what he exposed. Some people are not meant to hear such truth since they do not know what to do with it but erupt in violence. Maybe it was best left untold, but we will never know for sure.

Work Cited

"Daniel Ellsberg." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.