Dan Ellsberg’s Parting Plea: Don’t Wait – Ray McGovern 6/16/23

Source: Antiwar.com

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity honored the late Dan Ellsberg with our annual award for fearless integrity on April 11, 2023. It was clear that Dan summoned much of his remaining strength to leave an unambiguous message to people of conscience as to why they should blow the whistle on government lies, as he did, but NOW, not later.

The private ceremony was filmed by a friend of Dan and Patricia. Dan saved his parting plea for the last three minutes. Those wishing to go directly to that segment can start at minute 19:32. Dan’s words speak for themselves; I have transcribed them below.

Two things: we did not turn against the Vietnam war because of lies. We were used to that and had never objected before. Nor did we turn against the war because it was not winnable. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had said the war was winnable if only the president would do more murder, cross more international boundaries going into China and North Vietnam, than he was willing to do. All was ‘winnable’; it was the president who decided that opting for stalemate, however bloody and escalating, was preferable to him to getting out, to losing, or to pursuing an absolutely vain effort proposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of escalating to the north.

And that is happening right now in Ukraine.

So people did not break with the war because it was lied about; they did not go to prison because it was unwinnable, but because it was wrong. And they all knew it was wrong, that these lies were about crimes and sins and evil that should stop immediately – murder, not just your ordinary lies about cost overruns but lies that were killing people.

And, thus, I’ve said to very many people since then, Do not do what I did. Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait till the bombs are falling and thousands more have died. Act like Katharine Gun; act like I wish I had done in 1964, when I knew that people were being lied to death. Put out documents to that effect before the war, right at the time, at whatever cost to oneself, at whatever risk, which is not even comparable to the massacres that were actually ongoing or in process. [Emphasis added]

Do what I wish I had done in ’64, not what I waited till 69 and 71 to do. Act like Katharine Gun and Ed Snowden and Tom Drake, Bill Binney, and many others on the list of Sam Adams awardees, in particular, Ed Snowden and Julian Assange.

Below is the Sam Adams Award citation for this year’s awardee, Daniel Ellsberg:…

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