A voice from the past longs for the good old days....
In case you missed it, Daniel Ellsberg is calling for someone to, well, "pull an Ellsberg."
For those of us of a certain age, this has some resonance.
And it really resonates out here. Ellsberg took the now famous "Pentagon Papers" from the offices of the Rand Corporation ten miles west of here, down in Santa Monica. Heck, it's local history.
But the idea of someone today finding such papers and sneaking them off to the copy center Ellsberg used down the hill in West Hollywood, just a few blocks from here, and then the idea that today's New York Times would have the balls to print the papers - well, that's pretty far-fetched. The Times has been defanged. Heck, the Times has been toothless for a generation. Along with the rest of the media.
The world has changed. And the Patriot Act is now in play. And the current Rove-Cheney Texas fellows play a lot nastier game than the Nixon team ever did. You don't mess with these guys. And they're untouchable.
Still Ellsberg wants someone to grab some papers and find some wide-circulation newspaper or magazine with the audacity to publish the stuff.
Dream on. That's not today's media.
But for what it's worth check out:
Leak against this war
US and British officials must expose their leaders' lies about Iraq - as I did over Vietnam
Daniel Ellsberg, The Guardian (UK), Tuesday January 27, 2004
After the obligatory tale of being under fire in a rice field in Vietnam, chatting with the grunts dodging bursts of fire from the faceless locals, and realizing that particular war was a tragic farce, he gets fed up. You get a bit of what he was thinking. It felt like being a British Redcoat in New England in the 1770's, and it looks like Iraq now.
Concord in 1773, Vietnam 1968, Iraq last weekend. Same stuff.
So? Here's the logic:
Daniel, no "officials in Washington and London" would consider that. What were you thinking?
Yes, there are, no doubt, "thousands of pages of documents in safes in London and Washington right now - the Pentagon Papers of Iraq - whose unauthorized revelation would drastically alter the public discourse on whether we should continue sending our children to die in Iraq."
Hey, Daniel, get a grip! Joseph Wilson can tell you that you just don't mess with these folks, and his wife can tell you too. And David Kelly is walking a fine line these days, saying there really were no weapons of mass destruction there for years - but he's being real careful to say Bush and his team should be mad at the CIA and the rest of the intelligence crew for misleading poor George. Yeah, right. How many times did Cheney say just screw the CIA and let's trust the Iraqi exile community's rumors?
Of course both Downing Street and the White House organized covert pressure to punish these guys and to deter others. But that's when they're being nice. You don't want to mess with them when they're in a really bad mood - and "the Pentagon Papers of Iraq" getting printed up and read all over the world would put them in a very bad mood.
Yes, Daniel, you faced twelve felony counts and a possible sentence of 115 years, and the charges were dismissed only when it was discovered that White House actions aimed at stopping further revelations of administration lying had included criminal actions against you.
The current guys are more careful and they don't get caught.
This is not the late sixties or early seventies. That "kinder, gentler world" is long gone.
Any other ideas?