“Arn, no one knows of these things, because even I didn’t until the Freedom of Information Act released it.”
In May of 2015, I did a series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg at his home in Berkley over a 10 day period. Henry Kissinger called Dan, “the Most Dangerous Man in America” when he released 7000 pages of top secret documents called the Pentagon Papers in 1969.
The Pentagon Papers revealed how Presidents from Truman to Nixon lied about how and why we were in Vietnam. Dan was forty and could have been sentenced to jail for 115 years, but instead his case was dismissed when the judge learned that Nixon knew and approved of the break in to his psychiatrist office and to have him “roughed” up by C.I.A. operatives. This was Nixon’s unraveling which lead to ending the Vietnam War and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Over 2 million lives where lost in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Dan knew that Nixon was threatening to use nuclear weapons.
Our conversations are called “Lied to Death: How U.S. Leaders Keep Taking Us Into War”. The oral history is mixture of historical, political science and Dan’s sixty-years of scholarly analysis as a former nuclear planner for Rand Corporation. He’s best line to me is when he says, “Arn, no one knows of these things, because even I didn’t until the Freedom of Information Act released it.”
So what makes this important is how we are being lied to and how to understand how to use these same applied principles to today’s wars and national security state.
Before, I would have shook my head and moved on by what seemed like conspiracy theories, but I’ve come to understand in the hundreds of hours of stories I’ve listen to and studied that there is too much empirical evidence on how our government works covertly for special interests of the military, oil, finance and other corporate powers. It’s the story of every Empire from the Iraqi Sumerian Empire in 4000 B.C. to ours, expand and control.
Click here to listen to my conversations with Daniel Ellsberg https://soundcloud.com/arnmenconi/sets/lied-to-death-conversations