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 And if you do, you have to promise to share it with others. Promise?
A lot of work from many caring people goes into a something like this. I want especially thank Dr. Nathan Rodriguez for taking 20 hours of original interviews and making them into a 5 hour story of history and intrigue. Having just completed his PhD in Journalism, Nathan demonstrates his brilliance and handwork so you can learn the intricacies of Dan’s wisdom. Paul Hager, between travels to L.A. & N.Y.C., edited & enhanced the audio into high quality sound oral. And, the journalist and author Rula Jebreal who saw something in me I didn’t know existed…the ability to stead light on the bullshit in a big way:)
Most importantly, thank you to all the National Security Whistleblowers, as they seem to call themselves. They are a very small club of less that a dozen people. They all know each other and are extremely loving and caring towards one another because they have lost everything from money, friends, family and careers. They speak freely and openly about their depression brought on by resentments for what happen for exposing the truth about our “dark” and “secret” government.
You should get to know their work. It’ll change your life for the better. It certainly did mine. Thank you for your courage, integrity, wisdom and compassion: John Kiriakou, Jesselyn Radact, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and of coursed the original O.G., Daniel Ellsberg.
Finally, it might seem over odd to dedicate an audiobook, but a year went into this and it’s because of my commitment to 3 things: my two children, who I love so deeply, Maya and Matteo and for Justice, that which I fight for.
If our forefathers fought for liberty, our’s must be for justice.
I hope you learn as much as I have from Daniel. We are indebted to him for saving so many through almost sacrificing his life. I hope it gives you the inspiration in your heart to stand for people you’ll never meet.
Social Justice Advocate
John Kiriakou, author of the The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror review of Lied To Death:
“Daniel Ellsberg’s wisdom is timeless. “Lied to Death” is a primer for all of us interested in making the world a safer place, promoting the cause of peace, and working to ensure a sane future in a nuclear world. This is a must-read for anybody who cares about that future.”
Running time 4:41
Artwork by © Scott Meskill 2015