Dozens of Australian politicians urge US to abandon Julian Assange extradition


We will finish the discussion from last class and then look at Chapter 41.  I am supplementing the material on the Pentagon Papers case. This is an important legal case, which left some questions open that have not yet been answered. It was also a key political case and is the model for subsequent attempts by government employees to influence policy through leaking classified government documents. The leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, was not a hippie peacenik, but a Marine officer and respected theoretician on game theory in war.  As Nixon fought the disclosures and attempted to discredit Ellsburg, he authorized a burglary of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office to collect incriminating information. This derailed Ellsberg’s criminal prosecution and resulted in the dismissal of the charges against him. (The Attorney General himself ended up in jail for crimes related to Watergate and Nixon’s election campaigns.)  Remember, that this was a period when the press self-censored and the idea of a major newspaper publishing this type of leak was unheard of. The paper’s outside lawyers refused to advise it and told the editor to send back the papers and not look at them. Think about the different world we live in now.

Who was Daniel Ellsberg?

Pentagon Papers/Ellsberg Timeline – Drawboard

The Pentagon Papers: The View From The Oval Office

The Post | Official Trailer

This is Speilberg’s movie about the Pentagon Papers. You do not have to watch it for class, but it is great viewing and mostly accurate. Watch the trailer. The case riveted the public as it played out.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

This is a documentary. Watch the trailer.

Read Chapter 41, the supplement, and this addendum to the supplement.

Slides – Chapter 41 – revised