Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky discuss nuclear war

This video from the USA says about itself:

Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky Discuss Nuclear War

26 April 2018

Intercept Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed moderated a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg on the topic of nuclear policy and war. Chomsky, a laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona, and Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”, appeared onstage together for the first time.

Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: A prescient warning of the danger of nuclear war: here.

Edward Snowden joins Freedom of the Press Foundation

This video is called Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Spying on Allies Shows “Institutional Obsession” With Surveillance.

It says about itself:

28 Oct 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – The spat over U.S. spying on Germany grew over the weekend following reports the National Security Agency has monitored the phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel since as early as 2002, before she even came to office. The NSA also spied on Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, after he refused to support the Iraq war. NSA staffers working out of the U.S. embassy in Berlin reportedly sent their findings directly to the White House.

The German tabloid Bild also reports President Obama was made aware of Merkel’s phone tap in 2010, contradicting his apparent claim to her last week that he would have stopped the spying had he known.

In another new disclosure, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports today the NSA tracked some 60 million calls in Spain over the course of a month last year. A delegation of German and French lawmakers are now in Washington to press for answers on the allegations of U.S. spying in their home countries. We discuss the latest revelations with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported Edward Snowden‘s leaks.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Snowden to Join Board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation


JAN. 14, 2014

Washington — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leaks of secret documents set off a national and global debate about government spying, is joining the board of a nonprofit organization co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg, the well-known leaker of the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.

The announcement by the group, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is the latest contribution to a public relations tug of war between Mr. Snowden’s critics, who portray him as a criminal and a traitor, and his supporters, who say he is a whistle-blower and source for the news media in the tradition of Mr. Ellsberg.

The foundation’s board already includes two of the journalists Mr. Snowden gave N.S.A. documents to, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. But the organization — which consulted with lawyers about whether adding Mr. Snowden to its board could jeopardize its nonprofit tax status — is trying to emphasize parallels between Mr. Snowden and Mr. Ellsberg.

In 1971, the Nixon administration charged Mr. Ellsberg with violating the Espionage Act because he gave the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. A court eventually threw out the case for government misconduct. Mr. Snowden has been charged under that same law.

“He is no more of a traitor than I am, and I am not a traitor,” Mr. Ellsberg said in an interview. He added that he was proud that Mr. Snowden would serve alongside him on the group’s board, calling Mr. Snowden a hero who “has done more for our Constitution in terms of the Fourth and First Amendment” than anyone else Mr. Ellsberg knows.

The announcement comes days after the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee sought to paint a far more sinister portrait of Mr. Snowden, saying he had aligned himself with America’s enemies and jeopardized national security. They cited a classified defense intelligence report they said concluded that most of the documents he took concerned military activities rather than civil liberties.

“Make no mistake, Snowden is no patriot and there is no way to excuse the irreparable harm he caused to America and her allies, and continues to cause,” said the chairman, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan. He added that Mr. Snowden’s “real acts of betrayal” were “likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field.”

Ben Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer advising Mr. Snowden, called such criticism “exaggerated national security fears” that amounted to “an attack on the journalists who have published the stories based on the documents.” He added. “The government said much more dire things about what would happen if The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers. None of them turned out to be true.”

In a statement provided by the foundation, Mr. Snowden said he was honored to serve the cause of a free press “alongside extraordinary Americans like Daniel Ellsberg.”

Because Mr. Snowden is living in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum, he will participate in board meetings by a remote link, according to the group’s director, Trevor Timm.

Mr. Timm said that before offering Mr. Snowden a position, the group consulted with lawyers about whether doing so could create legal problems. The Internal Revenue Service recently granted the group nonprofit status under a section of the tax code that allows donors to deduct contributions from their taxable income, he said.

The lawyers, he said, concluded that Mr. Snowden’s participation as a board member — an unpaid position — should not jeopardize that status because the I.R.S. has not penalized other groups with board members under indictment. Rather, such tax status is generally put at risk when groups stray from their mission.

Mr. Timm said that the foundation’s mission was to encourage “news organizations to publish government secrets in the public interest and for brave whistle-blowers to come forward, even though it is personally very risky.” He added: “Snowden embodies exactly what we started this organization for, so I think we’re pretty safe.”

The foundation was started 14 months ago for the initial purpose of enabling donations to WikiLeaks after firms like PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa began refusing to process contributions. It rapidly expanded into other activities, including raising funds for other organizations and hiring a stenographer to produce daily transcripts of the court-martial trial of Chelsea Manning, then known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ main source.

It raised about $650,000 last year, Mr. Timm said, of which about $500,000 went to various other organizations, including about $200,000 to WikiLeaks.

The group is increasingly focused on helping journalists protect the security of their communications, including by disseminating and managing a free software system to enable would-be sources to send leaked files to journalists in a way it says can evade surveillance.

“Journalism isn’t possible unless reporters and their sources can safely communicate, and where laws can’t protect that, technology can,” Mr. Snowden said in his statement. “This is a hard problem, but not an unsolvable one, and I look forward to using my experience to help find a solution.”

Apologists for NSA redouble witch-hunt of Edward Snowden: here.

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Civilian deaths in Afghanistan

This video from the USA says about itself:

Part II of our conversation with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. He speaks on the under-reported leaked memos of US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, US Policy on Iran, and more.

Obama on Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan: “I Am Accountable”: here.

Since President Obama announced his plans to “surge” in Afghanistan, a steady stream of analysis and op-eds have sought to understand the impact of drone attacks: here. And here.

Seymour Hersh Describes “Battlefield Executions” by U.S. in Afghanistan: here.

The Torture of Omar Khadr, a Child in Bagram and Guantánamo: here.

Daniel Ellsberg on Vietnam and Afghan wars

In this video from the USA, Daniel Ellsberg [see also here] says that as President Obama decides what to do in Afghanistan, he must learn the lessons of Vietnam.

Eleven US soldiers and three drug agents were killed in the space of 24 hours in Afghanistan as the Obama administration’s war cabinet prepared to meet Monday on escalating the war: here.

WARSAW: Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich denied on Monday that Polish president and prime minister had declared to enlarge the Polish contingent in Afghanistan: here.

Prime Minister says Australia should not have joined Iraq war

These two videos from the USA are about Daniel Ellsberg. Daniel Ellsberg speaks out against the Iraq war. He discusses the Wikileaks Iraq war documents.

From Associated Press:

Jun 2, 11:50 AM EDT

Australian prime minister warns against repeating mistakes of Iraq

Associated Press Writer

CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd accused his predecessor of abusing intelligence information to justify entering the Iraq war, saying Monday that the Australian people were misled.

In remarks to parliament on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, which began Sunday, Rudd said the nation must learn from the errors of former Prime Minister John Howard, who sent 2,000 troops to support U.S. and British forces in the 2003 invasion.

“We must learn from Australia’s experience in the lead-up to going to war with Iraq and not repeat the same mistakes in the future,” Rudd said.

He criticized Howard’s government for going to war without accurate information or a full assessment of the consequences.

“Of most concern to this government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence,” Rudd said.

Before the invasion, Howard argued that Saddam Hussein had to be toppled to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. The weapons were not discovered and no definite links were established between Saddam and al-Qaida or other terror networks.

Rudd said Howard wrongly believed that Australia’s close alliance with the United States left him with no choice but to join the campaign in Iraq.

“This government does not believe that our alliance with the United States mandates automatic compliance with every element of the United States’ foreign policy,” Rudd told Parliament.

See also here.

Rudd has put his money … err … halfway where his mouth is by withdrawing about half of Australian soldiers from Iraq. However, how about the other half? How about Australian soldiers in Afghanistan?

Rudd and the Vietnam war: here.

‘Alternative Nobel Prizes’ for poetry festival, Indian rights activist, and Daniel Ellsberg

Vietnam war, napalmed children

Apart from the official Nobel Prizes, this time of the year is also for ‘unofficial Nobel Prizes’.

From Poetry International:

Latest poetry news:


The Medellín International Poetry Festival shares this year’s Swedish Right Livelihood Award with Indian rights activist, Ruth Manorama and Daniel Ellsberg, the former US Defence Department official who leaked secret Pentagon documents during the Vietnam war.

Read whole article here.