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Pentagon Papers leaker, Vail activist do audiobook

Vail Daily
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg with former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi.
Special to the Daily |

Free audiobook

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg sat down with Arn Menconi for a series of conversations called “Lied to Death: How U.S. Leaders Keep Taking Us Into War,” and the free audiobook interview is now available for download at arnmenconi.com/liedtodeath.

Menconi is a human rights activist, SOS Outreach founder and former Eagle County Commissioner.

EAGLE COUNTY — Henry Kissinger called whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg “the most dangerous man in America” when Ellsberg in 1969 released the Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top-secret documents.

Recently, former Eagle County Commissioner and founder of SOS Outreach Arn Menconi asked Ellsberg to be interviewed about why America goes to war again and again.

Their conversations are called “Lied to Death: How U.S. Leaders Keep Taking Us Into War,” and the free audiobook interview is available for download at arnmenconi.com/liedtodeath.

The audiobook is a mixture of oral history, political science and Ellsberg’s 60 years of scholarly analysis as a former nuclear planner for Rand Corp.

“Why do we go to war?” Menconi asks at one point in the recording, touching upon one of the major themes of the interview.

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In response, Ellsberg compares the U.S. military and other superpowers’ armies to two biker gangs that are eternally fighting for territory, much like the May shoot-out between two Texas motorcycle gangs in Waco.

“You do not back down from a fight,” Ellsberg said. “You cannot lose territory; you cannot lose face. I’m not just saying this metaphorically. I’m saying this is, in the small, what’s going on in the large. This battle for turf … this is the human condition.”

The Pentagon Papers were published by major newspapers, and reported on by other media outlets around the world, and helped turn American opinion against the Vietnam war.

Ellsberg was 40 and could have been sentenced to jail for 115 years, but instead his case was dismissed.

He was a target of then-President Richard Nixon. In addition to the much more famous burglary of Democratic Party offices at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., operatives for Nixon broke into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in Beverly Hills.

Ellsberg told Menconi he knew that Nixon was threatening to use nuclear weapons.

“Arn, no one knows of these things because even I didn’t until the Freedom of Information Act released it a few years ago,” Ellsberg says in the interview.


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