A Bigger Leak Than the Pentagon Papers?: Daniel Ellsberg Discusses the Leaked Email That Shows the U.S. Is Spying On UN Diplomats

March 11, 2003

Yesterday on Democracy Now! we reported that a 28-year-old woman working at the top-secret British Government Communications Headquarters has been arrested on charges of contravening the Official Secrets Act.

The GCHQ is the electronic surveillance arm of the British intelligence service.

The arrest comes just a few days after the London Observer published a top-secret National Security Agency document. The memo revealed US agents had been ordered to bug the telephone and email communications of U.N. Security Council delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea. The surveillance operation was designed to help the US win votes for the war resolution on Iraq.

The Observer reports the NSA document was leaked to the paper by British security sources who objected to aiding the US surveillance operation.

Well, we’re joined right now by the most famous whistleblower in US history, who Henry Kissinger described as "the world’s most dangerous man." He is Daniel Ellsberg.

During the Cold War, Daniel Ellsberg was a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, an analyst at the Rand Corporation, and a staunch believer in fighting Communist expansion.

But in October of 1969 Ellsberg began smuggling out of his office and photocopying a 7,000 page top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam, which later became known as the Pentagon Papers.

By leaking the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg set in motion actions that would eventually topple the Nixon presidency and end the Vietnam War.

  • Daniel Ellsberg, exposed Pentagon Papers; author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.