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Historian Gar Alperovitz Reveals His Role in Helping Ellsberg Leak Pentagon Papers

HeadlineJan 30, 2018

And historian Gar Alperovitz has revealed for the first time the key role he and a handful of other activists played in helping whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg leak the Pentagon Papers to journalists. This is Alperovitz, speaking in a video produced by The New Yorker.

Gar Alperovitz: “I helped arrange for the distribution of the papers. And they had to be delivered to reporters who would come to Boston or Cambridge. And the question was how to do that, knowing that the government was trying to find the papers and trying to find Dan Ellsberg, in particular. He was the main target. So, one of the graduate students who was helping us would take a bundle of papers, and one of the reporters was said to go to this hotel room and just wait, wait for a call. And so, a call was made. And I basically said to him, 'Open your door.' And the box was there, that had been left about two minutes earlier. … The strategy was simply to go from public telephone to public telephone, never using the same one and moving, you know, in the Boston area, the Cambridge area, many little cities, so that you wouldn’t be traced. And it seemed to work.”

That’s Gar Alperovitz. The details about this small group of antiwar activists who helped Ellsberg have been hidden for decades. The identities of Gar Alperovitz’s colleagues are still a mystery.

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