Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg releases audiobook with Arn Menconi | VailDaily.com

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg releases audiobook with Arn Menconi

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Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg with former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi.
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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 he released the Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top-secret documents, in 1969. Recently, former Eagle County commissioner and founder of SOS Outreach Arn Menconi asked Ellsberg to be interviewed on 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 now available for download at arnmenconi.com/liedtodeath.

Oral history, analysis

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 Corporation.

“No one knows of these things because even I didn’t until the Freedom of Information Act released it a few years ago.”Daniel Ellsberg

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

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 shootout that occurred between two Texas biker gangs.

“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.

‘NO ONE KNOWS THESE THINGS’

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

In addition to the much more famous burglary of the Democratic Party offices in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., an operative for then-President Richard Nixon broke into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in Beverly Hills, California, seeking dirt on Ellsberg.

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 said in the interview.

Arn Menconi is now an antiwar activist and writer. His blog can be found at http://www.arnmenconi.com.