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In 1969, Daniel Ellsberg copied and leaked the Pentagon Papers, that told the people of the United States that they were being lied to about what was happening in Vietnam. For his courage he faced 115 years in prison. A few months ago he found out he was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. CODEPINK is joining our partners in declaring it Daniel Ellsberg week.
We will also host a virtual event to honor Dan on April 25 at 7PM ET with Julian Assange's brother, Gabriel Shipton, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, and Jesslyn Raddack, attorney and member of Daniel Hale's support team. Join us here!
I could say a lot about Dan Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. But I'd rather you all hear from him, in his own words. Below is excerpts from a letter Dan sent to his anti-war movement family when he received his diagnosis:
When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969 I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would gladly have accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War (unlikely as that seemed, and was). Yet in the end, that action-- in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon's illegal responses-- did have an impact on shortening the war. In addition, thanks to Nixon's crimes, I was spared the imprisonment I expected, and I was able to spend the last fifty years with my wife Patricia and my family, and with you, my friends...
...I was able to devote those years to doing everything I could think of to alert the world to the perils of nuclear war and wrongful interventions...As I look back on the last sixty years of my life I think there is no greater cause to which I could have dedicated my efforts. For the last forty years we have known that nuclear war between the US and Russia would mean nuclear winter...
...I'm happy to know that millions of people have the wisdom, dedication, and moral courage to carry on with these causes, and to work unceasingly for the survival of our planet and its creatures.
The peace movement stands on the shoulders of people like Dan and other brave truthtellers who risked their freedom and sometimes their lives for us to know the crimes of the US military.
Danaka, and the whole CODEPINK team.