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Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel EllsbergWriter, lecturer and activist Daniel Ellsberg— best known for his involvement in the Pentagon Papers trial in 1971—will speak tonight.

The lecture will be in the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Issues Committee.

Ellsberg worked for the RAND Corporation in the late 1960s on Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s study of US decision-making in Vietnam, also known as the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg copied the report and sent it to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and seventeen other newspapers. Although he was indicted for stealing government documents, the case was dismissed because of government misconduct.

The case was also important because the New York Times successfully appealed a government injunction that had stopped them from printing the papers, claiming it violated prior restraint laws.

Ellsberg said he leaked the papers because he felt the public had a right to know what the government was doing, and he opposed the Vietnam War.

Ellsberg is a senior fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the author of three books: Papers on the War; Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers; and Risk, Ambiguity and Decision. In December 2006 he won the Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, “for putting peace and truth first, at considerable personal risk, and dedicating his life to inspiring others to follow his example.”

Ellsberg has worked in the US State and Defense departments, and served two years at the US Embassy in Saigon. His 1962 dissertation on decision theory and behavioral economics is considered a landmark in the field and inspired what is known as the Ellsberg paradox.

He currently lives with his family in Kensington, California, and writes and lectures on dangers of the nuclear era, US interventions, and the need for patriotic whistleblowing.

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C O N T A C T :

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,