Daniel Ellsberg Calling on Us to Stop Nuclear War

The Pentagon Papers whistleblower, who has a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, is urging a ceasefire in Ukraine. “This is not a species to be trusted with nuclear weapons,” he tells Marjorie Cohn

Daniel Ellsberg at a protest against the Iraq war in San Francisco, where he was arrested. (Steve Rhodes/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Marjorie Cohn

The legendary Daniel Ellsberg has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In a March 1 email to friends, Dan wrote, “I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live … it might be more, or less.” He will turn 92 on April 7.

Dan displayed uncommon courage in 1971 when he publicized the 7,000-page top-secret Pentagon Papers while working at the Rand Corporation. As a consultant to the Department of Defense, Dan drafted Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war.

In his book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Dan wrote that the Pentagon Papers exposed the “secrets five presidents had withheld and the lies they told” about U.S. decision-making in Vietnam“This truth telling set in motion a train of events, including criminal White House efforts to silence or incapacitate me.” The government’s illegal efforts to silence Dan resulted in the dismissal of the charges against him and his codefendant Anthony Russo. “Much more important,” Dan noted, “these particular Oval Office crimes helped topple the president, an act that was crucial to ending the war.”

In 2014, Dan gave a keynote speech at the 45th reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War movement. At the reunion, he explained how the United States came dangerously close to using nuclear weapons during the Vietnam War. In 1965, the Joint Chiefs recommended to President Lyndon B. Johnson that U.S. forces hit targets up to the Chinese border. Dan thought their real aim was to provoke China into responding and then the U.S. would cross into China and demolish the communists with nuclear weapons.

Now, Dan is urging the world to again avoid nuclear annihilation.

Actions That Helped End the Vietnam War

“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),” Dan wrote in his March 1 email.

Dan’s courageous actions did help to end that war, which claimed the lives of more than 3 million Vietnamese people and 58,000 Americans. In an email responding to Dan’s revelation of his terminal cancer diagnosis, Bui Van Nghi, secretary general of the Viet Nam-USA Society, wrote,

“We highly appreciate Dan’s good will, friendship and love to Viet Nam and his support of the struggle for national independence and reunification of the country by the Viet Namese people and with his courage to reveal of the truth and machination about the American Viet Nam War by the U.S. Government that waging the waves of peace, anti-war movements, campaigns to call for early ending of the [war] that helped save hundred[s] of thousands of lives on both sides.”

The Pentagon Papers “remain today the most vital discussion of a war from the inside,” journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in a recent tribute to Dan. Hersh broke the story of the My Lai Massacre, which the U.S. government covered up for a year. It was a war crime committed by U.S. forces who murdered more than 300 elderly men, women and children during the Vietnam War.

Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, called Dan “the most dangerous man in America” for leaking the Pentagon Papers. Kissinger’s characterization became the title of an Oscar-nominated film about Dan.

Working Tirelessly to Prevent Nuclear War

The crater-scarred landscape of the Nevada Test Site, 2016. (National Nuclear Security Administration, Public domain)

For more than five decades, Dan has spent nearly every waking hour working for peace and trying to prevent nuclear war. In spite of his diagnosis, Dan continues the struggle to avoid a nuclear holocaust. “I will continue, as long as I’m able, to help these efforts,” he wrote in his March 1 email.

“I feel lucky and grateful,” he noted, “about having a few months more to enjoy life with my wife and family, and in which to continue to pursue the urgent goal of working with others to avert nuclear war in Ukraine or Taiwan (or anywhere else).”

“The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen,” Dan wrote. He warned that nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would result in “nuclear winter.” That means that

“more than a hundred million tons of smoke and soot from firestorms in cities set ablaze by either side, striking either first or second, would be lofted into the stratosphere where it would not rain out and would envelope the globe within days. That pall would block up to 70% of sunlight for years, destroying all harvests worldwide and causing death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth.”

Alarmingly, in January, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight due largely to Russia’s war in Ukraine. This is “the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.” The Clock is a universally recognized measure of vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and other emerging technologies that could pose a threat.

“This is not a species to be trusted with nuclear weapons,” Dan told me in a telephone interview for this article.

“It’s urgent to get this war ended. … We need a ceasefire and negotiations before [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is confronted with any prospect of losing Crimea and all of Donbas” which would “make the danger of nuclear war initiated by Russia more dangerous than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

The Doomsday Machine book by Daniel Ellsberg

In a March 2 program called “Nuclear Dangers: The Ukraine War One Year Later,” sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Dan expressed alarm about how the war could escalate, especially given Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s effort, backed by the U.S., to expel Russia from all areas, including those it has held for eight years. Dan is doubtful that negotiations will ever begin if Zelenskyy continues to insist that every Russian troop leave Ukraine before negotiations can occur. If the U.S. were to enter the war “directly with its pilots and combat troops and missiles … I believe that Putin would very likely carry out his threat to initiate tactical nuclear war … even with a high probability of escalating … which would threaten all of humanity with nuclear winter,” he said.

“Every person in the world has a stake in preventing that from happening,” Dan noted during the March 2 program in which Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk also participated. Chomsky noted, “Either there will be a diplomatic solution or there will be species suicide.” Falk called this an “apocalyptic tipping point in human history.”

Those who make the nuclear weapons and the investment banks that finance them “have never been interested in limiting them. Their only interest is to have better ones,” Dan told me. Those same people “have never been interested in keeping Russia from having H-bombs [hydrogen bombs], ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] or MWHs [multiple warheads] at the cost of giving up ours.”

To reduce the risks of nuclear war, “it is essential that members of NATO press the U.S. and others to renounce the atrocious NATO backing of the first-use of nuclear weapons,” Dan said.

President Joe Biden’s 2022 Nuclear Posture Review inexcusably allows the first use of nuclear weapons and says that “nuclear weapons are required to deter not only nuclear attack, but also a narrow range of other high consequence, strategic-level attacks.”

“Contrary to public understanding,” Dan wrote in his book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, “[the] strategy has not been a matter of deterrence of nuclear attack on the United States, but rather the illusionary one of improving first-strike capability.”

US-Russia Treaties Renounced or Suspended

Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Glassboro, New Jersey, summit in June 1967 where the U.S. first proposed an ABM treaty. (Yoichi Okamoto, Wikimedia Commons)

Dan noted in The Doomsday Machine, “The arsenals and plans of the two superpowers represent not only an insuperable obstacle to an effective global anti-proliferation campaign; they are in themselves a clear and present existential danger to the human species, and most others.”

The anti-proliferation regime was dealt the ultimate blow in February when Russia suspended participation in the New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty]. It was the only remaining nuclear arms reduction treaty between the U.S. and Russia that had not been suspended or renounced. Russia and the United States together possess about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.

New START was signed by President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. It puts a cap on the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the U.S. and Russia may deploy and provides for inspections of each other’s countries three times a year. The treaty also requires regular communication between the U.S. and Russia to avoid accidents or misunderstandings.

[Related: SCOTT RITTER: Reimagining Arms Control After Ukraine]

In December 2001, President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty that it signed with the Soviet Union in 1972. The cornerstone of the Cold War nuclear arms control regime, the ABM treaty stated that in order to reduce offensive nuclear forces in the U.S. and Russia, both countries would have to agree to limit anti-ballistic missile defenses.

Bush said that “the hostility that once led both our countries to keep thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, pointed at each other” had ended when the Soviet Union disbanded. He claimed that the treaty was impeding U.S. ability to protect against “future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks.”

Putin said the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty, a cornerstone of international security, was “a mistake.”

May 26, 1972: U.S. President Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev signing the ABM Treaty and Interim Agreement on Strategic Arms Limitation in Moscow, culminating two and a half years of detente-era negotiations. (Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union adopted the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), to eliminate missiles on hair-trigger alert for nuclear war due to their short flight times. This was the first time the two countries agreed to destroy nuclear weapons. The treaty outlawed nearly 2,700 ballistic or land-based cruise missiles that had a range of about 300 to 3,000 miles.

But, in 2019, President Donald Trump suspended the U.S. obligations under the treaty and Russia pulled out of the treaty the following day.

Courage to Inspire Us All

The whistleblowers and truth tellers who have followed in Dan’s footsteps include Chelsea Manning, Katharine GunJohn Kiriakou, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, Reality Winner and publisher Julian Assange. Dan is one of the co-chairs — with Chomsky and Alice Walker — of Assange Defense.

“Every empire requires secrecy to cloak its acts of violence that maintain it as an empire,” Dan testified at the Belmarsh Tribunal on Jan. in support of Assange, who faces 175 years in prison for exposing U.S. war crimes. “If you’re going to use the [Espionage] Act against a journalist in blatant violation of the First Amendment,” Dan stated, “the First Amendment is essentially gone.”

In 2008, when I served as president of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Dan delivered the keynote address to the guild’s convention in Detroit. He warned of the dangers of unchecked executive power, stating, “The U.S. president is not a king.”

Dan is a brilliant, intense, compassionate man with a remarkably curious mind. I can’t count the times he has called me for analysis of the legal ramifications of the U.S. government’s illegal action du jour. I am proud to call him my friend.

What does Dan’s diagnosis portend? “As the most important American truth teller/whistleblower and nuclear weapons analyst of the last 50 years, it’s hard to imagine a world without him,” investigative reporter Barbara Koeppel, who has written about Dan in several articles, told me.

We must honor Dan’s extraordinary legacy by committing ourselves to the struggle to protect the world from nuclear annihilation.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the national advisory boards of Assange Defense and Veterans For Peace, and the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geopolitical Issues. She is co-host of “Law and Disorder” radio.

This article is from Truthout and reprinted with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

34 comments for “Daniel Ellsberg Calling on Us to Stop Nuclear War

  1. LeoSun
    March 27, 2023 at 13:33

    “The government’s illegal efforts to silence Dan resulted in the dismissal of the charges against him and his codefendant Anthony Russo. “Much more important,” “these particular Oval Office crimes helped topple the president, an act that was crucial to ending the war.” DANIEL ELLSBERG

    WILL IT BE ONE OR MORE Oval Office & Congress’ Crimes against plant, animal & human life that “topples” the current POTUS, Biden-Harris, et al?!? Will it be a gaggle of lawyers; or, one, good, credible Investigative Journalist w/brass balloons; AND, A heart & a soul for, OF & by the people? WILL IT BE, SOON?!??

    —- “imo, the WH is the tale of a political corpse, posing as POTUS (Biden-Harris) masquerading as Human. an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying the remarkably low intellectual level of the individuals running the US government.”

    Thursday, MARCH 3, 2022, “US Senator Lindsay Graham, an influential Republican Senator, called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Is there a Brutus in Russia,” Graham asked, referring to the assassination of Roman emperor Julius Caesar by Marcus Brutus; and, thus advocating what is, under international law, a war crime.

    “The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country—and the world—a great service.”

    LINDSEY “LADY GRAY” GRAHAM’S comments were only the most extreme example of a growing chorus within the American political establishment for greater military escalation.


    “Ask your readers, do you want war with Russia”…(VLADIMIR PUTIN) “Because that’s what will happen if Ukraine, which has made a pledge to take back Crimea by force, joins NATO … you will fight a war against Russia.”

    “Russia is one of the world’s leading atomic powers.”

    “There would be NO (no) victors,” Putin warned, adding that Macron “does not desire such an outcome. Neither do I.” AGAIN, Russia has said, from 2008, incorporation of NATO into that alliance is a red line. “HOW MANY TIMES, “ Putin asks, “DO WE need to REPEAT ourselves”….

    “A wise man sees int he dark; a fool gropes.” CIAO

  2. March 27, 2023 at 10:19

    May 13, 1945: The United Nations 2nd Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold: “It has been said that the United Nations was not created in order to bring us to heaven, but in order to save us from hell.” (University of California, Berkeley, California)
    Calling the United Nations, where are you?

  3. Tony
    March 27, 2023 at 07:01

    News that the British government intends to send depleted uranium shells to the Ukraine is very troubling. As a side effect, these are radiological weapons that will poison the people of the Ukraine.

    It just goes to show that the British government cares nothing at all for the Ukrainians.

    The war in the Ukraine is a potential trigger for a nuclear conflict and so bringing it to an end as soon as possible should be our top priority.

  4. Darwin Knowles
    March 26, 2023 at 13:55

    “How can we stop nuclear war? ”

    10 million people marching on DC should do the trick. That number is a guess. The key is to get so many that the ‘Security Chiefs” tell the “Leaders” that “We can’t hold them back. We can’t even kill them all. There are too many people here. So, now sir/madam, it is time for you to board the helicopter and fly off to your refuge.”

    That is how you stop a nuclear war.

    I don’t think that “Asking Nicely With A Smile” is going to do the trick.

    • TS
      March 27, 2023 at 05:20

      > “10 million people marching on DC should do the trick. That number is a guess.”

      Sorry, no: there were that many people in the streets trying to prevent the war on Iraq. All they achieved was to prevent a majority in the UN Security Council voting in favor.

  5. Darwin Knowles
    March 26, 2023 at 13:49

    Monkeys with Nuclear Weapons was never a good idea, and it is not likely to end well. As would have appeared to be rather predictable.

    And it is indeed a case of mass murder, with a small number of monkeys willing to kill their hostages, aka ‘us’, if every demand they can dream of is not met for them.

  6. BB
    March 26, 2023 at 03:55

    The only thing Russia wants is for the US to leave her alone. Do not threaten Russia, give her serious guarantees of her security, and she will not only not harm you, but will be sincerely friends with you. But! … The US ruling class, maddened by its imperial arrogance, is brushing aside Russia’s fears and, through an immoral proxy war in Ukraine, is stubbornly and foolishly leading the whole world to a nuclear Armageddon.

  7. Scared Person
    March 25, 2023 at 23:39

    Why is nuclear war a threat? – Because rich people in one country want to stay rich, and understand their riches come from a socio-economic system which brutalizes their own people, so trying to render “other” peoples subservient or dead, is easy for them. They must take from others, in order to grow and secure their own position.

    How can we stop nuclear war? – Recognize that human beings are mostly the same everywhere, and want the same nutrition, health, shelter, community and rights as well all do. If rulers are not allowing that to occur, they are detrimental to our species.

    Why does peace not happen? – The private profit motive makes the most wealthy and powerful people resemble sociopaths. They don’t care about humanity, they care about their own privileged positions. They write ideologies which portray their views as necessity, and teach others that individual acquisition is a virtue, on a massive scale. The poor are taught to wave flags, the rich send the poor to fight and die to make the rich richer. So it goes.

    It is quite simple. The stories though, the cultural narratives written by the ruling class, can become so convoluted it is not surprising that so many are so confused.

    The poor will cheer for the destruction of the whole world, if the rich are allowed to continue just as they are.

  8. John Corr
    March 25, 2023 at 22:18

    The danger of nuclear war in the not understood Ukraine situation comes closer daily because of the unrecognized nature of the thinking of President Biden, a long-time player in Ukraine:
    In Kyiv, February 2014, the anti-Russia faction violently deposed a pro-Russia, democratically elected (close victory margin), President, Victor Yanukovych, in a violent coup. As Yanukovych was feeling pressure from coup violence, “The White House said Joe Biden, the vice-president, spoke to Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday by telephone and warned him that the US was preparing to sanction officials responsible for the violence”, see hXXps://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/ukraine-dead-protesters-police. Zelensky is coup heir.

  9. Kiwiantz62
    March 25, 2023 at 20:19

    America is a Empire in Imperial Collapse, it’s very evident for everyone to see, Diplomatically, Financially, Banking wise with the decline of the USD & Militarily & Politically, the US is falling apart at the seams! l The US “Emperor” the senescent, dementia addled POTUS Joe Biden & his insane Neoliberal, Neocon Administration is running around the World in a blind panic, using bullying, coercion & threatening everyone, knowing that the end of their Empire & rein of Global Terror & Terrorism is coming to a end! This is perhaps the most dangerous time in World History because there’s no American Leader or Leaders with a sense of Sanity or common sense, the Lunatic’s are running the US Asylum? Russia & China are well aware of this, hence the reason why they are proceeding cautiously to usher in this Multipolar World that will isolate & insulate the the rest of the World from the crazies in the US! The World have had a gutsful of this US Empire & its murderous rampages! Russia & China know they are dealing with crazy people & psychopaths so they know that they have to differentiate themselves & demonstrate the way of peace & prosperity Putin & Xi are promoting compared to the deathcult Warmongering of the West led by the suicidal American Empire that has nothing to offer but lies, fake money & bombs! It’s going to be a nerve wracking time & I hope we survive it without being turned into Nuclear ash!

  10. Stul
    March 25, 2023 at 20:03

    People forget that Ellsberg came very close to seriously losing his freedom.
    The Nixon WH tried everything to suppress those papers, and today everyone acts like the papers were published to universal acclaim.
    Ellsberg got out by the skin of his teeth.

  11. Mike
    March 25, 2023 at 19:25

    From the responses, it looks as if a mere one in a billion recognises that Daniel Ellsberg saved the planet – or staved off its destruction. Like him, the many other heroic people mentioned have tried to bring us to our senses but the day-to-day demands of survival for many and to have a good time for others means that the doomsday fears of the 1960s are brushed aside as we look forward to a summer of 1939, though now with vast nuclear arsenals in the mix.
    If Joe Biden thinks that his ‘philosophy’ that a ‘nuclear first strike’ will work, as it did in Japan in 1945, and which (beyond belief) the current Japanese leadership appears to support, he has to be of Dr Strangelove mentality. His military knows that whatever nuclear weapons they discharge as a ‘warning’, they will not be able to sit back and wait to see if a white flag is raised – it will be total war from when the first button is pressed. That’s why it is called M.A.D.

  12. Bushrod Lake
    March 25, 2023 at 19:20

    Finally, the moral argument of killing >half the human species, plus many other forms of life, is raised as a reason to ban these weapons. Not the cost, not the waste, which is all over nuclear modernization…May sanity prevail.

  13. Lois Gagnon
    March 25, 2023 at 17:54

    Washington is an insane asylum. Most US Americans seem incapable of recognizing just how bad the corruption is and therefore continue to believe the supremacist dogma directed at them via the subservient corporate media. Our job is to disabuse them of their belief before things spiral any further out of control. That will most likely require taking risks we are unaccustomed to taking. Fun times.

  14. March 25, 2023 at 16:46

    J. Robert Oppenheimer 1945 hXXps://NuclearWarBefore.com

  15. Suzanne Brummitt
    March 25, 2023 at 15:52

    This is a great article about a great man. One thing, however, did catch my eye: “It’s urgent to get this war ended. … We need a ceasefire and negotiations before [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is confronted with any prospect of losing Crimea and all of Donbas” which would “make the danger of nuclear war initiated by Russia more dangerous than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

    For Russia to initiate a nuclear war, one would think that Russia has a “first strike policy,” which I think is not the case. If anyone knows of such a policy, I would like to see support for that claim. Thank you.

    • Chris G
      March 26, 2023 at 11:33

      I completely agree with you. Russia’s first use policy is only in case of an existential threat to its territory. This is no secret and has been spelled out in speeches by Putin and his spoke persons.

      I would also like to out that the author states: “The anti-proliferation regime was dealt the ultimate blow in February when Russia suspended participation in the New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty].”

      Unfortunately, the author fails to set the context in which Russia made this decision. We must recall that the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM treaty, then the US unilaterally withdrew from the INF treaty, then the US unilaterally withdrew from the Open Skies treaty, and add to that the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA agreement with Iran. Then just a few weeks ago the US almost certainly assisted Ukraine with a drone attack on a Russian strategic air base on Russian territory. So in that context, it seems to me, Russia decided that the US is simply not a reliable or trustworthy party to any nuclear agreement. Wish the author had provided more context.

  16. Nina Flannery
    March 25, 2023 at 15:19

    I love you Daniel Ellsberg. I’ve told about you to my children and to my grandchildren. It’s sorrowful that you’ll soon be leaving. With deepest gratitude for your life from A Citizen for Safe Energy, fare thee well.

  17. Art Costa
    March 25, 2023 at 14:09

    I very much appreciate what Mr. Ellsberg did and continues to try to accomplish. I’ve read his books and learned his perspective as he understood the world within the think tank that employed him, the same one that we’re told came up with the plans to nudge Russia into this war.

    That said and with other perspectives, I truly wonder who’s really behind these wars. It’s not the guy in the oval office, nor even the neocons, they are fully on board as accomplices.

    Assuming the “bomb” not only exists but can end much of life as Ellsberg and millions of others believe, what has really stopped its use all these threats and years later? What are these wars really all about. I’m not satisfied with the old answers that it’s all about ideology, or even a nation-state’s temporary hegemony as it continues to pursue full spectrum dominance.

    Therefore, like Vietnam, the Ukraine war will end when those really in charge are satisfied with the outcome (and I don’t think that outcome has anything to do with democracy).

  18. March 25, 2023 at 10:54

    Is the end near????? I am feeling it and I have always been an optimist… until now.
    Xi Jinping is dangerous; Putin seems ill.
    Iran is a terror state.

    Hawkings in 2016 said we have 30-40 years but now some say 10!!!

    Will humans destroy Earth???

    Out of Columbia College and Stuyvesant HS in NY NY, we run the Kesselman Seminar on Politics monthly Zoom.
    Contact me if interested.

    Many thanks, Neal Hugh Hurwitz
    NY NY, Medellin, Ramat Gan

    • Consortiumnews.com
      March 27, 2023 at 23:08

      Do you really believe that the US has no responsibility for this situation and that it is all the fault of Russia, China and Iran? We would hate to think you are indoctrinating young minds with such a notion.

  19. Solitarian
    March 25, 2023 at 10:13

    I find it very sad that Ellsberg invokes the trope of a Russian threat to initiate nuclear war: ” I believe that Putin would very likely carry out his threat to initiate tactical nuclear war,” he is quoted as saying. He said the same thing last month in his otherwise very moving valedictory “Not Yet Goodbye” message: “Russia is making monstrous threats to initiate nuclear war to maintain its control over Crimea and the Donbas,” he said.

    This is a blatant distortion of the truth. Russia has an explicit “no first use” nuclear policy and has never threatened to use nuclear weapons preemptively. The US, on the other hand, not content with its appalling crimes against purely civilian targets at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, still has a strong and unambiguous policy of first use, and frankly seems hell-bent on pushing the conflict as quickly as possible in that direction. It is not Russia to whom Ellsberg should address his “J’accuse”, but his own country, the US.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      March 26, 2023 at 00:15

      “According to a Russian military doctrine stated in 2010, nuclear weapons could be used by Russia “in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened.”


  20. March 25, 2023 at 00:57

    “At the reunion, he explained how the United States came dangerously close to using nuclear weapons during the Vietnam War.”

    Richard Nixon in his 1968 presidential campaign said he had a secret plan for ending the Vietnam war. I sometimes wonder if maybe using nukes just might possibly have been his secret plan, or at least part of his secret plan. Or maybe just being willing to use nukes if worse came to worst. It does not seem something that one can put past him.

    • Patrick Powers
      March 25, 2023 at 18:59

      The plan was to frighten the Viet’s by pretending he was crazy enough to nuke them.

    • Tony
      March 26, 2023 at 11:25

      You need wonder no more.

      What you are referring to is ‘Duck Hook.’

      There is a concise wikipedia article about this which also explains why Nixon was forced to abandon it.

      • March 27, 2023 at 13:55


  21. Dave E
    March 25, 2023 at 00:11

    Daniel Ellsberg was already a hero long ago, and I appreciate that he’s dedicating his remaining days to stopping Armageddon. I’m not sure he is aware to what degree the mainstream news has deteriorated since the NYT published the Pentagon Papers. It seems very unlikely to me that Russia will be kicked out of Crimea and the Donbas. It is only the ridiculously aggressive western propagandists who spread the notion that such a thing is possible. With whose weapons? The west is running out. With which soldiers? Ukraine is conscripting 18 to 60 year-olds and, after 3 weeks of training, sending them into battle where they have a life expectancy of 3 to 4 hours. They have already burned through most of the troops that had been trained by NATO for 8 years.

    But Dan is certainly 100% right that we need to have a cease fire as soon as possible!

  22. Bill Todd
    March 24, 2023 at 20:19

    ‘Chomsky noted, “Either there will be a diplomatic solution or there will be species suicide.”’

    That is, of course, just Chomsky’s opinion. Russia has stated its intentions clearly: to roll back the geopolitical results of the 2014 Maiden coup in Ukraine by using whatever degree of force is required, and to fix the world order to compensate for at least 3 decades of Western treachery. These are hardly unreasonable goals: they will just undo what the West has been screwing up in the world for at least that period of time, none of which has been vital to the West’s survival and most of which has been dramatically damaging to the security of Russia, China, and other countries around the world.

    There seems to be little room for diplomacy here: it will either happen or be settled by world war (quite possibly nuclear). The West just needs to figure out whether being destroyed is preferable to peaceful coexistence in a world of equality.

    • curmudgeon49
      March 25, 2023 at 11:58

      I would add, that Russia has always sought a political solution. In 2014-15 “Russian” troops had the NATO-trained-in-Poland Ukrainians attacking Donbas trapped, and could easily have annihilated them. Instead, the result was Minsk, then Minsk II. Poroshenko had the Rada cancel Minsk(s) and Merkel, then Hollande admitted they, as guarantors, never planned to implement them. They agreed with Poroshenko that they were a method of buying time for NATO to train a Ukrainian Army to attack Russia.
      In a sane world, the psychos in charge (((Western liberal democracies))) would be hunted down, thrown in dungeons, and have the doors welded shut.

  23. Rudy Haugeneder
    March 24, 2023 at 19:15

    Not to be a fatalist, but just like the disease he has, he knows that at this stage it is just a matter of time.

  24. Aneta Galary
    March 24, 2023 at 18:23

    “This is not a species to be trusted with nuclear weapons,” Dan told me in a telephone interview for this article. Which “species”? Russians? What about US Americans? Can they be trusted with nuclear weapons?

    • Dave E
      March 24, 2023 at 23:53

      I took it to mean our species, the human race.

      • Valerie
        March 25, 2023 at 04:07

        Me too. (And it won’t be suicide, it will be murder – courtesy of our governments and greedy, paranoid, psychopathic politicians)

Comments are closed.