MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


December 24, 2002

Defeating the U.S. War Plans Series #10: Rallying in the Defense of Peace and Sanity


Hello everyone

Here is another one for you. Quite interesting and always revealing material to read.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/DefeatingUSWar10.htm


"To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honorable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions that beget further war."

- Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche, as quoted by Jimmy Carter


"We are compelled--both by our consciences and our hopes for future generations--to call for a new foreign policy that successfully meets the new challenges that threaten global security, peace, and development. Threats to our common security need multilateral responses. Not in our name can the U.S. government ignore world opinion, reject international treaties, adopt first-strike prerogatives, and put power before reason. We stand behind a foreign and military policy that uses U.S. power responsibly--one that wins respect at home and abroad through its commitment to global partnerships and prudent international leadership. It is precisely such a policy that will best ensure America's own well-being and protect our own security."

- Statement by the staff and advisers of Foreign Policy in Focus taken from http://www.fpif.org/progresp/volume6/v6n40.html - More details at http://www.presentdanger.org/choice.html


"The government of a modern organized plutocracy does not have to ask whether the people want to fight or understand what they are fighting for, but only whether they will tolerate fighting. ... Responsibility lies always on the shoulders of those who failed to prevent. Here it lies upon the cowardly middle classes who failed to curb militarism."

- Randolph Bourne (1917) -- Taken from a most interesting article at http://www.auschron.com/issues/dispatch/2002-10-18/cols_ventura.html


CONTENTS

1. Confirmation of US war plans
2. Sweden Offers Sanctuary To U.S. Officials Fleeing Bush Regime
3. NY TIMES PEACE AD - No War On Iraq
4. Fire This Time
5. A First Step to Cutting Reliance on Oil
6. I Want a List
7. It's Time to Take Risks


See also:

THE SECRET WAR ON IRAQ (Dec 18 - MUST READ!)
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12463182&method=full&siteid=50143

General Sees Scant Evidence of Threat Near in U.S. (Dec 12)
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/13/politics/13HOME.html
WASHINGTON - The nation's top general for domestic security says he has seen little evidence to suggest an imminent terrorism threat inside the United States by members of Al Qaeda's network, and warns against using "McCarthyism" in combating terror. "I am not aware of a significant threat to this nation" from so-called sleeper cells, said the officer, Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart. CLIP

The papers that cried wolf (Dec 16) http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,861126,00.html
Brian Whitaker looks at how the American media is softening up public attitudes to war with Iraq.

Poisoning the air (December 09)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4563799,00.html
US reports of Iraqi stockpiles of nerve gas antidote should be treated with a healthy dose of scepticism, warns Brian Whitaker.

Top-secret Iraq Report Reveals U.S. Corporations, Gov't Agencies and Nuclear Labs Helped Illegally Arm Iraq (Dec 20)
http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=021220~dn.asp
(...) Zumach obtained top-secret portions of Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration that the US had edited from the version made available to the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

MASS MARCH ON JANUARY 18 TO DEMAND: - NO WAR AGAINST IRAQ - ELIMINATE U.S. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=021213~vnw.asp
The world is being menaced by Weapons of Mass Destruction by a government that is openly threatening and planning to use nuclear weapons in preemptive wars of aggression against others, including non-nuclear countries. While all eyes are focused on the purported threat coming from Iraq, the Bush Administration has sharply reorganized U.S. military doctrine and strategy as it prepares to actually use Weapons of Mass Destruction in coming conflicts as a matter of declared policy. It is for this reason that on January 18, people across the United States will converge at the West side of the Capitol Building in Washington DC and march in a mass demonstration to the Washington Navy Yard -- a massive military installation located in a working class neighborhood in Southeast Washington DC that parks warships on the Anacostia River. We will demand the immediate elimination of US weapons of mass destruction and a people's inspection team will call for unfettered access and a full declaration of U.S. non-conventional weapons systems.

Living under occupation (Dec 2002)
http://www.simedia.org/new/living-under-occupation.html
An interview with Belinda Coote, Chief Executive of Medical Aid for Palestine, about the extreme difficulties and trauma being experienced by Palestinians in the occupied territories.




1.

From: "Barry & Aannsha" <bazaann@ozemail.com.au>
Subject: Confirmation of US war plans
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002

Hi Jean,

I live in Australia as you can see from the e-mail address and two nights ago I spoke via telephone with my father in the UK and he revealed that the US plans to go to war with Iraq in March 2003.

He owns an International company which manufactures computerised warehousing systems and one of his main suppliers is a US company.

When my father tried to order new materials he was told in no uncertain terms that even if he paid 'cash up front right now' they would not be available to supply him with the goods after March as they had been seconded to supply materials for the Iraqi war.

Then yesterday an Australian newspaper prints the headline "US to go to war with Iraq in March".

These revelations make a complete mockery of the UN inspections and once again confirm that the only ones who are lying, cheating and manipulating the media and peoples of the world is the US administration.

When are the US citizens going to wake up to the outright lies their government are feeding them and do something about it?

Even more worrying is when are the rest of this planets countries governments going to finally get some backbone and band together to put a stop to US bullying and a stop their blatant plans for world domination by any means available?

The US may be the only superpower, and I use that term very loosely, but if every country in the world stood shoulder to shoulder and said enough is enough... start playing by the rules like the rest of us or we won't let you play at all.... The US would have to back down, they can't fight us all.

I know it sounds simplified, but maybe that's what it's going to take to stop this madness... a simple solution.

Thank you, Jean for all your efforts in getting the word out, it's just a shame not enough people care enough to stop this rise of the 4th Reich. Let's us hope and pray that intervention will come soon.

Regards,

Barry Jones




2.

ONE MORE NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF ENDLESS LIES AND DECEIT ISSUED BY THE BUSH MADMINISTRATION

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

From: http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0212/S00082.htm

Also Published at http://www.liberalslant.com/read.htm

Sweden Offers Sanctuary To U.S. Officials Fleeing Bush Regime

Intimidated bureaucrats regain their voice as protected guests of a genuinely democratic regime.

By Dennis Hans

12/11/02

STOCKHOLM - Blaine Williams hasn't stopped grinning since he arrived in Sweden two weeks ago. Several times a day he'll approach a complete stranger, offer a handshake and a smile, introduce himself as a former CIA analyst from America, and proceed to tell the bewildered Swede all the things he knows that directly contradict President George W. Bush's declarations about Saddam Hussein's intentions and capabilities.

"Free at last!" Williams exclaimed to a reporter as he sat on his front porch and waved to new neighbors. "I was stuck in a totalitarian bureaucracy for 14 months. What a relief it is to say in public who I am and what I think."

Williams is the first of dozens of former U.S. government employees expected to take refuge in Sweden over the next several months, courtesy of a bold project of the new social democratic government.

On October 15, the Swedish Parliament appropriated 500 million dollars for the "Palme Plan." Named for former Swedish president Olaf Palme, it promotes the virtues of free and honest speech among government officials in underdeveloped democracies.

"Swedes have always been generous in providing economic aid to countries with underdeveloped economies," said Erland Carlsson, the parliamentarian who conceived the Palme Plan. "But we've done little to promote democratic development in underdeveloped democracies."

Some leaders of underdeveloped democracies have welcomed Sweden's "democracy teams," encouraging their efforts to create a culture of candor and transparency in the corridors of power. Those efforts comprise the overt component of the Palme Plan. The covert component kicks in when a leader is hostile to the very notions of candor and transparency.

Palme, who was Carlsson's political mentor, believed his greatest failure as president was his inability, during the Vietnam War, to persuade U.S. officialdom of the virtues of public candor. "Palme believed that if the national security bureaucracy had not been cowed into silence in the face of a torrent of deceit from a determined White House, the U.S. would never have invaded and destroyed Vietnam," Carlsson said.

An October 8 story in the Houston Chronicle, by Jonathan Landy and Warren Strobel (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/1607676), convinced Carlsson that the same suffocating environment had enveloped key sectors of the Bush administration.

Thirteen officials from the CIA, State Department and Pentagon, many with vast experience in the Middle East and South Asia, told Landy and Strobel the same thing: The White House has squelched dissent, imposed conformity and silence, demanded skewed analyses to justify its hard line, and repeatedly exaggerated or falsified intelligence information to inflate the Saddam threat.

What most alarmed the Swedish MP was that none of the analysts were willing to be quoted by name. Some were too frightened even to be quoted anonymously.

"I couldn't help thinking that if these informed, respected patriots could raise their voices openly and in unison, they'd stop the administration's chicken hawks in their tracks," Carlsson said. "Public and congressional support for the war path would whither, and the president would be exposed as the world's most crooked 'straight shooter.'"

* Borrowing Bush's Brilliant Idea*

When Bush insisted that U.N. weapons inspectors be able to take Iraqi scientists and their families outside of Iraq for interviews, thus protecting the scientists from possible retaliation by Saddam's secret police, Carlsson had the solution that had eluded Palme so many years ago.

"That's it!" he told a colleague. "We'll offer U.S. bureaucrats and their families safe passage to Sweden and a secure environment from which they can speak freely and publicly to the folks back home. They can stay here at our expense until a climate of openness and honesty prevails in the Bush administration."

In addition to Williams, 28 other bureaucrats and their families are en route to Stockholm. All were spirited out of Washington by a team of Swedish secret agents who had honed their rescue skills in Yugoslavia and the Congo.

Once the former officials settle into their new homes and get comfortable with saying who they are and what they think, they'll spend their time giving speeches an interviews.

Former CIA analyst Williams is already a sensation on Swedish TV as a regular guest on the top-rated chat show, Nugen Farger ("Hard Rugby"). On a recent edition, he parsed a string of Bush's statements on Iraq, including assertions at a Republican fundraiser that Saddam Hussein hopes to deploy al Qaeda as his "forward army" against the West, and that "we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind."

"I can assure you," Williams told Swedish viewers, "that no one at CIA believes a word Bush said. What's more, no one at CIA believes that Bush believes a word Bush said."

Strong words, and Williams anticipates an echo chamber as more of Sweden's newest residents regain their voice. But he wonders if members of the U.S. news media, particularly those he calls "the boobs on the tube," will dare to listen.

P.S. BTW this piece is a fiction...!

Dennis Hans files fantastic stories from cities he’s never visited for the Wishful Thinking Express.




3.

YUMI IS A LONG TIME SUBSCRIBER TO THE ERN LIST. HER EXCELLENT INITIATIVE DESERVES TO BE SUPPORTED!

Date: Mon, 16 Dec, 2002
From: Yumi Kikuchi <yumik@awa.or.jp>
Subject: NY TIMES PEACE AD -No War On Iraq

Dear friends for Peace,

For those who do not know me, my name is Yumi Kikuchi, a Japanese mother/writer/activist who started the Global Peace Campaign right after 9/11/01.

GPC, with the support of 2,800 people of 16 countries, succeeded in putting two full page peace ads in NY Times and LA Times in USA, one peace ad in Italian paper(La Stampa) and 10 peace ads in Persian magazines and papers last year to stop the bombing in Afghanistan. Veterans For Peace endorsed the ad and GPC was able to help to promote their great work a little bit( as a result, VFP membership grew 4 times more).

I am preparing for another ad to stop the new war on Iraq and am inviting peace groups to endorse the ad. Take a look at the draft in the making (need comments/revision) below:

http://www.peace2001.org/gpc/02gpc_main_nytimes.html

I can put 10-15 peace groups' name and URL in the ad. If you want yourorganization's name in this ad, contact me a.s.a.p (no later than Dec 20).

The purpose of this ad:

1. To stop the new war on Iraq by raising awareness of American public and supporting peace movement in the USA and the world

2. To promote three important books on Iraq and US foreign policy

* Children of the Gulf War by Takashi Morizumi (Check the photos!)
http://www.savewarchildren.org

* Fire This Time by Ramsey Clark
http://www.iacenter.org/rc-firenext.htm

* Addicted To War by Joel Andreas
http://www.addictedtowar.com

3. To promote anti-war demonstration on Jan 18,2003 by Int'l ANSWER Coalition and raise money for that (The money from the ad goes to Int'l ANSWER Coalition/IAC to pay for the organizing demonstration)

We need to raise $37,500 by the end of this year, by Chiristmas if possible, so that we can put the ad in the 1st or 2nd week of Jan. 2003 before the US may start the military action against Iraq.

I would appreciate any amount of donation to make this happen.
Pls. send a check (on a US Bank, in US Dollars) to:
Gen Morita
1047 Naka, Kamogawa, Chiba, Japan 296-0111
(by Christmas if possible)

If you do not have a bank account with a US Bank, you can make a Postal Money Order at any post office and send it to the address above. We can receive either US dollars or Japanese Yen only.

If you are in Japan, you can send money from any post office:
A/C Name: Open Japan
Yubin Furikae A/C Number:00980-5-12290
*write "for NY Times Ad" at the message column

If you have any question, pls. e-mail me or call me:
yumik@awa.or.jp
Tel:81-470-97-1011
fax:81-470-97-1215
*It is home-office, so pls. do not call me in the middle of the
night. I have 2 babies (1 and 2 year old) sleeping!

Pls. spread this to your friends and loved ones.

love and peace,

Yumi Kikuchi
founder, Global Peace Campaign
http://www.peace2001.org
1047 Naka, Kamogawa, Chiba, Japan 296-0111




4.

From: http://www.iacenter.org/rc-firenext.htm

Fire This Time

This new edition of the groundbreaking work by Ramsey Clark tells the truth about U.S. war crimes against the Iraqi people in the 1991 war. With a special new introduction: After September 11th, an assessment of the U.S./Iraq conflict.

The Fire This Time, an invaluable resource for those organizing opposition to a new U.S. war against Iraq. It’s an important book to be in the hands of anti-war activists, students, and readers worldwide.

Praise for Ramsey Clark and The Fire This Time:

"A strong indictment of the war and especially of the needless deaths of civilians caused by bombing."

- New York Times

"The Fire This Time shows that our leaders committed war crimes in the Persian Gulf War no less surely than the Nazis committed war crimes in World War II."

- Kurt Vonnegut

"Raises serious questions about the behavior of the U.S. government throughout the Gulf crisis."

- Noam Chomsky

"He risked his life by traveling for three weeks through Iraqi cities in an old American sedan at a time when the U.S. was staging 3,000 bombing sorties a day."

- Los Angeles Times "

Clark presents Americans with the unthinkable: that their government killed upward of 100,000 civilians in a terrifying power exercise, sanctified by a captive media..."

- KIRKUS Reviews

For more details and to order go at http://www.iacenter.org/rc-firenext.htm

Check also the latest at http://www.iacenter.org




5.

IF NON OIL-CORRUPTED, TRULY VISIONARY POLITICAL LEADERS EXISTED, THIS WOULD BE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY OF ALL NATIONS - BUT PERHAPS WITH A FIRM NUDGE AND LEADING ACTIONS FROM US ALL WOULD SUCH LEADERS ARISE AND IMPLEMENT IT...

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

A First Step to Cutting Reliance on Oil

The New York Times - December 15, 2002

By TOM REDBURN

WHICH events of recent days are likely to have the most significant long-term impact on American business and the economy?

To my mind, it was not the Bush administration's new team of economic policy makers, who dominated the headlines last week. Nor the efforts to clean up Wall Street. And not the buildup of troops to fight a war in Iraq, either. No, my money is on the barely noticed introduction by Honda and Toyota of a handful of experimental fuel cell vehicles to be tested by the State of California.

The possibility of running cars on fuel cells has been heavily promoted in business circles in recent years, and for good reason. Imagine a global economy no longer dependent on oil and the internal combustion engine. Fuel cells, because they produce energy from pure hydrogen rather than from petroleum, emit only water and heat as waste, potentially generating power without burning fossil fuels.

By making it possible to shift from petroleum to other primary energy sources, fuel cells could ease the threat of global warming without taking away the freedom and mobility that Americans and Europeans take for granted - and the rest of the world is determined to get for itself. China and India, with more than one-third of the world's population, could sustain rapid growth for decades without choking the sky with pollutants and climate-damaging carbon dioxide.

But this vision of a truly sustainable economic future is far from inevitable. The technological challenges to building a commercially successful fuel cell vehicle are overwhelming. And who would supply them? Recasting the entire petroleum-based infrastructure to produce and deliver hydrogen safely to hundreds of millions of such vehicles presents a classic chicken-and-egg problem of immense proportions.

Every major automaker and oil company has a hydrogen or fuel cell research effort under way; supporters say they recognize that fossil fuels can't last forever. Environmentalists carp that industry is simply trying to preserve the status quo and avoid more immediate steps to improve the fuel efficiency of conventional automobiles.

In a generally positive article on the efforts of General Motors to reinvent the automobile, Wired magazine noted that Rick Wagoner, G.M.'s chief executive, likes to call the fuel cell car "the holy grail," but that the description "may be a truer assessment than he intends." After all, as David Redstone, editor of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Investor, a newsletter, told the magazine: "The holy grail is something you spend your entire life looking for. The whole point is that you never find it."

No one knows for sure whether a hydrogen economy is a possible dream. "The oil companies and automakers are not doing this because they want to kill it," said Steven Taub, an expert on alternative fuels at Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Cambridge, Mass. "But they are not doing this because they know it's the future, either. They're doing it because they don't know whether or not it's the future."

It's worth the risk to find out.

Bolstered by modest support from the government and a new commitment from the Bush administration, American automakers and other companies are already investing in fuel cell research. But an effort to put tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of vehicles on the road within a decade, which many analysts regard as feasible, would require a substantial commitment from Washington to help jump-start the market and support the investment in a supply infrastructure.

This shouldn't mean giving up on less ambitious efforts, as both the White House and the auto industry have done in abandoning the research program to build a very fuel-efficient car using existing technology. If nothing else, as an insurance policy to avoid being usurped again by Japanese automakers, Detroit should also be investing more in fuel-efficient hybrid electric-gasoline vehicles like the Toyota Prius.

True, big federal programs like the Interstate System of highways, the development of the Internet and the creation of the semiconductor chip (which grew out of the space program) have gone out of fashion. But even in an era in which markets have rightly assumed a much greater role in allocating resources, government commitment is needed to set ambitious goals in crucial areas.

And when the nation is preparing to spend at least $100 billion to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein and much more to maintain stability in the Persian Gulf, nothing is more crucial than investing a fraction of that sum to help liberate the world economy from its addiction to Middle East oil.




6.

From: http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=021216~wrl.asp

I Want a List

By Geov Parrish, http://WorkingForChange.com

December 10, 2002

I want a list.

I want a full accounting of every weapon in the country. Not Iraq; I don't give a fig about Iraq. It's halfway around the world, it has no means of threatening the United States from its territory, its economy is decimated, it has been disarmed more effectively than any other country in the history of the world, its every move is closely monitored by any number of other agencies and countries, and it knows that any move to threaten any other country would be instantly suicidal. There are plenty of threats to the safety of Americans. Iraq is not one of them. Among all the American-trained dictators plaguing the planet, he's the least of our problems.

I want a list of our weapons.

After all, we pay for them – and pay, and pay, and pay. John W. Snow, the CSX chairman nominated yesterday to replace the loose-tongued ex-Alcoan Paul O'Neill as Treasury Secretary (great, just what we need – another titan of corporate America, and veteran of the Ford Administration, in Dubya's cabinet) was strident in the mid-'90s in his advocacy for a balanced budget. I wonder what he'll say now about his new boss's infliction of a giant sucking wound where the federal surplus of 18 months ago once was? That money, yours and mine, went almost entirely for weapons and the capacity to use them. I want an accounting.

It's the United States, after all, which has proven that it poses a threat to not just its neighbors but countries anywhere in the world – ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Serbia, Pakistan, Sudan, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Panama, Libya or Grenada, all countries the U.S. has bombed or bullied in the last 20 years. It's the United States whose foreign policy is now officially predicated on reserving the right to strike militarily anywhere in the world, any time it likes, for any reason, and without any backing by an ally or international body. It's the United States whose weapons are sold to one or more sides of virtually every one of the five dozen or so wars now raging in the world. It's America with the oldest and biggest nuclear weapons program in the world, the U.S. alone that has proudly used such weapons on civilian populations, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It's the U.S. whose weapons are now the weapons of choice for everyone from mentally disturbed serial killers to jungle guerrillas to kleptocratic dictators the world around. It's the government of the U.S., including every embassy and consulate around the world, that makes it a priority to pay for the marketing, credit underwriting, and purchase of those weapons, and closes the deal. It's the U.S. that underwrites and trains intelligence agencies and secret police the world over, including any number of countries where state torture and murder are the norm. We pay for it all. I want a list.

I want it in three weeks.

I want to know every single weapon or potential weapon in the possession of the United States government. Not just the Pentagon or the Department of Defense, but every single agency down to the U.S. Mint and the Library of Congress. If the Library of Congress's assistant medical archivist carries a can of mace in her purse when she goes to the parking garage, I want to know about it.

Not just what the government owns; I want a list of every potential weapon government employees possess, too. Every firearm John Ashcroft and his NRA-loving appointees own, and everyone else down to the grade C-3 summer interns. That includes dual-use weapons, like nail files, or certain kitchen spices which when mixed with a nasal decongestant can produce a certain redness in the eyes. I want the list. All of it. Typed. Neatly. No typos, please.

But that's not all. After all, it's not just our government that poses a threat to the world; corporate America does, too, and as we've repeatedly witnessed (ask Mr. Snow), our government is a revolving door with corporate boardrooms. They're all in on it together, and if Coca-Cola doesn't constitute an invading army (and a global menace) I don't know what does. Therefore, I also want all of the weapons or potential weapons possessed by any business in the United States.

Let me clarify that: any entity that does business in the United States, whether or not they're owned by Americans. Air Botswana, this means you. That includes all their employees, and all of the subcontracting employees and agencies (like Coke's bottling plant at Ouagadougou) they work with. Can't be too careful.

You've got three weeks. And it had better be complete. Alphabetized, please. With an index.

Of course, I don't think you'll cooperate. I don't think everything will be in the list that has been specified in my demand. The Pentagon alone routinely can't figure out what it has done with billions of dollars of taxpayers' money. Asking it to account for every single paper clip – after all, it might poke an eye out, and besides, at $90 per paper clip they've got to be able to do something other than hold paper together even during a nuclear war – seems like a long shot. And I expect many companies won't fully cooperate, either. They'll claim proprietary information or some other lame excuse.

Weasels.

We'll have to inspect them, of course. Unannounced visits, preferably accompanied by a battalion or two. When they object, we'll call it part of their sustained pattern of non-cooperation.

Have I mentioned that I retain the right to shoot down any aircraft that appear over the skies of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio or certain parts of West Virginia? They'll probably pitch a fit about that, too.

But then, that's what you'd expect from people whose love of power is so fierce that they would willingly endanger their own people, right?

After all, by making America a country loathed by billions of people around the world – some of which are virtually guaranteed to be as omnicidally inclined as the power-crazed, money-poisoned thugs now running our country – it's you and I who are being put at risk. We're the ones who will be walking past the exploding hotel or working in the office towner that collapses. We're the collateral damage.

And we're paying for it. We're filing the tax returns, we're getting the money extracted from our paychecks. We pay for the carnage. Now, and later.

The least we can get out of the deal is a list.

Three weeks.




7.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,857052,00.html

'It's Time to Take Risks'

Portrait: Daniel Ellsberg

In 1971, former marine Daniel Ellsberg leaked documents that exposed US government lies and helped end the Vietnam war. He tells Duncan Campbell why he did it, and why he is calling on today's officials to do the same to the Bush regime - and prevent a war in Iraq.

Tuesday - December 10, 2002 The Guardian (UK)

A little more than 30 years ago, the leaking of 7,000 pages of Pentagon documents, which exposed an extraordinary catalogue of lies and duplicity on the part of the US government, helped to bring an end to the war in Vietnam.

Daniel Ellsberg, a former marine company commander, who had served in Vietnam, leaked the documents, risking a life sentence to do so. Now he is finally telling the whole story of how he became perhaps the most important whistle-blower of the past half century.

It is a bright autumnal day in Berkeley, California, and Ellsberg, now a sprightly 71, is having a rest day from a cross-country tour to promote his memoirs, Secrets. It is his account of how he, an analyst with the Rand Corporation, who had worked in the Pentagon under defence secretary Robert McNamara and for the state department in Vietnam, was finally driven by his conscience to reveal how successive US governments had stumbled into a war that cost more than a million Vietnamese and 55,000 American lives, and how successive presidents had lied to the American people about the conflict's conduct and consequences.

Ellsberg photocopied what were to become known as the Pentagon papers, and then tried to persuade politicians to release them and alert the country. When that failed, he gave them to the New York Times. To ensure that the papers would all be distributed, he went on the run, prompting what was described as "the largest FBI manhunt since the Lindbergh kidnapping". When the FBI finally caught up with him in June 1971, he was charged with 12 felonies and faced 115 years in jail.

CLIP

"One of the key differences is that the military now are clearly against this, which was not the case with Vietnam. The military hated the way Lyndon Johnson conducted the war but they wanted to get into it. This military clearly does not want the war so they're leaking. The reasons Bush has given are ridiculous - democracy, give me a break."

He lists "oil, oil and oil" as the main reasons for the present war plans. He also anticipates an "incident" that will be used as a rationale for the first US strike, just as the Gulf of Tonkin incident - a supposed attack on a US destroyer - precipitated deeper US military action in Vietnam. "Bush will want to claim, just as Johnson did, that he was immediately protecting American troops. He will want to say 'I'm bombing because I have intelligence that Americans are at immediate risk. They are putting chemical warheads on missiles, we think. I can't take the chance.'

"I believe Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz are using our own troops as bait. There will be deaths, and they know that."

Ellsberg has noted that there have been frequent leaks about the war plans in recent weeks. "There is great dissent and that is clearly the major reason for the leaking. It is clear that the administration is filled with people who believe this is reckless, unnecessary, foolish ...

CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,857052,00.html




SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EARTH RAINBOW NETWORK E-LIST

If you would like to subscribe to the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver and regularly receive similar compilations covering a broad range of subjects, including each new Meditation Focus issued every two week, please click on this SUBSCRIPTION page.





BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE