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Daniel Ellsberg is the former American military analyst who sparked a national uproar in 1971 by releasing the top secret 'Pentagon Papers' to the USA media. This encyclopedic 7,000-page history of the Vietnam war revealed that successive presidents had systematically lied to the American people about the war, which they knew to be unwinnable.
In this lengthy and insightful article Ellsberg discusses the rigorously enforced culture of secrecy that pervades many agencies, especially the 'intelligence community'. Ellsberg asserts that virtually all of this secrecy is not to protect the nation from foreign powers, but to protect agencies from proper oversight and accountability – by keeping the public and lawmakers in the dark.
According to Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, the Veterans Affairs Department shared the psychiatric records of Canadian veteran Sean Bruyea with people who had no legitimate need to see them. Bruyea says his psychiatric records were put into briefing notes sent to high-ranking bureaucrats and government ministers.
We started this segment with a clip from Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs. And before that, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The report they're talking about, of course, is from Canada's Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart. Yesterday she ruled that officials in the Veterans Affairs department broke the law by sharing the sensitive medical records of one of this country's veterans.
By LINDA DEUTSCH (AP) – Sep 26, 2009
LOS ANGELES — Four decades after he stunned the nation by leaking the top-secret Pentagon Papers study of the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg walks the halls of the past in his dreams.
In his sleep, he imagines that he still works as a researcher at the Rand Corp., advising Pentagon officials on policy, handling classified documents, studying the science of war.
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg shook America to its foundations when he smuggled a top-secret Pentagon study to the New York Times that showed how five Presidents consistently lied to the American people about the Vietnam War that was killing millions and tearing America apart.
A documentary using original footage from the period.