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Who’s in charge?

Chalmers Johnson: The Addiction to Secrecy

6 February 2003
Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers 
by Daniel Ellsberg.
Viking, 498 pp., $29.95, October 2002, 0 670 03030 9
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... The subject of DanielEllsberg’s memoir is the decadence of American democracy. The conditions he began fighting in 1969 are much worse today and far more dangerous to many more people. Yet central casting could not have ...

Diary

Glen Newey: Life with WikiLeaks

6 January 2011
... to gratify the prurient, or only those whose pruritus takes a strange form. The question is whether humdrum diplomatic pillow talk, as well as low skulduggery, is fair game for disclosure. As with DanielEllsberg and the Pentagon Papers, or Deep Throat, leaking does a valuable wrecking job on governance by deceit. It got rid of Nixon. His fixers, Gordon Liddy and the White House Plumbers, set to work ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: With the Hackerati

19 August 2010
... stubby acronyms and gamer-speak. By the end you realise, first, that something much worse than we thought has been happening in Afghanistan, and, second, that journalism may never be the same again. DanielEllsberg, who, once upon a time, released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, has been quick to see the WikiLeaks stuff as being bigger than anything. Back in June 1971, the documents revealed ...

i could’ve sold to russia or china

Jeremy Harding: Bradley Manning

19 July 2012
The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in US History 
by Chase Madar.
OR, 167 pp., £10, April 2012, 978 1 935928 53 9
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... secret. Out of roughly 250,000 diplomatic cables, for instance, 15,000 to 16,000 are ‘secret’ and fewer than half are classified. As classified files go, they pale by comparison with the papers DanielEllsberg leaked in the thick of the Vietnam War. Finally, there is a view in the administration that the leaks have not compromised national security. (The documents that make this case – one ...
16 November 2017
... he didn’t shy away from brinksmanship during the Cuban missile crisis. The official rationale of the US nuclear programme, throughout the Cold War, was to deter a Soviet attack, but according to DanielEllsberg in The Doomsday Machine, his forthcoming memoir of his time at the Defence Department and the Rand Corporation in the 1950s and 1960s, the actual purpose was to ensure that there could be no ...

Paper this thing over

Colin Kidd: The Watergate Tapes

5 November 2015
The Nixon Tapes: 1971-72 
by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 758 pp., $35, July 2014, 978 0 544 27415 0
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The Nixon Defence: What He Knew and When He Knew It 
by John W. Dean.
Penguin, 784 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 312738 3
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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall 
by Elizabeth Drew.
Duckworth Overlook, 450 pp., £20, August 2014, 978 0 7156 4916 9
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Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate 
by Ken Hughes.
Virginia, 228 pp., $16.95, August 2015, 978 0 8139 3664 2
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan 
by Rick Perlstein.
Simon and Schuster, 860 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4767 8241 6
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... vote. But there were other anxieties. Nixon was never quite sure whether he or his acolytes had been caught out frustrating Johnson’s peace initiative. When in 1971 the former security analyst DanielEllsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers – which set out high-level policymaking on Vietnam – Nixon became increasingly anxious about preserving his own secrets. He came to believe there was ...

Text-Inspectors

Andrew O’Hagan: The Good Traitor

24 September 2014
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State 
by Glenn Greenwald.
Hamish Hamilton, 259 pp., £20, May 2014, 978 0 241 14669 9
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... Times while it was attempting to publish the Pentagon Papers, made the case most strongly that it was a First Amendment issue, and that the paper had a duty to present the material brought to it by DanielEllsberg, believing it would enlighten the public as to what the government was doing. Though an injunction was sought by the US attorney general, it was rejected by the judge, Murray Gurfein, who ...
13 May 1993
Nixon: A Life 
by Jonathan Aitken.
Weidenfeld, 633 pp., £25, January 1993, 0 297 81259 9
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... of his principal planks explain on TV that senior White House staff were authorising burglary? As for his alleged ignorance, even Nixon accepted some responsibility for the break-in at the office of DanielEllsberg’s psychoanalyst after Ellsberg had embarrassed the Administration with the leaking of the Pentagon Papers. Aitken thinks a comparison can be made between Nixon on Watergate and Henry II ...
21 February 2002
China and the Vietnam Wars 1950-75 
by Qiang Zhai.
North Carolina, 304 pp., $49.95, April 2000, 0 8078 4842 5
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None so Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam 
by George Allen.
Ivan Dee, 296 pp., $27.50, October 2001, 1 56663 387 7
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No Peace, No Honour: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam 
by Larry Berman.
Free Press, 334 pp., $27.50, November 2001, 0 684 84968 2
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... a flashy car ordering ‘Fill ‘er up with French blood!’ General Henri Navarre, on the spot, proposed more pacification of Vietminh strongholds in the South. US General John ‘Iron Mike’ O’Daniel instead drew up his own plan for a mobile force to attack the Vietminh in the North. With no great enthusiasm Navarre went along with it. Informed of what O’Daniel called the ‘Navarre Plan’ to ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange

6 March 2014
... to cause maximum damage.’ ‘Surely not,’ I said, incredulous. ‘Wouldn’t they wait, just for old time’s sake?’ ‘You’re joking.’ He said the third book was by his former colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg. ‘This will be a complete smear,’ he said. ‘The guy is working from hatred of us and he will seek to make it as damaging as possible.’ ‘Embarrassing or damaging?’ ‘Both ...

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