Daniel Ellsberg does not issue many public appeals or statements, so when he does, we should listen. The former Pentagon analyst and Department of Defense whiz kid's refusal to stay silent helped end the Vietnam War. He makes the talk shows when they are brave enough to have him, since one ever knows what Daniel Ellsberg is going to say.
Now he tells us in truly alarming tones that we must continue to express our opposition to an attack on Iran to the Obama administration, no matter what we are hearing in the media.
As recently as September 6, American media were reporting:
President Barack Obama's explicit warning that he will not accept a unilateral Israeli attack against Iran may force Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step back from his ostensible threat of war.But in his RootsAction call for petition signatures, also unusual for Ellsberg, he says:
"The danger of a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran -- either before the election or later -- is real and horrifying. It is crucial that we voice our opposition before it is too late.It can be taken for granted that an attack on Iran will involve the pouring of millions of rounds of depleted uranium ammunition into the country, the effects of which are now seen in Iraq in the form a rate of birth deformities which are 11 times the world average in some parts of the country . The effects are suspected to be due to the radioactive dust which stays in the air and the soil long afterwards.
"I urge you to add your name to my own and to ask your friends to do the same.
"We've been helping to prevent this attack for years, and we must not give up now."
Typical for American media, what is always missing from the discussion is any broad historical context of US-Iranian relations, a shameful and sorry blot on the US. The average American might think that all dealings with Iran started with the 1979 hostage crisis.
But the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis was triggered when the US allowed the brutal, just-deposed Iranian dictator, the Shah of Iran, to get medical treatment in the US rather than hand him over to the Iranians for justice. Installed by the CIA in 1953, the Shah was by all accounts one of the most sadistic dictators in recent history. The torture methods of his SAVAK secret police included "inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum" (Federation of American Scientists.) The Iranians had every right to want the Shah for trial for crimes against them.
Ellsberg is a strong supporter of Bradley Manning, and often says that what Manning has done took even more courage than what he did, when a true opposition in Congress was willing to stand for whistleblowers. Senator Mike Gravel at that time submitted the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
The Pentagon Papers were the classified documents which Ellsberg had seen, which essentially confirmed that the military generals running the Vietnam War believed it could not be won, yet continued to send American boys to their deaths. Ellsberg knew that when he blew the whistle, and leaked the documents to the New York Times, that he would be prosecuted by the Nixon administration.
History often overlooks the fact that Ellsberg knew he could have spent life in prison for his act, and very nearly did.
Bill Moyers: American Coup in Iran