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The declassification of the Pentagon Papers on Monday reminds us of the importance of government accountability in the struggle for peace. Daniel Ellsberg released these documents 40 years ago to help bring an end to the Vietnam War. This week's featured article draws attention to the role of the DC-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in releasing the Pentagon Papers. "Had the true facts been made known earlier, the war would long ago have ended, and the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese would have been averted. This is the true lesson of the Pentagon Papers."

The declassification of the Pentagon Papers on Monday reminds us of the importance of government accountability in the struggle for peace. Daniel Ellsberg released these documents 40 years ago to help bring an end to the Vietnam War. This week's featured article draws attention to the role of the DC-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in releasing the Pentagon Papers. "Had the true facts been made known earlier, the war would long ago have ended, and the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese would have been averted. This is the true lesson of the Pentagon Papers."

Now WikiLeaks is bringing to light government deceit and corruption in the context of a new generation of wars. The need for transparency and accountability is clear, as evidenced by the Guantanamo files, Pakistan Papers, and cables on deliberate economic oppression of Haiti. The FBI is also expanding its scope to allow for unchecked abuse of civil liberties. Washington Peace Center Director Sonia Silbert acknowledged that "we can all be targets" in an interview with Press TV. Watch the video with Sonia's interview here.

From the Pentagon Papers to WikiLeaks, the long-standing need for change in our national defense priorities becomes exceedingly apparent. This weekend, mayors from across the country have the opportunity to get behind the peace movement at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore. We are asking our mayors to support two draft resolutions to bring our war dollars home: 1) ask mayors to call on Congress to redirect military spending to domestic priorities, and 2) support the Mayors for Peace resolution to redirect funds for nuclear weapons to meet the needs of cities. Find the email address for your local mayor and use this sample letter to ask them to support these resolutions for peace.

The Pentagon Papers and WikiLeaks remind us of the responsibility of the peace movement to provide a space for dissenters. Read Ann Wright's reflections on whistleblowers in the latest issue of the Washington Peace Letter. Read her suggestions on how you can provide support for those who speak truth to power. Please participate in the Mayors for Peace action above, check out some upcoming events, and stay in touch. Thanks for your help!

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