Then and Now
George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana wrote that a century ago, and it applies to us today. This is the backstory, which starts with Daniel Ellsberg and his leaking of the Pentagon Papers.
Interestingly, Ellsberg worked on the Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, better known as the Pentagon Papers. He made copies of the Pentagon papers and sent a copy to The New York Times. It was a voluminous report containing 47 volumes of 3,000 pages with another 4,000 pages of secondary and/or supplemental material.
Interestingly, Ellsberg was a Marine in the mid-50s and supported the Vietnam war. However, by 1969, he believed that the US couldn’t win in Vietnam. Two years later, he leaked some of the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, which started publishing segments in June 13, 1971. The Justice Department obtained a restraining order against The Times, because the Pentagon Papers could hurt our national security.
It went before the Supreme Court, and they ruled in favor of Ellsberg in a 6-3 decision that the Justice Department hadn’t proven the national security concern. However, in December of 1971, Nixon had a second indictment issued against him and Anthony Russo as co-conspirators. It should be noted that Nixon had his plumbers, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy break into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office to find out personal information on Ellsberg. That took place in September 1971. In June 17, 1972, the plumbers broke into Watergate offices of Democratic National Committee.
If Ellsberg had been found guilty on Nixon’s second indictment, he could have gotten 115-years in prison. However, after a mistrial, all charges were dismissed in May of 1973.
Now, Ellsberg leaked documents upon which he had worked to The New York Times. The reason for Ellsberg’s leaking the Pentagon Papers were due to lies about the US’s involvement in Vietnam since the end of WWII. He leaked material that demonstrated some of the lies even though he could have gone to jail for over a century. He shared with the world what was happening especially in the Johnson and Nixon’s White Houses.
Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers is the backstory...a historical background. Recall what George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” A half-century later, the White House is doing the same dance.
James Comey testified before the Intelligence Committee of the Senate on June 8, 2017 about the lies of Donald the Dumb regarding the dismissal of Flynn, the Russian connection, and related issues.
One of the related items was Comey’s giving to a former professor his memos who in turn gave them to The New York Times. Santayana is correct...history repeats itself. The issue is whether we note the repeating of history and address it.
Returning to the history book, the government dropped all charges against Ellsberg on May of 1973. A year later, Nixon resigned due to the cover-up of the Watergate Break-in. Today, the term, cover-up, relates to lies and obstruction of justice.
Someone should tell Donald the Dumb what Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
This is video of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
This is a transcript of the hearing.
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