Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer


Daniel Ellsberg wrote that he chose not to do chemotherapy

New York:

Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” about the Vietnam War, has said doctors gave him about six months to live after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

When the former military analyst released thousands of documents to the US media in 1971, it emerged that successive US administrations had lied to the public about the war.

The leak changed public perceptions of the conflict and was told in the 2017 Hollywood thriller “The Post,” which chronicled the nail-biting behind-the-scenes story of the Washington Post’s publication of the papers.

“On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer,” 91-year-old Daniel Ellsberg said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

“I am sorry to inform you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live,” he added.

Daniel Ellsberg wrote that he chose not to do chemotherapy because it offers no promise.

“I have the assurance of great hospice care when needed,” he added.

Daniel Ellsberg was a government adviser when he leaked 7,000 secret pages that established—contrary to the public claims of US government officials—that the Vietnam conflict was unwinnable.

The New York Times published excerpts until President Richard Nixon’s administration received a court order prohibiting the newspaper from continuing to do so for reasons of national security. The Washington Post then took over the mantle.

Daniel Ellsberg was charged under the US espionage law, but the case ended in a mistrial in 1973 after illegal gathering of evidence by the government was exposed.

“When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would spend the rest of my life behind bars. that seemed (and was),” Daniel Ellsberg wrote in his statement Thursday.

“But ultimately that action — in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, because of Nixon’s illegal responses — had an impact in shortening the war,” he added.

Daniel Ellsberg, a staunch anti-nuclear campaigner, published a massive tome about the nuclear threat from within entitled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” in 2017.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)

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