Ya gotta wonder WHY major networks aren't after Amy Goodman to go to work for them (not that she would! )I mean seriously, she's now the most high-profile investigative journalist in the country! She has access to all kinds of high profile people, she's kind of  the Orianna Falacci of our day, (that's the reporter whom the Shah kicked out of the palace, mid interview!) One teeeeny problem: she reports things the mainstream media wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. She breaks all kinds of stories -- famed Whistlebower Daniel Ellsberg here, below, gives the lowdown and she gets it on the record. Historians of the future, mark her name. She operates out of a FIRE HOUSE (such a very APT location) in NYC, broadcasts on the Pacifica FM radio station chain across America, and does a website with taped, archived interviews, publishes transcripts, all ttuff that is just flat embarrassing to people in power. She's dangerous is what she is. Could you imagine if she were the news anchor and editor for a major network? She'd make Walter Cronkite look timid.  Here's AMY with a friend, Daniel Ellsberg so she's not so ferocious.

'Our President Is Deceiving the American Public': Pentagon Papers Whistleblower on President Obama and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq Obama-afghanistan - We are joined by a man who played a major role in efforts to end the Vietnam War in the 1970s. In 1971, the then-RAND Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked to the media what became known as the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified history outlining the true extent of US involvement in Vietnam. After avoiding a life sentence on espionage charges, Daniel Ellsberg has continued to speak out against US militarism until the present day. [includes rush transcript Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers - whistleblower who tumbled Nixon)


AMY GOODMAN: Weíre joined now by a man who played a major role in
efforts to end the Vietnam War in the í70s. In 1971, the then-RAND
Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked to the media what became
known as the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified history outlining
the true extent of US involvement in Vietnam. After avoiding a life
sentence on espionage charges, Daniel Ellsberg has continued to speak
out against US militarism until the present day. He joins us now from
the University of California at Berkeley.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Dan Ellsberg. In the wake of the surprise
visit by President Obama to Afghanistan, your thoughts?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: President Obama is taking every symbolic step he can to
nominate this as Obamaís war, just as the Vietnam War became Nixonís war
in November of 1969, just about the time I was copying the Pentagon
Papers in hopes of forestalling that, and Johnson made Vietnam his war,
Johnsonís war, and McNamaraís war in June of 1965, when I was working
for him, when he decided to escalate, an open-ended escalation there,
following the previous commitment of Eisenhower and of Kennedy that made
it an open-ended war, just as Obama is doing there now, and, I think,
with very much the same results in the end, tragic results, especially
for the country involved and for the Americans, and with probably the
same kinds of pressures on him, actually, as Johnson faced.

AMY GOODMAN: I saw you speak, Dan Ellsberg, here in New York after a
production of Top Secret, a very interesting play about not the New York
Times and the Pentagon Papersóthey were the first to begin to print them
but were then enjoined by the Nixon government, and then the Washington
Post started to print the Pentagon Papers, and thatís what this was
about. But afterwards, you talked about the US ambassador to Afghanistan
and how important what Ambassador Eikenberry had to say in these memos
and cables that were made public. Can you talk about those?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Yeah. Well, for years now, really since we set out to
go into Iraq on much the same kinds of lies in 2002 that sent us into
Vietnam when I was in the Pentagon, since then, Iíve been saying to
officials in the government, 'Donít do what I did. Do what I wish I had
done in í63 or í64, before we had entered the war, before the bombs had
fallen. Donít wait, as I did, ítil we were in the war and the war was
essentially unstoppable, before telling the truth about the
hopelessness, understood within the government, and the
impossibility---the unlikelihood of any kind of victory there. But do it

Actually, almost as I---in recent times, that call has been answered. I
donít know whether it was direct or not, but some government official
who is now the most dangerous man in America in the eyes of President
Obama, Iím sure---Iím sure thereís a Plumbers operation going on right
now to find out who leaked the cables, the secret cables, of our
ambassador in Kabul, Lieutenant General, retired, Karl Eikenberry, who
had been in charge in Afghanistan, and first in charge of training
Afghan troops and then in charge of all of our operations in
Afghanistan, before McChrystal, and is now our accredited ambassador to
Karzai, the head of the so-called government that weíre supporting there

And in those cables, secret cables, which someone leaked in January,
after the President had announced his decision, Iím sorry to say---I
wish he had done what I most called for, and that is, send the cables,
the truth that he was telling, in before that decision had been
announced. Still, the decision hasnít been fully implemented, especially
by Congress, in terms of appropriation. And they would do well to read
what it is theyíre appropriating money for.

Eikenberryís cables now, at this stage, read like a summary of the
Pentagon Papers of Afghanistan. And thatís the first installment of
papers that we need right now. Just change the place names from 'Saigon'
to 'Kabul' and the Afghan national forces serving as the surrogate of
our mercenary ARVN of Vietnam, and they read almost exactly the same.
Heís describing the President, Karzai, to whom heís accredited and who
he just visited with President Obama. And Karzai has presumably read
Eikenberryís assessment of him as---that he is not an adequate strategic
partner for the United States, and for reasons of corruption and

Allegedly, we hear that Obamaís reason for going seventeen hours over to
Afghanistan was to convey in person our desire that he clean up his
government. Iím really reminded of when Kennedy and Johnson decided to
enlist our Mafia in an effort to get Castro. I donít think they spent
time telling the Mafia, 'By the way, itíll be helpful to us, if youíre
going to be our partner, to clean up your act, get out of the drug
business.' In Karzaiís government, as in the Mafia, corruption are us,
drugs are us. Corruption is his government. Thatís his constituency, his
source of income. There is no chance whatever that heíll, for instance,
root out his brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, from Kandahar, which is our
next base of operations, despite the fact that our chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff says no success is possible in Kandahar while corruption
is still the heart of that, while drug dealing is the heart of that, so
long as Wali, the Presidentís, Karzaiís brother, is in charge there.

Itís obviously---itís not just a symbolism. Itís the fact that we have a
government there that has no prospect of achieving legitimacy in the
eyes of the people weíre supposedly appealing to in Afghanistan. And
thatís symbolic of the whole effort. There is no prospect of any kind of
success in Afghanistan, any more than the Soviets achieved in their ten
years there, just as in Vietnam we really had no realistic prospect of
more success than the French. But countries find it very hard to learn
from the failures of other countries.

ANJALI KAMAT: And Dan Ellsberg, whatís your assessment of the
counterinsurgency strategy that the Obama administration is pushing,
that General Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal are pushing?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Iím very familiar with that theory, because thatís what
I was working in in Vietnam for so many years, the counterinsurgency
theory, strategy theory. My job was to evaluate its, quote, 'progress,'
which meant lack of progress, total stalemate, total lack of progress in
Vietnam. And to that end, I visited thirty-eight of the forty-three
provinces of Vietnam and reported stalemate, which McNamara heard and
understood, even while the word 'progress' was the word to be used, just
as Obama was talking about progress.

What it ignores is that the recruiting tool of our adversaries there is
predominantly the presence of foreign troops. And when we add more
foreign troops, we are sustaining that recruiting tool. And for every
enemy trying to eject foreigners from his country that we kill, and
especially his families, the wedding parties, and the funeral parties
after weíve hit the wedding parties, all of those recruit more people in
a way that will---assures us that, contrary to what President Obama is
saying, we will not prevail. When he does say we arenít going to quit,
in the short run, at least, heís right, unfortunately. We have many
years ahead of us.

I believe, by the way, that that applies to Iraq, as well, that I
believe that our president is deceiving the American public---I donít
say that lightly---in the same way that all of his predecessors deceived
us with respect to Vietnam, including the ones I served, which included
Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Specifically, when he says in his State of
the Union message that we will---he will get all troops, not just combat
troops, but all troops, out of Iraq by the end of 2011, I believe thatís
false and that he knows thatís false, and he has no real plan or
intention of removing American bases manned by American military
personnel, not just mercenaries, ever. By his second term or the second
term of his successor, whoever that is, I think we have a future of
30,000 to 50,000 Americans in Iraq indefinitely. And Iím talking about
the lives of our children, in terms of actual planning.

And in Afghanistan, in the same State of the Union address, when he
implies that this first installment of extra troops in Afghanistan,
which Ambassador [Karl] Eikenberry specifically recommended against to
the President, saying that it would make the situation worse, not
better, make the Karzai government more dependent on us and postpone any
possible date of our withdrawal, rather than shorten it---thatís just
the first installment. He implies that by the end of next year---or this
year, rather, when we have those extra 30,000 to 40,000 troops there and
are up to the level of 100,000, which, with NATO troops, will bring us
up to the level at which the Soviets occupied Afghanistan and failed
after ten years, the thought that thatís the last request by McChrystal
is simply absurd. McChrystal himself was asking for 80,000 troops at
this point, and that, too, was a first installment.

My knowledge of counterinsurgency doctrine, which is, from what I read
of McChrystal and Petraeusís doctrine statements, is as good as theirs,
or as bad as theirs, says that in a country of that size, hundreds of
thousands of troops are needed. That is not going to come from the
Afghan troops, who desert about as fast as we recruit them and who are
not very highly motivated working for foreigners, like the government of
Vietnam soldiers we worked with. They are not going to fill that gap. As
troops do come out of Iraq, bringing us down from 130,000, or perhaps
90,000 now, down to 30,000 to 50,000, that extra 100,000 troops will
have a short time at home with their parents and their spouses and their
kids and then go to Afghanistan. I believe that four years from now we
will have more troops in Afghanistan than we have two years from now.
The public doesnít seem to understand that, and when they look at cost
estimates, they come up with figures like a trillion dollars for our
effort in Afghanistan eventually. Try doubling that. Itís going to be
more troops. Those estimates are based on the notion---in Iraq, as
well---that weíre getting all troops out of Iraq. Thatís not going to

AMY GOODMAN: Dan Ellsberg---

DANIEL ELLSBERG: So those estimates are illusory. You could double them.

AMY GOODMAN: Military officials in Kabul have admitted US and NATO
troops have killed thirty Afghans and wounded eighty others in or near
military checkpoints since last summer. In no instance did the victims
prove to be a danger to troops. In a recent videoconference, military
commander General Stanley McChrystal said, 'We have shot an amazing
number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a
threat.' Your response to this?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Thatís an amazingly, amazingly candid assessment by
McChrystal. Iíll give him credit for saying that. He also, for the first
time, talks about wanting to reduce civilian casualties. But by
increasing the number of US troops over there greatly and increasing the
number of engagements, even if you reduce the rate of civilian deaths
per engagement, the overall effect is going to be that youíre killing
the relatives of people who are going to enlist in the insurgency.

Youíre talking about a country, like Vietnam, that has 2,000 years of a
tradition, and not just of self-image, but of actual success, in
ejecting foreign invaders. They arenít organized for much there. You
could say itís a state of disorganization, valley by valley and tribe by
tribe. Theyíre ideally organized for ejecting control by foreigners, and
even control by a central government---thatís somewhat unlike
Vietnam---controlled by Kabul, even if Kabul were to clean up its act,
which is---means to transform its nature altogether.

One of Eikenberryís points is that there is no basis for assuming that
Karzai, at this point in his life, is going to change his nature or the
nature of his government. By the way, that was in secret cables to the
President. Thatís like the Pentagon Papers. In public testimony, what we
heard from Eikenberry in front of Congress was, 'Oh, I fully support
McChrystalís program,' which he had just demolished in secret. 'I fully
support the program. I have every confidence.' In short, like any
official working for the President, after the President had made his
decision, Eikenberry lied, or, at any rate, he contradicted his secret
testimony. And what Congress should do is simply bring him back and let
him clarify the difference between his secret cables, which were
published on the New York Times archive, which anyone can get, and his
public testimony and give him a chance to tell the truth and resign.

ANJALI KAMAT: Dan Ellsberg, your leaking of the Pentagon Papers helped
bring the Vietnam War to an end. What do you think needs to happen now
to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Congress, somehow, has to be brought to have the
courage to follow its convictions and cut off the funding for the wars,
for escalation, in particular. Barbara Lee, the one congressperson who
had the guts to vote against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution with respect to
Afghanistan back in 2001, pointing out that it had been done
without---like the Tonkin Gulf Resolution years before, without
hearings, without debate, without evidence, just a blank check to the
President---one person in Congress who did that, now has a bill---I
think itís 3966 3699, something like that---calling for cutting off
appropriations for further escalation in Afghanistan. And that bill,
that appropriations lie ahead.

The head of the Appropriations Committee, David Obey, Nancy Pelosi,
Speaker of the House, Harry Reid in the Senate have all said they oppose
further escalation, just like Eikenberry, the general who is our
ambassador in Afghanistan. But does that mean they will vote against the
appropriations that send those people over there to die and to kill? No,
very, very unlikely. But some of their colleagues will.

AMY GOODMAN: We have ten seconds.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: And if we press our colleagues that thatís what we
want, ultimately thatís the way the war can be ended. The only way the
Vietnam could have been ended was by Congress cutting off the money.
Itís the only way this war will be ended, and it will take a very long

AMY GOODMAN: Dan Ellsberg, we have to leave it there.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: ---in what I call Vietnamistan.

AMY GOODMAN: Sadly. Yes, well, we have to leave it there, but we will continue the
conversation and put it online at democracynow.org. Dan Ellsberg---Henry
Kissinger called him 'the most dangerous man in America. And isn't that a great thing!