In the Loop

Ellsberg: King of the whistleblowers

Posted at 12:51 PM on April 16, 2007 by Jeff Horwich (1 Comments)

(Photo by Jeff Horwich/MPR)
ellsberglittle.jpg
This weekend I had the unique opportunity to go one-on-one with one of the most pivotal figures in recent American history. Daniel Ellsberg was in town, the house-guest of someone I had called up out of the blue just to float a few ideas about our upcoming show topic ("To Take A Stand" is what we're now calling it). He mentioned Ellsberg was flying in, and there might be a little gathering at his house in St. Paul. Perfect.

You'll have to wait for the show to hear the interview, but suffice it to say the 76-year-old Ellsberg sits squarely on top of our topic: how and why people decide to stick their neck out for something they believe in. Love or hate what he did, he put himself on the line for a cause, and in a big way, facing 115 years in prison for leaking the Pentagon Papers (and bringing a swifter end to the war in Vietnam). I suppose after all that it's not much, but he was gracious to grant me an interview after a long (and delayed) flight across the country and two hours greeting everyone who had shown up to see him.

The gathering (which was not small after all, but turned into a fundraiser with about a hundred people) was also a chance for me to learn a bit about a piece of Minnesota history which Ellsberg touched -- though not many people know it. It turns out the Pentagon Papers were very nearly leaked in a Minnesota courtroom, a few months before he eventually leaked them to the NYTimes. For now, you can read more about it here. I'll blog about that in more detail later this week...


Comments (1)

Jeff:
Great interview. I feel very proud of being their and also meeting you and Daniel Ellsberg.

Let's stay in touch.
Dave

Posted by David Jebens | April 20, 2007 7:00 PM


Post a comment

The following HTML tags are allowed in your comments:
+ Bold: <b>Text</b>
+ Italic: <i>Text</i>
+ Link: <a href="http://url" target="_blank">Link</a>
Fields marked with * are required.


Comment Preview appears above this form upon pressing the "preview" button. Edit your comment and press "preview" again, until you are satisfied with your comment.

Your comment may not appear on the blog until several minutes after it was submitted.

April 2007
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          


Master Archive

MPR News
Radio

Listen Now

Other Radio Streams from MPR

Classical MPR
Radio Heartland

Services