At the New York American Bar Association International Law Section’s conference of April 2018, a special event inspired and entertained.  Dr. Daniel Ellsberg was a high level military analyst and his distribution of The Pentagon Papers that documented the U.S. role in Indochina from World War II until May 1968 might be the most high-profile leak in American history. It led to a re-thinking by many Americans of the Vietnam war, as well as to Dr. Ellsberg’s being charged with 12 felony counts. He willingly risked a jail term in excess of 100 years to expose folly and dishonesty. The charges were later dismissed due to government misconduct. Ellsberg’s recent book, “The Doomsday Machine, Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” provides an astonishing behind-the-scenes collection of detailed descriptions of global near-calamities, flawed launch protocols and the government’s own chilling estimates of the potential carnage following a nuclear conflict. This compelling dialogue with Jonathan Granoff, who chairs the Sections Task Force on Nuclear Nonproliferation, is substantive and filled with insider historical insights. Dr. Ellsberg challenges all of us with his witness to truth backed up with his moral courage.

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