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Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Paper Fame Defends WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971,  defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“If I released the Pentagon Papers today, the same rhetoric and the same calls would be made about me,” Ellsberg said, according to the news organization Democracy Now! “I would be called not only a traitor—which I was then, which was false and slanderous—but I would be called a terrorist… Assange and Bradley Manning are no more terrorists than I am.”

Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst who was working for the RAND Corporation, ignited a controversy when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top secret document that discussed government policy about Vietnam.

He was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. He was put on trial in federal court in Los Angeles in 1973, but U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne, Jr. ended up dismissing the case due to government misconduct.

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