The military analyst turned whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers looks at the existential threat of America’s nuclear capacities in his new memoir, “The Doomsday Machine.” Very little has changed, says author Daniel Ellsberg, when it comes to what he calls the immoral and insane policies regarding nuclear weapons. William Brangham sits down with Ellsberg to discuss the looming danger.
Next, from the whistle-blower who released the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War, a new book about the dangers of America’s nuclear program.
William Brangham has that story from the NewsHour Bookshelf.
It was 1971 when military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press. They were a top-secret Defense Department study of U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War.
Their controversial publication blew the lid off what one famous journalist called a bright shining lie. But few know that, in the decade before that, during some of the Cold War’s most dangerous hair-trigger moments, Daniel Ellsberg also spent years analyzing America’s nuclear weapons policy.
His new memoir chronicles that period. It’s called “The Doomsday Machine- Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” And in it, Ellsberg argues very little has changed about what he calls our immoral and insane policies regarding nuclear weapons.
Daniel Ellsberg welcome to the NewsHour.