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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers will be available to watch June 13-14, 2011 in honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the Pentagon Papers.



It’s a story fit for Hollywood: An American citizen uncovers government secrets that he decides the public must know. He tells the world and quickly becomes a man wanted by his president. No, we’re not talking about Edward Snowden. We’re talking about a man who came well before cell phone bugging and email surveillance: Daniel Ellsberg.

In Most Dangerous, two-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin tackles the unbelievable-yet-true story of Ellsberg, a military analyst who compiled the Pentagon Papers—a 7,000 page document that revealed the lies Richard Nixon had told to the American people about the Vietnam War. He leaked the papers to The New York Times and gained powerful enemies overnight. Here, in an exclusive Bookish reveal, Sheinkin shares his Lego book trailer—featuring actual phone conversations between President Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, as they discuss how to track down Ellsberg.

Listeners with sensitive ears, beware, President Nixon needs to put a lot of dollars in the swear jar for this one.

Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life… He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me – which forced his resignation facing impeachment – are now legal.
—  Daniel Ellsberg, in an interview with CNN.

“The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. … The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth—essentially, never say the whole truth—of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.”

- Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower, activist and former military analyst for the RAND corporation who, in 1971, released The Pentagon Papers, a top secret Pentagon study of U.S government decision making about the Vietnam war. He was the first whistleblower to be tried under the espionage act.
Lying in Politics: Reflections on The Pentagon Papers
“The picture of the world’s greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring a thousand non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one.” —Robert S. McNamara I The Pentagon Papers, like so much else in history, tell different stories, …
By Hannah Arendt