Talk:Daniel Ellsberg

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Donald Rumsfeld[edit]

Donald Rumsfeld is mentioned as "[then cabinet-member Donald] Rumsfeld", but he doesn't seem to have held a cabinet-level post at the time (June 14, 1972). According to the Wikipedia article on Rumsfeld, he held two administrative positions in the Nixon administration, but neither sound like a cabinet position (although the article describes them that way). From the info box on the left, he didn't get a cabinet position until he became Secretary of Defense under President Ford. Can we come up with a better way to describe Rumsfeld? —MiguelMunoz (talk) 03:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, quite right. I could find no reliable source placing him in Nixon Cabinet. I removed that statement. Given that there is a link, I don't think we need to explain who Rumsfeld was. Sunray (talk) 07:14, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

"Mistrial" header[edit]

what mistrial? if the judge "dismissed all charges against him", that's an acquittal, no?

a mistrial is a mistrial. in particular, the prosecution usually tries the suspect anew. in this case, they could not, correct? 209.172.25.3 (talk) 21:35, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

You are correct; the case was dismissed. Xxiggy (talk) 03:35, 13 February 2014 (UTC) source please:

Daniel Ellsburg himself claims his case was a mistrial, the Film says his case was a mistrial, and the wikipedia article says his case was a mistrial:

"As for Daniel Ellsberg, the espionage case against him ended in a mistrial. " -Al Letson. [ revealnews.org/episodes/the-pentagon-papers-secrets-lies-and-leaks/ ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Letson ]

Arrest in Dec 2010[edit]

Ellsberg was arrested in dec 2010. could be worth a mention —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.244.154.43 (talk) 15:35, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Amazon boycott[edit]

When Ellsberg found that Amazon had kicked WikiLeaks off their servers, he publicly stated that he would boycott Amazon. This should be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.106.59.41 (talk) 16:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

If you have multiple reliable sources to verify this, please feel free to add it, but give consideration to WP:RECENTISM before doing so.--JayJasper (talk) 19:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

no such thing as infallibility or accepx, dump doesn't matter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lyhendc (talkcontribs) 03:14, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Restoring deleted sourced material regarding Ellsberg's views on Edward Snowden[edit]

I have just restored material deleted regarding Ellsberg's views on Edward Snowden which are relevant since Snowden, like Ellsberg, has released controversial material that is either a "leak" or "whistleblowing" depending on your point of view. I think that removal of the material is not correct on the charge of WP:RECENTISM... this is sourced, to the point information on the topic that is why Ellsberg is a historical figure. I invite civil discussion on the material, which is important for every Wikipedian to remember regarding article content no matter what they think of Snowden and his actions. Jusdafax 21:11, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Definitely should be INCLUDED. Snowden, Assange, Ellsberg and the late "Deep Throat" are major figures in whistleblowing history. If any of them issues a statement concerning another, that is significant news. 209.172.25.74 (talk) 00:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Under Fileding break-in, bottom of the section:

"The break-in was not known to Ellsberg or to the public until it came to light during Ellsberg and Russo's trial in April 1973. Ellsberg then died three months later"

Ellsberg died three months later? Am I missing something? Ellsberg is still alive today, right?

116.17.85.31 (talk) 16:08, 17 November 2013 (UTC) Sidney S. Nov. 18, 2013

Removing some material[edit]

I was speaking today with Daniel Ellsberg at a conference, and he's told me that much of the material in this article is inaccurate. I'm planning therefore to make some edits to the article removing material that is unsourced and that he says is incorrect. Feel free to revert my edits if they seem wrong to you, particularly if you have citations. (I'm not an expert and probably won't do any research. That's why I'm going to restrict myself to removals, rather than revisions or additions. I may do a little rewording as well, but I'll try to keep it minimal.) Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 02:46, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I just made ~10 edits to the article as described above. This article could really use a review from someone familiar with the subject matter, and I'm guessing the Pentagon Papers article maybe too. (I haven't checked.) Most of my edits were pretty trivial but it would be great for this article to be accurate at both a detail and a big-picture level (e.g. relative weight, etc.). It would be awesome if anyone has time to do a real review. Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 03:25, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Was the Car Crash as a Teen Relevant/Citable?[edit]

I don’t have the stomach for an edit war here, but in archived Talk page, there is a discussion about the removal of a reference to the car crash that killed Eldersberg’s mother and sister when he was 18 and nearly killed him. Two recent pieces of evidence from Ellsberg himself suggest this discussion should be a part of his story:

From The Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/c7f058bc-d9b5-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482:

“I was keen to go further back in Ellsberg’s life than that. When he was 15, his father crashed the car that was carrying his family. Ellsberg’s mother and younger sister were killed. Ellsberg nearly joined them. He was in a coma for almost four days. How has that affected him? “The car crash alerted me to the possibility that the world can change in a flash for the worst,” he says. “That is the story I have been telling myself for more than 70 years.”

“But in the past few months he has been revising what he thinks of the tragedy. “Was it really an accident?” he asks. His new answer is complex. It also goes some way to explaining why Ellsberg is more worried about human fallibility than most people.

“The tragedy occurred on the July 4 holiday in 1946. Ellsberg’s mother wanted to drive to Denver from Detroit, where they lived. She forgot to book a motel for the first night, so they slept on the dunes of Lake Michigan. Ellsberg and his father shivered under blankets on the beach for most of the night. His mother and sister slept in the car. “I remember my father hardly got any sleep,” Ellsberg recalled. “I also remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing falling stars, this shower of meteors — I’d never seen so many.”

“The next day, Ellsberg’s father kept saying he was too tired to drive, and suggested they pull over. But his mother said they should press on. At some point in the middle of Iowa’s cornfields, Ellsberg’s father must have nodded off at the wheel. They veered calamitously off the road. “‘Accident’ is the wrong word,” says Ellsberg. “It was an accident in the sense that nobody intended it to happen. But both my parents knew the risks and they took the gamble anyway.”

A recent Reveal Podcast with Ellsberg also covers this. Both the podcast and Financial Times article belong in this history . See https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/the-pentagon-papers-secrets-lies-and-leaks/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pfrishauf (talkcontribs) 18:40, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

I also find it interesting that Ellsberg, in the Reveal podcast said he wanted to be a pianist!

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Should a Christian Scientist be categorized as a Jew?[edit]

The article page states that Ellsberg's parents "were Ashkenazi Jews who had converted to Christian Science, and he was raised as a Christian Scientist." Accordingly, pending consensus to the contrary, I have removed tags for {Category:American Jews in the military} and {Category:Jewish American social scientists}. KalHolmann (talk) 19:59, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

User:190.140.65.164 deleted the reference to his parents being Ashkenazi Jews. I reverted that change. A change like this should be discussed before it is made in my judgment, especially by an anonymous user. DavidMCEddy (talk) 04:15, 10 June 2020 (UTC)

Updating The Doomsday Machine[edit]

As of 2019-05-15 this article included the following summary of Ellseberg (2017) the Doomsday Machine:

In December 2017, Ellsberg published The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, a book with his recollections and analysis of a second cache of secret documents related to the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The book stated that US government documents revealed that President Eisenhower empowered a few top military officers to be able to use nuclear weapons without presidential authorization in case there was incapacitation or no way to contact the president. Ellsberg believes that similar procedures remain in place today – in sharp contrast to what the American public is told about how the "nuclear football" works. In the book, Ellsberg revealed that he had made copies of sensitive U.S. nuclear planning materials and memos he had reviewed during his time at the RAND Corporation, and intended to leak them to the public shortly after the Pentagon Papers were published. However, during the time of Ellsberg's trial, these nuclear planning materials were hidden in a briefcase buried in a landfill, and were lost when an unexpected tropical storm descended on the region.[1]

This grossly understates Ellsberg's claims of problems with the command and control systems for nuclear weapons. I've therefore replaced it with a more accurate and expanded summary based on the book and related references. DavidMCEddy (talk) 05:20, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Kevin Canfield, ‘The Doomsday Machine,’ by Daniel Ellsberg San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved December 21, 2017.

I like what you did but that list is a tad bit gregarious. I believe only the highlights should be listed. Muttnick (talk) 08:20, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Especially regarding the list of 25 numbered items?
He also said that every president since Truman, with the possible exception of Ford, at least considered using nuclear weapons and many if not all threatened such use. A better summary might list each of these presidents with nations threatened and the context, with links to appropriate references for each. ??? I'll work on that. Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:43, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I replace the list by a table that is not as much shorter as I thought it would be, but I think makes the point more effectively -- and in a way that communicates the message more effectively while taking substantially less time of the reader to process.
What do you think? DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:35, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Not bad. I'm thinking that it might be best (and easily justifiable) to make that section it's own article and to redirect to it. But either way, I like what you've done. Muttnick (talk) 22:35, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. To make that section its own article would require, I think, citing several other sources talking about it. This would certainly include his interview on Democracy Now with others.
Ellsberg's Doomsday Machine inspired me to estimate the probability distribution of the Wikiversity:Time to the extinction of civilization.
I think it's worth making a separate article, but I'm currently engaged on several other activities inspired by Ellsberg's Doomsday Machine. Last December, I wrote Wikiversity:Time to the extinction of civilization, estimating the probability distribution of the time to a nuclear war and Armageddon. In working to improve that article, I discoverd that when the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT) entered into force in 1970, there were 5 nuclear weapon states. Now there are 9, and I'm currently creating separate articles on that.
If you want to take the lead in creating a separate article on Ellsberg's Doomsday Machine, I would support that. However, I don't want to drive that effort right now. DavidMCEddy (talk) 00:40, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Ellsberg is an economist[edit]

@Suriname0: Wikipedia:Short description says, "aim for no more than about 40 characters (but this can be exceeded when necessary)." With that target, what about:

"Whistleblower known for Pentagon Papers"?

I actually prefer the version you shortened: "American economist and whistleblower known for releasing the Pentagon Papers", because he is an economist -- and his access to the information released in the Pentagon Papers was based primarily on his contributions in game theory, a branch of economics, part of which is acknowledged in getting his name attached to what is now called the "Ellsberg paradox": Without that paradox, he might not have gotten the government job that gave him access to the information released as the "Pentagon papers".

I haven't thought much about these "Short descriptions", so I don't think I should do more than just make these comments. DavidMCEddy (talk) 21:28, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for you thoughts! I've replaced my shortening with the original description from Wikidata. Two things that might be useful to know: (1) Wikidata-sourced short descriptions are going away sometime soon, so note that getting _some_ reasonable short description on pages is useful, even if it's just the one from Wikidata. For that, I highly recommend enabling WP:SHORTDESCHELPER if you haven't already. (2) As far as I can tell, it's basically the wild west as far as short descriptions go! There's very little guidance on them, so no one really knows how important the 40 character guidance is imo. My understanding is that this is relevant primarily for mobile searches; say I vaguely remember that the Pentagon Papers was an "Ellsberg", so I type in the search bar and my mobile browser auto-populates a list of results as I type with various Ellsbergs and their short descriptions. In that context, the short description serves "to distinguish the subject from similarly-titled subjects in different fields". But it's not useful if it's too long (since it will cut truncated in the display). So, I think it's fine in this case either way? It probably depends on what kind of disambiguation people tend to need to do for Daniel Ellsberg. Cheers, Suriname0 (talk) 15:02, 6 October 2020 (UTC)