“The most dangerous man in America” was what
Henry Kissinger called Daniel Ellsberg, who stunned the nation by releasing the
“Pentagon Papers” forty years ago. It is also the title of a new film examining the move by Ellsberg to leak the document,
a top-secret study of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg faced extraordinary retaliation
for his actions, including a break in at his doctor’s office and a trial for
espionage that was dismissed because of “outrageous governmental misconduct.”
His actions led to the Pentagon Papers trial, in which the Supreme Court ruled
strongly for freedom of the press, and may have helped end the Vietnam War.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel
Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
will be part of the Whistleblower Film Series. The Series is co-sponsored by
GAP, and is free to the public. It will be held on Thursday evenings, October 1
through 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Visitor’s Center entrance on the East
Front of the US Capitol Building.
GAP will sponsor this Thursday’s feature, The Pentagon Wars. The film is a dark comedy about the development of the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle. In an effort to rein in excessive spending by the Pentagon, Congress appoints an outsider, US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Burton (Cary Elwes) to observe the testing of several new weapons in development, including the Bradley. Burton quickly becomes disillusioned by the "real" way the development process works: in an atmosphere of corruption and/or bureaucratic inefficiency.