I had the privilege last night of meeting Daniel Ellsberg and to be among the crowd of several dozen people who gathered at his home to watch the film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, winner of numerous festival awards and nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Feature Documentary. The film distills into 90 minutes, the story of government deception and malfeasance and one man’s courageous decision to tell the people.
I’m old enough to remember those events as they unfolded and were reported in the news media, but being highly controversial and scattered as they were over a long time period, they did not penetrate very deeply beyond the veil of my own indoctrination. Now, with the pertinent facts gathered together and the inclusion of actual audio records of then President Richard Nixon’s maniacal ravings about nuking the Vietnamese into oblivion, we have a compelling picture of the abuse of power and a failed policy that extended over five presidencies from Truman to Nixon.
Since 9/11, Americans have seen an ever greater concentration of power at the top levels of government along with increasing government secrecy and transgression of civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act effectively shreds the Bill of Rights.
This film is the kind of powerful medicine needed to rouse the body politic to face the political realities of our times and, hopefully, reinvigorate our the struggle to “escape the matrix.” It is a film that every American should see, especially those who are too young to remember the United States’ war against Viet Nam.
Here is a trailer: