While often viewed by their respective governments as traitors and punished as such, it cannot be denied that it takes so much courage to act as a whistleblower and bring forth the truth to the public that many powerful people do not want to be exposed. Corruptions such as money laundering, human trafficking and war crimes would have been wiped off from history if it was not for whistleblowers, especially crimes that operates on a global scale. One of the most incredible whistleblowers in modern American history was Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers that contributed to the end of both the Nixon presidency and the Vietnam War.
Steven Spielberg’s latest movie The Post highlights the incredible relevance of the release of the Pentagon Papers to the current political landscape of America today. But while the movie focuses on the importance of the freedom of the press and the moral dilemma of the Washington Post in releasing the classified papers, not much focus was put on the man who leaked the documents himself. In Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg himself recounts the story of how as a former Marine, he wasdisillusioned by the Vietnam War that claimed millions of lives. Realizing that he had the power to do something, Ellsberg sneaked out a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War by meticulously photocopying all 7000 pages of the report by hand. What followed was a heart-pounding race against time to release the documents to the people who can makes the strongest impact before the authorities catch up with him.
Thrilling, sobering and courageous, Secrets is a portrait of a man’s struggle between duty and conscience, as well as the race to right terrible wrongs that ultimately ends with the truth coming to light.
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