Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked secret Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War in the USA, has died at age.
According to a written statement made by his family, Ellsberg succumbed to pancreatic cancer at his home in California at the age of 92.
Ellsberg first announced on his Twitter account on March 2 that he had been diagnosed with “incurable pancreatic cancer” and said, “I’m sorry to inform you that my doctors gave me 3 to 6 months.” shared his statement.
Leaked Pentagon Documents to the press
Ellsberg was born in Chicago in 1931. After graduating from Harvard University in 1952, he joined the Navy and served in the Army for two years.
After the army, Ellsberg returned to Harvard to complete his doctorate in economics and took a job at the Pentagon in 1964 under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Ellsberg, who served two years in Vietnam, contributed to the Department of Defense’s special oversight, known as the “Pentagon Papers,” which contained the most classified information about the war in the region.
Ellsberg, whose views on the Vietnam War changed over time, secretly photocopied and leaked the 7,000-page “Pentagon Documents” to the press in 1969, while working as a defense analyst at RAND Cooperation, revealing that the US government knew long ago that it would not win the war and deceived the public.
While then-US President Richard Nixon accused Ellsberg of being a traitor, the administration applied to the court not to publish the documents leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the press in the case.
He was sentenced to 115 years in prison.
Ellsberg, who was prosecuted under the Espionage Act, was tried for 115 years in prison. The case was dismissed for irregularities after it was revealed that the Nixon government had engaged in illegal eavesdropping.
The experts of the period evaluated that the documents leaked by Ellsberg were a factor in the US withdrawal from Vietnam by increasing the opposition to the war in the country, and the subsequent developments were the first signs of the Watergate Scandal, which led Nixon to resign.
Ellsberg maintained his lifelong anti-war stance after the Vietnam War, and was among those who opposed the Russia-Ukraine War, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ellsberg, who has always supported whistleblowers in the leaking of confidential state documents, also supported whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, who were widely discussed in the US public on this issue.