Former Defense Department official Daniel Ellsberg praised WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning in video published Thursday.
“I have a considerable identification with whistle-blowers, but Bradley above all because it is the first time in 40 years since the Pentagon Papers that someone has put out a large raft of material. And therefore he does deserve to be, I believe, seen as a hero,” he told AFP.
Ellsberg leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1969, revealing the government had lied about the progress of the Vietnam war. The incident marked a major turning point in public opinion of the war and ignited a famous legal case that was eventually decided by the Supreme Court.
Manning is accused of transferring thousands of secret State Department files to WikiLeaks. The United States Army soldier is facing a controversial espionage trial.
“People criticize him for putting out material he hadn’t read,” Ellsberg said. “But he clearly had read a great deal of it. I hope that I would have done in the digital age just what he did. He did it exactly right.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: