Pentagon Papers leaker calls Iraq invasion 'supreme war crime'
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday April 2, 2008

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The man who leaked secret documents about the US war in Vietnam has a name for the invasion of Iraq.

"Supreme war crime."

He also has appellations for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney: "domestic enemies of the Constitution" and "war criminals."

Speaking at a church in San Francisco Saturday, Daniel Ellsberg bemoaned the Administration's war and Iraq and cautioned about the dangers of a future war in Iran, according to a report in the local Golden Gate Express.

Ellsberg leaked a sheaf of documents that would become known as the "Pentagon Papers" in 1971, a secret history of the war in Vietnam in which the Pentagon conceded the war was unlikely to be won. At the time, Ellsberg worked as a Pentagon consultant.

Ellsberg used his talk this weekend to focus on how he feels the Administration has drifted from the constitution, the Express said. He attacked Congress, too, saying its 2002 authorization of force for the war was unconstitutional.

“We have gone far from the Constitution,” he said. Staying true to constitutional values are “not synonymous with obeying the president.”

Later, he assailed those who've ruled out impeaching Bush and Cheney. Both Democratic leaders in Congress -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have said they won't consider impeaching Bush.

“To rule impeachment off the table is very much like ruling the constitution off the table,” Ellsberg said.

He also asserted that the Administration's use of torture was illegal under international law -- “not just waterboarding, but the whole slew of inhumane procedures that has gone on for seven years now.”

Ellsberg compared the Administration's warrantless eavesdropping program to tactics used by the Nixon Administration after he leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press.

Nixon went so far as to break into his psychiatrist's office, using a dark unit known as the "plumbers."

Ellsberg also praised Lt. Ehren Watada, who refused return to Iraq in 2006 citing moral opposition to the war, and criticized any preemptive attack on Iran.

“Iran has not attacked us, and does not have a nuclear weapon,” he said, adding that a pre-emptive attack on Iran would be “nothing but a crime against humanity and a crime against the people.”


 
 


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