Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind the largest and perhaps most consequential disclosure in U.S. history, said the latest intelligence leaks show that the war between Russia and Ukraine is at a “stalemate,” drawing similarities to the Vietnam War.
Ellsberg, now 92, leaked the Pentagon Papers — a top-secret Defense study into the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War — to the New York Times in 1971. The leak was devastating to the American government, an indictment of U.S. policy and detailing the country’s decades-long involvement in Vietnam and validating many of the anti-war criticisms.
Now Ellsberg, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, told the Washington Post that the leaks of NATO intelligence on the war in Ukraine offer a look into the fighting that officials have not provided publicly.
“The war is stalemated, that seems so obvious now except for the fact that both sides totally deny it,” Ellsberg said to the Post. “What these new leaks show is what the Pentagon Papers showed, that the insiders all know that.”
A February document that was part of the leak and reviewed by The Hill details a U.S. conclusion that the conflict is headed to a stalemate beyond 2023.
Ellsberg said the war in Ukraine “feels very similar to Vietnam.” He cited Russia’s nuclear capabilities as one of the reasons the conflicts are connected, with a world power involved that has nuclear weapons.
“It’s not Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan,” Ellsberg said. “None of those had any real possibility of blowing up the world. This one really can.”
Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Massachusetts National Air Guardsman who was arrested in connection with the most recent intelligence leaks, has faced intense scrutiny, with lawmakers and government officials criticizing him for putting U.S. foreign policy in danger. It is an argument Ellsberg pushed back against.
“There is no reason to believe that it harmed American national security in any measurable way,” Ellsberg said.
But Ellsberg disagreed with those who drew connections between Teixeira and himself, who at the time he leaked the Pentagon documents was a military analyst. Instead, he said the move by Teixeira to leak the intelligence seemed to be the man showing off to his peers, saying “look who I am, look what I have access to.”
Source : The Hill