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Daniel Ellsberg: This Month We Must Discuss If We Should Go to Nuclear War over Taiwan, Ukraine or Syria

May 11, 2021 (EIRNS)—Celebrated whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, now age 90, used the occasion of the April 30-May 1 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his release of the Pentagon Papers, organized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to reveal that John Foster Dulles had proposed in 1958 that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend to the President that a nuclear exchange with Russia and China be launched in the Taiwan Straits, even though that would mean that Taiwan and its people would be wiped out, for the sole geopolitical purpose of maintaining the United States’ “position” in the world.

“There is no question that what I have just said subjects me to the same charges as Julian Assange, as the publisher, or to Chelsea Manning, whose material was only secret, not top secret. This is top secret,” Ellsberg declared, and stating that he was revealing the secret because, “That discussion is going on, I have no doubt whatever, in the Pentagon right now.... I do believe this is the month we have to be addressing the issue in public of whether we should go to nuclear war over Taiwan or Ukraine or Syria.” (Emphasis in original.)

Citing the statement by the current Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, Adm. Charles Richard, that the United States must be prepared to go to war with Russia and China, Ellsberg exclaimed, that Richard

“may be a very intelligent guy. I know nothing about him, except that he is sounding asinine. That is criminally insane. War with Russia and China, we are talking there, with any armed conflict, at a high risk of escalation to nuclear war. And if it goes to nuclear war ... we are talking about the near extinction of humanity. No, there should not be the slightest option, threat or thought whatever of armed conflict with Russia and China now or ever again,” he insisted. And we have ... transcend that system. It will not happen, unless people in the government show the moral courage of Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning ... and let us know what these inside plans are being. Without that, I think civilization will not survive the era of nuclear weapons.” (Emphasis in original.)

Ellsberg disclosed that in the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis over the Quemoy and Matsu Islands, then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had asked a meeting of the Joint Chiefs to recommend use of nuclear weapons against China. Citing the still-classified section of the RAND Corporation study, “The 1958 Taiwan Straits Crisis, A Documented History,” Ellsberg quoted Dulles’s message to the meeting: “Nothing seemed worth a world war ... until you looked at the effect of not standing up to each challenge as noted.” Ellsberg went on to say, that “the issue there was” in the RAND study:

“Would we, as the Joint Chiefs all recommended, use nuclear weapons to defend Quemoy and Matsu and Taiwan, and possibly using 7- to 10-kiloton weapons, with the expectation that the Russians, allies of the ... Chinese, would respond and would hit Taiwan? They were talking about, in other words, destroying Taiwan to save it, because our entire world position depended on it,”

Ellsberg exclaimed—and that that is the discussion going on in the Pentagon right now.

The RAND Corporation has made public two-thirds of that history, written by then-Pentagon staffer Morton Halperin, but despite requests, the other third, from which Ellsberg quoted, is still classified as top secret.

Ellsberg made his impassioned call and revelation at the very end of Amy Goodman’s interview of Ellsberg and Snowden during the two-day conference, “Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg: A 50th Anniversary Conference Commemorating the Release of the Pentagon Papers.”

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