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The Daniel Ellsberg interview

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I would think that what you've done with the Pentagon Papers had to have an enormous effect. I think National Affairs Magazine said in 2010, "no other episode in history has had a greater influence on the conflicted politics of national security/secrecy."

It so happens that Snowden has said to me, and in public, that he and his partner saw the movie "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," and that had an effect on strengthening his decision to go ahead as he did. I was very happy to year that. I told the directors of the movie about it, and they were happy.

Do you think there are others that followed, including, even Daniel Schorr (former TV reporter) in 1976 when he leaked the Pike Report findings of the Intelligence Committee investigation into questionable CIA activities, leading up to current times and the leaks of classified information by Edward Snowden and Private Manning?

Well, I think we need more such people right now. Not only in this country but in others. But it turns out to be very rare that even one can make a very big difference. I'll give an example: I suspected that there must be documents in the Exxon Corporation that revealed that they had been lying for years about the effects of fossil fuel burning on the climate. Just as there were documents in the Pentagon that foresaw what a stalemate and disaster Vietnam would be, the Pentagon Papers, I was sure that Exxon had the same. Well, some reporters picked up on that. They investigated and they found some whistleblowers and they actually came up with these studies that I had predicted. I happen to be rather proud of that chain of events, which of course almost nobody knows. The person in charge of the investigative team went out of his way to tell me that he had been influenced by what I said. They found this, and that's the basis for suits right now against Exxon, which who knows may have some effect eventually on climate.

If (Trump) he decides that he is going to attack North Korea, that would be a catastrophe for the people of South Korea and North Korea, and Japan. Possibly, Guam. I think we have a lot — tens of thousands of Americans there who are all at risk. If he decides to do that, I would hope that somebody would reveal that to Congress and to the public beforehand with the utmost resistance and opposition, and try to get that stopped.

Do you think we'll see more leaks?

We will see more. Will we see enough that we need? Nothing tells us that will happen. We just haven't had anything like enough. The ones we've had, in some cases, have had some good effect.

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