Jonathan Capehart: Snowden not a "Badass" Like Harvard Alum Daniel Ellsberg

tags: Jonathan Capehart, Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers



Enough with the breathless comparisons. Edward Snowden is no Daniel Ellsberg. I know the latter has heaped praise on the former. But the high-mindedness of our present-day national-security leaker is nowhere near the gutsiness of the man who changed the course of the Vietnam War by releasing the Pentagon Papers more than 40 years ago....

...If Snowden has the courage of his convictions why won’t he face the consequences of his actions here on U.S. soil in U.S. courts? Fine, he apparently has no faith in the rule of law in the United States or its courts. But why not ask the American people to decide his fate? He was fighting for us, so I thought. And this is where the comparison to Ellsberg rankles.

Ellsberg’s bio reveals him to be a badass. He earned a B.A. (1952) and his Ph.D. (1962) at Harvard. He was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at King’s College at Cambridge (1952-1953). After getting deferments during his study, he volunteered for the Marines in 1953. He then worked as a contractor for the RAND Corporation and within the government as a high-level staffer at the defense and state departments where he was involved in the execution and escalation of the Vietnam war. It was during a second tour at RAND that Ellsberg worked on the 7,000-page, 47-volume behemoth that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers....



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