- READER REVIEWS
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
(No longer in theaters)
First Run Features
Jan 29, 2010
I’m ashamed to admit I knew so little about Daniel Ellsberg, a marine who studied decision-making under duress, fought the Cold War fight against Stalinist dictatorships, then traveled from Santa Monica, California, and the Rand Corporation to the Mekong Delta. There he saw firsthand that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, made the case to his superiors, and watched in shock as they lied their asses off. The more he studied the history of Southeast Asia, the more he saw that all the presidents lied: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and finally Nixon, who campaigned on a platform of stopping the war while in private vowing to hammer “this shit-ass little country.” Narrated by Ellsberg, the movie offers one revelatory interview after another mixed with reenactments (animated) that have fun with the caper-movie aspect and build real suspense. So many people risked their livelihoods to put the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers out there—although its most tangible result was the creation of Nixon’s plumbers unit. We have not celebrated Daniel Ellsberg enough. Let’s begin.