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Eqbal Ahmad, Daniel Ellsberg, Anthony Lukas and Anthony Russo talk with Studs Terkel ; part 3

BROADCAST: Jun. 9, 1972 | DURATION: 00:48:58

Synopsis

Eqbal Ahmad, Daniel Ellsberg, Anthony Lukas and Anthony Russo discuss Anthony Russo's trial and treatment he endured during his time from conviction to release in federal prison compared to the treatment of prisoners tortured in Vietnam.

Transcript

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Studs Terkel So there you were, frustrated. You tried to get something across, the truth as you saw it or the truth and nothing was happening. Each guy was doing his job. Well, finally, finally what? You and Dan did what?

Anthony Russo I felt this frustration in, in Saigon, and the thing that saved me, see, was the fact that other people felt it, too. My colleagues, my younger colleagues at Rand, there were three, four, there were four other gentlemen who were roughly my same age, I, I guess their ages varied between 26 and 34. At the time I was 29. And -- or 28, 29. And we used to sit and talk amongst ourselves. We would bemoan the conditions within the Rand office and we'd say to ourselves, "Look, you know, here we are in a war zone. Ha! You know. That our biggest problem is the Rand office! If we could just get through the Rand office and, and carry out our work, which is interviewing the Viet Cong, that would be beautiful. The Viet Cong don't worry us a bit. And they're supposed to be the enemy. They don't worry us a bit. The thing that's driving us crazy is this Rand office and the Rand Corporation itself! I mean, really. That, that -- we, we had such a terrible time there. Now, I spoke about the frustration of trying to talk some sense to people about the torture of prisoners in Vietnam. Well, I have finally understood why we torture people in Vietnam. And that is because we torture people here! We torture prisoners here in the United States! And now I understand why the United States cannot do anything about the torture of prisoners in Vietnam. The prisons in Vietnam, the US A-I-D Public Safety Division in Vietnam, they are the American advisers to people who run the prisons in Vietnam, and that is the Vietnamese who work for the United States. And those people who are with the Public Safety Division generally are people who are retired wardens, retired guards -- not, maybe not guards, but retired policemen, retired highway patrolmen, people who work in the so-called law enforcement of -- so-called law and order. I prefer to call it the law and disorder, official disorder, field here in the United States, in, in -- for example, I knew a man who worked for USAID Public Safety who had been a warden here in the United States. And I used to try to talk to him and try to get some reason out of him concerning the prison condition, the condition of prisons in Vietnam. And he would always come back to his experience with prisons here in the United States. You see? And, and, and

Anthony Lukas You know, it strikes another analogy right now 'cause today is the day of the elections in Vietnam, right? We, we haven't heard the results yet as to just how many people

Anthony Russo They're not even very interested

Anthony Lukas Mutilated the ballots. You know, I think

Anthony Russo I think about it.

Anthony Lukas But it recalls to me that Henry Cabot Lodge used to be very irritated when people criticized corruption in Vietnam or the defects in the elections which were taking place in '67, four years ago.

Anthony Russo They can say we got it at home.

Anthony Lukas No, when I was over there and he would always say, "Why spend, why apply higher standards to the Vietnamese than we do to our self?" and he would always refer to Chicago, this, this name kept cropping up in these discussions. He had, he had the impression that he would have been vice president in 1960 had there been an honest count. This was not his impression alone, I guess. Had there been an honest count in Chicago in 1960 as he used to put it. But he said, "I don't blame the Democrats for that, I blame the Republicans. They weren't watching close enough," and so forth. And thus he was inclined to be very tolerant of what he saw in Vietnam and I suppose he would be today.

Studs Terkel Thus far you've been talking about your own personal experiences, and this is a hard fact.

Anthony Russo I was telling you about this warden, and you see as I said I would keep talking to him about Vietnamese prisoners and he would keep talking to me about American prisoners. And we were always in different places, and he -- and I have to say that that the man was, the man had a very brutal mentality, because he, he would tell -- see, the point he was trying to get across to me was the point that convicts are scum. That, he wou -- he told me that he said, "We go to all this trouble to keep them in prisons," he said, "When we should take them out on a ship and drop them out at sea and, and just throw them overboard." Now, that's what he told me. Honest to God. He said, "They're worthless human beings," he said "There's no reason to keep them alive. They're no good to anybody." And God, I, I, I just can't

Studs Terkel Reason I get permi--

Anthony Russo When, when I recall that, and when I -- and when I look back on the experience of just a few days ago and the past 48 days, it all comes into place, and it's, it's all locked in. I mean, before I went to jail I had an intellectual understanding of this, and, and I felt that well, I, sure I know and I don't have to go to jail to understand that, I know it's bad. I know that people misunderstand. I know that they're biased. I know that, that there's a great deal of racism. But let me tell you something. Had I not gone to prison, even though I felt that way, had I did not gone to prison, I, you know, I, I think there are a lot of things I never would have understood.

Studs Terkel Why or how did you get into jail

Anthony Russo I felt that it was unjust to be, to be coerced into testifying behind closed doors in secrecy

Studs Terkel This is in connection with the Pentagon Papers.

Anthony Russo Right. Right. I was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury concerning my association with Daniel Ellsberg. And they wanted me to testify before a grand jury in secret, of course. In secret. Nothing could be made public from that. And my position was that that was unjust, and I could not cooperate with that. And that I had strong constitutional grounds for not cooperating with, with the grand jury in, in that way.

Studs Terkel So

Anthony Russo My position was that I wanted to, to testify openly. But I was under the, the, the subpoena.

Studs Terkel As a result you were cited for contempt.

Anthony Russo Right. I was cited for contempt because I would not testify in secrecy. I was -- in fact, I was cited for contempt in secrecy. It was in the judge's chambers, and when that happened I told the judge, I, I said, "Your honor, may I make a statement in open court?" because you see I had not been allowed to say anything in court, in, in open court. And the judge said, "Well, you'd better make the statement here first." And I said, "I'd rather make it in open court, your honor." And he conferred with the prosecuting attorney and the prosecutor said, "Well, it's a very simple question, yes or no." And the judge turned to me and said, "How do you respond to that?" I said, "Your honor, my position remains the same." So at that point he found me to be in contempt of court, and I was looking up at the bailiff at the time, and he was looking at me and I thought, you know, that that was it. And the, the bailiff was gonna come get me and carry me to jail. But fortunately, the judge gave me a couple of days. He said he's found me to be in contempt of court, and he said, "I stay your execution until Wednesday." So that gave me the weekend and a couple more days. And this is the kind of thing that took place all summer. Time after time after time and time. We'd have a court hearing, I'd be found to be in -- well, I was found to be in contempt, and after that we battled for stays of execution. We had bail hearings. We had an appeal. All told, there were seven -- well, yes. Seven times in which I had to get ready to go to jail, starting on June 23rd, ending on August 16th. Finally, we lost out on the seventh try, and on August 16th I had to go to jail. So I surrendered myself to the marshal.

Studs Terkel You were there for how many days?

Anthony Russo Was there for a total of forty-seven days.

Studs Terkel Forty-seven days, and you're out now. How, how did you come to be released?

Anthony Russo Well

Studs Terkel Two days ago.

Anthony Russo We, I came to be released a couple of days ago because, because finally, after all this time, we were able to find a situation whereby I could testify in public. And it just dawned on me that well, perhaps, perhaps we could submit a motion to the judge to, to give me permission to have a transcript of the grand jury testimony that I could make public. And we talked about this, had never been done before, but I said to me -- you know, it's simple to me. I mean, they get what they want, their testimony. I get what I want, my right to make my statement in open public or effectively in open public. And so why not? Let's give that a try. So we did, and we won. We, we, we won. It was granted. It was a great victory. And Friday was such a great day, not only because of the victory, but do you know that that was the first time I had been able to make a statement in open court. And it was a very short statement, but very to the point. The judge, Judge Ferguson asked me if -- well, he considered those three motions, motions having to do with my being able to make my testimony public, he considered those motions and he turned to me and he said, "Mr. Russo, if I --" I say, I forget exactly what he said, but to the effect that "If I grant these motions, will you agree to testify?" And I stood up and said -- and, and for the first time I was able to speak in open court, and I stood up and said, "Your Honor, I agree to answer all relevant questions if it, if these motions are granted. Yes, your honor." And, and, and I'd, I, I went on to say, well I prefaced that by saying that, "Your honor, my position remains the same as it has always been."

Studs Terkel So this is, you know I'm thinking as we're talking now, and this has been very reflective conversation, and free association involved with Tony Russo, Daniel Ellsberg and briefly with Patricia Ellsberg and Eqbal Ahmad and, and Tony Lukas, I was thinking wha-how you feel at this moment. Here we are now, how, where we stand as a country at the moment, too, Dan Ellsberg and perhaps ask Patricia her thoughts. You know, earlier remember you said that you felt free, the time you thought you were a man of power, or those who working but they walked the corridors of power feared of saying something? I thought of paraphrasing the book that, that Tony was reading in prison, Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom, in a sense you escaped from the hatch to freedom. It would seem.

Daniel Ellsberg Well, we were talking earlier about Gandhi and thinking, and there's a phrase that pacifists and Gandhians use a lot called "speaking truth to power." In fact, somebody came up with it spontaneously recently in a suggestion as a title for a book of writings that I have done in the past, most of it while I was working for the government, and it made me very uneasy. I find myself very skeptical about that phrase, at the least it's ambiguous. Because certainly all of our, our former colleagues at Rand, or in the government I think would have thought of what they were doing, their professional lives as speaking truth to power. To be sure they were speaking truth sort of for power, they were -- part of the time they were writing lies for power, but they figured that that was the price they paid for the right that they got on government payroll or on government contract to speak truth to power. And suddenly seemed to me increasingly that there was so much self-deception involved that I had to stand back from that phrase and really, really think hard about it. As to just how, what kind of truth you spoke when you were -- to power, when you were working for power, when you found your whole livelihood depended on it, when you were constantly afraid of what power would do to you if you spoke the wrong truth. The, we were talking a lot earlier about the limitations on the truths that get said to power by people who feel dependent on power.

Studs Terkel As Dan is talking and Tony Russo, power and powerlessness is what the subject is about, and suddenly you said earlier when Eqbal was saying about people being powerless, and Dan said "I feel powerful at this moment." Remember that?

Patricia Ellsberg Well, I've been close to Dan now for about two years since we got back together again, and I've seen the evolution of these steps of shedding one -- the shackles that he was in. I mean, even when he left the government and then went to Rand, I remember it was one day when he'd invited somebody to come to Rand to, from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an, an aide, and he came back from a whole day at Rand, fighting that this man could be allowed into Rand just to talk. And that the kind of battle he was dealing with there was so, such a, a pettiness against bureaucracy. And then he left Rand, and he was finally free to speak out against the war, but even that was constricted because he had this, this weight of, of truth that he was carrying around. And finally, since this has come out, he's a free man. And all the, the, the sympathy that we get for what's happened to our lives, it's, it's, of course it's, it's troublesome and causes anxiety, but it's truly beautiful because my husband's a free man. It's a beautiful thing.

Studs Terkel I can't think of one thing that Dan, you said the other night when you spoke and you got the Peace Award from the businessmen, there's a Beatles song called "Carry that Weight," you've got to carry that weight, and you spoke of the actual weight of the Pentagon Papers, and the weight that you did carry, and the weight the society in a sense carries, too. And as Pat said, you feel free in a sense.

Daniel Ellsberg Let me -- and let's forget about the plane schedule for a moment because there's a part that relates so much to the discussion we was having really for a couple of hours earlier that I really don't want to quit without bringing it in. And I've watched Tony now for the last hour try to respond to a question about this, and I understand how he feels and I understand this moment in his life, which is 24 hours out of isolation, he can't bring himself to really grasp certain memories which are extremely close to him. Because I know just how you feel.

Anthony Russo It's very frustrating

Daniel Ellsberg When you, when you get close to some of those things

Anthony Russo Yep.

Daniel Ellsberg And go into abstractions and other lines and so forth.

Anthony Russo Right.

Daniel Ellsberg What we're really been trying to get at with all this discussion earlier was, one day, the day that Tony went into jail. Now, I didn't see him from that day until the day before yesterday, when he was in court coming out of jail having won his victory and his right to speak in open court. I've seen him several times visiting him in jail always with a -- well a couple times with plate glass in between us. In the county jail. Speaking through a speaking tube, other times with a guard sitting next to us. So I haven't had a chance to really tell him what came down on, as, as it was seen from the outside, and what little I heard from him. But let me tell this story, and it, it may be worthwhile for Tony to either correct it or tell it his way in the end. Because we haven't had a chance to compare the way, notes on this at this point. The, the day I was arraigned in Los Angeles on two counts related to the Pentagon Papers was the day that Tony finally had to go to jail on the civil contempt, and it was a coincidence because it just happened to work out that day, but the effect was that there was a lot of television and radio coverage at the county courthouse because I'd been arraigned that day. Tony had a statement to make, and he had this crowd of television people and reporters taking down this statement, and some of them followed them in, followed us in as we went into the courthouse after he made his statement which began pretty much with the words "I'm proud to share responsibility with Daniel Ellsberg for the release of the Pentagon Papers to the American public," right then? I remember that statement very well. So the -- on the evening news that night, they showed Tony going into the court -- you didn't see that, right? In jail. But they showed Tony going into the courthouse and against the rules, some reporters followed him in with cameras right down the halls of the federal courthouse 'til he came to a certain door, he went behind the door. The door opened again briefly, and this was on television, too, he came out and grasped me, he said, "Goodbye, brother." And then he disappeared again behind that door. The television then saw him disappear down that door. Of course, I didn't see him again free for 48 days later. Until the day before yesterday. Okay. I got a call the next day in the afternoon from Tony telling me that he'd just gotten out of an isolation cell where he'd been chained and manacled in an isolation cell and I, I couldn't believe, of course, what he was telling me, it sounded fantastic that a man could be manacled and chained in a county jail within hours after network television had featured him on the evening news when he was put in for civil contempt. And to be very specific, in connection with this case, which was pretty closely followed. I immediately assumed that something must, they must be treating him in some special way because of who he was and his relation with me, so I got in a car and dashed down to the county jail to find out what was going on. And by this time he'd been put in another cell. And let out. The story that I heard, then as he told me and I got from the captain of the guard and otherwise very briefly, and it's, it has many parallels and interests here and I'll just summarize it, was that he had been acting in an un-inmate like fashion by asking questions of the booking clerk in the booking process like, "Please, may I keep my reading glasses?" And a guard seeing him ask questions put him, taking him along, throwing him into an isolation cell, and as I saw in the log, booked him for -- being put in a -- what is known by the prisoners as "the hole" for non-cooperation with the booking process. By the way, you, you told me, Tony, that you spent the first two hours in that cell talking to the other prisoners trying to figure out, each of you, why you were in that -- the hole." Right? Tony figured out it was because he was asking questions, which was correct. What you may not know since you haven't seen the log, is that the next two people to be put in that cell had the same notation. Non, non-cooperation with the booking process.

Anthony Russo There, there were some very nice guys in "the hole" there.

Daniel Ellsberg Well, all non-cooperators, right? And so again to just tell this briefly in the context of this long discussion as I understand it, after about two hours he began asking quietly for about half an hour for his lawyer to -- that he wanted to call his lawyer. It was ignored, he began banging on the door of the cell, and was -- got some attention, and that four or five guards came in, kicked his feet out from under him, chained his legs, and ran the chain up through manacles on his wrists which were manacled behind his back. So he was trussed up on his stomach, is that right? The other guards pulled him away from the door, took the chains off his legs, which I was very impressed to hear

Anthony Russo -- Not, instead that the other

Daniel Ellsberg The other prisoners.

Anthony Russo The, the other people in the hole with me, in, in fact that really there was, there's one old guy who looked to be about 65 or so who I'd been mad at earlier because he, he wouldn't keep his mouth shut, he kept rapping on and on and on. I lost my temper with him, and I said, "Please, you know, knock it off. I want to get some sleep, you know." And he was -- and I was really sorry I had done that, because as it turned out he was the first one to come and help me, because all the other prisoners knew that they could get into trouble for that, because the guards could see through the window and had one chance to come up and look through the window and had seen this man helping me edge out -- it took us about a half hour to inch out of the chains. Had the guards seen him, he would have been in trouble. He might have gotten in trouble for all I know.

Daniel Ellsberg This was, I heard this from Tony right away, and it was my first story that I'd heard from him about this spirit of the other prisoners, the ones who would take risks to talk to him as he was describing earlier when he had a sign in his cell "No unauthorized inmates can communicate

Studs Terkel As, as you're talking, but it seems to me this all leads up to what you've said just now, that there's a mirror involved here. The way Tony was in prison and other of his colleagues in prison, fellow convicts, was a reflection of what you saw in Vietnam on the other side. Vietnamese prisoners. In a, in a way, isn't it?

Daniel Ellsberg Well, it's what he -- Tony is the one who saw the prisoners over there, it's a reflection of the, of what I've seen in the prisoners of Rand and the Pentagon in this country. There are those, as Tony says, who come up and help or who share risks, and then there are those, there are a lot of people

Studs Terkel You said the prisoners of Rand. That's the way you

Daniel Ellsberg In Rand. In Rand.

Studs Terkel Prisoners in Rand.

Daniel Ellsberg The story here I wanted to lead up to and to get Tony's reaction to it if I can is this: that I got a lot of this story from, or having talked to Tony earlier on the phone from the captain of the guard who's on the watch. And Tony had been released to him finally after they'd taken the manacles off and the chain off. And he showed me the log, he showed me where Tony had been kept, and he mentioned that Tony was very angry when he came in, very irritated. I said, "Really? Why was that?" I hadn't told him that I had heard the story from Tony already. And he said, "Well, he had been kept waiting booking all night and he'd been put in the isolation cell." I said, "Really? Is that all? He didn't say anything about being manacled and chained?" "No. No." I said, "He came in here to complain about being in the isolation cell and he didn't mention the fact that he'd been chained?" Actually I asked him later after he'd shown me the log which ended at ten-thirty, where he said "Inmate Russo is now ready to cooperate with the booking process," [laughing] that's how you got out of jail. I asked him why it said nothing about the chaining. And he said, "Oh, that was, that's normal." He said, "That's routine. They do that so often they wouldn't log that." And that made it clear what was clear in later weeks that he wasn't getting any unusual treatment. They weren't discriminating against him, he was just getting normal treatment.

Anthony Russo Right.

Daniel Ellsberg For a non-compliant, non-submissive person, a person who wasn't acting like an inmate. But then the captain began talking to me more openly. And this is what I wanted to tell you, Tony. If you remember this guy at all.

Anthony Russo I

Daniel Ellsberg Do you remember his face? He said, "You know, I said to Mr. Russo when he came in that I'm here for the same reason you are," he said. "I'm a prisoner here." I said, "What do you mean by that?" He said, "Well, it's a jail, isn't it? I'm here, aren't I?" I said, "Well, you go home at night. Don't you?" He said, "Well," and he sort of shrugged. Then later in the conversation as we were waiting for someone to find someone with authority to let me in to visit Tony the next day, he, he went on and he said, he said, "I admire" -- said "I have to say I admire you and Russo." He said, "I admire your guts." He said, "I don't have that courage. And I couldn't do it, but I have to admire you." So I said, "What makes you think you don't have the courage?" "Well, I don't come from the same background." And he said, he said "After all, I'm in sort of a military, what amounts to a military outfit here." I said, "I was in the Defense Department. And I was authorized access to the Pentagon Papers, working for it." He said, "Well, I don't know. It's a different background." Now, thinking back later, I would have liked to pursue that with him and ask him just what it was he saw in his background that made him think that he was prevented somehow in personal terms, in terms of courage or commitment, from doing what he saw that we had done. And he, but he came back to this point. And he said, "I wouldn't be here if I weren't being punished. It's a jail." And later I was told by some reporters that's true, that the men get put there, the officers, the captains, really as a kind of punishment within the, within

Anthony Russo

Daniel Ellsberg So there you were, frustrated. You tried to get something across, the truth as you saw it or the truth and nothing was happening. Each guy was doing his job. Well, finally, finally what? You and Dan did what? I felt this frustration in, in Saigon, and the thing that saved me, see, was the fact that other people felt it, too. My colleagues, my younger colleagues at Rand, there were three, four, there were four other gentlemen who were roughly my same age, I, I guess their ages varied between 26 and 34. At the time I was 29. And -- or 28, 29. And we used to sit and talk amongst ourselves. We would bemoan the conditions within the Rand office and we'd say to ourselves, "Look, you know, here we are in a war zone. Ha! You know. That our biggest problem is the Rand office! If we could just get through the Rand office and, and carry out our work, which is interviewing the Viet Cong, that would be beautiful. The Viet Cong don't worry us a bit. And they're supposed to be the enemy. They don't worry us a bit. The thing that's driving us crazy is this Rand office and the Rand Corporation itself! I mean, really. That, that -- we, we had such a terrible time there. Now, I spoke about the frustration of trying to talk some sense to people about the torture of prisoners in Vietnam. Well, I have finally understood why we torture people in Vietnam. And that is because we torture people here! We torture prisoners here in the United States! And now I understand why the United States cannot do anything about the torture of prisoners in Vietnam. The prisons in Vietnam, the US A-I-D Public Safety Division in Vietnam, they are the American advisers to people who run the prisons in Vietnam, and that is the Vietnamese who work for the United States. And those people who are with the Public Safety Division generally are people who are retired wardens, retired guards -- not, maybe not guards, but retired policemen, retired highway patrolmen, people who work in the so-called law enforcement of -- so-called law and order. I prefer to call it the law and disorder, official disorder, field here in the United States, in, in -- for example, I knew a man who worked for USAID Public Safety who had been a warden here in the United States. And I used to try to talk to him and try to get some reason out of him concerning the prison condition, the condition of prisons in Vietnam. And he would always come back to his experience with prisons here in the United States. You see? And, and, and You know, it strikes another analogy right now 'cause today is the day of the elections in Vietnam, right? We, we haven't heard the results yet as to just how many people -- They're not even very interested -- Mutilated the ballots. You know, I think -- I think about it. But it recalls to me that Henry Cabot Lodge used to be very irritated when people criticized corruption in Vietnam or the defects in the elections which were taking place in '67, four years ago. They can say we got it at home. No, when I was over there and he would always say, "Why spend, why apply higher standards to the Vietnamese than we do to our self?" and he would always refer to Chicago, this, this name kept cropping up in these discussions. He had, he had the impression that he would have been vice president in 1960 had there been an honest count. This was not his impression alone, I guess. Had there been an honest count in Chicago in 1960 as he used to put it. But he said, "I don't blame the Democrats for that, I blame the Republicans. They weren't watching close enough," and so forth. And thus he was inclined to be very tolerant of what he saw in Vietnam and I suppose he would be today. Thus far you've been talking about your own personal experiences, and this is a hard fact. I was telling you about this warden, and you see as I said I would keep talking to him about Vietnamese prisoners and he would keep talking to me about American prisoners. And we were always in different places, and he -- and I have to say that that the man was, the man had a very brutal mentality, because he, he would tell -- see, the point he was trying to get across to me was the point that convicts are scum. That, he wou -- he told me that he said, "We go to all this trouble to keep them in prisons," he said, "When we should take them out on a ship and drop them out at sea and, and just throw them overboard." Now, that's what he told me. Honest to God. He said, "They're worthless human beings," he said "There's no reason to keep them alive. They're no good to anybody." And God, I, I, I just can't -- Reason I get permi-- When, when I recall that, and when I -- and when I look back on the experience of just a few days ago and the past 48 days, it all comes into place, and it's, it's all locked in. I mean, before I went to jail I had an intellectual understanding of this, and, and I felt that well, I, sure I know and I don't have to go to jail to understand that, I know it's bad. I know that people misunderstand. I know that they're biased. I know that, that there's a great deal of racism. But let me tell you something. Had I not gone to prison, even though I felt that way, had I did not gone to prison, I, you know, I, I think there are a lot of things I never would have understood. Why or how did you get into jail then? I felt that it was unjust to be, to be coerced into testifying behind closed doors in secrecy -- This is in connection with the Pentagon Papers. Right. Right. I was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury concerning my association with Daniel Ellsberg. And they wanted me to testify before a grand jury in secret, of course. In secret. Nothing could be made public from that. And my position was that that was unjust, and I could not cooperate with that. And that I had strong constitutional grounds for not cooperating with, with the grand jury in, in that way. So My position was that I wanted to, to testify openly. But I was under the, the, the subpoena. As a result you were cited for contempt. Right. I was cited for contempt because I would not testify in secrecy. I was -- in fact, I was cited for contempt in secrecy. It was in the judge's chambers, and when that happened I told the judge, I, I said, "Your honor, may I make a statement in open court?" because you see I had not been allowed to say anything in court, in, in open court. And the judge said, "Well, you'd better make the statement here first." And I said, "I'd rather make it in open court, your honor." And he conferred with the prosecuting attorney and the prosecutor said, "Well, it's a very simple question, yes or no." And the judge turned to me and said, "How do you respond to that?" I said, "Your honor, my position remains the same." So at that point he found me to be in contempt of court, and I was looking up at the bailiff at the time, and he was looking at me and I thought, you know, that that was it. And the, the bailiff was gonna come get me and carry me to jail. But fortunately, the judge gave me a couple of days. He said he's found me to be in contempt of court, and he said, "I stay your execution until Wednesday." So that gave me the weekend and a couple more days. And this is the kind of thing that took place all summer. Time after time after time and time. We'd have a court hearing, I'd be found to be in -- well, I was found to be in contempt, and after that we battled for stays of execution. We had bail hearings. We had an appeal. All told, there were seven -- well, yes. Seven times in which I had to get ready to go to jail, starting on June 23rd, ending on August 16th. Finally, we lost out on the seventh try, and on August 16th I had to go to jail. So I surrendered myself to the marshal. You were there for how many days? Was there for a total of forty-seven days. Forty-seven days, and you're out now. How, how did you come to be released? Well Two days ago. We, I came to be released a couple of days ago because, because finally, after all this time, we were able to find a situation whereby I could testify in public. And it just dawned on me that well, perhaps, perhaps we could submit a motion to the judge to, to give me permission to have a transcript of the grand jury testimony that I could make public. And we talked about this, had never been done before, but I said to me -- you know, it's simple to me. I mean, they get what they want, their testimony. I get what I want, my right to make my statement in open public or effectively in open public. And so why not? Let's give that a try. So we did, and we won. We, we, we won. It was granted. It was a great victory. And Friday was such a great day, not only because of the victory, but do you know that that was the first time I had been able to make a statement in open court. And it was a very short statement, but very to the point. The judge, Judge Ferguson asked me if -- well, he considered those three motions, motions having to do with my being able to make my testimony public, he considered those motions and he turned to me and he said, "Mr. Russo, if I --" I say, I forget exactly what he said, but to the effect that "If I grant these motions, will you agree to testify?" And I stood up and said -- and, and for the first time I was able to speak in open court, and I stood up and said, "Your Honor, I agree to answer all relevant questions if it, if these motions are granted. Yes, your honor." And, and, and I'd, I, I went on to say, well I prefaced that by saying that, "Your honor, my position remains the same as it has always been." So this is, you know I'm thinking as we're talking now, and this has been very reflective conversation, and free association involved with Tony Russo, Daniel Ellsberg and briefly with Patricia Ellsberg and Eqbal Ahmad and, and Tony Lukas, I was thinking wha-how you feel at this moment. Here we are now, how, where we stand as a country at the moment, too, Dan Ellsberg and perhaps ask Patricia her thoughts. You know, earlier remember you said that you felt free, the time you thought you were a man of power, or those who working but they walked the corridors of power feared of saying something? I thought of paraphrasing the book that, that Tony was reading in prison, Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom, in a sense you escaped from the hatch to freedom. It would seem. Well, we were talking earlier about Gandhi and thinking, and there's a phrase that pacifists and Gandhians use a lot called "speaking truth to power." In fact, somebody came up with it spontaneously recently in a suggestion as a title for a book of writings that I have done in the past, most of it while I was working for the government, and it made me very uneasy. I find myself very skeptical about that phrase, at the least it's ambiguous. Because certainly all of our, our former colleagues at Rand, or in the government I think would have thought of what they were doing, their professional lives as speaking truth to power. To be sure they were speaking truth sort of for power, they were -- part of the time they were writing lies for power, but they figured that that was the price they paid for the right that they got on government payroll or on government contract to speak truth to power. And suddenly seemed to me increasingly that there was so much self-deception involved that I had to stand back from that phrase and really, really think hard about it. As to just how, what kind of truth you spoke when you were -- to power, when you were working for power, when you found your whole livelihood depended on it, when you were constantly afraid of what power would do to you if you spoke the wrong truth. The, we were talking a lot earlier about the limitations on the truths that get said to power by people who feel dependent on power. As Dan is talking and Tony Russo, power and powerlessness is what the subject is about, and suddenly you said earlier when Eqbal was saying about people being powerless, and Dan said "I feel powerful at this moment." Remember that? Well, I've been close to Dan now for about two years since we got back together again, and I've seen the evolution of these steps of shedding one -- the shackles that he was in. I mean, even when he left the government and then went to Rand, I remember it was one day when he'd invited somebody to come to Rand to, from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an, an aide, and he came back from a whole day at Rand, fighting that this man could be allowed into Rand just to talk. And that the kind of battle he was dealing with there was so, such a, a pettiness against bureaucracy. And then he left Rand, and he was finally free to speak out against the war, but even that was constricted because he had this, this weight of, of truth that he was carrying around. And finally, since this has come out, he's a free man. And all the, the, the sympathy that we get for what's happened to our lives, it's, it's, of course it's, it's troublesome and causes anxiety, but it's truly beautiful because my husband's a free man. It's a beautiful thing. I can't think of one thing that Dan, you said the other night when you spoke and you got the Peace Award from the businessmen, there's a Beatles song called "Carry that Weight," you've got to carry that weight, and you spoke of the actual weight of the Pentagon Papers, and the weight that you did carry, and the weight the society in a sense carries, too. And as Pat said, you feel free in a sense. Let me -- and let's forget about the plane schedule for a moment because there's a part that relates so much to the discussion we was having really for a couple of hours earlier that I really don't want to quit without bringing it in. And I've watched Tony now for the last hour try to respond to a question about this, and I understand how he feels and I understand this moment in his life, which is 24 hours out of isolation, he can't bring himself to really grasp certain memories which are extremely close to him. Because I know just how you feel. It's very frustrating -- When you, when you get close to some of those things -- Yep. And go into abstractions and other lines and so forth. Right. What we're really been trying to get at with all this discussion earlier was, one day, the day that Tony went into jail. Now, I didn't see him from that day until the day before yesterday, when he was in court coming out of jail having won his victory and his right to speak in open court. I've seen him several times visiting him in jail always with a -- well a couple times with plate glass in between us. In the county jail. Speaking through a speaking tube, other times with a guard sitting next to us. So I haven't had a chance to really tell him what came down on, as, as it was seen from the outside, and what little I heard from him. But let me tell this story, and it, it may be worthwhile for Tony to either correct it or tell it his way in the end. Because we haven't had a chance to compare the way, notes on this at this point. The, the day I was arraigned in Los Angeles on two counts related to the Pentagon Papers was the day that Tony finally had to go to jail on the civil contempt, and it was a coincidence because it just happened to work out that day, but the effect was that there was a lot of television and radio coverage at the county courthouse because I'd been arraigned that day. Tony had a statement to make, and he had this crowd of television people and reporters taking down this statement, and some of them followed them in, followed us in as we went into the courthouse after he made his statement which began pretty much with the words "I'm proud to share responsibility with Daniel Ellsberg for the release of the Pentagon Papers to the American public," right then? I remember that statement very well. So the -- on the evening news that night, they showed Tony going into the court -- you didn't see that, right? In jail. But they showed Tony going into the courthouse and against the rules, some reporters followed him in with cameras right down the halls of the federal courthouse 'til he came to a certain door, he went behind the door. The door opened again briefly, and this was on television, too, he came out and grasped me, he said, "Goodbye, brother." And then he disappeared again behind that door. The television then saw him disappear down that door. Of course, I didn't see him again free for 48 days later. Until the day before yesterday. Okay. I got a call the next day in the afternoon from Tony telling me that he'd just gotten out of an isolation cell where he'd been chained and manacled in an isolation cell and I, I couldn't believe, of course, what he was telling me, it sounded fantastic that a man could be manacled and chained in a county jail within hours after network television had featured him on the evening news when he was put in for civil contempt. And to be very specific, in connection with this case, which was pretty closely followed. I immediately assumed that something must, they must be treating him in some special way because of who he was and his relation with me, so I got in a car and dashed down to the county jail to find out what was going on. And by this time he'd been put in another cell. And let out. The story that I heard, then as he told me and I got from the captain of the guard and otherwise very briefly, and it's, it has many parallels and interests here and I'll just summarize it, was that he had been acting in an un-inmate like fashion by asking questions of the booking clerk in the booking process like, "Please, may I keep my reading glasses?" And a guard seeing him ask questions put him, taking him along, throwing him into an isolation cell, and as I saw in the log, booked him for -- being put in a -- what is known by the prisoners as "the hole" for non-cooperation with the booking process. By the way, you, you told me, Tony, that you spent the first two hours in that cell talking to the other prisoners trying to figure out, each of you, why you were in that -- the hole." Right? Tony figured out it was because he was asking questions, which was correct. What you may not know since you haven't seen the log, is that the next two people to be put in that cell had the same notation. Non, non-cooperation with the booking process. There, there were some very nice guys in "the hole" there. Well, all non-cooperators, right? And so again to just tell this briefly in the context of this long discussion as I understand it, after about two hours he began asking quietly for about half an hour for his lawyer to -- that he wanted to call his lawyer. It was ignored, he began banging on the door of the cell, and was -- got some attention, and that four or five guards came in, kicked his feet out from under him, chained his legs, and ran the chain up through manacles on his wrists which were manacled behind his back. So he was trussed up on his stomach, is that right? The other guards pulled him away from the door, took the chains off his legs, which I was very impressed to hear -- Not, instead that the other -- The other prisoners. The, the other people in the hole with me, in, in fact that really there was, there's one old guy who looked to be about 65 or so who I'd been mad at earlier because he, he wouldn't keep his mouth shut, he kept rapping on and on and on. I lost my temper with him, and I said, "Please, you know, knock it off. I want to get some sleep, you know." And he was -- and I was really sorry I had done that, because as it turned out he was the first one to come and help me, because all the other prisoners knew that they could get into trouble for that, because the guards could see through the window and had one chance to come up and look through the window and had seen this man helping me edge out -- it took us about a half hour to inch out of the chains. Had the guards seen him, he would have been in trouble. He might have gotten in trouble for all I know. This was, I heard this from Tony right away, and it was my first story that I'd heard from him about this spirit of the other prisoners, the ones who would take risks to talk to him as he was describing earlier when he had a sign in his cell "No unauthorized inmates can communicate here." As, as you're talking, but it seems to me this all leads up to what you've said just now, that there's a mirror involved here. The way Tony was in prison and other of his colleagues in prison, fellow convicts, was a reflection of what you saw in Vietnam on the other side. Vietnamese prisoners. In a, in a way, isn't it? Well, it's what he -- Tony is the one who saw the prisoners over there, it's a reflection of the, of what I've seen in the prisoners of Rand and the Pentagon in this country. There are those, as Tony says, who come up and help or who share risks, and then there are those, there are a lot of people You said the prisoners of Rand. That's the way you -- In Rand. In Rand. Prisoners in Rand. The story here I wanted to lead up to and to get Tony's reaction to it if I can is this: that I got a lot of this story from, or having talked to Tony earlier on the phone from the captain of the guard who's on the watch. And Tony had been released to him finally after they'd taken the manacles off and the chain off. And he showed me the log, he showed me where Tony had been kept, and he mentioned that Tony was very angry when he came in, very irritated. I said, "Really? Why was that?" I hadn't told him that I had heard the story from Tony already. And he said, "Well, he had been kept waiting booking all night and he'd been put in the isolation cell." I said, "Really? Is that all? He didn't say anything about being manacled and chained?" "No. No." I said, "He came in here to complain about being in the isolation cell and he didn't mention the fact that he'd been chained?" Actually I asked him later after he'd shown me the log which ended at ten-thirty, where he said "Inmate Russo is now ready to cooperate with the booking process," [laughing] that's how you got out of jail. I asked him why it said nothing about the chaining. And he said, "Oh, that was, that's normal." He said, "That's routine. They do that so often they wouldn't log that." And that made it clear what was clear in later weeks that he wasn't getting any unusual treatment. They weren't discriminating against him, he was just getting normal treatment. Right. For a non-compliant, non-submissive person, a person who wasn't acting like an inmate. But then the captain began talking to me more openly. And this is what I wanted to tell you, Tony. If you remember this guy at all. I Do you remember his face? He said, "You know, I said to Mr. Russo when he came in that I'm here for the same reason you are," he said. "I'm a prisoner here." I said, "What do you mean by that?" He said, "Well, it's a jail, isn't it? I'm here, aren't I?" I said, "Well, you go home at night. Don't you?" He said, "Well," and he sort of shrugged. Then later in the conversation as we were waiting for someone to find someone with authority to let me in to visit Tony the next day, he, he went on and he said, he said, "I admire" -- said "I have to say I admire you and Russo." He said, "I admire your guts." He said, "I don't have that courage. And I couldn't do it, but I have to admire you." So I said, "What makes you think you don't have the courage?" "Well, I don't come from the same background." And he said, he said "After all, I'm in sort of a military, what amounts to a military outfit here." I said, "I was in the Defense Department. And I was authorized access to the Pentagon Papers, working for it." He said, "Well, I don't know. It's a different background." Now, thinking back later, I would have liked to pursue that with him and ask him just what it was he saw in his background that made him think that he was prevented somehow in personal terms, in terms of courage or commitment, from doing what he saw that we had done. And he, but he came back to this point. And he said, "I wouldn't be here if I weren't being punished. It's a jail." And later I was told by some reporters that's true, that the men get put there, the officers, the captains, really as a kind of punishment within the, within the Fantastic. Did

Studs Terkel The jailer is

Daniel Ellsberg Let me tell you one other thing. I looked around, he was -- we were in a windowless room which I thought was not a very nice room they assigned him in the middle of the building. Tony pointed out to me later there were no windows on that building. It's a windowless building, like the windowless tanker that I mentioned earlier that the Secretary of Defense flew around the world in? You could be in that building for a year as Tony could have been, serving his contempt waiting while they tried to coerce him to testify in secret and never see sunlight unless he went to court. No reporters could come in to see Tony, he -- reporters wanted to come in at that point to see what had happened to the man they'd been interviewing the day before, and see the cell he'd been held in, but a reporter can't see a federal prisoner, in un - in other words, there are no windows in that building to keep people from looking in. It isn't to keep the prisoners from looking out. We were saying earlier that Attica was a mirror of bureaucracy and of society. And it is in a sense to me, having heard what Tony's experiences in jail were, and the torture that this amounted to that he was submitted to and that the whole experience amounted to, and the physical torture being beaten several times in there to make him more compliant. This is what happens when human beings are given power in a bureaucracy, given the tools of violence, given authority to use violence to get their way or to protect themselves from failure in carrying out their bureaucratic duties, and when they're protected by total invisibility in doing it. When they have secrecy to protect them. Right?

Anthony Russo That blows my mind about, about that captain, yes.

Studs Terkel You know what this

Anthony Russo -- I,

Daniel Ellsberg Wait,

Anthony Russo I, I see him in an entirely different way now.

Daniel Ellsberg No, but that, right! Now, he was acting -- I, I don't even want to tell how friendly he got in the end because they'd track him down. But I was describing him to some reporters later, and they were very struck by these words of his, you see, but though it didn't surprise them to hear him call himself a prisoner or being punished. They'd heard that before. But then when I described who it was, they -- one of them said, "Oh, I know him. He had a very good job before."

Anthony Russo [whistle] Wow!

Daniel Ellsberg And he said, "You know, there's only one reason that he could have for being in that jail. For leaking information to reporters that he shouldn't have given."

Anthony Russo You know, Dan. He, yeah, yeah he did tell me that he was a prisoner too. I remember what, when, when he came, I was chained up in the isolation cell, and he came and he stood there, and the door was open and he said, "Would you like a cigarette?" He said, "Come and have a cup of coffee." Of course, at the time I thought he was trying to buy me off. I thought he was trying to be nice, but boy! What you say

Daniel Ellsberg He quoted himself to me as saying "I'm here for the same reason you are."

Anthony Russo Really?

Daniel Ellsberg Yeah. And I think he was saying a great deal when he, probably when he said that. And he said, he said a lot of other things. When he talked about being in jail I said, "Well, there's lots of jails in this society. All kinds of jails," and he said, "Yeah, and jails in people's minds."

Anthony Russo Fantastic.

Daniel Ellsberg Said, I looked at him, you see, at who am I talking to here exactly, see. But here was a man so conscious of where he was. He said, "I wouldn't be here if I weren't being punished." He said, "Of course I could have left. They gave me the chance to quit. I'd throw 20 years down the drain. But forget it. I'm here." And he was doing his time. I asked him, by the way, what kind of cell you were now in. He didn't know. Said, "He's in another cell block," he said, "That's in the other cell block in the next row." And so he called up somebody to find out what kind of cell you were in now to answer my question. And remarked that he'd never seen those cells, so he didn't know. I said, "How long have you been here?" He said "Three and a half years." And I recognized, you know, a brother bureaucrat.

Anthony Russo But what Dan just said also brought something else to mind now very clearly. And that is the analogy, Dan, that you, you keep making between the bureaucracies, they say the various kinds of bureaucracies, well, for example between Rand and the L.A. County Jail. And you made the analogy between what -- well, the people who -- well, well, here's what came into my mind. I, I see that analogy very clearly now. And I, I related to you how I felt about the prisoners who took risk to come and talk to me in prison. Wow! Now it's very clear, you were the first prisoner who ever took a risk to help me out. Because when I was fired at the Rand Corporation, Dan Ellsberg is the only man who went to authority and defended me. You see, when I was fired by, by the head of my department, although other people at Rand had come to me, you know, throughout my whole time at Rand had, had talked to me, you know, two to two, just them and, and, and me. And they had praised my work, they had praised me. One gentleman whom I had worked for who was many years my senior and had a lot of gray hair and was a very troubled man told me once that I, I -- that, that he should be working for me, and so for a long time I thought I was doing pretty good there, but then I got fired. None of these people came to help me when I got fired. None came to help me and that disturbed me and I thought, "Well, maybe I thought I was doing okay, but maybe I really wasn't, maybe they were just being nice to me."

Daniel Ellsberg Oh, you know

Anthony Russo On-only one man came to help me out, and that was Dan, and Dan

Daniel Ellsberg Well, I needed you there, [laughing] because you know at that point I didn't really know you personally, the way we got to know each other later actually. Because Tony stayed at Rand for a while while he was -- he wasn't dropped summarily. But at that point I did not know you personally particularly, but I did know that you were one of the few people I was learning from in that building, and I had a lot to learn from you, and I liked you, but I, as above all respected you professionally, it was perfectly obvious to me that there was no basis here for, for criticizing your professional work. But you know on this point you mentioned though about, you know, people coming up to you, you know, because despite the fact you had a sign around you saying "No unauthorized inmates"

Anthony Russo But by the way, it, it, it said "No unauthorized persons," and below that it said, "Not, no inmate is authorized."

Daniel Ellsberg Or is a person.

Anthony Russo Right.

Daniel Ellsberg But you see, an inmate is a person who asks himself whether or not he has been authorized to speak to somebody. Right? In our society. And we've known a lot of people like that.

Anthony Russo Right.

Daniel Ellsberg If you're, if you talk to somebody without asking yourself that question, you've ceased to be an inmate or you're not a -- you're not, you're not cut out for it. And I'm reminded of -- you know, people come up to me now. All kinds. Here and there where I go. Some policemen and some waiters in Chinese restaurants and stewardesses, you notice on the plane, to say "Thank you" very often. That's what they -- they don't say anything else usually, just "Thank you." A guy came up to me, bearded fellow, intellectual. We've been talking about intellectual. Came up to me in the bookstore where I go often in Cambridge. And said, "I want to shake your hand." And this happens, you know, a lot. And he said, "You know, I wrote you a letter." I said, I said "Thank you" to him. And he said, "I wrote you a letter but I didn't mail it. Never sent it." Said "Oh, really? Why not?" He said, "Well, I work at Lincoln Labs." Which, for the audience here is the counterpart in the east to Rand in the west, you know, works. It's associated with MI-- used to be part of MIT, 'til the students objected, but works entirely for the Defense Department. And, well, he said, "I work for Lincoln Labs." So I said, "Well, you could have signed a false name." He said, "Well," very casually, he said, "Well, I don't know. I don't have your guts, but I wanted to say thank you." So as he walked off I felt like saying, "Well, I admire your courage for shaking my hand here in, in public."

Studs Terkel This fact is Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo are no longer inmates and the jailers are as jailed as the jailed is what it amounts to.

Daniel Ellsberg Tony was talking about the torture that's done on prisoners that we take and turn over the Vietnamese in Vietnam, and relating to what happens here. You know when I went to Vietnam I had a number of thresholds in my mind that an American official I felt should never cross. I'd set out some guideposts for myself as to what I would never collaborate in. Knowing the risks in a counterinsurgency war, the kind of muck you can get into from the French experience, from the German experience. Torture was one of them. I had always said to myself in the Defense Department, if I ever find evidence that we are condoning or systematically engaging in torture, I will not only quit this effort in the government, but I will be on the outside speaking out very forcibly. Now, I did learn, of course, that the Vietnamese as Tony says did torture their prisoners, including ones that we turned over to them. And that was a challenge in effect, but I guess I didn't, I didn't figure that as far enough, although like Tony I protested against it in various ways. But I, I tried to stay alert and I asked about this possibility that, that American soldiers were engaging in any such practice, and although I heard of individual incidents, I, I never did hear of any policy. This was in '65, '67. I was very struck when Colonel Herbert jeopardized his career, sacrificed his career this year finally to bring charges of the systematic torture that he had witnessed by Americans, and that was very shocking to me even at this late date. Because I hadn't really heard evidence of that sort except of, as I say, of very scattered incidents, but of the systematic pattern that he described. Even this late. But when the Pentagon Papers came out, and my wife Patricia was reading it at my request, one reason I was really anxious for her to look at it was that she had had to come to, to worry about whether it was important enough, whether it mattered enough, to be taking the risks I was taking in view of the fact that over a period of almost two years so many officials had, had not seen it as that important, had not been willing to take such risks themselves or to press the point. Said maybe they're right, maybe you're wrong, maybe it isn't that important. But she finally read these passages, and she read the accounts then of what had gone on when I was in the Defense Department in 1964 and '65 when they were planning the bombing of North Vietnam and then beginning to engage in it. These documents, a lot of them are in the Bantam book and they're all of course in the new government printing office version and they'll be in the Beacon Press version that comes out. So she read passages that were very familiar to me from when I had been in the Pentagon, words about turning up the screws on the Hanoi leadership. I haven't told you this, Tony. And the, this was at the highest level, this was the assistant secretary, undersecretary, secretary of defense and state level. They talked about ratchet effects, and the analogy in parenthesis in the memo is to a tennis net, which is lowered, the tension is lowered as you turn the handle and then raised again. The explanation being that the effect would be greater on the Hanoi leadership if they, people should have a pause in the bombing. And then have the bombing come back to them. But of course the immediate, the more immediate effect which they were hiding themselves from the image, rather, was that of the rack. A rack, which you're turning with a ratchet.

Anthony Russo Or the gallows.

Daniel Ellsberg Right.

Anthony Russo Because they, they used -- in, in the Cuban missile crisis, they used the phrase "to tighten the noose."

Daniel Ellsberg That's right. That's exactly right. The other image of -- not an image, but just the description of the effect of flooding the dikes, bombing the dikes. Said "This will not drown people. But it will starve them. Parenthesis, a million? Question mark. Unless we offer food in return for negotiations." And these were the words written now, not by underlings, but by assistant secretaries and higher, who had been to Yale and Harvard and from parents who'd been to Yale and Harvard, and who were very respected men in our society. And Patricia got up from reading these and came to me with tears in her eyes and said, "This is the language of torturers." And she was talking about pieces of paper that were written while I was in the Pentagon working in state and defense with these people, being part of it, criticizing it. I criticized them. In fact, I wrote some of the only criticism of the bombing policy written in defense. Strong attack within the defense, but I lost my point. I didn't get it. I stayed in that system, I participated in it, and thus in the end shared full responsibility with that policy. So Tony's point that our unconcern, you know, for torture in one field reflects our unconcern with torture of Americans, I think is a very direct analogy. After all, Attica shows us what we do at home to people who are not regarded as American citizens anymore, and who as Vice President Agnew's description of them shows clearly, are regarded as less than human. And what my wife's reaction to these documents written while I worked for defense showed me was that they were a mirror of how we act to people who aren't American citizens, who never had the fortune of being born American citizens and who are certainly less than human being Asiatics.

Anthony Russo And you know what you say, Dan. You know what you say Dan just brought it home to me, about how -- you, you know, I've said that the theme of the prisoner runs from the county jail to Hanoi. And that just came together, too in, in, in my mind by, stimulated by what you said. The failure of President Nixon to negotiate in Paris. You know what that means. I'll, I'll tell you what it means. But first of all, a little background. He is using our prisoners of war, the Americans who are held by the North Vietnamese, he's using them as political pawns. Now, President Nixon is -- you know what he's doing, he's playing with, with their good time. Now, let me tell you what the good time is. When a prisoner here in the United States is sentenced to jail, let's say he's sentenced to jail for ten years. Now, every month he gets -- well, in the federal prisons he gets automatically seven days good time. You see, that, and what that means is that seven days time off his sentence. So let's say that, automatically if you, if you become a neuter when you're an inmate, all along then, then seven days accumulate every month and that's taken off your total sentence. If you do not knuckle under, if you refuse to lick boots, if you refuse to be broken, your good time is taken away from you. You serve out the whole 10 years. If you become an informer, or if you cozy up to, to the authorities, which means prostrating yourself, licking their boots, then you get more good time. That means you could get up to, you could get up to 15 days, 20 days a month and, and with a ten-year sentence you might find yourself out after one year.

Daniel Ellsberg It's like being able to retire earlier.

Anthony Russo Right. Yeah, that's true! That's very true. So the, the analogy strikes me very strongly. The extension of many of the things we've said about the analogy between, you know, the prisoner here and, and the war and as Vietnamization is, is a euphemism for incarceration, we, we have the very same thing with the POW's in Hanoi, the president of the United States is playing with their good time.

Daniel Ellsberg Well, the -- it comes down to is, what's wrong, what's wrong with that, that notion really as I see it now of speaking truth to power as it applies to intellectuals, to social scientists, to researchers who work for the government or officials, bureaucrats is, I can put it to you after your last 48 days, how much truth can you expect to be spoken by people who see themselves as prisoners? And who see their good time, which is to say this retirement period, that date on which they'll be free of what they see as a prison is dependent on whether they say the right things or the wrong things. You don't influence power that way, you share in the crimes of power that way. You become an accomplice totally. You live the life, not of an intellectual, but of an informer. This war is not going to be ended ever by people who see themselves in their official capacity as powerless except as they do the bidding

Anthony Russo Right.

Daniel Ellsberg Of their powerful superiors.

Anthony Russo That, that's true.

Daniel Ellsberg Who see themselves as nothing unless they have a direct dependence in relation on these powerful people. It will have to be ended by free men.