Risking everything
October 7, 2010 3:55 AM   Subscribe

On October 5, 2010 PBS' POV aired The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. It can be viewed online through October 27. (alternate vimeo link)

Synopsis: In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that America’s role in the war is based on decades of lies. He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers give a riveting account of those world-changing events in POV’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by award-winning filmmakers Judith Ehrlich (The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It) and Rick Goldsmith (Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press).

The 90 minute documentary was a 2010 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature.

*Official website
*Short Wiki entry (has a few relevant links within)
posted by IvoShandor (5 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Yay! I watched this when it was on BBC4 and was just overwhelmed. I'd had to study the court case in school, about a million years ago, but the documentary puts it in an amazing context. Ellsberg's courage, and Nixon's completely insane reactions, are both awe-inspiring.
posted by kalimac at 4:56 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Saw this the other night and it was excellent! If you want more detail I highly recommend Ellsberg's memoir Secrets.

Despite the massive press coverage the Pentagon Papers received at the time, it seems almost no one recall them today or understands their significance. To this day whenever the subject of Vietnam comes up there is a consensus (among some groups, at least) that lack of support at home and in the press cost us the war, when the government's own studies showed the war was unwinnable.
posted by TedW at 5:24 AM on October 7, 2010

you know, I kept hearing through the W years that he was the "worst president ever" but my mantra was "nixon was worse" - perhaps this story can give a glimpse into what was it like in the nixon/J. E. Hoover-era america.
posted by victors at 5:28 AM on October 7, 2010

I watched it on on Netflix. (Well, I've been meaning to watch it, and I saw the first 10 minutes.) But another options.
posted by smackfu at 5:38 AM on October 7, 2010

[added vimeo link, carry on]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:04 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

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