The documentary showing at Film Forum about Daniel Ellsberg,
The Most Dangerous Man in America, raises some very interesting questions about truth, morality, and democracy. Not least for Ellsberg’s disappointment when, after the Pentagon Papers were published, revealing a quarter century of mendacity and pointless slaughter and epic covering-of-asses from Truman to Nixon, more than 47 million Americans still went ahead and voted for Nixon. The ex-Marine RAND brainiac turned American hero has clearly always been something of an optimist.
Good to be reminded of what a foul pox Nixon was (HS Thompson on the Trickster: “He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws…”) with some choice excerpts from the White House tapes. “Son-of-a-bitch” was this son-of-a-Quaker’s favorite expletive, but surely one of the top ten exchanges was when Kissinger demurs on using nuclear weapons on North Vietnam (“That, I think, would be too much”) and Nixon says, “Christ, Henry, I just want you to think big!” A nice contrast, Ellsberg v. Nixon, pity that the Nixons will always outnumber the Ellsbergs.