The NSA surveillance of millions of emails and phone calls. The dogged pursuit of whistleblower Edward Snowden across the globe, regardless of the diplomatic fallout. And the sentencing of Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving a cache of government files to the website WikiLeaks. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg sees these events as signs that the United States is becoming a police state.
"We have not only the capability of a police state, but certain beginnings of it right now," Ellsberg told HuffPost Live Wednesday.
"And I absolutely agree with Edward Snowden. It's worth a person's
life, prospect of assassination, or life in prison or life in exile --
it's worth that to try to restore our liberties and make this a
Ellsberg was a military analyst with the RAND Corporation in 1969
when he secretly copied thousands of classified documents about U.S.
decision-making during the Vietnam War. In 1971, he leaked the files
(known as the Pentagon Papers) to The New York Times and 18 other
Although the Nixon administration tried to prevent the publication of the files, the Supreme Court ruled in New York Times Co. v. United States that the newspaper could continue publishing the files.