Synopsis: Pre recorded Panel
Scheduled: July 25, 2021
12:00 PM EST
The 50th anniversary this year of the Pentagon Papers disclosures presents an opportunity for that episode’s leading whistleblower, Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, to assess the disclosure’s historical significance, including its precedent-setting role enabling the revelations of the Watergate era, beginning in early 1972. Although the gist of the Pentagon Papers story is well known, Ellsberg, whose psychiatrist’s office was ransacked by Nixon operatives in a prelude to Watergate, may relish the opportunity to comment on later implications extending to the present. The second part of this panel has the potential to reveal to a broader audience; the deeply shrouded entire history of Watergate, including such fundamental questions as 1: Who ordered the break-in? 2) What were the burglars seeking specifically? 3) Why aren’t the answers to those questions better known?
Dr. Ellsberg, a former Defense Department aide, is a co-author and the primary whistleblower in disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the policy decisions that led to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. These papers were reported publicly on July 1, 1971, first by the New York Times. The federal government indicted Ellsberg on June 28 for theft of government property and violation of the espionage act but the indictments were later dismissed because of government lawbreaking in trying to collect information on the defendant. Marcel Reid has been seeking to invite him.
Andrew Kreig, reporter, attorney and author who is a member, along with Hougan and O’Connor, of the Colodny Collection board of advisors at Texas A & M university, a repository of some 500 tape recordings undertaken by “Silent Coup” co-authors Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin (a former Summit speaker based on his long experience as an Inspector General’s office staffer) for their pioneering 1991 book “Silent Coup” describing Watergate as a coup against the presidency, not just an abuse of power by the Executive Branch. Status: Confirmed
John O’Connor, attorney for the late FBI executive and presumed Watergate “Deep Throat” Mark Felt, and author of two books on the topic. The most recent is “Postgate,” a 2019 expose of important hidden omissions in the conventional story of Watergate, as reported by the Washington Post and most other mainstream media. He describes how Public Affairs Press, the publisher of his first book about Watergate, systematically sabotaged the publication effort in order to protect the publisher’s hidden owner, the Washington Post, and its misleading version of Watergate. Status: O’Connor is confirmed if desired.
Jim Hougan, former Harper’s Magazine Washington, DC Bureau Chief and author of the pioneering 1984 book “Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA,” regarded as the first of a score of books to expose the hidden agendas behind the official story of the break-in. Status: Must be invited.
Barry Sussman is an American editor, author, and opinion analyst who deals primarily with public policy issues.
He was city news editor at The Washington Post at the time of the Watergate break-in and was detached to spend full time directing the coverage that led to the Post’s Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1973. His book, “The Great Coverup: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate,” now in its fourth edition, was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times and Washington Post when it first came out. It has continued to receive high praise through four editions.