Daniel Ellsberg Interview by Scott Horton, Hiroshima Day 2012

by | Aug 15, 2012 | Stress Blog

Daniel Ellsberg Interview by Scott Horton, Hiroshima Day 2012

Transcript (slightly edited for clarity)

Audio here.

SCOTT HORTON: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. I’m Scott Horton. Our first guest on the show today is Daniel Ellsberg, heroic liberator of the Pentagon Papers, and antinuclear activist, antiwar activist of many different descriptions and many great accomplishments. He’s also the author of the book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, and then there’s a new one about the nuclear war issue which I believe is coming out soon but is not finished yet. Is that correct, Dan? Welcome back to the show.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Thanks. Glad to be back. No, it’s not very soon. It’s due to be finished in January. It’s called The American Doomsday Machine, Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, which is what I was 50 years ago.

SCOTT HORTON: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? What’s it like to plan a nuclear war?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, in the late ’50s and early ’60s I was in the belief that there was a missile gap in favor of the Soviets, which is what the intelligence estimates said, that they were on a crash effort to develop an ability for a surprise attack against the U.S., or a major threat against the U.S. So what I was helping plan was to assure them that if they did that, there would be retaliation, that they couldn’t do that without being destroyed themselves, and thus we hoped to deter them from doing that.

Now in actual fact, that was like deterring Saddam Hussein from using his nuclear weapons in 2003 — he didn’t have any. He didn’t have a program and hadn’t had for virtually a decade.

The same virtually was true of the Soviets. They did have a nuclear program, but at a time when we had thousands of nuclear weapons poised to attack them and a tremendous number that were ready to deal with any surprise attack by them, they had no ability for a surprise attack against us. They had exactly four missiles in 1960 and ’61, ’61 being the year of the Berlin Crisis, a time when Kennedy was asking the nation to build home fallout shelters, which led to a fallout shelter craze, in case there was an attack by the Soviet Union with their four ICBMs. So it was a totally illusory situation.

I felt — you asked what it felt like — well, it felt desperate to keep them from using their illusory nuclear weapons. Just as, by the way, we’re being told right now that we’re in a desperate race to keep the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon, whereas actually there is no evidence whatever that they’re seeking a nuclear weapon.

SCOTT HORTON: Now, I got to ask you, Dan, you know I know that around the time of the whole controversy with the Pentagon Papers, you had a lot of new leaves to turn over, and you did, but I’m curious as to how you ever could have become a nuclear war planner in the first place when you were one of the few Americans who knew — who understood about nuclear weapons before they were actually used and who, as you write in your article at truthdig.com, ‘Hiroshima Day,’ you knew better! You disagreed with the decision to use nuclear weapons against the Japanese! How did you ever even get into that position?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: I think I answered that in answer to your first question, Scott. As you say, I was very dubious and skeptical of the wisdom of and rightness of using a nuclear weapon against Japan in 1945, because I’d been studying what the implications of that were for the future. It so happens–having written about this in a piece I take it you’ve read that’s on my archive, ellsberg.net””I did realize in 1944 that there would be a U-235 bomb and that that would open an arms race that would have very sinister implications for humanity.

After that, within the next decade or so, I had learned that we had been totally misled about the occasion for using the atom bomb at Hiroshima, that the reasons given for it which purported to justify it were entirely falsified, and that’s another story. So that lends weight to your question even, how could I possibly have gotten involved?

And the answer was that whereas Japan we knew was a non-nuclear nation that we were using an atom bomb against, the Soviet Union, we were led to believe at the Rand Corporation by Top Secret intelligence estimates, was not only a nuclear nation–which meant that it seemed like insanity to initiate nuclear war against them””but it was a nation that might, we were told, initiate war against us, and the only way of stopping that in the world was to assure them of retaliation.


DANIEL ELLSBERG: If that had been true, that they were in a crash effort to achieve that capability against us and might use it in a surprise attack, and were like Hitler — that was the Cold War psychology of the time, that they could not be negotiated with, they could not be stayed in any form by any concessions or agreement or inspection from launching this surprise attack, like Hitler — had that been true, then I would have to say, even now, it would be hard to say that one should not develop a retaliatory capability.

I can’t say, for example, that the Soviet Union or China were wrong to — although the long-run effects on the arms race are very ominous–but I can’t say they were wrong to develop a deterrent retaliatory capability against the U.S. And had the Soviets been in this superior position in ’58, ’59 which our intelligence people believed they were, I think that a retaliatory capability had to be developed.

Of course, the reality was that our top military people really knew those intelligence estimates were false, as the Army and Navy had been saying against the Air Force for a couple of years by that time, and knowing that, the plans I was working on were actually relevant only to a U.S. first strike, as in a war developing in Europe or over Berlin where we might have struck first in escalation of that war. There was no chance whatever of the Soviets launching an attack on us, any more than Saddam could have launched an attack on us in either ’91 or 2003. But our leaders, both Republican and Democrat, misled us on that point.

SCOTT HORTON: Well, a couple of real big misleadings there that need addressing. I guess, well I’ll save the Hiroshima question till after we get back from the next break, but can you talk about, you know, what you’re alluding to there? I believe what you’re trying to say is that they knew that it wasn’t true what they had told you, that the Soviets, that there was this missile gap and that they were way ahead, and that we need all our Dan Ellsbergs to help us make more and better hydrogen bombs to defend ourselves from the Russians. They knew that wasn’t really right, is that was you’re saying?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, yes and no. I think that in ’58, when the word of a missile gap first arose in a strong way, in the intelligence community–that was one year after the Soviets had put up Sputnik, which we weren’t yet ready, able to do, and had launched an ICBM, which we weren’t yet able to do, so they did seem to be ahead of us in developing these weapons. And in ’58, I think the projection that they would develop a lot of weapons before we had them was probably sincerely held by people who were in the grip of the Cold War ideology, which equated Stalin and his successors with Hitler as aiming at world conquest and trying to get the drop on us totally.

In retrospect, that was not the case. They were certainly holding onto an empire in East Europe, in particular as a defense against Germany, and doing so in a totally authoritarian police state fashion, but they were not aiming at invasion of the West, West Europe, or of taking over the world, and they well understood that they were Number Two and always would be in terms of military power compared to the United States. But that was not perceived by anybody I knew, certainly in the late ’50s.

Now what I was referring to was that by 1960 the Army and Navy intelligence had been saying for two years now that the Air Force and the CIA were wrong, that they were developing, that they had developed only a handful of missiles, which was right.

SCOTT HORTON: The way I learned this as a kid, Dan, was that John Kennedy accused Nixon and Eisenhower of being soft on this issue and Nixon couldn’t refute him because it was secret information —

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Right, right.

SCOTT HORTON: — and so he had to just let the attack stand.

* * * * *

SCOTT HORTON: So, when we left off, Dan, we were talking about the missile gap, and the way I’d learned it as a kid was that Kennedy knew he was making it up when he said that Ike and Nixon had let the Soviets get way out ahead on nuclear missiles but Nixon couldn’t refute him without revealing what I am assuming is the Army report you’re referring to about the state of Soviet missile technology at the time.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Eisenhower knew, the president at the time, knew that there was no missile gap, and he knew that because we were flying the U-2 over Russia, Soviet Union, and he didn’t make that public because he felt that would lead the Soviets into more of a crash effort. I don’t know if it would have ruffled the Soviet-U.S. relations considerably and possibly pushed them into more of an arms race if he revealed their humiliating situation, that they couldn’t then shoot down the U-2 — which they did eventually in 1960 with a surface-to-air missile. But since he kept that secret very well — from the American public, not from the Soviets, who knew that the U-2 was flying over — he couldn’t use it in the campaign, or Nixon couldn’t use it, knowing that we knew that they did not have, or we had adequate knowledge that they did not have it. The situation’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s basically the case. And certainly by early ’61, and especially later in ’61 when we were flying reconnaissance satellites, it confirmed that the Soviets had only four ICBMs, at a time when we had 40 ICBMs plus thousands of bombers within range of Russia.

What — you’ve asked me, you know, how I got into this kind of planning. I think I’ve implied by saying that even today, with my total abhorrence of nuclear war, had the situation been what it was purported to be by the CIA and by the Air Force — and the Rand Corporation that I was working for at the time worked for the Air Force and believed the Air Force estimates — had that situation been true, I would have to say that it was not only reasonable, possibly even obligatory, to try to have a kind of retaliatory capability.

That wasn’t the real situation, so that wasn’t a policy we should have been on. We were going in the wrong direction.

But in early 1961, I became aware that the — as is in another piece on ellsberg.net, which you can find along with that Hiroshima piece [http://www.ellsberg.net/archive/us-nuclear-war-planning-for-a-hundred-holocausts] — I discovered that the force the US had built, and supposedly what I understood to be for retaliation or for deterrence, actually proposed to kill 600 million people in the world, including 325 million in the Soviet Union and China alone. And the Chinese were to be killed in any conflict with the Soviet Union, just to take care of them at the same time. Also virtually 300 million people outside that, not only in East Europe but in West Europe and in Afghanistan, in India and Japan and other countries that were in the neighborhood of the Soviet Union.

So that went so incredibly far beyond any reasonable requirement for deterrence, for deterring an attack, that it was a plan that as some people in the administration called it, Eisenhower himself, “overkill,” or “redundant” or “wasteful,” “unnecessary,” all of which it was. But better words would be “immoral,” “insane,” “evil.” And that has been the nature of our nuclear planning from that day to this. And that’s 50 years ago.

SCOTT HORTON: All right, now, I want to talk about a lot of that, because you have, I guess, at least two or three great pieces at Truthdig and at ellsberg.net about the war planning in general and the, well, the planning for complete human extinction basically. But still I want to talk about Hiroshima, the inaugural event of our nuclear age really, the attack — it’s the anniversary of course today, and you said earlier, and I think it was very important, you said that the reasons for the Hiroshima attack that were given to the American people were falsified. Can you please elaborate on that?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, this is one of the great hoaxes of human history, one could say. The justification that was given for the bomb, which everyone knows and nearly all Americans believe, is that the only alternative to, the only satisfactory alternative for ending the war, to using the bomb was an invasion later in the year, in 1945 and in early ’46, which was variously estimated by the Army at having 40,000 killed, the actual estimate that they made at the time, but described by Truman and others as a quarter of million, half a million, sometimes as a million U.S. dead, and many Japanese dead of course. So to avoid that, the only way of doing it was by dropping the bomb.

Reality: Virtually almost none of Truman’s advisors, civilian or military, believed by July 1945, when you could say the final decisions were made to drop the bomb, believed that an invasion would be necessary by that time. The public didn’t know that. The public had seen very fierce fighting in Okinawa up till that point, fighting to the death, even suicidally, by the Japanese, and they expected the same performance in Japan.

The intelligence community and the commanders involved and the civilians knew that that was not the case, that contrary to the performance on Okinawa, the Japanese government, led by the Emperor, was suing through the Russians for peace negotiations. The key element there was that they wanted assurance that they could keep the Emperor, which in fact we had decided we wanted them to keep, to keep order in Japan under MacArthur. We wanted the Emperor to be able to say “Surrender” to his troops–get them to stop fighting–and to provide order. Whether or not that was a good decision, another matter, that was the decision; so the main thing the Japanese wanted as assurance for surrender, was something that we were politically, and in policy terms, expecting to give them.

But rather than announce that–which nearly all of Truman’s advisors urged him to do, to propose that to the Japanese, prior to the Potsdam meeting in July and prior of course to the bomb–rather than do that, Truman and Byrnes postponed any such offer deliberately until the bomb had been demonstrated. This had a number of benefits for them: justifying a $2 billion dollar expense on a program which otherwise they expected would be questioned and investigated; but in particular showing to the Russians that we were prepared to use that weapon against an adversary, even when the Russians knew and we knew it was not necessary.

SCOTT HORTON: All right, now, Dan —

DANIEL ELLSBERG: — that was a very powerful threat to the Russians and Stalin did not fail to get that message.

* * * * *

SCOTT HORTON: But now we’re talking about nuclear war, and, well, particularly the nuking of Hiroshima because today is Hiroshima Day. And now so you laid out really well the narrative about why it was necessary, Dan, but the problem is, for me, is that even the narrative of why it was necessary, if you buy it at face value that somehow it was just okay to insist on unconditional surrender, with or without the Emperor or whatever, or to kill women and children, to nuke a city in the name of protecting the lives of American GIs who were going to have to invade the island.

Now, again, taking at face value that that was even true, which I’m not saying we should, necessarily, but for the sake or argument, would the Americans ever be justified in rounding up all of the women and children of Hiroshima and machine gunning them to death? Like the Nazis would have done or something like that? If that is what it would have taken to make them surrender? For some reason, the instantaneous poof and they’re all dead makes it more justifiable than if it was a machine gun massacre, you know what I mean? It seems like such a bogus argument even on its face.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Scott, you know, I congratulate you for raising that point, because it’s really rarely made, the argument you’ve just made. The questions you’ve just raised are really very unusual in the half century and more of the discussion of this issue.

The problem here is this. First of all, when I was 14, when the bomb was used, I already at that young age was extremely uneasy about the implications of that having been done. The public was very applauding of it, on the whole, with a number of other people also being very alarmed and uneasy about it at first, but that was covered by the joy at the fact that the war was over and the big belief that it would not have ended so quickly otherwise without the bomb. That was a fraudulent belief, but very plausible in terms of, you know, post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. The bomb was dropped. The war ended.

Almost no Americans were aware that the Japanese had been suing for surrender secretly through the Russians, who were telling us, and we also knew that through intercepting their intelligence, their communications, and decoding them at that time. So the public didn’t know that. The troops who thought they were on their way to Japan didn’t know that. So they were very happy at this big surprise that the Japanese were willing to surrender. The leaders knew that. The Americans did not. They thought from Okinawa that they would not surrender under any conditions and that only the bomb, the amazing bomb, had brought this about.

Now, coming though right to your point — there’s more to say on that other point, but on your point, even given the rationale, you could ask were Americans justified in feeling happy that the war was over at the cost of killing these civilians? Women, children, babies. Hardly any able-bodied men were in Hiroshima at that time. There were some troops there, as a matter of fact, home troops, but generally it was civilians who were killed.

So the fact that I would put to you is that unfortunately the American people did accept the morality of that, which was virtually unprecedented in terms of public consciousness, because it meant accepting the morality of a terrorist act, of killing civilians, noncombatants, for a political purpose, ending the war: people who had not threatened us individually or together, and wiping them out, including infants. That was the largest — the second largest act of terrorism in history, the first having been also by the U.S., on March 9th and 10th, 1945, which was the firebombing of Tokyo in which 80,000 to more than 100,000 people had been burned to death: as they were in Hiroshima, burned and blasted to death there and died of radioactivity. But dying, burning alive in a firestorm of Tokyo was no more humane than what the people of Hiroshima experienced, and we had been doing that deliberately to every major city in Japan from March 9th, 10th, on. In other words, for five months we had been killing Japanese as fast and as many as we possibly could, and that was a lot. It added up to about 900,000 Japanese civilians before Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

So, put this in the moral context then in the following way. For Truman and his other leaders, the others around him — many of which were not eager to see the bomb used, unlike Truman and Byrnes and Groves and Oppenheimer and Bush and a few others, but many others unhappy to see it used — but nevertheless it offered no new moral issue for them because it did exactly what we’d been doing for the last five months. It did it more cheaply and efficiently, with one bomber instead of 300. But we had 300, we had more than 300, and we were using them every day. So there was no new moral issue.

Now, for the public, they hadn’t had their noses rubbed in that exactly. It hadn’t been a total secret, what we were doing to Japan, but there wasn’t a lot of publicity either, and of course no Americans on the ground, no photographs or anything like that. So it wasn’t too much in their consciousness. For the first time, they were really confronted with Hiroshima that we had blotted out a city, not a military target but civilians, and they had to consider whether that was justified. And they did, given the explanation they were given–that this was the only way to avoid an invasion, with no consideration to be given to changing the surrender terms to terms both sides were willing to accept, including keeping the Emperor —not knowing more than that, I’m sorry to say the American people from that day to this accepted that that great act of terrorism was justified.

And that is a terribly dangerous moral conclusion — you can call it immoral, but it’s a different form of morality which says that this is a lesser evil and that it’s acceptable. And that’s of course been the basis for our acceptance of our threats of nuclear weapons from that day to this.

And we’re threatening them right now against Iran when we say all options are on the table, no options are off the table. And that doesn’t just mean military attack, which would be aggression, a crime against the peace. If the Israel or the U.S. or both of them together attacked Iran now, it would be, under the U.N. charter that we have ratified, clear-cut aggression, even without nuclear weapons. And they’ve added to that, that yes, we don’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons against their underground sites.

We’re making threats, in other words, of another Hiroshima right now, which means that we’re using the weapons, because we’re using them like a gun you point at somebody’s head, whether you pull the trigger or not, we’re using that weapon, and that’s true of both major candidates right now, as it was four years ago.

* * * * *

SCOTT HORTON: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. I’m Scott Horton, scotthorton.org is the website, keep all the archives there, including quite a few of Daniel Ellsberg on of course the Pentagon Papers as well as Iraq War stuff and nuclear war stuff, which he’s been writing about for the past, say, three years or so. He’s got a new book coming out, The American Doomsday Machine, I guess early next year you said, right, Dan?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: No, I’m finished early next year, I hope. No, it’ll be a while. It’ll be later in the year before it comes out.

By the way, let me mention, on my website, ellsberg.net, the pieces we’ve been referring to, to find them, you go to ellsberg.net and then look up Archive. There’s a button for Archive, and then under Archive, Nuclear. And you’ll see a bunch of nuclear articles including the ‘Hiroshima Day’ one three years ago that you referred to, and then another one you referred to, not by name, ‘U.S. Nuclear War Planning for a Hundred Holocausts.’ That’s what I was referring to moments ago when I said that I discovered that our planning in 1961 estimated that the effects of our using our first-strike capability would be 600 million dead, or a hundred Holocausts.

SCOTT HORTON: Amazing. Now, yeah, in the, at least in the truthdig.com version, I’m not sure if that’s like this on your website, but they/you reprint this chart of how many fatalities are to be expected. [The chart is for deaths in the Soviet Union and China only, from US preemptive attack. Total deaths worldwide from US attacks were estimated at about 600 million.]

DANIEL ELLSBERG: That’s the one I’m referring to. The title under my Archive and under Nuclear is ‘U.S. Nuclear War Planning for a Hundred Holocausts.’ But you know, something that wasn’t known then in ’61, which I — okay, two things that the planners themselves didn’t know at that point, and certainly I didn’t know. One, they were not accounting, of all things, for fire from the effects. They were looking at blasts and immediate radiation as the cause of casualties. Fire is the main effect of these thermonuclear weapons and yet they weren’t calculating casualties based on that on the grounds that it was too hard to estimate, too hard to predict, depends on fuel and time of day, the weather, things like that. Actually they could have estimated but they chose not to. That would have doubled the casualties from 600 million to about at least over a billion, 1.2 billion or so.

But even that was not really the measure of what we had prepared to do, because it took 20 more years from ’61 — it took till 1982 and ’83 for Carl Sagan and Richard Turco and a bunch of other scientists to reveal the probability of nuclear winter resulting from this, which was again an effect of the fire, namely the fire on cities, on combustible material, and on forests, which would cause smoke, something that no one had figured in. It would cause hundreds of thousands of tons of smoke to be lofted into the stratosphere by the effects of the weapons, where it would remain for what was in 1980 thought to be a year or two, what we now know from the latest calculations to be more like a decade. And that smoke would blot out the sunlight or reduce it to winter levels or fall levels, in either case destroying the crops, destroying the harvests, and leaving the world to starvation of all humans, ourselves included, but all humans, and really all primates, all mammals, all animals dependent on vegetation and dependent on harvests and crops. Ten years of twilight at best, which made growing impossible, which causes the extinction of our species and many, many other species, all so-called complex species.

In other words, it was a true doomsday machine, a machine for extermination of life on, complex life on earth. The bacteria would remain, the viruses would remain and take over, and perhaps some animals, very low, what we regard as very simple animals, but otherwise doomsday.

And that could have happened in the Berlin Crisis of 1961, in the Cuban Missile Crisis of ’62, or any year thereafter including this one. We are still poised with a doomsday machine, which the Russians, as I’ve said earlier, didn’t have at that time. They hadn’t built one. But they got rid of Khrushchev, in part because of our “victory” in the Cuban Missile Crisis, replacing him with Brezhnev, who gave the military what they wanted. And what the military wanted was what the U.S. had, exactly what the U.S. had, which they achieved and in some respects surpassed: for what that was worth, which was nothing, it bankrupted them.

And the effect was then, there have been two doomsday machines poised at each other, each prepared to go first in the event of a false alarm, of the kind of electronic false alarm that has actually happened a number of times, even in as recently as 1993, a very serious false alarm, another one in 1983, and still could happen today and could set off one or the other or both of these doomsday machines and end life on earth. There is no —

SCOTT HORTON: Now, Dan, let me ask you this real quick. I read this great article by a guy from the Los Alamos Study Group or something like that. It’s an antinuclear activist group. I think I interviewed the guy actually. And they made the case that there is this extremely powerful nuclear bomb manufacturer lobby in Washington D.C.


SCOTT HORTON: There’s billions and billions, tens of billions of dollars at stake in the construction and the facilitation of this to continue on indefinitely, and there’s virtually no one to oppose them. You have a take on that?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, you’re — I wouldn’t say no one, but no one in Congress to speak of, except Dennis Kucinich, who we’re losing, and some other members no doubt of the progressive caucus. Lynn Woolsey was good on this subject, she’s leaving Congress at the end of this year. So there is on the other hand an ICBM caucus, that’s a subset of what you were talking about in terms of a lobby. There’s an actual caucus called the ICBM caucus from states where ICBMs are located where they —

SCOTT HORTON: They’re not even ashamed of it.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Local jobs are involved in maintaining the doomsday machine, in maintaining Minuteman missiles on alert, ready to go on a false alarm any moment. And to maintain the jobs, the restaurants, the barbershops, or whatever, of the people in Wyoming and Montana and North Dakota, where these things exist, and in Utah, where they’re serviced, the missiles are serviced — those four states give us eight senators —not from the most populous states in the country, you notice — eight senators who are for maintaining the doomsday machine. So for the purpose of these jobs and the votes that they involve, we maintain the ability with our Minuteman missiles to end life on earth.

Those missiles should not exist. They should not have existed– as vulnerable land-based missiles, encouraging our own preemptive attack or subject to the Russians’ preemptive attack–they shouldn’t have existed for the last 40 years or so, even inside the Cold War ideology, the deterrence ideology of needing retaliatory strength.

We have had Poseidon submarines or Polaris or Trident submarines now, at sea for all that time and more, totally invulnerable to Soviet attack, not a temptation to the Soviets to attack even given a false alarm, not under a temptation to launch quickly like the Minuteman lest they be destroyed in a false alarm . The Minutemen have been totally not only anachronistic and unneeded for the last 40 years and more — make that almost 50 years, 48 years, since about the mid ’60s–but dangerous, lightning rods for attack, lightning rods for a doomsday machine on either side.

It’s inexcusable, intolerable, outrageous, evil, that we have maintained those forces, and the Russians too have maintained comparable forces, for the last — you could say for the entire period, but I’m emphasizing especially the last 50 years when there has been even from the Pentagon’s point of view no real rationale for them at all.

That’s why a number of us got arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base a couple of months ago protesting a launch, a test launch, of a Minuteman missile — in other words, a rehearsal for doomsday, a test of a doomsday machine which should not exist. We’re going on trial probably in October. I just got, and the others of us just got, a banning order from Vandenberg just the other day actually for the next three years. I get arrested if I set foot on Vandenberg outside the designated protest area outside the gates. Well, protest is needed.

The fact is that amazingly enough a former head of Strategic Command, General Cartwright, has actually called for the abandonment of the Minuteman missile. He was in charge of them earlier, a few years ago. Now he says they should be given up. He’s absolutely right. Will Congress do it in the face of this ‘powerful’ lobby from North Dakota and Utah and Montana and Wyoming?

SCOTT HORTON: All right, I’m sorry, we have to leave it there, Dan. Thank you so much for staying, especially for staying this whole hour with us. I really appreciate it.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Okay. Good to talk about this. The point you made earlier is very well taken, congratulations.

SCOTT HORTON: Well, thank you. Well, good. Ellsberg.net, everybody. We’ll be right back.

(The point about whether it would be justified for the Americans to simply machine gun so many civilians to death to end the was raised by historian Ralph Raico in his piece “Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” -ed.)

Listen to The Scott Horton Show