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 COMMENT: With the major motion picture “The Post” garnering attention and accolades, and with CIA associate Daniel Ellsberg (of Pentagon Papers fame) touring to flog his new book, we felt it appropriate to fill in some blanks about Ellsberg. (Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, which were then publicized by The New York Times , as well as The  Washington  Post , both very closely linked to the CIA.)
As discussed in FTR #978 , among other programs, we noted that the Pentagon Papers were themselves “second-level” cover-up, falsely maintaining that there was continuity from the Kennedy administration to the Johnson administration with regard to Vietnam war policy.
Douglas Valentine has written extensively about the U.S. national security establishment. Best known for his seminal work on the Phoenix program in Vietnam, he has recently published The CIA as Organized Crime .
In his recent volume, Valentine notes Daniel Ellsberg’s long-standing links to the CIA and the inability/unwillingness of what he calls “The Compatible Left” to talk about St. Ellsberg’s connections to Langley.
This underscores why Mr. Emory has, for so long, referred to the “so-called progressive sector.” 
. . . . Peter Dale Scott had also been marginalized as a result of his 1972 book, The War Conspiracy, and his 1993 book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Peter supported me, and a few years after the Phoenix book was published, I mentioned to him that I was writing an article, based on my interviews with Scotton and Conein, about Ellsberg’s deep political association with the CIA. Peter is Ellsberg’s friend, and even though the article had the potential to embarrass Ellsberg, he arranged for me to interview him. Peter gave me Ellsberg’s number and I called at a pre-arranged time. And the first thing Ellsberg said to me was, “You can’t possibly understand me because you’re not a celebrity.” . . . .
. . . . I experienced the same thing [marginalization by what Mr. Emory calls “the so-called progressive sector”] when I wrote my article about Ellsberg. No one on the American left would publish it. Eventually, Robin Ramsay published it in Lobster magazine in Great Britain. The article was titled “The Clash of the Icons” and demonstrated that Ellsberg and Al McCoy [the author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia—D.E.] held contradictory positions about the CIA’s relationship with drug traffickers in Vietnam.” McCoy accused CIA officers Ed Lansdale and Lou Conein of collaborating with Corsican drug smugglers in 1965, at the same time Ellsberg was working closely with them. But when I interviewed him, Ellsberg insisted that these CIA officers were not involved in the drug traffic, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. . . .
. . . . Maintaining Ellsberg’s image is mostly a business decision, because Ellsberg is what the Mafia calls “a money-maker.” If one of these Compatible Left media outlets has Ellsberg talk at a peace conference it’s sponsoring, a hundred fans will pay cash to see him. The Compatible Left is a business venture that’s dependent on the capitalist society within which it operates. At the same time, Ellsberg is a symbol of the illusion that change is possible within the system. He calls for reform, yes, and like the Compatible Left, he backs many important progressive programs. But more importantly, by covering up his own CIA connections, he’s reassuring the bourgeoisie that subscribes to these media outlets that everything they assume about their leaders is right. And that’s how symbolic heroes mislead the way. . . .
. . . . But there are no heroes, and system doesn’t work for everyone, like it rewards Amy Goodman at Democracy Now!  Or like it rewards [Glenn] Greenwald and [Jeremy] Scahill [of Pierre Omidyar’s Intercept].
If Ellsberg were to reveal the CIA’s secrets, he would no longer have the same reassuring effect on the liberal bourgeoisie. So his sponsors never mention that he had an affair with the mistress of a Corsican drug smuggler in Saigon. That’s not in the book or the movie. He denies his CIA buddies were involved in the drug trade, even though they were. He won’t talk about the CIA war crimes he witnessed or the contradictions of capitalism. . . .