Daniel Ellsberg, the American known for leaking the “Pentagon Papers” in 1971, confidential documents that revealed the planning of the war in Vietnam, died at the age of 92, his family announced in a statement. The cause of his death was pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis he received on February 17, and he was surrounded by his family in his last moments.
In March, Ellsberg publicly reported his incurable disease and said he had three to six months to live.
The former military analyst became famous for leaking approximately 7,000 classified documents that uncovered the truth behind the lies of various US governments regarding the Vietnam War (1955–1975).
These documents revealed that senior US officials had misled the public by claiming that the US could win the war in Vietnam, when in fact the documents showed that it was an impossible situation. They also revealed that Washington had opted for military escalation despite the lack of a chance of victory. These revelations were crucial in changing public opinion in the United States regarding the war.
The leak of the “Pentagon Papers” had a major impact on society and generated significant debate about the Vietnam War. Ellsberg was targeted by the government and faced criminal charges, but was eventually acquitted due to irregularities in the legal process.
Daniel Ellsberg’s death marks the end of a life dedicated to advocating for transparency and accountability in government. His legacy will live on as a reminder of the importance of investigative journalism and the responsibility of citizens to question and challenge the actions of their governments.