Pax Christi USA sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Daniel Ellsberg, who died on Friday, June 16. Ellsberg, 92, died four months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Ellsberg was best known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, secret documents which revealed that the U.S. government knew, years before it ended, that the war in Vietnam could not be won, exposing the duplicity of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. He was charged with espionage, but the case against him eventually was dismissed.
In the 50 years since the release of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was an anti-war activist, speaker, and prolific writer, especially dedicated to raising awareness of and resistance to nuclear weapons.
Though he was not a person of faith, Ellsberg respected Pax Christi members and others who choose to act from a faith perspective. We were honored to have his participation in our events, such as the demonstration at the White House against the Iraq war in March 2003.
Ellsberg’s son, Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, has written this essay about his father as a “person of hope.”
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.