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What if we’d had WikiLeaks at these pivotal moments?


Daniel Ellsberg
Congressional Hearing, May 18, 1973

For me as an American to read, in our own official secret documents, about the origins of the Vietnam conflict and of our participation in it was to see our involvement – and killing we had done and were still doing – naked of any shred of legitimacy from the beginning. If the war was unjust, as I now regard it, that meant that every Vietnamese killed by Americans or by the proxies we had financed since 1950 had been killed by us without justification. I could think of no other word for that but murder. Mass murder.

If we’d had WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the Vietnam War we may have been able to expose the Gulf of Tonkin deception and saved up to five million Vietnamese and more than 50,000 American lives.

Mohammad Mossadegh, Iran’s democratically elected prime minister until he was deposed in a CIA-backed coup d’état.

Yes, my sin – my greater sin, and even my greatest sin – is that I nationalized Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire … This at cost to myself and my family and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property … With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.

If we’d had WikiLeaks in 1953, we may have been able to stop the US-backed coup d’état in Iran and avoid half a century of deadly and continuing enmity between the two countries.

On September 11, 1973, Salvador Allende, gave this speech on live radio, with gunfire and explosions audible in the background, following the US-backed coup d’état against him led by General Augsto Pinochet. He died moments later.

Surely, this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The air force has bombed the antennas of Radio Magallanes. My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May there be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath … Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!

Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. Force can dominate us, but social processes can be arrested by neither crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.

Workers of my country, I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had …

The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, much sooner than later, great avenues will again be opened, and through them will pass the free man, to construct a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!

If we’d had WikiLeaks in 1973 we may have been able to stop Nixon and Kissinger’s secret vendetta against the legitimately elected government of Chile and the brutal rule of General Pinochet that followed.[cherry_banner image=”4701″ title=”Adbusters #94″ url=”″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Post Normal[/cherry_banner]