Left-Wing Icon Daniel Ellsberg: ‘Obama Deceives the Public’


Marc Pitzke
Spiegel Online
June 9, 2010

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Daniel Ellsberg, legendary leaker of the “Pentagon Papers” in 1971, still has a bone to pick with the White House. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, the 79-year-old peace activist accuses President Obama of betraying his election promises — in Iraq, in Afghanistan and on civil liberties.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Ellsberg, you’re a hero and an icon of the left. But we hear you’re not too happy with President Obama anymore.

Daniel Ellsberg: I voted for him and I will probably vote for him again, as opposed to the Republicans. But I believe his administration in some key aspects is nothing other than the third term of the Bush administration.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How so?

Ellsberg: I think Obama is continuing the worst of the Bush administration in terms of civil liberties, violations of the constitution and the wars in the Middle East.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: For example?

Ellsberg: Take Obama’s explicit pledge in his State of the Union speech to remove “all” United States troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. That’s a total lie. I believe that’s totally false. I believe he knows that’s totally false. It won’t be done. I expect that the US will have, indefinitely, a residual force of at least 30,000 US troops in Iraq.

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