Preface: In 1973, I spent six weeks in a spiritual training program which included Patricia Ellsberg as a participant. My wife and I were invited to lunch with her and husband Daniel.
Trapped in a narcissistic bubble, I paid little attention to the news about her husband, Daniel. He had made headlines—something about sneaking out confidential information about the Vietnam War, something about ‘The Pentagon Papers.’ I was oblivious of the honor I experienced being in the presence of these two kind, unassuming people.
Had I known the dramatic and horrific details documented in The Most Dangerous Man in America, had I read The Pentagon Papers I would have been anxious, intimidated and humbled in their presence. Perhaps my oblivion made for a more enjoyable luncheon for us four.
Daniel Ellsberg revealed a pattern of United States government lies, cover-ups, and misinformation that supported the establishment and maintenance of a decades-long war in Southeast Asia. And, of course, history repeated itself with the 2003 war in Iraq—a contagious, intractable war that continues today.
Although the history of the United States government’s malfeasance is the primary reason this film is so important, Judith Ehrlich’s and Rick Goldsmith’s The Most Dangerous Man in America is much more than a history lesson. It is a classic story of conversion and redemption.
Ellsberg was a solid patriot, a military man, a government man, a brilliant intellect and strategist, thoroughly dedicated to supporting military solutions to global issues. This film documents Ellsberg’s emotional journey as he realized the malfeasance of which he was an unintentional yet integral part.
The Most Dangerous Man in America is an absolute must-see.