The massive obituaries to Daniel Ellsberg at the weekend in both New York Times and Washington Post were proof of the status he held in the United States.
Only Presidents get that size of obituary.
Dan Ellsberg maintained until the last his “respectability” in society as the “good whistleblower”.
Yet the publication of papers from Chelsea Manning and others, similar in so many ways to Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers, became demonised, then criminalised, and Julian became the “bad whistleblower”, or more accurately publisher of whistleblowers.
Now Dan Ellsberg totally rejected this characterisation. It infuriated him and he actively fought against it, including at Julian’s extradition hearing, on which see below.
But how did this process of characterisation happen?
To me, the fundamental point is that the United States achieved consensus that the Vietnam War had been a terrible mistake. It was fought in the interests of colonialism, for the suppression of a nation, and was ultimately unwinnable.