'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, May 13, 2005

Whistle-blower on Whistle-blower 

At a conference to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, said Vanunu should get the Nobel Prize:

Ellsberg, who said he recently spent five days with Vanunu in Israel, dismissed the government's claim that Vanunu still has secrets that could endanger national security as "absurd."

"It's clearly an attempt to prolong his sentence indefinitely, sending him back to prison for years," Ellsberg told reporters Wednesday before addressing the review conference.

"The message this sends to potential Vanunus in other states is very clear, and the question at this conference is whether the nations of the world should encourage or strongly protest that message," he said. "The fact is more Vanunus are urgently needed in this world."

Ellsberg said that if, for instance, an Indian technician had revealed the country's plan for a nuclear test, international pressure might have prevented it -- and "how much better India, Pakistan and the world would be."

In the early 1960s, Ellsberg said he was working in the Pentagon on command and control of nuclear weapons and nuclear war plans and should have done what Vanunu did and "tell my country and the world the insanity and moral obscenity of our war planning, which remains the same today."

"I regret profoundly that I did not reveal that fact publicly, with documents," he said.

[ ... ]

Ellsberg said British nuclear scientist Joseph Rotblat, who won the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for his work against nuclear weapons with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, has repeatedly nominated Vanunu for the award.

"He should get the Nobel Peace Prize as Joseph Rotblat has frequently recommended," he said.

The next hearing of Vanunu's current legal battle occurs in a week. I believe he is currently under house arrest.

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