Daniel Ellsberg testifies about the Pentagon Papers at a Senate subcommittee meeting on May 16, 1973. (AP)
How does the federal government celebrate the anniversary of one of the biggest leaks of all time? By declassifying the entire trove of documents.
Granted, it’s unlikely that the government will make a habit of this, but at noon on Monday, the National Archives and Records Administration declassified all 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers. First leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, when the New York Times published a series of reports based on the papers on June 13 of that year, Americans learned the truth behind the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. The Times’ articles triggered a constitutional crisis over freedom of the press and a series of legal battles with the Nixon administration that culminated in a Supreme Court victory for the Times.
So why now? The bulk of the Pentagon Papers has been available to readers for 40 years. The declassified documents will include every single word, reportedly including 11 secret words that the government had initially said would remain classified. We speak with the original source himself, Ellsberg, on the Pentagon Papers, past and present.
Daniel Ellsberg, Former military analyst, author of “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers”
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a top military strategist working for the RAND Corporation, leaked a 7,000-page document known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. Disenchanted with the nation’s conduct in Vietnam, Ellsberg believed the release of the top secret paper–which outlined the ‘secret history’ of the war–was crucial to educating the public about the government’s lies and misdeeds. This documentary chronicles the media and political frenzy that Ellsberg unleashed, and traces the effect of the leak on public perception of both the war and the White House.
The City of Boston has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, with interim goals of a 25 and 50 percent reduction by 2020 and 2030, respectively, relative to a 2005 baseline. As part of its mitigation effort, the City is collaborating with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC) and the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Boston University to produce a Carbon Free Boston report in 2018. This report will quantify the most effective combination of technologies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the energy, buildings, transportation, and public service sectors. Carbon Free Boston will also inform the GHG strategies that will be articulated in the City’s Climate Action Plan Update that will be released in 2018.
The ISE is the technical lead in the development of a modeling platform that will identify a set of policies and technologies that effectively and efficiently meet the City’s emissions reductions targets. In that role, the ISE will coordinate the work of consultants, staff working with the City and the Commonwealth, academics, and others with expertise in specific sectors.
Despite the reduction of greenhouse gases by Boston and many other cities across the world, the global climate will continue to change for many years because of human’s contribution of pollution to the Earth’s atmosphere.
We are already noticing the effects of climate change here in Boston. We must adapt to the changes that have already occurred, and begin preparing for those to come. The 2014 City of Boston Climate Action Plan Update builds upon themes found in the 2011 Plan that integrates climate preparedness into all planning, program development, and project reviews undertaken by the City. It also advances implementation through increased community and intergovernmental engagement. As it has for many years, the City will strive to lead by example in preparing its own facilities and systems.
The City continues to monitor measures of risk, including sea-level averages, average annual temperature, number of days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and precipitation patterns. The City is also working with local experts and other cities to understand and develop better indicators of urban and community preparedness that can be used to establish more concrete goals.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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