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Daniel Ellsberg: Woodward Should Give Afghan Docs to WikiLeaks

Daniel Ellsberg speaks at a WikiLeaks news conference in London, Oct. 23, 2010.
Daniel Ellsberg, the former military intelligence contractor who 40 years ago leaked the Pentagon Papers, made a surprise appearance Saturday at the WikiLeaks news conference in London to heartily endorse the group's publication of almost 400,000 Iraq war logs and warn of a U.S. government trying to close the shutters on military decision making and warfare.

Ellsberg congratulated WikiLeaks and its partners for disseminating the grim details about the war, which highlight under-reported Iraqi deaths and myriad alleged human rights abuses.

Ellsberg said revelations made months ago by WikiLeaks relating to the ongoing war in Afghanistan didn't go far enough, and he urged journalist and author Bob Woodward to release the top secret documents and records he gained access to in researching his latest book, "Obama's Wars," to shed further light on the subject.

"WikiLeaks offers itself as the best vehicle for doing that," said Ellsberg, even suggesting that researchers working for Woodward could provide the top secret materials to Assange's organization.

Ellsberg said if the documents Woodward had access to were to be made public, it could "come close" to being a Pentagon Papers on the Afghan war.

"Secrecy is essential to empire," said Ellsberg, after accusing President Obama of continuing a trend set by his predecessor, George W. Bush, of trying to greatly stem the flow of U.S. war planning and fighting information to the public through the reinterpretation of laws already in existence.

He even speculated that, if the Republican party retakes control of the U.S. Congress in an election set to take place in just more than a week, new laws would soon be drafted to keep secrets more securely behind closed doors.

He said the GOP was "almost certain to pass" a law mirroring the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom.

Ellsberg accused President Obama of playing a legal "experiment" with the arrest of army whistleblower Spc. Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking thousands of Iraq war documents to WikiLeaks. Manning is now in custody.

Ellsberg said Manning was a "hero" in his opinion.

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