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PdF '10: Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg Talk Shop

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, June 14 2010

Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange have much in common. For example, the former became famous in the early 1970s for leaking to the New York Times a series of eye-opening reports on the U.S. conduct of the Vietnam war that became known as the "Pentagon Papers." And the Pentagon, according to the news last week, is very interested in having a conversation with Assange, the founder of the online clearinghouse Wikileaks, on the subject of Iraq war videos, diplomatic cables, and other sensitive materials reportedly leaked in his direction.

During the recent Personal Democracy Forum, Assange and Ellsberg shared the stage, in a manner of speaking, to discuss government leaks, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Near the last minute, Assange sent word that he thought it best for him not to travel to the United States for the session, so he was piped in. Check out the video of their talk above. Alas, Assange Skyped-in for the chat, and the quality of the connection wasn't terrific, but it's still an interesting meeting of the minds of two of the better known "leakers" in American history.

(The good folks at Boing Boing beat me to posting the video of this session. Interesting discussion happening in the comments over there.)