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Anthony J. Russo, 71; Rand staffer helped leak Pentagon Papers
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2008
Posted: August 17th, 2008

Anthony J. Russo, a Rand researcher in the late 1960s who encouraged Daniel Ellsberg to leak the Pentagon Papers and stood trial with him in the Vietnam War-era case that triggered debates over freedom of the press and hastened the fall of a president, has died. In 1971, Russo helped Ellsberg copy a classified government history of the Vietnam War that Ellsberg later supplied to the New York Times, ... dubbed the Pentagon Papers. The secret study provided evidence of lying by government officials, including several presidents, about the scope and purposes of the war. "I explained [to Ellsberg] how the so-called enemy, the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese, were actually the legitimate parties and how the U.S. presence was illegal, immoral and unwise. I supplied him with reams of documentation," Russo later wrote. He was fired from Rand a short time later. Russo said that when he heard about the fabrication of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, he urged Ellsberg to "turn that over to the newspapers." Publication of the first installments in June [1971] sparked an FBI manhunt for Ellsberg. Russo was harassed by police and placed under surveillance. When he was subpoenaed by a grand jury, he refused to testify against Ellsberg and was jailed for 45 days. A few days before Christmas 1971, both men were indicted on charges of conspiracy, theft and espionage. "I will be eternally grateful to Tony for his courage and partnership," Ellsberg said. "He set an example of willingness to risk everything for his country and for the Vietnam that he loved that very few, unfortunately, have emulated."

Note: For background information on "false-flag operations" like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, click here.

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