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Ayers writes: "Vietnam War-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, 84, known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has once again been arrested for protesting U.S. nuclear weapon arsenals, this time at Lawrence Livermore Labs on Thursday, August 7, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan."

Daniel Ellsberg is arrested during a demonstration to protest nuclear weapons outside the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (photo: Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
Daniel Ellsberg is arrested during a demonstration to protest nuclear weapons outside the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (photo: Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

Daniel Ellsberg Arrested at Lawrence Livermore Lab on 70th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima

By Jane Ayers, Reader Supported News

20 August 15


ietnam War-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, 84, known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has once again been arrested for protesting U.S. nuclear weapon arsenals, this time at Lawrence Livermore Labs on Thursday, August 7, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Ellsberg was arrested with fifty other protestors from the Bay Area, while 250 more joined in support to draw attention to the 2016 funding of Lawrence Livermore Labs: $1 billion for nuclear weapons, designing new long-range warheads, and upgrading existing nuclear arsenals.

According to a video of the protest, Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst, addressed the protestors outside the fence of Lawrence Livermore Lab, stating, “The killing at Hiroshima was mass murder.… In the target plans that I worked on, and ones I worked on in Russia, the smoke will go into the stratosphere as it did in Hiroshima by higher firestorm. But simultaneously, thousands of cities, with pillars of smoke, will join around the globe blotting out the sunlight sufficiently to kill harvests around the world, and condemn nearly the entire population of the world to death. It’s the Doomsday Machine, The End. We’ve known that, not at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but for the last twenty-five years, and yet these threats go on; the threats go on. They are threats of ending nearly all life. It’s never a good day to die, but it is a good day to get arrested.”

Japanese elder Takashi Tanemori also spoke to the rally. He was only 8 years old when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and he lost his whole family and became blind from the atomic blast. He spoke of the importance of forgiveness, but for all to keep trying to eradicate all nuclear threats in the world.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, after speaking to the rally of supporters from the Livermore Conversion Project and the Tri-Valley CARES (Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment), Ellsberg and the fifty other protestors lay on the ground (in chalk lines drawn around their bodies to symbolize the victims of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) blocking the West Gate of the facility. Reports state that members of the Lawrence Livermore Lab police force showed up in riot gear with batons, and after demands by the Alameda County Sheriffs to disperse, Ellsberg and others were nonviolently arrested, cited for trespassing, and immediately released.

Within hours after Ellsberg was released, he appeared on the Scott Horton Radio Show, where he further explained, “The possibility of human extinction as a result of American or Russian, and/or together, nuclear weapons that are on alert facing each other right now still exists, and still reflects American policy under our current president, as well as his predecessors.”

To understand the authenticity of the knowledge of Daniel Ellsberg, look to his bio: In the early 1960s, Ellsberg, a former Rand employee, was a consultant to the Departments of Defense and State, and to the White House, where he specialized in resolving problems of the command & control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He drafted the Secretary of Defense Guidance to the Joint Chiefs of Staff concerning operational plans for conducting a general nuclear war.

He has been arrested in nonviolent civil disobedience actions close to one hundred times, with 50+ geared to protesting nuclear weapons, e.g. at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon Production Facility, the Nevada Test Site, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Design Facility, the vicinity of Ground Zero at the Nevada Test Site, and at the Vandenberg Missile Test Site. Over the past few years, he has been arrested at Vandenberg Air Force Base to protest the testing of dummy ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) to show the danger of having land-based missiles.

In addition, Ellsberg protested nuclear policies during the Carter and Reagan administrations, questioning President Carter’s idea of using neutron bombs and President Reagan’s promotion of Cruise and Pershing missiles. In the 1980s, Ellsberg also traveled with a Greenpeace voyage to Leningrad, protesting Russian nuclear testing, and was expelled from the Soviet Union at the time.

In 1995, Ellsberg launched an Abolition Fast, in which he and the Rev. William Sloan Coffin fasted on water for twenty-six days during the Non-Proliferation Treaty Renewal Conference held at the United Nations. The fast also included nuclear activists pledging to fast one or more days during the U.N. conference.

A documentary movie of his life work, “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” is highly recommended to grasp the nuclear policies he has dedicated his life to raising to higher standards, and to highlight the global need for nuclear disarmament.

Yes, it’s a good day when Daniel Ellsberg gets arrested.

Breaking News: On August 19, 2015, just two weeks after Ellsberg’s recent arrest on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. plans to once again launch a dummy Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (in California). It will target the Kawajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). This test comes also in the midst of the major lawsuits filed by the Marshall Islands, called the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, which are attempting to hold the nine nuclear nations accountable for not adhering to the provisions in the Non-Proliferation Treaty to disarm. The lawsuit has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (SF). David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and consultant to the Marshall Islands in the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, stated today, “While the U.S. continues to develop and test launch its nuclear-capable missiles, the Marshall Islands is seeking a judgment against the U.S. and other nuclear-armed nations for failure to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations under international law.” Krieger previously was arrested with Ellsberg at Vandenberg Air Force Base in protest of other test launches of ICBMs.

Jane Ayers is an independent journalist (USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, etc.), and is a regular contributor to Reader Supported News. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit her website.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+44 # Activista 2015-08-20 11:26
we must STOP all the nuclear testing - make Middle East nuclear free (Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs) -
-70 # Roland 2015-08-20 12:02
While Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs, they have been responsible with them. It looks like, due to our new deal with Iran, we will have to hope Iran will be just as responsible.
+72 # REDPILLED 2015-08-20 17:28
Israel refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferati on Treaty, which Iran has signed.

The supposed "only democracy" in the Middle East reserves the "right" to threaten its neighbors with mass murder, supported by the U.S.
+16 # Krackonis 2015-08-20 19:16
Evil sides with Evil. It's the way of things.
+6 # ritawalpoleague 2015-08-21 09:29
Daniel Ellsberg, with his brilliance, courage and determination, was (and will always be) one of the reasons that I could not say no when asked to get onboard the plaintiff's legal team in the little and not covered in the 'mess media' case of the century - Hedges, et. al. v. Obama, et. al..

In addition to our true hero Ellsberg, our plaintiff list includes numerous heroes - some of our best journalists, peace and justice activists, and Hon. Birgetta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic member of parliament who is and was a protector and assister of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

Please n.b.: while Hillary Clinton was Sect. of State (and for years, the wannabe first woman POTUS), the U.S. State Dept. banned the taking in Iceland and eventual entry into evidence of a deposition ('depo.') of the Hon. Birgetta. Evidently, Hillary thought only of herself and need to prevent 'leaking' out of her and Bill Clinton's corruption vs. placing first and foremost the best interests U.S. citizens and people across the globe, by her failure to support plaintiffs in this so important case in New York Fed. Dist. Court.

Given the law that is now in place via this case making it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Supremes ruling in defendants favor, we and Daniel Ellsberg should be grateful that military did not arrest him, and throw him into 'indefinite detention', with no due process (trial). WHAT A MESS
+18 # fletch1165 2015-08-20 19:15
Weapons grade nano thermate is produced at the Demona nuclear facility. We all know where this substance appeared in 2001. It either came from there or Lawrence Livermore. There are few other options for weapon's grade nano-thermate. And none that could get here or even travel the nation except through inside airport security.
+28 # geraldom 2015-08-21 00:33
Quoting Roland:
While Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs, they have been responsible with them. It looks like, due to our new deal with Iran, we will have to hope Iran will be just as responsible.

I happen to be Jewish, and it is Israel that we have to worry about more than Iran. Right now, Israel is using its cache of nuclear weapons to be able to threaten and strike not only Iran, but Syria and Lebanon. Israel is using nuclear blackmail to threaten Iran with possible future air attacks because it feels that Iran wouldn't dare retaliate against Israel which would be Iran's right to do so.

Iran is not the threat here. Iran simply wants to be left alone. Iran has no intention or desire to attack anyone. It is Israel and the United States that has constantly and persistently threatened Iran with attacks. It was Israel (with the blessing of the U.S.) who assassinated (murdered) several Iranian nuclear scientists.

It has been Israel who has illegally and preemptively attacked a sovereign nation, Syria, several times with its aircraft and drones without any legal justification or provocation. Syria has every right to fight back, to retaliate against these illegal attacks, but it hasn't yet.
+15 # Glen 2015-08-21 06:58
Sadly, nuclear weapons include more than the large warheads that yes, are dramatic, but too heavy. Israel and the U.S. have used smaller types, as bunker busters, illegally and regularly. Israel has attacked with a vengeance that goes unreported.

Iran will not attack because, as has been said, they do not want to commit suicide - the entire nation.
+6 # Activista 2015-08-21 14:49
"The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons became public quite recently, although Tel Aviv has been concealing this fact carefully for several decades with the support of the United States and several Western European countries. Some Western experts estimate that the Jewish state may dispose of over 400 nuclear warheads which were created in the underground bunkers of a nuclear centre in Dimona (in the desert of Negev) and other secret laboratories. Obviously such a nuclear arsenal is unjustifiably big for a country declaring a commitment to its defensive policy instead of offensive one. According to some experts, these nuclear weapons were adopted by the Israeli army, including in the submarines carrying out continuous watch in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean."
First appeared:
and Israel submarines with nuclear weapons next to Iran - Persian Gulf?
+62 # Dongi 2015-08-20 13:41
Ellsberg is a citizen of the world and he takes his duties seriously. Arrested close to 100 times with 50+ involving nuclear weapons, his courage and tenacity for the sake of all of us is beyond praiseworthy. We certainly need a limitation on our nuclear weapons as well as a comprehensive treaty of disarmment with the Russians. With a few more 84 year olds like Ellsberg, I think we will achieve these ends.
+42 # dipierro4 2015-08-20 19:32
...With a few more 84 year olds like Ellsberg, I think we will achieve these ends....

Better: With a bunch of TWENTY-four olds like him. Like, a whole generation. That is what we need.
-23 # jwb110 2015-08-20 17:22
Whenever I am confronted with this argument with friends I always preface my remark by saying that the use of the A Bomb set us on a narrow road to disaster when the Nation becomes enamored of military solutions to all things. That said, having relatives who served in the war, had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor there would never have been a need for an A Bomb.
+27 # Merlin 2015-08-20 17:45
You believe:
“…had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor there would never have been a need for an A Bomb.”

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Read this and the link below from which I pasted it, and you decide. Roosevelt wanted war and pushed for it!

“Accordingly, the Roosevelt administration, while curtly dismissing Japanese diplomatic overtures to harmonize relations, imposed a series of increasingly stringent economic sanctions on Japan. In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. “On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials.” Under this authority, “[o]n July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted.” Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, “on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.” Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt “froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan.”[2] The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia.”
+19 # dipierro4 2015-08-20 19:29
I'm not a historian at all, but I would add: Before the things that Merlin named, the U.S. had marched across the Pacific, conquering everything it could, and wouldn't Japan have seen itself as next in line? We knocked over Hawaii, then spent a long time crushing the Philippine people in a bloody way marked by many atrocities. Before that, Admiral Perry made his "visit" to Japan. Seems to me that Japan might have had some legitimate fears. Seen in that light, the Pearl Harbor attack more justifiable as a preemptive war than some of the things that our nation has done.
+4 # 2015-08-21 01:27
In the matter of Pearl Harbor and the use of the atom bombs on Japan, iit would be helpful were the discussants here to read James Bradley’s new book ‘China Mirage’. His ‘The Imperial Cruise’ is an important prequel.
+14 # tedrey 2015-08-20 18:14
Not really. The A-Bomb was intended for the Nazis. The US were really eager to use it on Berlin. When Germany folded first, Japan got the "consolation prize" instead.
+19 # fletch1165 2015-08-20 19:18
had the U.S. not signed the stifling 5:5:3 policy at the Washington Naval conference in the 1920's there would never have been a Pearl Harbor attack. If you act like a fascist you create wars. PERIOD.
+38 # REDPILLED 2015-08-20 17:25
Nuclear weapons are weapons of omnicide. Only true sociopaths seriously consider using them on people.

Mutual Assured Destruction is the recipe for mass suicide and mass murder.

Though the U.S. is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferati on Treaty, it is now "upgrading" its nuclear weapons arsenal at a cost of more than $900 billion over the next decade, thanks to the Noble Peace Prize President.
+24 # tedrey 2015-08-20 18:19
And as a signatory, we are supposedly committed to working for the soonest possible elimination of all nuclear weapons. Any move by the US (and other sociopathic governments) to fulfil that treaty obligation is quite "conspicuous by its absence".
+35 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-08-20 17:48
#jwb110--- Do you know why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor? Do you know why Roosevelt didn't block it in spite of prior knowledge? Do your homework before you state "had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor there would never have been a need for an A Bomb." The bombing of civilian population in both Hiroshima AND Nagasaki was a WAR CRIME.
+37 # treespeaker 2015-08-20 18:42
Daniel Ellsberg is truly a national hero. God bless him.
+33 # madams12 2015-08-20 19:23
Lost in this discussion about whistle-blowers and rogue governments, like Israel, is to remember the sacrifice of man of conscience, Mordechai Vanunu who was the one man who revealed to the world the fact that Israel DID have WMD! Nuclear weapons at Dimona Textile Factory. All the finger pointing and assignations of subterfuge and sneaky behavior that Netanyahu has spewed at IRAN is projection of their own underhanded and law breaking weapons developments, including maintaining chemical and biological weapons labs in large population areas of Israel proper. Ellsberg embraced Vanunu as 'his brother' in anti nuclear opposition. Viva Ellsberg and FREE VANUNU!.
+17 # Dongi 2015-08-21 02:28
This is very well stated and I certainly second your last thought; "Viva Ellsberg and FREE VANUNU!." They are both such brave and committed souls.
+9 # tedrey 2015-08-21 06:54
Mordechai Vanunu's 18-year imprisonment ended in 2004, although the Israeli government keeps throwing him in jail for a few days or months on general principles. A few months ago he was arrested (and released) for talking to foreigners for half an hour. He's not supposed to do that.

He is a true hero of our times, and his continued restrictions are both amusing and appalling.
+20 # Robbee 2015-08-20 22:08
re: Daniel Ellsberg is truly a national hero.

ellsberg and ayers, manning and snowden, bernie and warren, and some few more, are national treasures - our nation is truly blessed, during these disastrously oppressive of times, by their lives and fearless leadership!
+14 # bobaka 2015-08-21 00:46
Men like Ellsworth exemplify the best impulses of human beings in his sane forms of action and expression in the face of murderous lies. It is difficult to believe in human idealism. It is as if people are not themselves and the characters they play usually have no dignity. I am 74 and always have held Ellsberg as an early Assange. He explained the hideous perversion that elitist power represented, and will always represent. For class culture is psychosis culture structured by the psychotic 1%. He clarified part of the psychosis of power and continued the line of thought that has come up out of our collective past that has as its goal the common persons' victory in the struggle against tyranny.
+8 # Dongi 2015-08-21 02:30
Well said, indeed!
+5 # Underledge 2015-08-21 05:06
Perhaps I'm giving the President more credit than he deserves but to assume he is aware of budgets for all things is perhaps unfair. However, since Congress has approved funding Livermore Labs: $1 billion to design new warheads and upgrading existing nuclear weapons – what is he going to do about it? That is the question that requires an immediate answer!
+11 # harleysch 2015-08-21 06:16
President Obama is not only pushing for modernization of our nuclear forces, but is moving NATO eastward, in a deliberate provocation of Russia. Obama backed the neo-Nazi led coup in Ukraine, and has deployed U.S. forces to train the Ukrainian National Guard forces, which include the infamous Azov Battalion.

As the European Leadership Network warned in a report last week, we are closer to nuclear war today than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis. While the neo-con and liberal imperialist media blame Putin, it is Obama who is responsible for this existential crisis.
+2 # Dongi 2015-08-22 00:00
Kind of makes you wonder who Obama is really working for. New and better missiles, supporting the neonazis in Ukraine, pushing Russia toward nuclear war, Dare we think the unthinkable? Is his program armagheddon?
+10 # Rockster 2015-08-21 08:27
I'm wondering , " Where is the benefit to war mongering ? Who benefits ? Exactly how to those people/ groups perceive that value?"
All of the major corporations that built the war machines in WW II did not just survive but hugely prospered during and after the war. None of the individual civilians or soldiers involved got anything but misery. So if Corporations are to be treated as citizens under law, what we have is a kind of End Game. It feels like the power elites at the top of these corps all over the world live in a complete state of mesmerism re their relationship with our world and all it's creatures. They have created and nurtured this class warfare, and then make themselves so fearful of the common man that they double down on repression, spying. imprisioning, killing like they've fallen in love with Armageddon. Even the great spiritual leaders like Jesus, Mohammed have had their teachings perverted and turned against their core values. There is no life, love in war or terrorism . Who are the true terrorists and how can they be stopped ?
+4 # Firefox11 2015-08-21 16:47
You have asked the real question Rockster, "who are the true terrorists and how can they be stopped?" Although not religious I refer us all to a quote from I Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known".
+12 # davehaze 2015-08-21 10:17
Americans, police in riot gear, on full alert, with their face protectors in place, to arrest some old folk and nonviolent protesters. And why the camouflage uniforms? To sneak up on the protesters?

Insane. We are so used to this that we don't even notice that our police have become combat soldiers and we the people are their enemy!

The Obama administration has decided that our nuclear bomb industry needs a trillion dollar upgrade and I would not be surprised how so few Americans are aware of this. Does the government have plans to use tactical nuclear bombs against the American people if we take to the streets? I wouldn't be surprised.
+6 # Firefox11 2015-08-21 16:42
Unfortunately we are living a nightmare with no sane end in sight. And all the rhetoric about freedom and democracy is just empty talk when citizens attempt to exercise their right of dissent. As my Dad, a decorated WWII veteran used to say, "dissent is American".

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