Wednesday, June 9, 2010
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Ellsberg, you’re a hero and an icon of the left. But we hear you’re not too happy with President Obama anymore.
Daniel Ellsberg: I voted for him and I will probably vote for him again, as opposed to the Republicans. But I believe his administration in some key aspects is nothing other than the third term of the Bush administration.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How so?
Ellsberg: I think Obama is continuing the worst of the Bush administration in terms of civil liberties, violations of the constitution and the wars in the Middle East.
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SPIEGEL ONLINE: For example?
Ellsberg: Take Obama’s explicit pledge in his State of the Union speech to remove “all” United States troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. That’s a total lie. I believe that’s totally false. I believe he knows that’s totally false. It won’t be done. I expect that the US will have, indefinitely, a residual force of at least 30,000 US troops in Iraq.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What about Afghanistan? Isn’t that a justifiable war?
Ellsberg: I think that there’s an inexcusable escalation in both countries. Thousands of US officials know that bases and large numbers of troops will remain in Iraq and that troop levels and bases in Afghanistan will rise far above what Obama is now projecting. But Obama counts on them to keep their silence as he deceives the public on these devastating, costly, reckless ventures.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: You doubt not only Obama’s missions abroad but also his politics back home in the US. Why exactly are you accusing the president of violating civil liberties?
Ellsberg: For instance, the Obama administration is criminalizing and prosecuting whistleblowers to punish them for uncovering scandals within the federal government â€¦
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 10:12 am