This is a project of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers.
Truth Telling Project
The Truth-Telling Project encourages whistleblowing in the national interest. It urges current and recently retired government officials to reveal the truth to Congress and the public about governmental wrongdoing, lies and cover-up. It aims to change the norms and practices that sustain the cult of secrecy, and to de-legitimize silence that costs lives.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a dominant practice of the Bush administration is cover-up, on urgent matters of life and death; cover-up of the real motives for the war and of the foreseeable costs and problems of the occupation; cover-up of Presidential inattention before 9-11 to warnings of imminent attacks by Al Qaeda; and above all, concealment of the judgment of the Administration's own counter-terrorism chiefs that war in Iraq is a disaster for the war on terrorism.
There are surely hundreds if not thousands of officials within the Bush administration who know about these and other cover-ups and the dangers they conceal, but who have not spoken out. I am now leading an effort, called the Truth-Telling Project, to encourage such insiders to go to Congress and the press and tell the truth, with documents.
I believe we are in a national crisis, which justifies and requires acts of unauthorized truth-telling. I am calling for such patriotic whistle-blowing to take place right now.
I am devoting myself full-time to encouraging patriotic revelation of the lies, cover-ups, and abuses of the Bush administration. The Truth-Telling Project aims to reach current insiders, as well as journalists, lawyers, lawmakers, and the American public with a message transcending party or administration:
Truth-telling to Congress and the public is not disloyal in America: it is an expression of the higher loyalty officials owe to the Constitution, the rule of law, and the sovereign public. It is a courageous, patriotic, and effective way to serve our country. The time to speak out is now.
—Daniel Ellsberg, August 2004
A Call to Patriotic Whistleblowing
The first activity of the Truth-Telling Project was to help organize and draft a Call to Patriotic Whistleblowing, addressed to current government insiders, signed by 11 former government employees. The Call was released to the public at a press conference in Washington, DC on September 9, 2004.
The Truth-Telling Coalition
The Truth-Telling Coalition, comprised of high-level national security truth-tellers, as well as non-profit whistleblower organizations, provides a personal and legal support network for each other and for government insiders considering becoming truth-tellers. Current coalition members include Sibel Edmonds, Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley, the Project on Government Oversight, and the ACLU. (Bios and info on members will be available on the Truth-Telling Coalition Website, currently under construction. )
The Coalition stemmed from a symposium entitled "When Silence Is Complicity: What Should Officials Do? Whistleblowers Speak Out," held at American University on September 8, 2004, co-organized by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, the Truth-Telling Project, and the Department of History at American University. At the symposium, the first-ever gathering of high-level national security whistleblowers, many of the participants discussed the isolation they felt after breaking ranks with their colleagues and making the step to come forward as truth-tellers. In the discussions following the symposium, some of the participants discussed the value of forming a support-network for current and potential whistleblowers, and the Truth-Telling Coalition was launched.
The Project is currently working with national security truth-tellers Sibel Edmonds, Katharine Gun, and Frank Grevil to assist them in their truth-telling activities. On September 22, 2004, the Project helped organize an Open Letter to the Danish Government and People, signed by 8 former and current US and UK government employees, in support of Danish truth-teller Frank Grevil.
Daniel Ellsberg continues to write a number of articles, and give radio and television interviews on the issues addressed by the Project. These include recent appearances NPR's Morning Edition and on MSNBC, as well as op-eds on whistleblowing in the UK Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Harvard International Review, and Harpers magazine. These articles aim to reach current insiders, with the goal of encouraging them to consider becoming whistleblowers. To see Daniel Ellsberg's writing, interviews and lectures on the subject of whistleblowing, go to the Writing & Interviews page.
The Truth-Telling Project is working with the Center for National Security Studies, the Project on Governmental Oversight and the ACLU to locate first-rate lawyers who will announce publicly their readiness to provide pro-bono legal counsel for government insiders contemplating truth-telling. At the request of the Truth-Telling Project, the ACLU has announced that is will provide free legal advice to government insiders considering becoming whistleblowers. For press coverage of this announcement, see the Press Coverage page.