Dec 6 Wed Daniel Ellsberg at Barnes and Noble 86 St on The Doomsday Machine, warning of human extinction

Daniel Ellsberg is predicting the end of the human race if the current nuclear plans are not changed at the top level he used to work in, so why is he smiling so blithely?

Barnes and Noble 86 St and Lexington: Daniel Ellsberg Dec 6 Wed 7pm on The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. The Author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers talks of the planetary danger of America’s beyond Top Secret nuclear policy.

Having won the lasting gratitude of the American public for destroying their illusory trust in the federal government’s competence and truthfulness in prosecuting war with the Pentagon Papers revelation fifty years ago, Daniel Ellsberg is back with an even more damning and fearsome revelation, how Washington has been risking human annihilation for seventy years with insane plans for all out nuclear preemptive attack against Russia which were formulated by Strategic Air Command under Eisenhower and have remained unchanged in seventy years, according to Ellsberg, an ongoing threat of human extinction now escalated with the unpredictable current President’s hands on the firing button, as well as many other officials with the same powers, all based on documents Ellsberg copied at the time of the Pentagon Papers over fifty years ago but buried and eventually lost in a garbage dump as he fought his initial battle as the world’s most public spirited official breakaway, but when added to his inside experience at the top levels of command putting us closer to midnight on the clock of human extinction than ever before right at this moment, all laid out with alarming brilliance in his new book from Bloomsbury, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, which is so disastrous in its implications for the very survival of the human race that many may wish the world champion whistleblower had prioritized it over the Pentagon Papers, since it involves the fate of all humanity rather than simply the deaths of mere millions in the Vietnam war.

Daniel Ellsberg is about to announce the possible extinction of the human race, but doesn’t seem too worried

Last night the author bounded on stage in what seemed a remarkably cheerful mood to first execute a couple of magic tricks.

The author of the Doomsday Machine can make handkerchiefs disappear and reappear, but not the Doomsday Machine at the Strategic Air Command

With accomplished sleight of hand Ellsberg made two red and green handkerchiefs disappear and reappear, and then he explained why he hadn’t mentioned all this insanity before, when half a century ago he felt ethically impelled to defend the US constitution and risk prison by taking the lid off the idiocy, criminality and deceit of Vietnam policy. He told us that he had written out early chapters around 2000 and given it to the editor of his autobiography Secrets but it simply didn’t fit and needed its own book, which is certainly true, this impressively thorough and intelligently written book may be the most important release of the year if not the decade, since it recounts the madhouse stupidity of Eisenhower’s early nuclear strategy in which any major attack from Russia was to be met by missiles on thousands of cities in Russia, China and Eastern Europe, preempting any possible counter, and involving the death of 600 million, according to the answer to a question which only Ellsberg thought to ask, an insanity which according to Ellsberg remains unchanged policy at this moment, a disgraceful extension of the World War II change in war tactics detailed in his book where civilian populations became primary targets of German, British and finally American bombing from above at night, a strategy of ruthless extermination of innocent bystanders of government warmongering and diplomatic clumsiness which continues to this day and on the nuclear level involves the same insane plan for all out attack which research has now shown would amount to the complete destruction of human life in nuclear winter and starvation.

Asleep at the switch? Daniel Ellsberg needs you to wake up and do something before it is too late to save all of us on earth

This dire prospect seemed to run counter to Ellsberg’s fluent bonhomie in retailing it to a packed audience in Barnes and Noble’s underground book talk room of mostly gray haired male shut ins from the look of them, so we felt impelled to ask him why he seemed so inordinately cheerful when predicting our extinction, was it because he felt our luck would hold, or that the absurdity of the generals’ thinking was so outrageous that one could only laugh, or was it because he personally was due to leave the planet anyway soon, or was it to make his dire message palatable enough that people would listen and act, or was it that he had faith that the intelligence of his critique would prevail when intelligence hadn’t had any effect for fifty years? To which he replied in public and afterwards that he had no faith that intelligence would hold sway in the future any more than it had in the past, but he still had dwindling hope that things would work out, and he did not want to seem hysterical though in fact that was entirely appropriate, and his smiles otherwise only reflected the presence of his wife and other family who had come in support.

In fact however his real feeling was one of what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now”, and that it was up to us to wake up and do something about it now before it was too late, to be the “silence breakers” in the same way as the women who were now coming forward to expose the vulgar and criminal depredations of the Weinsteins of the world, to the great surprise of many men to whom they had never confided their oppression in the past.

Among the handful of young people listening to Ellsberg’s appeal were two of his grandchildren, but where were the rest of his audience needed to save us from his prediction of nuclear doom?

Looking around the room full of gray hairs – at least two men seemed to doze off during his talk – one wondered if he would have any more success in breaking the denialist apathy of the bulk of the democracy in which we live than other intelligent critics of the status quo, even though the legendary whistle blower may now be sounding the greatest warning in history – or the death knell of civilisation and human existence..

If you can’t be bothered to read Ellsberg’s book and try to save the world from the SAC, or are too afraid to, maybe this will soon get your attention: Shell, a replica of the biggest detonated Soviet nuclear bomb AN-602 (Tsar-Bomb), on display in Moscow, Russia, August 31, 2015

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