The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at last year’s Oscars, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith’s solidly constructed The Most Dangerous Man in America profiles the most famous whistle-blower of the 20th century. Daniel Ellsberg was a former Marine, a RAND Corporation analyst and a strong supporter of the Vietnam War. However, his growing disillusion with the war, coupled with his access to a classified report detailing the government’s willful expansion of the war and intentional deceit of the public, led him to leak the information in 1971. The federal government took Ellsberg to court, and his case both affirmed the right of the press to publish top-secret government documents (not that they ran with that ball or anything), and served as a catalyst for the Watergate investigation. A good story well told, even if the main character remains a handsome cipher.