The Profiles in Courage Award 2010.
The Kennedy Society has decided to present for 2010 The Profiles in Courage Award - John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage” - to Daniel Ellsberg, based on this LAUDATION: For his courage as a public servant to bring out 7000 pages from a TOP SECRET report to the press, later known as THE PENTAGON PAPERS, with the objective of ending the war in Vietnam.
In this way he showed his courage, and he has stated: “It took five years of war before I recognized the higher loyalty all officials owe to the Constitution, the rule
of law the soldiers in harm’s way or their fellow citizens.”
He confesses that he wept when he heard about the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy
in 1968, realizing “that all my hopes had been on him. Not just for Vietnam, but for my country.”
This is in accordance with Robert F. Kennedy’s courage in trying to win the greatest victory of all: the victory over war itself. As he wrote in 1967 in his book “To Seek a Newer World” with speaking of every aspect of conflict and war:
“Guns and bombs cannot fill empty stomachs or educate children, cannot build homes or heal the sick. But these are the ends for which men establish and obey governments.”
Daniel Ellsberg admits that others such as Randy Kehler’s speech to the “War Resisters League,” in 1969 helped him to show courage. In an interview with
Walter Cronkite June 23rd, 1971 he answered the question: “What about the immediate effect (of these revelations) on the war of these days in June 1971?”
Daniel Ellsberg: “My father had a favorite line from the Bible, which I used to hear
a great deal when I was a kid:”The Truth shall make you free.” And I hope that
the truths that’s out now – it’s out in the press it’s out in the homes, where it should be… - I hope that truth will free us of this war. I hope that we will put this war behind us…” - Senator John F. Kerry has stated that Daniel Ellsberg has “demonstrated enormous courage during a difficult and turbulent time in America’s history… His story reminds us that to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship is to always ask questions and demand the truth.”
Together with this historic effort Daniel Ellsberg has continued to encourage others to be whistle-blowers. He has said in relation to the war imposed on Iraq: “This is the time for people to show courage. People have more courage than they realize. It is the situation that challenges them… one thing that I would like to see is a lot more whistle-blowing” In this way Daniel Ellsberg has in a practical way shown the moral courage suggested by John F. Kennedy’s words:
“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.”