To Venerate, Daniel Ellsberg

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By Mocholoko, Zulumathabo Zulu © 2019

The Preamble

This literary piece is dedicated to the most beautiful and honourable human being Dr. Daniel Ellsberg who is better known for The Pentagon Papers. The World needs more of him. There is a feature film documentary about him by the same name.

Dr. Ellsberg was awarded the Olof Palme Prize of Sweden in 2018. The Olof Palme Prize is named for the Prime Minister of Sweden Olof Palme who was murdered by the apartheid assassins in 1986 for his strong anti-apartheid support. The prize was established in 1987. The first recipient of the Olof Palme Prize since its inception is our President of Azania (South Africa) President Cyril Ramaphosa during his tenure as the Secretary General of the National Union of Mine Workers.

On Sunday April 7, 2019 Dr. Ellsberg is turning 88 years of age (a few days from now). We wish him good health; a promising future for all his projects and a convivial birthday bash! Dr. Ellsberg is the founder and fellow of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a Commitee to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. We all know that the current hawkish Administration of President Donald Trump, by way of unnecessary provocations, is dangerously pushing the World towards the brink of a tragic confrontation with nuclear superpowers like The Russian Federation and The People’s Republic of China. Our survivability is greatly threatened as a people! Nuclear War will annihilate all of us from the face of the planet with the exception of the cocroaches which have the adaptive ability to survive a nuclear blast.

If Dr. Ellsberg has his way, the World will avoid a nuclear confrontation. This literary piece is a humble tribute to a life well lived! May his son Michael pass this literary tribute on to his father. Michael, you and me have communicated before and this tribute is a fulfilment of my greatest respect for your father and mother. Without further ado, here is the literary piece.

To Venerate, Daniel Ellsberg

Brave leaks, Kissinger incensed!
Patriotic truth, unlicensed!
What is truth?
What is this love/hate, for truth?
To adore truth in a jar
To abhor truth when ajar
Ellsberg truth, like paradox

Truth, like security breach
Exposé, like overeach
Naked truth, avoided like shame
Varnished truth, coveted like fame
The truth, like a degraded spark
To keep taxpayers, in the dark
Herein, to venerate Daniel Ellsberg

Contextual Commentary

The Perceptive Desert Flower

The great African desert flower hides underground after losing everything above ground where resistance to the powerful elements is futile like inside the belly of the beast wherein the digestive juices and the catalytic enzymes break the most stubborn resistance of all time. A waterless photosynthesis kills the plant with a cruel hand by asphyxiation, something that is not congruent with the supreme principles of self-preservation.

The perceptive desert plant abandons the surface to go underground to enhance its survival experience while engaged in remote sensing for the slightest indications of the falling rain. When the benevolent rain does fall, the enterprising flower overzealously springs to life to internalize the evanescent rain that will soon pass into oblivion. In this way, the desert flower can draw from the internal reserves of the rain that fell to recharge its spiritual batteries.

This was the case when Daniel Ellsberg (a hybridisation of the orbitals of beauty and brains) met the revolutionary war resister Randy Kehler in 1969. Kehler was subsequently imprisoned, along with other American war resisters, for a conscientious objection to the Vietnam War as part of the unstoppable tide of the anti-war movement inspired by a conviction that America was waging an unjust war in a foreign country.


Dr. Daniel Ellsberg of The Pentagon Papers. Picture Credit: JewishCurrents. Dr. Ellsberg was awarded the Olof Palme Prize of Sweden in 2018. 

Exemplary Display of Aplomb

The exemplary display of great aplomb by Kehler in accepting jail time as a deliberate choice for what he believed in was profound enough to transform Ellsberg. This life-changing experience, assisted by serendipity of erudite priming from his revolutionary future wife Patricia Marx, was like an oracle manifestation in a global village that caused Ellsberg to sob and to reflect deeply before changing course to espouse the new trajectory of anti-war resistance motivated by a selfless patriotic spirit for the survival benefit of all humankind on the planet.

Kehler had the greatest psycho-emotional impact on Ellsberg. Ellsberg later explained the impact of Kehler on his life thus:

(Bush, 2010) “It wasn’t what he said, exactly, that changed my worldview,” Ellsberg later explained. “It was the example he was setting with his life. How his words in general showed that he was a stellar American, and that he was going to jail as a very deliberate choice ‚ because he thought it was the right thing to do.”

The Pentagon Papers

Like a born again and hypertense desert flower beholden to the heavens for the rain that falls, Kehler had appeared like a desert rain to Ellsberg. Like the desert flower that internalizes the rain before the rain fades away as if the precipitation was never there, Ellsberg absorbed the principles of anti-war resistance with fervour before Kehler was taken away behind bars into a cruel Federal prison.

Hitherto, Ellsberg was part of the political establishment whose presiding officer President Richard Nixon and Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara misreported the facts to the American people and the World about the war while secretly having doubts about the morality and the winnability of the war against the unconquerable Việt Cộng (National Liberation Front) of Vietnam. Those doubts turned out to be valid because the American army was eventually defeated by an indigenous army, albeit the price.

Hereafter, the novitiate Ellsberg, assisted by his former colleague Anthony Russo at RAND Corporation, xeroxed the top secret US Department of Defence documents that became known as The Pentagon Papers. These highly classified Pentagon Papers were released to the media as part of the anti-war effort in 1971, one year after getting married to the sharp looking activist Patricia Marx. Ellsberg describes his motives as “patriotic motives” intended to tell the truth to his fellow citizens and he was prepared to go to prison to end the war. This is the gutsy spirit of a newly married man unmindful of the fact that the juggernaut establishment can exact stringent punishment upon those who fail to toe the line!

Ellsberg was later labelled “The Most Dangerous Man in America” by Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor to President Richard Nixon and placed on a countrywide massive manhunt for immediate arrest. After a lengthy period on the run as a fugitive, Ellsberg was eventually apprehended in 1973 to face the prospect of a maximum imprisonment of 115 years under the American Espionage Act along with numerous other criminal charges.

Inspiring Others

Another venerated young truth seeker Edward Snowden, currently in exile in Russia as a fugitive, would later declare that Daniel Ellsberg was a source of inspiration for revealing the truth about the NSA (National Security Agency) which spyied on the American people without their prior knowledge as required by the country’s constitution. Thus, the architects of the political establishment are in perpetual violation of the sacrosanct constitution which supersedes all government laws. Persuasively, Ellsberg makes the uncontested recitals that a patriot must be a loyalist and defender of the supreme law of the land which is the constitution of the country. Badimo ke bao! Thokoza Makhosi!


Bush, L. (2010). April 7: Daniel Ellsberg. Retrieved (April 3, 2019) from

MovieWeb. (2009, October 16). The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Documentary). Retrieved (April 3, 2019) from

Wikipedia: Daniel Ellsberg. Retrieved (April 3, 2019)

Zulu, Z. (2014). The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence. Madisebo University College Press: Johannesburg.


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