How You (and Your Spouse, Your Children and Your Therapist) Get Targeted When You Become a Whistleblower

ellsberg

“That’s what I’ve been talking about in earlier answers: the ability of the government to go back to taps collected years earlier to look for material with which to influence potential witnesses in the present. (See their interest in the allegation that the wife of one journalist may have been accused of shoplifting in her past). So people who have ‘nothing to hide’ should ask themselves if that is equally true of their spouses or children, or neighbors, who could possibly be turned into informants by threat of their private lives being revealed. (The Cuban CIA assets who burglarized my psychoanalyst’s office were interested in my children and wife as much as me, a reporter who interviewed them was told; they had been told of the precedent of Alger Hiss’ step-son who was crucially deterred, at Hiss’ insistence, from testifying in his defense at his trial on a crucial point, because he would have been questioned about his alleged homosexuality).

“My analyst later apologized to me for not telling me about the break-in—which he was sure was aimed at me, by the White House—because his lawyer had advised him not to ‘get involved.’ So I didn’t know about it until it came out in my courtroom, thanks to John Dean’s revelation. All for the best. If he had told me and we had raised it in the courtroom, the plumbers would not have been kept on the White House payroll (via CREEP) and would not have been ordered into the Watergate. Nixon would have stayed in office, and the war would have continued for years.”

Daniel Ellsberg, during his marathon “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. The whole thing can be found here:  I am Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Edward Snowden is my hero. Read more on whistleblowers and Reddit.

***

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.

Julia Wick is a contributing editor for Longreads.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email

Sign up to receive the Top 5 Longreads of the week, delivered every Friday.