Take Action

Ellsberg quotes Henry David Thoreau: "Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence." Gather an affinity group to discuss what that quote means. Then brainstorm a list of concrete things you could do to "cast your whole vote" and choose one or two items from the list to work on in the future.

Work with local journalists to plan an event around the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 2011. Establish live or virtual discussions of issues such as prior restraint, the role of a free press in a democracy, the balance between the need for national security and the need for an informed citizenry and/or changes in the way that journalists cover war.

After screening the most dangerous man in america, hold a panel discussion that addresses how the nation has and has not applied the lessons of the Pentagon Papers (including what the Pentagon Papers revealed about how the U.S. government conducted both domestic and foreign policy related to the war in Vietnam).

Convene a study group to use lessons from the Pentagon Papers (and the film) to look at the Patriot Act, paying special attention to provisions that allow for government surveillance and secrecy. Share your insights with your elected officials and urge them to adopt legislation that reflects your views.

Host a party to honor whistleblowers in your community.