Ann Wright and Daniel Ellsberg discuss Dissent: Voices of Conscience.
During the run-up to war in Iraq, Army Colonel (Ret.) and diplomat Ann Wright resigned her State Department post. She was one among dozens of government insiders and active-duty military personnel who leaked documents, spoke out, resigned, or refused to deploy in protest of government actions they felt were illegal. In Dissent, Wright and co-author Susan Dixon tell stories of these men and women who risked careers, reputations, and even freedom out of loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law. In his foreword, Dan Ellsberg writes, "This...illuminating book should be leaked into the government (where it could) awaken officials to withdraw their complicity and tell the truth to (the public). This country will not escape further human, legal, and moral catastrophes, or preserve itself as a democratic, constitutional republic, if that does not happen"- Cody's Books
Daniel Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation, sparked a national controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.
The Pentagon Papers revealed that the government knew early on that the Vietnam War was not likely winnable and would lead to many times more casualties than ever admitted. After failing to persuade a few U.S. Senators to release the papers on the Senate floor, Ellsberg decided to risk prison and leaked the documents to the New York Times. Ellsberg went underground for 16 days before turning himself in. Fortunately, the charges against him were eventually dropped due to gross government misconduct and illegal evidence gathering by the Nixon administration and the notorious White House "Plumbers Unit."
These efforts included breaking into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and were undertaken directly by the Nixon White House to smear and discredit Ellsberg in the news media in retaliation for his Pentagon Papers whistleblowing.
Mary (Ann) Wright
Ann Wright resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service on March 19, 2003, while serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Mongolia . She resigned due to her disagreement with the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea and unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States .
Ms. Wright joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served as Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassies in Sierra Leone , Micronesia and briefly in Afghanistan . She received the State Department's Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2500 persons from the civil war in Sierra Leone , the largest evacuation since the evacuation of Saigon in 1974.
Ms. Wright was on the first State Department team to go to Kabul , Afghanistan . She helped reopen the US Embassy in Kabul in December, 2001 and worked in Afghanistan for five months, serving in the last month as Deputy Chief of Mission (Deputy Ambassador).
Ms. Wright's other overseas assignments include Somalia with both the US mission and as chief of the Justice Division (reconstituting the Somali police, judicial and prison systems) of the United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNOSOM). She also served in US Embassies in Uzbekistan , Kyrgyzstan , Grenada , Micronesia and Nicaragua .
Before entering the Foreign Service, she served in the Army and has a combined regular Army/Army Reserve service time of 29 years. She served primarily in special operations units and attained the rank of colonel. While on military duty in 1982 and 1983 in Grenada , she was on the US Army's International Law team and participated in civil reconstruction work following the US “rescue” mission. Colonel Wright is airborne qualified.
Ms. Wright has Master's and Law Degrees from the University of Arkansas and a Master's Degree in National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College, Newport , Rhode Island . Ms. Wright has been featured in articles in the Washington Post magazine, Government Executive magazine, Foreign Service Journal, Ms magazine and has been interviewed by radio and TV networks. She participated in the documentary film "Uncovered: The Truth About the Iraq War”.
Ms. Wright lives in Honolulu , Hawaii . She writes on current US foreign policy and speaks to university classes and civic groups in the United States and internationally.