Ken Burns Classroom

Daniel Ellsberg and the Espionage Act

Ken Burns Film: The Vietnam War

Collections: Postwar United States (1945-1970s)

Subject: US History

Video Run Time: 3:05

President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General John Mitchell to discredit Daniel Ellsberg and “destroy him in the press.” Nixon feared that Ellsberg possessed information that could prove he lied about the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos. The president’s growing obsession with his enemies would be his undoing.