Sonoma Speaker Series - In Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg
From the Pentagon Paper to the Doomsday Machine
Monday, June 4, 2018
Hanna Boys Center Auditorium
It’s arguable that no man had a greater influence on the American perception of the war in Vietnam than Daniel Ellsberg. He was a consummate insider, served as a Marine First Lieutenant after graduating from Harvard, later returned to Harvard and wrote what is widely regarded as a brilliant dissertation on decision theory. In 1964 he went to work for the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He then went to Vietnam for 2 years working in the State Department for General Edward Lansdale. He had an eye level view of what was happening in that horrendous war. In 1967 he joined the Rand Corporation and contributed to a top secret history of the conduct of the war in Vietnam.
That history was commissioned by none other than Secretary McNamara, and became known as the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg had become increasingly disillusioned with the war and began attending peace rallies. At one, a draft resistor named Randy Kehler said he was going to prison rather than serve in Vietnam. To Ellsberg, Kehler’s willingness to sacrifice himself to prison to protest the war was an epiphany, and he began making several copies of the top-secret documents. First, he tried to get a number of senators, including William Fullbright and George McGovern, to release them. Didn’t happen. More Here...
Sonoma Speaker Series - In Conversation with JAMES CLAPPER
The former Director of National Intelligence's candid and compelling account of the intelligence community's successes--and failures— in facing some of the greatest threats to America
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 7 – 8:30pm
Sebastiani Theatre (476 First Street East, Sonoma)
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
When he stepped down in January 2017 as the fourth United States director of national intelligence, James Clapper had been President Obama's senior intelligence adviser for six and a half years, longer than his three predecessors combined. He led the U.S. intelligence community through a period that included the raid on Osama bin Laden, the Benghazi attack, the leaks of Edward Snowden, and Russia's influence operation during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. In Facts and Fears, Clapper traces his career through the growing threat of cyberattacks, his relationships with presidents and Congress, and the truth about Russia's role in the presidential election. He describes, in the wake of Snowden and WikiLeaks, his efforts to make intelligence more transparent and to push back against the suspicion that Americans' private lives are subject to surveillance. Finally, it was living through Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and seeing how the foundations of American democracy were--and continue to be--undermined by a foreign power that led him to break with his instincts honed through more than five decades in the intelligence profession to share his inside experience.
Clapper considers such controversial questions as, Is intelligence ethical? Is it moral to intercept communications or to photograph closed societies from orbit? What are the limits of what we should be allowed to do? What protections should we give to the private citizens of the world, not to mention our fellow Americans? Are there times when intelligence officers can lose credibility as unbiased reporters of hard truths by inserting themselves into policy decisions?
Facts and Fears offers a privileged look inside the U.S. intelligence community and, with the frankness and professionalism for which James Clapper is known, addresses some of the most difficult challenges in our nation's history.
The Sonoma Speaker Series brings to the Sonoma Valley major thinkers & players in the world of politics, art, celebrity, sports, science and inspiration.
Thought you did a great job with the Speakers Series. We really enjoyed the discussion, and the format was terrific. Congrats!
Great evening last night! Loved it. Great job!!! Can’t wait for the next one!
I just wanted to tell you how much John and I enjoyed last night’s first of many speakers. Given the general tenor of this election, it was refreshing to be able to laugh a bit, and hear their respective take on the election. The series is a welcome addition to Sonoma — and I am grateful not to have to drive to Marin!!!
Was a wonderful event….kudos to all!
Lee Morgan Brown
Smart, entertaining, and close-by……spells success! We enjoyed the conversation/debate last night by two veteran political reporters who demonstrated thoughtful and wise assessment of the current shit show which is our 2016 election cycle. Congrats on your new gig. We will all benefit!
You hit one outta the ball park last night! Congratulations! You under-charged….
You are launched! Last night was really fabulous. Cherie Hughes
Congrats on a winner! Great evening, great speakers, all around congratulations. What a welcome addition to Sonoma.
Please let me know if you need some wine for the next or future in the series. Happy to contribute.
Again, great job to you and your colleagues!
Ginny and I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed hearing Randy Thom. I wasn’t quite sure how interesting the subject was going to be, but he made it fascinating. Very nicely done.
Thanks very much for the invitation to the Randy Thom event. It was really great.
Wow! We could not make the first talk, but we really enjoyed last night. Very well done! Thanks for adding another dimension to Sonoma.
What a compelling speaker! I have felt such a need for this kind of thing in Napa/Sonoma, so THANK YOU for starting such an inspiring lecture series. I know the community appreciates it, too!
That was an A+ event. I liked every minute of it, and really enjoyed the speaker. Good show indeed!
“It was a simply fabulous evening. Thanks much - it was outstanding.”
Extraordinary, exceptional, mesmerizing, thrilling. Thank you so much.
“It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Sonoma Speaker Series is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization - Federal Tax ID #81-4625504.
Your sponsorship/donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We'll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.