Daniel Ellsberg, the former United States military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971, on Sunday implored U.S. officials to disclose any information that could avert a war with North Korea.
"I would encourage people who now know that we are being encouraged to go to war with North Korea on false pretenses basically on what the prospects really will be, and what the consequences will be," Ellsberg told The Cats Roundtable on New York's AM 970 radio station.
"I tell them don't do what I did. Don't wait years until the bombs have fallen. Don't wait 'till thousands have died. Consider doing what I should have done much earlier than I did, which is going to the Congress and the press directly," he added.
The Pentagon Papers were part of a study of U.S. government decision-making throughout the Vietnam War, which found that key officials knew the conflict could not be won with the then-allocated resources.
Ellsberg, whose activism has since been chronicled in the Tom Hanks and Meryl Steep movie "The Post," said he had only one regret regarding the release of the report.
"I regret that I didn't put out the Pentagon Papers much earlier," Ellsberg said. "In fact, before the war had fully began, in 1964, I had the 1964 top secret documents in my safe in the Pentagon where I was a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense."
"I could've given Congress documents, even before the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was passed," he continued, referring to legislation passed that authorized President Johnson to take any action he believed necessary for peace in southeast Asia. "I could have undermined that fraud with documents as early as August of 1964.”
Charges against Ellsberg under the the Espionage Act of 1917 were dropped in 1973.