Federal Bureau of Investigation report on Daniel Ellsberg file # 65-74060, July 14, 1971

This press conference was Ellsberg’s first official statement to the public after he was revealed to be the source behind the Pentagon Papers. By addressing the press, he was also addressing the American people, who were his desired audience when he leaked the study. In this transcript, which was prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its surveillance, Ellsberg gave his motive for leaking the papers: to allow the American public access to the information determining their future. Ellsberg’s motivation to put power in the hands of the public, rather than a select few at the top of the government, would become a guiding force in his career.

Isabelle Eastman