Letter from John Paul Vann to Daniel Ellsberg, November 18, 1969

This is a letter written to Daniel Ellsberg by John Paul Vann, his mentor and close companion during his time in Vietnam from 1965-1967. In this letter, Vann is reacting to Ellsberg’s recent New York Times letter to the editor cosigned by six other RAND analysts. The letter was a major milestone in Ellsberg’s transformation from a war hawk to a dove, and Vann is clearly surprised that insiders like Ellsberg and his RAND colleagues would be so openly critical of government policy.

Peter Jones