The unholy mess of security classification, ca. 1973

William G. Florence, who worked as an Air Force officer and for the Federal bureaucracy on the classification of government secrets, wrote this note to Daniel Ellsberg, advising him to clarify the prosecution’s understanding of “classified information.” I chose this document because it is such a great visual representation of how the Defense was planning on arguing their case. The language directing Ellsberg to have a “firm but pleasing insistence” that the government clarify what they mean by “classified” is also a very humorous way that Florence was directing Ellsberg to help out his defense team while not being to harsh as to keep the jury in his favor.

Talya Torres