9 Most Influential Whistleblowers Who Changed America

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1. Daniel Ellsberg

In 1971, former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg exposed U.S. interference in Vietnam prior to the commencement of formal hostilities. The so-called Pentagon Papers exposed the role of successive administrations before and during the war. With casualties mounting on both sides and public opinion already waning, Ellsberg’s revelations played a key role in undermining Washington’s justifications for continuing the war.

The Nixon administration sought to bring charges of conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property against the Pentagon analyst. Furthermore, the offices of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist were burgled under instructions from the White House. The charges against Ellsberg were dropped by a federal court.

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