We recently attended Afternoon Tea with CodePink and Phyllis Bennis at CodePink founder Jodie Evans’ home. Jodie always provides a thoughtful forum for insight and discussion which is much appreciated.
Phyllis, fellow at The Institute of Policy Studies discussed her book Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer. Also a fellow at the Transnational Institute, Phyllis has been an advisor to many senior-level officials at The United Nations. We were excited to hear her take on a situation that is far more complicated than we could have imagined.
We were also privileged to meet up again with Daniel Ellsberg and his wife Patricia Marx Ellsberg, as well as Stanley Sheinbaum, a force of nature in Southern California activism and politics. Ellsberg was the subject of the Oscar nominated documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America” mentioned in our blog last September and which centered on his release of the Pentagon Papers.
To recap: Ellsberg was a U.S. military analyst at the RAND corporation. While there he worked with classified government documents dealing with US decision-making in Vietnam. Ellsberg made the Papers public in The New York Times exposing the government’s knowledge that the war would cause many more casualties, and was not likely to be won. In 1971, he was tried under the Espionage Act of 1917. Stanley Sheinbaum, as well as Jodie Evans’ husband, Max Palevsky, raised over a million dollars for Ellsberg’s defense. Ultimately, a mistrial was declared and all charges were dropped due to “gross government misconduct.” Ellsberg and his wife have spent the subsequent 40 years as anti-war activists.
For us and Aid Still Required, it was a fascinating afternoon – food for thought as well as tea and crumpets!