Secrets – A memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
After you read "Secrets" by Daniel Ellsberg, try "Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One" by Richard E. Noble. It is also a book that tackles the question ... "Why War?"
By Richard E. Noble
“But, it is just history,” Daniel Ellsberg was told. Over and over Senators and Congressmen told him, “It is just history.” Four thousand one hundred pages of history. Who’s got time for it? Who would ever read it, never mind publish it in a newspaper?
Daniel Ellsberg was/is clearly an intellectual, or he never would have even considered the notion that anyone would be concerned about “history.” He was and still is concerned with all those foolish things that most of us do not have the time for. Things like principle, right and wrong, injustice, the difference between killing and murder, is napalm a weapon or a terrorist act?
It is difficult to believe but there was a time when the “world” was actually debating the morality of dropping a hand grenade from a biplane. What if the random grenade hit a civilian, was the concern.
Today even the good guys are launching “unmanned” rockets all over the world just like the Nazis did in World War II to the horror of the British and everyone else … for a moment or two. These days when they blow up some unintended people the launchers apologize. The innocent dead are referred to as collateral damage. Oops … Sorry.
Wash your salmonella drenched chicken before you eat it. Why can’t I eat rat poison if I want to? Isn’t this a free country? If she and her children choose to sleep in a sewer, that’s their business. So what if automobiles are responsible for the deaths of more Americans than all of our wars combined. I like my car. Pollution … smulution, who cares?
Daniel was wondering about a soldier’s responsibility to follow orders. If a soldier is ordered to shoot his mother, must he comply? Is there a personal responsibility in agreeing to pick up a weapon? Is shooting into a bush or a hut in an enemy village … reconnaissance? Or is it killing … murder maybe? Is slitting a non-combatant’s throat because he has seen you in an area that you shouldn’t be in, an acceptable act of war?
And Secrets is a history of our time … my time. And I wonder how many of my contemporaries have read it? I wonder how many younger people have read it – this is going to be their world shortly, you know.
This book was printed in 2002 – after 9/11 and before Iraq and Afghanistan. Again Daniel was asking us to read more history. Once again he thought that he could stop a war. Once again it didn’t happen. Some guys never learn. I think Daniel needs to read some more history.
He called the book Secrets. I think there is a reason he called his book Secrets and not The Pentagon Papers Revisited or Vietnam II and III. He did it because there is still the misconception that in this day of 24 hour 7 days a week news coverage “Secrets” can’t be kept from American citizens. This book stands as a testament to the notion that “they” can always fool the people and it can be done ALL of the time.
I read your history book, Daniel, and I got your message. I got it last time back in the 60’s also … even though I didn’t read the Pentagon Papers. It “trickled” down. I got the non-intellectual version – the street version. “This is all a bunch of crap,” is what I heard. “They’re all a bunch of liars and crooks,” is what I heard. “Hell no; I won’t go,” is what I heard.
But aside from learning anything “behavior changing” this rendering is a trip through a human conscience. It is a blow by blow description of how a very intelligent soldier and confirmed cold warrior is transformed into a war resister and a “peacenik.”
It is quite a story. It could be a movie … and it was. The Pentagon Papers is what it was called. I watched the movie too.
I’m reading a lot of history of my own times these days. This is a good one. Sure it is only history … but what else are you doing?
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.