TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK Once I was called a liar for saying that I made 100 round turn trades of Cisco Systems in one day and once by a neighbor, when telling about my engineering career and all the companies that I worked for. That's not surprising since I am 76 years old and three inches shorter than in my prime, when I was slightly larger than a Munchkin and coupled with the fact that there are bullies/cowards everwhere ( All bullies are cowards by the way- Google it.). If those stories weren't far fetched enough................ Well here goes. Peter Daniels and One Degree of Separation from the Pentagon Papers. I went to work for the NACA (later became NASA) at Langley Field in 1956 as a Aeronautical Research Intern. I was assigned to the High Mach Number Jet Group which consisted of two physicists, an engineer and thereafter a young co-op student named Tony Russo, who was majoring in aeronautical engineering at VPI. He was a very sharp guy and we became fast friend, while we wind tunnel tested the Bell X-2 and the North American X-15. We never hung out after work because he commuted every day from Suffolk Va. to Langley Field but we became friendly enough for him to invite me to his home for the weekend where I met his folks and he even fixed me up with a blind date which went nowhere as expected. lol Soon after that, he went back to school and before he could return, I changed jobs and went to work for Douglas Aircraft Company. During my career I work for many companies and consulted for more and I was always on the look out for my buddy, Tony Russo, but never found him. After all, its a very common Italian name and there was no internet in those days. A few weeks ago, my son brought me a copy of "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn which starts out talking about Columbus and then moves to Cortez, who made a place for himself in American history by killing as many Indians as possible. It also covered the part of our history were we instigated the overthrow of Mosaddegh who was the duly elected president of Iran and then installed the Shah for our nefarious purposes. (Now can you imagine how we could ever talk these people out of their nuclear weapons.) Finally, I got to the Vietnam War which cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties and between 1 and 2 million Viatnamese deaths. After all of the unrest generated by this unholy war, it finally came to Daniel Ellsberg, who stole 7,000 pages of document from the Rand Corporation and publish them as the "Pentagon Papers". The book also mentions the fact that his co-conspirator was Tony Russo and this guy is the one who actually xeroxed the copies. Later they were both indicted for conspiracy, espionage, and larceny. The government spent millions of dollars to convict them but it never came to trial. Could this be the same Tony Russo, my good buddy from Langley Field and one of the most personable people that I ever knew? Well I googled him and here is what I found out. I believe that he was there, right in front of me the whole time. Although I could be wrong because I couldn't get a DNA sample for confirmation. lol. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ABRIDGED: Anthony J. Russo, 71, Pentagon Papers Figure, Dies United Press International (photo didn't print) Anthony J. Russo at a rally at the University of Florida in 1973. By DOUGLAS MARTIN Published: August 8, 2008 Anthony J. Russo, a shaggy-haired, countercultural, unemployed policy wonk when he teamed up with Daniel Ellsberg, a more button-downed antiwar figure, to leak the voluminous, top-secret government history of the Vietnam War called the Pentagon Papers, died Wednesday in Suffolk, Va. He was 71. Mr. Russo was born in Suffolk on Oct. 14, 1936, and grew up in a middle-class family. He earned a degree in aeronautical engineering at Virginia Tech in 1960, then worked for NASA, helping to design the space capsule. He next earned two masterâs degrees at Princeton, one in aeronautical engineering and one in public affairs. He went to work for the RAND Corporation, which sent him to Vietnam to work on a study that involved interrogating Vietcong prisoners, whom he admired for the strength of their convictions. After returning to work at RAND in California, Mr. Russo experimented with the counterculture, riding motorcycles and writing poetry, according to Peter Schrag. Mr. Russo chafed at being called the âXerox aideâ because of his role in finding a copying machine and working long nights to reproduce the 7,000-page study. In fact, it was Mr. Russoâs words â after weeks of conversations â that had definitively started the enterprise: âLetâs do it!â he said, according to Mr. Ellsbergâs book âSecrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.â The two started copying the next night in a Hollywood, Calif., advertising agency that was above a flower shop and was owned by Mr. Russoâs girlfriend. It had an inauspicious beginning; they mistakenly left on a burglar alarm and were interrupted by a policeman. He paced about, gave no sign of suspicions and left. In June 1967, Robert S. McNamara, the defense secretary, set up the Vietnam Study Task Force, ultimately employing 36 analysts and historians, to prepare a classified history of the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1967. Its 47 volumes revealed conversations at the highest levels of government that sometimes directly contradicted official statements, including the timing and the scale of the United Statesâ troop buildup. It was classified âTop Secret â Sensitive.â David Rudenstine wrote in âThe Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Caseâ (1996) that âsensitiveâ was not part of the official classification system. It was a signal the contents could cause embarrassment. Mr. Ellsberg first offered the papers to several senators and Henry A. Kissinger, the national security adviser. He found no takers. He then offered them to newspapers. The New York Times decided to publish the materials and was followed by other newspapers. The Times won a landmark case when the Supreme Court ruled that the government had not met the heavy burden of proof required to stop publication of something in advance. But in the later trial of Mr. Ellsberg and Mr. Russo in Federal District Court, on charges of violating conspiracy, theft and espionage laws, other important issues were raised but not decided. One was whether the Espionage Act of 1917 prohibits publication of secret material, or whether it must be passed to an enemy to be a violation. The men were cleared even though their case never reached a jury, because Judge William M. Byrne Jr. dismissed the case in May 1973 after several bizarre twists. These included the judgeâs learning that the office of Dr. Ellsbergâs psychiatrist had been burglarized and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had lost records of perhaps illegally taped telephone conversations, as well as the fact that during the trial, the judge himself was approached about becoming director of the F.B.I. From Mr. Russoâs perspective, the ordeal â even the beatings he claimed to have endured after being imprisoned for refusing to testify to a grand jury â was worth it. âThe case has messed up my life,â he said in an interview with The Times in January 1972, âbut what difference does that make?â Tom Wells, in his âWild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsbergâ (2001), said that Mr. Ellsberg â who had worked on preparing the Pentagon Papers as an analyst and moved to RAND in 1968 â told Mr. Russo he wanted to meet âsome hippies,â particularly women. Mr. Russo took him to a commune. Mr. Russo became Mr. Ellsbergâs closest male friend at RAND, Mr. Wells wrote; their conversations increasingly turned to the 2 of the 15 copies of the Pentagon Papers that had been deposited at RAND. Mr. Russo pushed Mr. Ellsberg to use his more influential position to make the contents public. At first, Mr. Russo told Mr. Wells, Mr. Ellsberg ârolled his eyes at the ceiling.â But Mr. Ellsberg increasingly concentrated on how to release the study and how much of it to release. He eventually decided to hold back four of the volumes, covering 1964 to 1968, to avoid criticism that he had harmed the peace negotiations. Mr. Ellsberg said in his obituary of Mr. Russo that he had thought Mr. Russo would not be in danger of prosecution. But it turned out Mr. Russo, too, was indicted. Both admitted doing everything charged in taking the documents to be copied and releasing them to newspapers, but contended that this did not constitute a violation of the law. Mr. Russo had earlier refused to testify before a grand jury and was imprisoned until he agreed to do so, but he never had to testify. In a news conference after the final trial, he recalled that it was âin the bowels of that courthouse I was beaten up by guards.â Prison officials denied this. Mr. Russo was married and divorced twice and had no children. He worked for the Los Angeles County Probation Department for many years.