AmeriCorps at 20, Dan Fesperman’s “Unmanned,” and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg | WYPR

AmeriCorps at 20, Dan Fesperman’s “Unmanned,” and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg

Sep 11, 2014

A radio profile of AmeriCorps service members at work around Maryland; a talk with Dan Fesperman about his drone-warfare novel, Unmanned; and a conversation with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg

AmeriCorps members onsite at the Bea Gaddy Family Center in Baltimore
“I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.”  A cynic might assume this is a line from a political campaign speech.  That cynic would be mistaken.  These words are the beginning of a pledge taken by citizens upon their induction into AmeriCorps.  AmeriCorps is often described as ‘the domestic counterpart of the Peace Corps,’ and this weekend, the national service organization celebrates its 20th anniversary.  To honor the occasion, The Signal’s Aaron Henkin brings us a profile of some current AmeriCorps service members at work here in Maryland.
  Dan Fesperman’s latest novel explores the shadowy world of drone warfare.  From an Air Force base in the Arizona desert, to a small Afghan village, and Maryland’s Eastern shore, drones are becoming a part of everyday life – and death - for fighter-pilot turned drone operator Darwin Cole. And when a fairly routine mission goes terribly wrong, the collateral damage is not limited to the site of the actual airstrike. Fesperman joins The Signal’s Lisa Morgan in studio with a preview of Unmanned.
Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time Magazine in 1971
Before government whistleblowers like Snowden and Manning, there was Ellsberg.  Daniel Ellsberg was the first person to be arrested in the US for leaking top-secret information.  In 1971, he made public a stack of seven thousand classified pages that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers.  Ellsberg’s whistleblowing revealed how the US public had been misled by its own government about the Vietnam War.  He’s since been the subject of a documentary called, “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” he’s written three books, and on September 17th, he comes to Baltimore to speak at MICA’s annual Constitution Day Symposium.  Daniel Ellsberg joins us by phone from his home in California to talk with The Signal’s Aaron Henkin.