Ellsberg: "We'll let go of Iraq after we let go of New Jersey"

Right pissed.

Yet Bush is now talking about drawing down troops.
Nixon was doing what Bush is doing now: He was using the word, “withdrawal,” “I’m withdrawing.” Meaning, really, “I’m reducing.” We haven’t done much reduction yet in Iraq, but I do expect some reduction to happen.
Bush’s strategy, I’m sure, will be to fool people to say yes, we’re on our way out, we’re going down and everybody wants to think we’re going down to zero when he doesn’t have that in mind any more than Nixon had it in mind in 1969 or 1970. Nixon had no thought of going down to zero. A combination of events brought him to that, finally, by 1973. But it was against his will and it was against his expectations.
Well, I don’t think Bush has any idea that we’ll ever be out of those bases and he would regard that as a total failure, a failure he does not intend or expect to preside over. And I’ll go further: I don’t expect him to either. I don’t expect his successor to do it.
I’m working. I’m hoping that among other things we’ll get out of Iraq, but I don’t have much confidence. I think there’s a chance or I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. I want to enlarge that chance, and I think enlarging that chance can be done. But I admit I think it’s much less than an even chance. The odds are, I think we will one way or another hang onto the bases in that oil-rich country indefinitely, for a very long time. We’ll let go of New Jersey before we let go of Iraq. Because the oil’s pretty exhausted in New Jersey.
What is happening in Iraq is very like Vietnam, with the difference of the oil there and the strategic location and relation to Israel.

The other 4 parts of the interview linked at the bottom of the article are pretty cool.

Edit: gangbusters quote from the first part:

I never really published it. It didn’t come out because it was years later. I certainly didn’t bring it out. The prosecutor in the Pentagon Papers case had suspected that I had been the source of the 206,000, so they tried to introduce that into the case after my indictment and we were able to move to keep it out. Then it disappeared again because it wasn’t in the indictment.

I would say my leaks in March 1968 had more effect than the Pentagon Papers did have on policy. I know that sounds peculiar, but the 1968 leaks were not only timely but they actually were very effective in the context of the 206,000. In combination with that, it was the big turning point.

That 206,000 would have meant calling up the reserves. That would be the equivalent now of putting in the draft, meaning you now have unlimited troops to work with. In those days, we had done everything we could up to 550,000 without the reserves. If you’d called up the reserves, you could now send several hundred thousand more over.

If we’d sent those troops, we would have invaded North Vietnam, that’s what Westmoreland wanted to do. And if you’d invaded North Vietnam, you’d be next to China. And the upshot of that would almost certainly have been Chinese intervention and war with China. So all that was at stake.

In March of 1968 I was facing within weeks a decision that I understood, that I knew was a mistake, that might result in the use of nuclear weapons at Khe Sanh and the open-ended extension of the war which would lead to nuclear war with China. For that, I was ready to go to prison.