CORVALLIS - Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and nationally syndicated columnist Norman Solomon will offer their thoughts on the November presidential election on Monday, Sept. 27, at Oregon State University.

The event - "Presidential Election 2004: What's At Stake?" - begins at 7:30 p.m. in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center at 26th Street and Western Boulevard. The discussion, which is the opening event of the university's 2004-05 Convocations and Lectures Series, is free and open to the public.

An analyst at the Rand Corp. in 1967, Ellsberg worked on a top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, Ellsberg photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers.

Ellsberg was later tried on espionage and conspiracy charges related to the release of the documents, but charges were dismissed on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides.

Now 73, Ellsberg continues to write and lecture on a variety of topics relating to politics and armed intervention across the globe.

Solomon is co-author of "Target Iraq: What The News Media Didn't Tell You," as well as a number of other books analyzing American media and politics. He has worked as executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a nationwide consortium of public-policy experts scrutinizing media releases from major think tanks and as an associate of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting a media watchdog group.

The second OSU Convocations and Lectures Committee speaker of the year, Mark Hertsgaard, is scheduled for Oct. 20 (at 7:30 p.m.) at LaSells Stewart Center. Hertsgaard is an independent journalist and author who has written five books that have been translated into 15 languages. His talk, "Political Commentary," is also free and open to the public.

The OSU Convocations and Lectures Committee produces three to four major speakers each year intended to broaden the intellectual and spiritual knowledge of the community. In the past the committee has brought such speakers as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Moore, Ray Suarez, Winona LaDuke and Anita Hill to the region.

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Machelle Kennedy, 541-737-1562