Celebrated whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, now age 90, used the occasion of the April 30-May 1 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his release of the Pentagon Papers, organized by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, to reveal that John Foster Dulles had proposed in 1958 that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend to the President that a nuclear exchange with China be launched in the Taiwan Straits, even though that would mean that Taiwan and its people would be wiped out, for the sole geopolitical purpose of maintaining the United States’s “position” in the world.“Let them try to jail me for disclosing this still-top secret fact today,” Ellsberg declared, adding that he was revealing the secret because, “I have no doubt whatever, that that discussion is going on in the Pentagon right now…. This is the month we have to be discussing the issue, in public, of whether we should go to nuclear war over Taiwan, or Ukraine, or Syria.” Citing the statement by the current Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard, that the United States must be prepared to go to war with Russia and China, Ellsberg exclaimed: this is “asinine, criminally insane. War with Russia and China?” He emphasized that any armed conflict with Russia and China would bring a high risk of nuclear war, and if it goes to nuclear war, “we are talking about the near extinction of humanity. No, there should not be the slightest option, threat, or thought whatever of armed conflict with Russia and China, now or ever again,” he insisted. “We have to transcend that system, and that will not happen unless people in the government show the moral courage of Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning … and let us know what these inside plans are. Without that, I think civilization will not survive the era of nuclear weapons.” Ellsberg disclosed that in the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis over the Quemoy and Matsu Islands, then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had asked a meeting of the Joint Chiefs to recommend use of nuclear weapons against China. Citing the still-classified section of the RAND Corporation study, “The 1958 Taiwan Straits Crisis, A Documented History,” Ellsberg quoted Dulles’s message to the meeting: “Nothing seems worth a world war … until you looked at the effect of not standing up to its challenge.” The RAND study explained that “the issue then was, would we, as the joint chiefs, recommend the use of nuclear weapons to defend Quemoy, and Matsu, and Taiwan, and possibly use seven- to ten-kiloton weapons with the expectation that … the Soviets would respond and would hit Taiwan.” “They were talking about destroying Taiwan, because their entire position in the world depended on it,” Ellsberg exclaimed—and that is the discussion going on in the Pentagon right now. The RAND Corporation has made public two-thirds of that history, written by then-Pentagon staffer Morton Halperin, but despite requests, the other third, from which Ellsberg quoted, is still classified as Top Secret. Ellsberg made his impassioned call at the very end of Amy Goodman’s interview of Ellsberg and Snowden during the “Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg: A 50th Anniversary Conference Commemorating the Release of the Pentagon Papers,” which can be see here.