United States v Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo: Selected Testimony (1973)
United States District Court, Central District of California

Testimony of Richard H. Best


Q Would you state your position and title, sir?
A I am the security officer of the Rand Cor­poration.
Q And how long have you been an employee of the Rand Corporation, sir?
A I have been employed by the Rand Corpo­ration since it was formed in November of 1948.
Q During that period of time to the present -from '48 to the present, have you become familiar with the rules and regulations with regard to handling of classified materials?
A I have.
Q Would you briefly describe for us, please, the duties that you have as security officer and how long you have held that particular position at Rand?
A I have been security officer of the Rand Corporation since July of 1953.
The duties are to take the regulations fur­nished us concerning security, which is in a book called the De­partment of Defense Industrial Security Manual for safeguard­ing classified information and work those into the procedures where we can follow the regulations given to us by the Depart­ment of Defense.

Q Would you tell us briefly, please, what the nature of the Rand Corporations business is?
A The Rand Corporation is a private, non­-profit independent corporation, incorporated under the laws of California, whose mission is to do analytical research on prob­lems of domestic concern and national security.
Q Who are the customers of Rand Corpora­tion, sir?
A The United States Government, municipali­ties, state governments and those kinds of people....

Q We have got a little fuzz on the projection there. Would you read the paragraph below "Part I, Initial Security Statement." Would you read it aloud for us, please.
A This is the one that says:
"I hereby certify that I have received a security briefing. I shall not knowingly and willfully com­municate, deliver or transmit, in any manner, classified information to an unauthorized person or agency. I am informed that such improper disclosure may be punishable under Federal Criminal Statutes. I have been instructed in the importance of classified information, and in the procedures governing its safeguarding. I am in­formed that willful violation or disregard of security regulations may cause the loss of my security clearance. I have read, or have had read to me, the portions of the Espionage Laws and other Federal criminal statutes relating to the safeguarding of classified information, repro­duced in Appendix VI, Department of Defense Industrial Security Manual. I will report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to my employer, without delay, any incident which I believe to constitute an attempt to solicit classified information by an unauthorized person."
Q And would you tell us who are the persons' signatures who appear at the bottom?
A The signature of the employee, signing for this Initial Security Briefing, is Daniel Ellsberg, Daniel E.­-Daniel Ellsberg. ., .   .
Q Because of the poor quality on some of that reproduction, sir, would you read to us the lead-in paragraph and the first two paragraphs that appear in that document?

"I, Daniel Ellsberg, in consideration of my em­ployment by, or professional services agreement with, the Rand Corporation, make the following statement with the understanding and intent that my statement will be used by Rand in carrying out its obligation to protect the security of Restricted Data and other classified defense information and to safeguard privileged Information," which is asterisked and defined below.
The first one:
"1. I understand that it is the policy of the government of the United States to control the dissemination of Restricted Data and other clas­sified defense information in such a manner as to assure the common defense and security. . . .
"2. I will not reveal to any person any Restricted Data, or classified defense information, of which I gain knowledge as a result of my employment, except in accordance with official instructions or rules of the Atomic Energy Commission, or the Department of Defense, or except as may be au­thorized thereafter by officials empowered to grant such authority. I understand that it is my responsibility to determine whether a prospective recipient of classified information is an authorized recipient, and that in making a disclosure of classified information to an authorized person to ad­vise him of a classification of the information disclosed."
"4. I understand, (a) that the safeguarding of classified information is a continuing individual responsibility, (b) that the Espionage Act, Title 18 U.S.C., Sections 792, 793,794,795,797, and 798, prescribe penalties for disclosure to unau­thorized persons of information respecting the national defense, and for loss, destruction, or com­promise of such information through gross negli­gence, and (c) that the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 prescribes penalties for the disclosure of Restricted Data to unauthorized persons. I further understand that willful or gross carelessness in revealing or disclosing to any un­authorized person or in handling Restricted Data or classified defense information in violation of Department of Defense regulations and contrac­tual obligations, and that such disclosure or dis­closure of privileged information will constitute cause for termination of my employment by Rand."
THE COURT: Excuse me. Before you turn from that document, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the introduc­tion of this exhibit and exhibits similar to it go to the issue of knowledge, which I will explain to you at greater detail.
You are not to infer, because it would be improper and incorrect for you to infer, that any statements of law, as to what is or is not a crime or what is or is not a federal criminal offense, these documents are not admitted for the truth of those matters. . . .
Q Did Linda Sinay ever work for Rand or have a security clearance there?
A She never worked for the Rand Corpo­ration nor had a security clearance at Rand.
Q Subsequent to the termination of Mr. Russo's consultantship with Rand, did he ever have duties at Rand Corporation requiring any access to classified material?
A He did not.
THE COURT: What is the date of that termi­nation?
THE WITNESS: 8-29-69, sir. . . .
A. "I have requested and been granted custo­dy of the following OSD Task Force documents. Daniel Ells­berg."
Q And OSD refers to?
A Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Q The documents are those five listed below, sir?
A That is correct.
Q And if you could raise that up again, I think it is plain, but would you read the typed sentence above the signature, sir.
A "I certify that I will retain the above documents in my custody until returned to storage and that I will not reproduce or alter any part or parts thereof."
Q Do you recognize the signature of the per­son that appears on that document?
A I do.
Q And it is the signature of whom?
A That is the signature of Daniel Ellsberg.
Q And would you give us the date as you can read it from your original document.
A 3 March 1969. . . .
CROSS EXAMINATION by Leonard Boudin:
Q. When Chief Fox delivered Exhibits 1 through 18 to Mr. Archer, they were not entered into the Top Secret Register, were they?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q That was not consistent with Rand's Secu­rity Manual, was it?
A That was not consistent.
Q Right. When they reached Mr. Archer in those boxes, they were not given a control number, were they?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q That is not consistent with the manual?
A No.
Q When they reached Mr. Archer they were not given a cover sheet, were they?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q That is not consistent with the manual, is it?
A No.
THE COURT: Again, on these occasions you are referring to the Rand manual?
MR. BOUDIN: Yes, your Honor. Thank you. . . .
THE WITNESS: They were given proper stor­age. They were not, to my knowledge, entered on a Top Secret incoming control log, nor had a cover sheet attached.
Q So that the only way in which they were handled in accordance with Rand Manual was that they were given proper storage, is that correct?
A To the best of my knowledge. . . .
Q When documents, classified documents are received at Rand under the Industrial Security Manual, the standard practice of Rand under the Rand Security Manual is to keep such records; is it not?
A Yes.
Q Now, when Volumes 1 through 18, Govern­ment's Exhibits 1 through 18, were received at Rand Washing­ton in January, '69, what contract with the Department of Defense, if any, were they assigned to?
A Was there a time period on that?
Q January, '69, when they were received at Rand.
A None to my knowledge. 
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