Tuesday The 11 Words Would Be Published After All



Archivists touched off a new round of feverish speculation when they
originally announced that 11 never-before-published words of the 7,000-
page report would remain redacted all these years later, only to
reverse themselves and announce Tuesday that the 11 words would be
published after all.

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Pentagon Papers -- all of them -- to be released Monday
Comments 1
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Updated 8m ago


Defendants Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo during the Pentagon
Papers trial in early 1973.
CAPTIONAssociated PressOn Monday, the National Archives commemorates
the 40th anniversary of one of the most pivotal events in presidential
history: Publication of the secret Vietnam study known as the Pentagon
Papers.


The Archives will formally release the entire 7,000-page document.


Four decades ago, whistlelower Daniel Ellsberg and others leaked
incomplete copies of the report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The
New York Times and other media outlets. Defense Secretary Robert
McNamara had commissioned the report in 1967, at the height of
American protest over Vietnam.


The previously leaked copies of the Pentagon Papers have been standard
reading for Vietnam historians, their release has also had a profound
impact on the presidency, and on all of government.



The Richard Nixon administration's adverse reaction to the news leaks
led to more aggressive effort to find officials who dealt with
reporters, including phone taps and black bag jobs. It can be argued
that the Pentagon Papers' release set Nixon's team on the road to the
Watergate scandal (which included a break-in at the office of
Ellsberg's psychiatrist).

The Nixonian reaction remains puzzling given the fact that the
documents were more embarrassing to the John Kennedy and Lyndon
Johnson administrations, one reason Nixon himself was at first
indifferent to the leak.



The Nixon administration's legal efforts to block publication of the
Pentagon Papers also led to a landmark First Amendment ruling by the
U.S. Supreme Court, enhancing the media's ability to investigate
public officials.

Then there's the fact that the Pentagon Papers detailed the
government's lies and mistakes as the nation became more enmeshed in
Vietnam.

Skepticism of government remains to this day.

The New York Times writes about some of newly de-classified material:

When Mr. Ellsberg originally leaked the Pentagon Papers, he did so
because he wanted to stop the Vietnam War -- so he left out sections
about peace negotiations with North Vietnam. "I omitted them because I
thought that Nixon would use the release as an excuse for breaking off
negotiations with North Vietnam," he said in an interview. "I frankly
didn't want to give him that excuse."

Those sections about the negotiations had been declassified for years.
But they will now appear in the context in which they were first
written, along with several volumes that have not been published,
including a section on the United States training the Vietnamese
national army, a statistical survey of the war from 1965 to 1967 and
some supporting documents.

The Times added:

There is intrigue even in the release itself.

Archivists touched off a new round of feverish speculation when they
originally announced that 11 never-before-published words of the 7,000-
page report would remain redacted all these years later, only to
reverse themselves and announce Tuesday that the 11 words would be
published after all.

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