Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Pentagon Papers...40 years later

Miami News cartoon by Don Wright, June 15, 1971

On Sunday, June 13, 1971, The New York Times published the first installment of the Pentagon's secret study of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers.

On Monday, the government will mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of the papers by officially releasing the once-secret study.

From The New York Times, June 7, 2011:
It may be a first in the annals of government secrecy: Declassifying documents to mark the anniversary of their leak to the press. But that is what will happen Monday, when the federal government plans to finally release the secret government study of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers 40 years after it was first published by The New York Times.

At first blush, it sounds like the release of one of the worst-kept secrets in history — finally unlocking the barn door four decades after the horses bolted. The study, after all, has already been published by The Times and other newspapers, resulting in a landmark First Amendment decision by the Supreme Court. It has been released in book form more than once. But it turns out that those texts have been incomplete: When all 7,000 pages are released Monday, officials say, the study can finally be read in its original form.

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