40 years after explosive leak of Pentagon Papers, secret Vietnam war study coming out in whole
2011 06 13

By Calvin Woodward and Richard Lardner | BrandonSun.com / AP


Forty years after the explosive leak of the Pentagon Papers, a secret government study chronicling deception and misadventure in U.S. conduct of the Vietnam War, the report is coming out in its entirety on Monday.

The 7,000-page report was the WikiLeaks disclosure of its time, a sensational breach of government confidentiality that shook Richard Nixon’s presidency and prompted a Supreme Court fight that advanced press freedom. Prepared near the end of Lyndon Johnson’s term by Defence Department and private foreign policy analysts, the report was leaked primarily by one of them, Daniel Ellsberg, in a brash act of defiance that stands as one of the most dramatic episodes of whistleblowing in U.S. history.

Pentagon Papers Declassified June 13 - Timothy Naftali Statement at Nixon Library (Video)

On Monday, the National Archives and presidential libraries are releasing the report in full, long after most of its secrets had spilled. The release is timed 40 years to the day after The New York Times published the first in its series of stories about the findings, on June 13, 1971. The papers showed that the Johnson, Kennedy and prior administrations had been escalating the conflict in Vietnam while misleading Congress, the public and allies.

As scholars pore over the 47-volume report, Ellsberg says the chance of them finding great new revelations are dim. Most of it has come out in congressional forums and by other means, and Ellsberg plucked out the best when he painstakingly photocopied pages that he spirited from a safe night after night, and returned in the mornings. He told The Associated Press the value in Monday’s release was in having the entire study finally brought together and put online, giving today’s generations ready access to it.

At the time, Nixon was delighted that people were reading about bumbling and lies by his predecessor, which he thought would take some anti-war heat off him. But if he loved the substance of the leak, he hated the leaker.

He called the leak an act of treachery and vowed that the people behind it "have to be put to the torch." He feared that Ellsberg represented a left-wing cabal that would undermine his own administration with damaging disclosures if the government did not crush him and make him an example for all others with loose lips. It was his belief in such a conspiracy, and his willingness to combat it by illegal means, that put him on the path to the Watergate scandal that destroyed his presidency.

Nixon’s attempt to avenge the Pentagon Papers leak failed. First the Supreme Court backed the Times, The Washington Post and others in the press and allowed them to continue publishing stories on the study in a landmark case for the First Amendment. Then the government’s espionage and conspiracy prosecution of Ellsberg and his colleague Anthony J. Russo Jr. fell apart, a mistrial declared because of government misconduct.

The judge threw out the case after agents of the White House broke into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist to steal records in hopes of discrediting him, and after it surfaced that Ellsberg’s phone had been tapped illegally. That September 1971 break-in was tied to the Plumbers, a shady White House operation formed after the Pentagon Papers disclosures to stop leaks, discredit Nixon’s opponents and serve his political ends. The next year, the Plumbers were implicated in the break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building.

Ellsberg remains convinced the report — a thick, often turgid read — would have had much less impact if Nixon had not temporarily suppressed publication with a lower court order and had not prolonged the headlines even more by going after him so hard. "Very few are going to read the whole thing," he said in an interview, meaning both then and now. "That’s why it was good to have the great drama of the injunction."

The declassified report includes 2,384 pages missing from what was regarded as the most complete version of the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971 by Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska. But some of the material absent from that version appeared — with redactions — in a report of the House Armed Services Committee, also in 1971. In addition, at the time, Ellsberg did not disclose a section on peace negotiations with Hanoi, in fear of complicating the talks, but that part was declassified separately years later.

Ellsberg served with the Marines in Vietnam and came back disillusioned. A protege of Nixon adviser Henry Kissinger, who called the young man his most brilliant student, Ellsberg served the administration as an analyst, tied to the Rand Corporation. The report was by a team of analysts, some in favour of the war, some against it, some ambivalent, but joined in a no-holds-barred appraisal of U.S. policy and the fraught history of the region.
To this day, Ellsberg regrets staying mum for as long as he did.

"I was part, on a middle level, of what is best described as a conspiracy by the government to get us into war," he said in an interview. Johnson publicly vowed that he sought no wider war, he recalled, a message that played out in the 1964 presidential campaign as LBJ portrayed himself as the peacemaker against the hawkish Republican Barry Goldwater.

Meantime, his administration manipulated South Vietnam into asking for U.S. combat troops and responded to phantom provocations from North Vietnam with stepped-up force.

"It couldn’t have been a more dramatic fraud," Ellsberg said. "Everything the president said was false during the campaign."
His message to whistleblowers now: Speak up sooner. "Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait until the bombs start falling."


Article from: brandonsun.com


Video from: YouTube.com




In honor of the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers this Monday, June 13th, POV Documentaries on PBS will be streaming the entire documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” for free, all day Monday and Tuesday, 6/13-14.

On those days, you can click here to watch the film.

(Source)

Pentagon Papers Officially Declassified on the 40th Anniversary of Their Publication – 40 Years Late (By Daniel Ellsberg)


Video from: YouTube.com

http://www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org






Related Articles
Don’t Leak to the Wall Street Journal’s New Wikileaks Knockoff
Obama taints WikiLeaks suspect Manning’s right to fair trial (Video)
WikiLeaks Blows Lid Off Gitmo
Pentagon: WikiLeaks Suspect Private Manning Being Moved: May no longer be competent to stand trial (Video)
Corporate America vs. Wikileaks (Video)
U.S. Military Charges WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning with ’Aiding the Enemy’
UK Guardian, Wikileaks, in row over omissions/distortions (Video)
Pentagon warns that cyber-attacks will be seen as ’acts of war’
Pentagon "Perception Management" (Propaganda) Sways US Opinion of Libya (Video)
Pentagon aide ’was killed by hitman’ claims distraught widow
5200 Pentagon Employees PURCHASED Child Pornography
Pentagon demands WikiLeaks "hand over" all classified documents
Vietnam Saigon Evacuation (Video)
John Kerry Testimony: On Ending the War - Vietnam War Hearing (Video)
McNamara dies, career haunted by Vietnam war
Agent Orange Continues to Poison Vietnam
The Pentagon Papers - Wikipedia
Daniel Ellsberg’s Website
Presidential Candidate Fears "Gulf Of Tonkin" To Provoke Iran War


Latest News from our Front Page

Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant”
2014 04 24
Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant” …… Which is EXACTLY how we called it when this story broke a few weeks back. We also mentioned that the SPLC, just discarded from the FBI “hate” website… Would be the prime benefactor. Ex-KKK Leader Was Given a New Identity Years Before Shooting Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant by ...
Meet AISight – The Artificial Intelligence Software Being Installed on CCTV Networks Globally
2014 04 24
If you thought that CCTV cameras tracking your every move in public was bad enough, you’re going to just love AISight (pronounced “eyesight” of course). The invention of a Houston, Texas based company called BRS Labs (which stands for Behavioral Recognition Systems) is headed by former secret service special agent John Frazzini, and this Orwellian surveillance platform brings artificial intelligence ...
Biofuel Made From Corn Waste Less ‘Green’ Than Gasoline
2014 04 24
Biofuel created from corn waste may not be the clean, eco-friendly oil alternative the United States government is hoping for. A new study has found that fuel generated from harvested corn leftovers creates more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline — at least in the short term. The fuel under study, called cellulosic ethanol, has been touted in recent years as a ...
Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
2014 04 24
Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. "This was a very special occasion, especially considering the importance of Saint Erik religiously in Sweden," Uppsala Cathedral Chaplain Lars Ĺstrand told The Local. The casket contained the bones of King ...
John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount
2014 04 24
This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. My money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction. What’s the alternative? With Passover and Easter over, Secretary Kerry can return to the Middle East crisis. This, after dealing so successfully with crisis in the Ukraine. [Is the author joking? - RIC] With ...
More News »