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The pentagon papers and american loss of faith in the federal government

Advertise Prepared near the end of Johnson's term by Defense Department and private 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. As scholars pore over the volume report, Ellsberg said the chance of them finding great new revelations is dim.

  • Journalists' standing in opinion polls sank along with the politicians';
  • In the Whitewater affair, one new Administration version of events has succeeded another;
  • Victory emboldened the news media, and the contents of the Pentagon Papers themselves guaranteed, at least for the generation of journalists directly involved, that every Government utterance would be subject to skeptical and too often cynical scrutiny;
  • 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;
  • But if he loved the substance of the leak, he hated the leaker.

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.

  • Journalists' standing in opinion polls sank along with the politicians';
  • Governments, meantime, have continued to conceal and, on occasion, to prevaricate;
  • Few if any of the main players in the drama share that view.

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.

The pentagon papers and american loss of faith in the federal government

He called the leak an act of treachery and vowed that the people behind it "have to be put to the torch. 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.

  1. The report consisted of 4, pages of actual documents taken from the - period of the Vietnam War and 3, pages of analysis.
  2. In the Persian Gulf war, the Pentagon sought to limit journalists' access, having decided that in Vietnam reporters knew too much, not that they had been too often lied to. That September break-in was tied to the Plumbers, a shady White House operation formed after the Pentagon Papers disclosures to stop leaks, smear Nixon's opponents and serve his political ends.
  3. That step in turn led to the Watergate scandal and ultimately to Nixon's resignation.
  4. It is almost always better, once trouble breaks, to get out all the damaging evidence at once, rather than stonewalling and allowing it to trickle into the public domain, thus creating the impression of an ever-mounting crisis. But some of the material absent from that version appeared — with redactions — in a report of the House Armed Services Committee, also in
  5. The Nixon Administration responded by creating the Plumbers unit so called because they were to deal with leaks like that of the papers. 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.

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.

The pentagon papers and american loss of faith in the federal government

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 break-in was tied to the Plumbers, a shady White House operation formed after the Pentagon Papers disclosures to stop leaks, smear Nixon's opponents and serve his political ends.

40 years after leak, the Pentagon Papers are out

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 tough 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.

Mike Gravel of Alaska.

40 years after leak, the Pentagon Papers are out

But some of the material absent from that version appeared — with redactions — in a report of the House Armed Services Committee, also in 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.

The 40th anniversary provided a motivation for government archivists to declassify the records. Daverede, director of the production division at the National Declassification Center.