Pentagon Papers out 40 years after leak
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: June 22nd, 2011
Four decades ago, [Daniel Ellsberg] leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about U.S. conduct of the Vietnam War. On [June 13] that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form. The National Archives and a trio of presidential libraries released the papers 40 years after The New York Times published the first in its series on the report. Most of the 7,000-page study has been out for years. Monday's release draws it together for the first time, and online. The study reveals a pattern of deception as the Johnson, Kennedy and prior administrations secretly escalated the Vietnam conflict. 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. Ellsberg served with the Marines in Vietnam and came back disillusioned. A proteg 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. 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. His message to whistleblowers now: Speak up sooner. "Don't do what I did. Don't wait until the bombs start falling."
Note: Forty years later, both Democratic and Republican administrations continue to escalate war expenses while telling the public they are doing the opposite. For the powerful revelations of a top US general exposing the manipulations behind the war machine, click here. Senator Gravel is spearheading the call for an independent 9/11 investigation and prosecution of Bush and Cheney. For more on this, click here and here.