Charles C. Ebbets
Complete Pentagon Papers Released - America Reacts!
Waiting through the end of the university season to minimize uproar, the administration quietly released the entire previously classified Pentagon Papers on Monday, over 40 years after their original creation. Streets throughout America were ablaze with condemnation of the government - demonstrations in Times Square brought New York to a standstill (cue Erik Satie's Trois Gymnopédies) whilst hippies protested between bridge games at the Haight Ashbury Senior Center in San Francisco demanding a return to freedom of speech.
The Telegraph reports: "Forty years after they were the subject of the most sensational leak in American history, The Pentagon Papers - the US government's secret history of the Vietnam war - were finally released...". Leaked originally by Daniel Ellsberg, a government employee, the Pentagon Papers proved duplicity on behalf of the Johnson administration in escalating the war in Vietnam whilst telling another story to the American public. Excerpts published originally by the New York Times in 1971 caused the most dramatic ever confrontation between the media and the US government, resulting in a Supreme Court decision in support of the paper, a dropping of all charges against Ellsberg, and a subsequent Pulitzer Prize for the Times.
This week American journalists celebrated the full release by flooding Apple retailers and loading up on iPad 2s with the Angry Birds app as Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, remained ostracized by both the government and the media. No app was issued to easily access the National Archives over 7000-page report and tweeting the report will take at least 70,000 tweets, yet a spokesman for NORML, the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, vowed to get their members on the project ASAP. A Google search for the term "Pentagon Papers released" turned up the Toronto Sun and Britain's Telegraph on page one but not a single American publication, further underscoring the domestic news-gathering community's euphoria over the full release.
"Dave? Dave's not here!" responded one assistant to my call to Mr. Cheech and Mr. Chong seeking comment on the release. "This is Dave," I retorted into the speakerphone. "Papers, yeah, man," came the reply. "We've been lookin' for those papers."
Government officials have vowed to prevent further 40-year delays in publishing valuable national data by imbedding a National Archive archivist with the New York Times from here on out.
Share this story About the author Related Tags
Connect With TMR