The Pentagon Papers


Hour 1

Workers at the New York Times look at a proof sheet containing the secret Pentagon report on Vietnam. June 30, 1971 (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

Yesterday, forty years after the New York Times published its first article on the Pentagon Papers, the federal government released in full this secret government study of the Vietnam War.   The Pentagon Papers provided a full and detailed record of the War –from the administrations of Harry S. Truman through Lyndon B. Johnson – which provided evidence that the American public had been intentionally deceived about U.S. actions in Vietnam.  The Pentagon Papers also marked an important turn in presidency of Richard Nixon.  It was the leaking of these documents by Daniel Ellsberg that led the President to believe there was a conspiracy against his administration and that he could use any tool available to him to protect it — including the illegal break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in the Watergate.  We talk about the Pentagon Papers and their legacy with DANIEL ELLSBERG, LESLIE GELB, director of the project that produced the infamous Pentagon Papers, and JAMES GOODALE, counsel for the The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 061411_100630.mp3]

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal