Saturday 13 June 2020

the pentagon papers

Leaked to the press by military analysist turned activist Daniel Ellsberg who had researched and contributed to the study and recom- mendations to the US government, the Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force was published on this day in 1971, revealing crucially that successive administrations had deceived the public and the US legislature on its prosecution and expansion—mission creep—of the war in South East Asia. The exposรฉ helped inform the growing sentiment opposing the war and intensified the movement against it. Nixon’s hatchetmen (nicknamed the White House plumbers as they were to see about a leak) went after the credibility of Ellsberg and the papers, bringing up charges of treason, which were later dropped during the Watergate investigation as an unlawful intimidation tactic.