Talk:Pentagon Papers

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Is "traitor-in-keeping-with-his-kind", added on June 9, 2010, really voice neutral? (talk) 20:11, 9 June 2010 (UTC)


What's the "credibility gap"? Maybe someone should start a stub for that. Kent Wang 07:07, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Within several months (as soon as the online interviews are active) someone should remove the link to from this page to the "external links" section of the article -- the Boulder Carnegie Library's oral history program has a copy of a video interview with Daniel Ellsberg about the Pentagon Papers that will be put online sometime in the future.

Expanding the Article[edit]

There is far more detail to the story behind the Pentagon Papers in Mike Gravel's and Daniel Ellsberg's own biographical articles that I think should be included in this article.--Waxsin (talk) 08:22, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I am reading David Rudenstine's The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case (1996) and he claims that the official title of the Pentagon Papers was "History of U.S. Decision Making Process on Vietnam Policy." This conflicts with what the wiki page says---and there is not citation for what it up there now...wondering if Rudenstine is right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scarletfires (talkcontribs) 21:22, 1 July 2008 (UTC) says "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force" (talk) 17:06, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

So what's the big deal ...[edit]

... about the Pentagon Papers? This article doesn't really say how or why their publication mattered, only that they were the start of a series of events leading to Watergate, etc. What did the PPs say that was so alarming? What was the broad consensus on their implications? LeoTrottier 16:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I was just watching a documentary on the Camden 28 on pbs which involved peace activists breaking in to a draft board to destroy draft records during the US/Vietnam war in which the federal government paid for almost all the break-in tools..., in this documentary they said the Papers talked about reasons for the war which were completely different from what was told to the public. For example, the reasons for the war, as well as "the disparity between the planning for the bombing of the North and the planning for the bombing of the South. On the bombing of the North, there was meticulous detailed planning." "The bombing of the South, at three times the rate and with far more vicious consequences, was unplanned." link 05:03, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Not surprisingly, the article spends as little time discussing the content of the PPs as was talked about back when the Papers were released. Instead, the big hubbub back then was all about all that was round and about them, especially Mr. Ellsberg himself and his courage etc. I doubt anyone could point to any one thing the papers exposed; it was just the very fact of exposure that made all the "difference." Mr. Ellsberg thumbed his nose at authority, went on to make millions of dollars, took credit for ending Nixon's presidency, took credit for ending the war, and claimed to have saved thousands of lives. But what was actually in the Papers no one can say. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
"But what was actually in the Papers no one can say." Are you for real? It showed that everything the US government was saying was a lie. For example, Johnson said the US fought to defend the democratic government of south Vietnam. The Pentagon Papers made it clear that the "South Vietnam" was the creation of the US and the CIA official in Saigon, Edward Lansdale, described the government of South Vietnam in the late 1950s as an "emerging fascist state." But the perhaps most damaging aspect of the papers were that they put into question if the US was a democracy. The only thing the papers did not expose was that Johnson lied about the the Gulf of Tonkin incident. That did not become public record until a couple of years ago. But most historians never believed Johnson's story. At least outside of America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me for editing the above paragraph for spacing, but it took up a lot of space. I did not edit any content. Let me say this about the above, however. I completely disagree. The Pentagon Papers did not prove that the war in Vietnam was a lie. It simply pointed out the difference between the publicly stated motivations for the war (political arguments, presidential campaigns, democrat v republican bloviation, etc.) and the actual realities on the ground in the country. In order for everything to have been a lie, you would have to show that the communist North did not invade the democratic (such as it was) South, and all the rest. One thing to keep in mind is that, when we left Vietnam, there was a bloodbath that took the lives of something like 2 million people. If nothing else, our presence there delayed that slaughter. If you have any integrity in your body, you have to admit that we did that, and regardless of the actual motivations, that was a noble thing.Bigdatut (talk)
All of you keep talking about whether or not the war was correct, and I don't seem to understand because I do not know what the papers exactly exposed. There should be more about what was in the paper for this article, such as the events and planning. (talk) 03:22, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
How is a difference between "publicly stated motivations for the war" and "actual realities on the ground" not a lie? Are you suggesting they didn't actually know the realities on the ground? That's a stretch. Also, South Vietnam was never a democracy. It never even achieved a shred of legitimacy. I don't doubt that atrocities were committeed in the aftermath of the Fall of Saigon, though you're inflating the number of deaths significantly. If you're willing to point out those massacres, it's only fair to point out that the American and South Vietnamese forces were guilty of vast atrocities as well, all in the name of this "noble" cause. A noble resolution to the war would have been to accept the Geneva Accords, allow an election to proceed in 1956 to reunite the country, and embraced Ho Chi Minh as an ally (everyone knew he was the presumptive winner), just as we did Tito in Yugoslavia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lockwood Like (talkcontribs) 03:22, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
In response to one of the anonymous IP's, evidently Ellsworth either ignored or dismissed the fact that the Republic of Vietnam which he claimed was " a creation of the US," was in fact descended from the Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, which rebelled against French colonial rule before the Indochinese Communist Party split from the French Communist Party, and was attacked by the ICP before Indochina was occupied by the Japanese. ---------User:DanTD (talk) 02:54, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Nixon's Reaction[edit]

Nixon's reaction was initially calm and then developed into rage as can be ascertained from the White House tapes.

period of papers coverage[edit]

Did the papers cover the period from 1945 until 1971, as the current article states, or was it from 1945 through 1968 (May of that year ?) as some other sources suggest ?

the pentagon papers are concerned with the period 1945 - 1967. the publication was made at the begining of 1971

Gulf of Tonkin[edit]

Someone deleted a reference to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in the Papers -- it was my understanding that this was actually covered in the Pentagon Papers. Is this incorrect?--csloat 18:10, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

It was covered, but it did not say that LBJ deliberately fabricated the whole thing. CJK 19:18, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Didn't the Pentagon Papers reveal that "the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution — which led to increased U.S. military involvement in Vietnam — had been drafted months before the incident for which it was named took place, and that President Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) had been committing infantry to Vietnam while telling the nation that he had no long-range plans for the war." [1] ? Johannjs (talk) 10:41, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I also thought the 2nd Gulf of Tonkin incident being falsified, yet was used to justify war, was one of the most important revelations of the Pentagon Papers? Yfrwlf (talk) 15:09, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Obtaining a Copy[edit]

Does anybody per chance know if there exists a current publication of all the published volumes of the Pentagon Papers?

Buuuuu click aqui

Locked Away?[edit]

It says that all the original papers were locked away at the LBJ libary. Is this true? Somehow, at the end of the paragraph like that, it looks like an uncited amount of hogwash. With all the conspiracy theories surrounding this era in time, something like vital historical documents being sealed away (especially in so unlikely of place) needs sourced. Signed by Scryer_360, who needs to sign in more. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC).

PS: I deleted the comment that they were locked away for the time being.

Pentagon Papers[edit]

NOTE: I did not mean to move this, but when I was trying to sign my signature I did something wrong. So I'm putting back the original headline that was already here, plus my contribuution. I apologize to the original poster for messing up your stuff.

This what the original text said with in the headline:

Second paragraph contains:

> the government had planned to go to Vietnam even when president Lyndon Johnson was promising not to

Johnson inherited Vietnam. The US began financial support for the French military there in the 1950's, and I think it was Kennedy who first sent American troops, although advisors etc. may have been sent by Eisenhower.

This is what I added:

You're right. I believe Einsenhower had been involved with some inital activites that got the ball rolling on Vietnam in some aspect or another, but I can't get to my sources right now. As soon as I have some evidential proof, I'll return to ths section and update.

The Pentagon Papers' official title was "The History of the United States Decision-Making Process on Vietnam Policy". This is according to Katherine Graham's A Personal History (1997 Hardback edition p. 444, pp 4). Graham was the daughter of Eugene Meyer, the owner and publisher of the Post. She later became the owner and publisher of the The Washington POst Company was so during this PP and Watergate. This book was a great read for the history of the Washington Post and their involvment with this political controversy. I think this article would do well to elaborate a little on what both the Post and the Times went through to get this out there to the public. This book is a great reference and has a treasury of names, dates, and the emotions and consciousness of the times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

User:Vitaluv|Vitaluv]] (talk) 22:59, 11 July 2008 (UTC)==

Gettin' a date[edit]

"however, none of the consensus actions recommended on September 7 involved bombing North Vietnam" Oh, yes? Maclear's 10000 Day War (PB, p.124) says the 2-phase bombing plan was endorsed 17 Mar 64.... TREKphiler hit me ♠ 06:15, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be Pentagon papers[edit]

When discussing the naming of another incident Pentagon Papers was mentioned as an example. However, shouldn't the p in Paper be lowercase, as in Pentagon papers?WP:CAPS appears to agree with me. Any objections?

Scope question[edit]

In the Impact section there's a list of precentages of reasons for staying in Viet Nam that's tagged with note [7] (the Nixonland book). It's introduced as a memo from the DoD under Johnson.

Was this list actually part of the Pentagon Papers? If not, it doesn't belong in this article, and should be removed, or made into a footnote itself.

If anyone has insight into the inclusion of this as part of the PP, then please respond. I'll wait, then do some checking to see if I can find out if it belongs, then move it to a footnote or elide it entirely if appropriate. (talk) 16:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Further prosecution[edit]

A line notes, "A majority of the justices ruled that the government could still prosecute the Times and the Post for violating the Espionage Act by publishing the documents." This is a patent lie - most of the judges do not comment on that. The source itself is very biased (Airforce Magazine), it states a line earlier that "The Supreme Court decision on the Pentagon Papers had nothing to do with freedom of the press." and yet the opinions of the judges are filled with statements about the intentions of the first amendment and three judges explicitly say that it prohibits any such case. Blahage23 (talk) 08:33, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

More info?[edit]

I have heard that the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers in a heavily edited (censored) version and subsequently Senator Mike Gravel arranged with Ellsberg to have the uncensored version published by the Unitarian Universalist Church. Senator Gravel also used his senatorial privilege to read the papers into the congressional record, thus making them legally public, so the Nixon administration was unable to suppress publication. Kissinger wanted Gravel prosecutedfor treason, but the Supreme Court eventually ruled in his favor.

This info., properly sourced, should probably be included (or made clearer) in the article. (talk) 17:25, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Top Secret Sensitive[edit]

"("Sensitive" is not an official security designation; it meant that the study's publication would be embarrassing.) " I would like to see a citation for this use of the term sensitive. The way it is written now, it sounds like an opinion. Sensitive, when used by it self usually means a restriction on disemination. It is unlikely that this report was SCI. Throckmorton Guildersleeve (talk) 14:06, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

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Story out of sequence[edit]

The two paragraphs about Senator Mike Gavel's actions starting on June 29 should come after the court injunction and the Supreme Court case, which played out earlier in the month. Telling these stories out of sequence is confusing. I will work on changing this in a few days. HowardMorland (talk) 04:24, 25 January 2018 (UTC)