Pentagon Papers accessible in complete form at last

Monday, for the first time, the unedited Pentagon Papers were published for the public online. The once-explosive document unveils that the government, through four different administrations, lied about the motives for our participation in the Vietnam war. Though experts say absolutely nothing new is revealed, it will be the first time the entire record could be read without a security clearance. The report is being published precisely 40 years after the New York Times published the first installment of the modified record. Post resource - Pentagon Papers released in their entirety by

Report from 1969

Originally, the report was called the "Report of the OSD Vietnam Task Force" in 1969. It analyzed America's Vietnam War involvement. For a while, it was called "The Pentagon Papers" after being leaked in 1971. One task force member released it in 1971. The Watergate scandal easily followed the leak. Popular opinion was changed and formed about how the United States government should be trusted.

'Put to the torch'

When the leak occurred, President Nixon was angry. He said those who let it happen should "have to be put to the torch." After "the plumbers," or White House agents, tried to discredit Ellsberg by breaking into his physic iatric office, the Ellsberg legal lawsuit was thrown out. "The plumbers" were also implicated in the break-in of Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate building a year later.

Power needed to be restrained

When it comes to deciding to go to war or not, Ellsberg thinks that Congress should be involved, which is what the papers show. "Letting a small group of men in secret in the executive branch make these decisions - initiate them secretly, carry them out secretly and manipulate Congress, and lie to Congress and the public as to why they're doing it and what they're doing - is a recipe for (creating more) Vietnams, Iraq's and Libya's," Ellsberg said.

The House and Senate admonished the White House for avoiding congressional approval before taking military action in Libya.

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