D H
Jul 16 · Last update 21 days ago.

What can we learn from the Pentagon Papers?

On June 13th 1971 the New York Time published the ‘Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force’, commonly known as the Pentagon papers. This document was leaked to the press by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and revealed government secrets regarding the Vietnam War, and set in motion a sequence of events that would lead to the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency. How are the Pentagon Papers still significant today? What parallels can be drawn? What can we learn from the Pentagon Papers?
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Massively undermined faith in the government
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Massively undermined faith in the government

While the implications to the Pentagon Papers were wide-ranging, arguably the most lasting impact was to undermine peoples trust in the government, following the repeated lies and even illegal activities of presidents Johnson and Nixon respectively. President Johnson campaigned during 1964 vowing not to widen the scope of the war in Vietnam, but ultimately did this first covertly and then by planned escalation in the spring of 1964, a year before the depth of US involvement was revealed publicly. However, the papers also revealed this was nothing special, as presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson had all misled the public on the war, however the most memorable and shocking outcome was the result of Nixon's interference with the trial of whistle-blower Daniel Ellsburg that became the famous Watergate scandal. Not much as changed presently: with Trump make a similar calls to Johnson in Afghanistan, and Trump efforts to dig up dirt on his political opponents, something the Watergate scandal also implicated Nixon in. Yet Trump continues as president without shame, no wonder America has such low voter turn out.

archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/13/reviews/papers-overview.html mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon4/pent6.htm upi.com/Archives/Audio/Events-of-1971/The-Pentagon-Papers airforcemag.com/article/0207pentagon

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D H
Jul 18
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