The publication of the dossier has undermined the credibility of the American and world public opinion to the US authorities, showing that the administration of President Lyndon Johnson deliberately led policy of escalation of hostilities in Vietnam, while the US government has officially stated that it is not seeking to expand them. The administration lied to Congress and to the American people, having ignored all the legislation.
The first material based on Pentagon papers appeared in Sunday’s edition of the Newspaper June 13, 1971. Within a day, the editors received a court order to suspend the further publication of a study entitled ‘The History of the US government decision-making on Vietnam policy.’ This was done at the insistence of the then administration of President Richard Nixon, who claimed that the publication will cause irreparable damage to the interests of the US Defense Department, (Linder, n.d.)
June 19 Federal district court rejected the administration’s request to ban further publication. After several fierce battles between lawyers newspapers and government in the courts of different instances both sides appealed to the Supreme Court. After hearing the arguments of the editors of The New York Times and others that join it The Washington Post, June 30 confirmed the right of the two newspapers to publish the material on the basis of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press. Madison cites this Amendment: “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (Kirkpatrick Signature Series, Readings for week 3)
So long the government to maintain secrecy in order to hide the fact that the decision-making process does not withstand scrutiny by society. It is not just a shame, but it is also incriminating. Ellsberg himself has been charged under the law on espionage and he faced 115 years in prison, but the 1973 the case against him was dropped when it became clear that the government used illegal methods to gather it ‘dirt.’ (Linder, n.d.) In an open letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, the first assumes: “First, the omission of a bill of rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, etc. in all matters of fact tribal by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations.” (Kirkpatrick Signature Series, Readings for week 3) Over the years, the Pentagon has repeatedly Vietnamese dossier was published in the newspapers and in book form. However, as rightly point historians, these texts were incomplete as a number of fragments remained of it is not clear until the end of the classified reasons.
In sum, declassifying of these documents speaks of reasonable transfer of military authority, which is increasingly, usurped in the hands of the executive branch, not the US Congress, as it is according to the requirements of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. ‘Pentagon Papers’ demonstrate the true value of such practices. It lies in the fact that when the people allow a small group of people in the executive branch of power authorities secretly to implement and provide such decisions, it ensures the new Vietnam, Iraq and Libya, and in general is reckless, aggressive, and bloody policy.
Arnold, M. (2009). Pentagon Papers Charges Are Dismissed; Judge Byrne Frees Ellsberg and Russo, Assails 'Improper Government Conduct'. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: https://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0511.html#article
Kirkpatrick Signature Series (n.d.). Book 1. Readings for week 3. The Constitution. The Bill of Rights. Madison, J. Bellevue University Press.
Linder, D.O. (n.d.). The Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) Trial: A Chronology. Retrieved 21 May 2015 from: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/ellsberg/pentagonpaperschrono.html