Pentagon papers to be officially released in June

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The Pentagon Papers will be officially released in June at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, 40 years after Daniel Ellsberg famously leaked the documents in 1971. Steven Aftergood in Secrecy News reports:

The National Archives announced this week that it "has identified, inventoried, and prepared for public access the Vietnam Task Force study, United States-Vietnam Relations 1945-1967, informally known as 'the Pentagon Papers'." As a result, 3.7 cubic feet of previously restricted textual materials will be made officially available at the Nixon Library on June 13, the Archives said in a May 10 Federal Register notice.

While any release of historical records is welcome, the official "disclosure" of the Pentagon Papers is in fact a sign of disarray in the government secrecy system. The fact that portions of the half-century old Papers remained classified until this year is a reminder that classification policy today is often completely untethered from genuine national security concerns.

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  1. Daniel Ellsberg will be at the Hillside Club in Berkeley tonight.

    Thursday, May 12
    7:30 PM

    TRANSFORMING TERROR:
    Remembering the Soul of the World
    with editors SUSAN GRIFFIN and KARIN LOFTHUS CARRINGTON
    and contributors DANIEL ELLSBERG, GEORGE LAKOFF, JOAN MIURA and HOWARD TEICH

    Berkeley Arts & Letters at the Hillside Club

    $12 general, $6 student, in advance, at Brown Paper Tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/170006, online or call 800-838-3006; $15 at the door: 2286 Cedar Street near Arch, Berkeley

  2. The really funny part will be how much is redacted. Imagine having that job: go through thousands of pages of documents, the complete text of which is available online, and black shit out.

  3. a reminder that classification policy today is often completely untethered from genuine national security concerns.

    there’s a tether…. Some of the people in those papers still draw pensions and had mentored many in government today. That’s quite a tether.

  4. They didn’t keep them secret because of national security. It’s about controlling the perceived legitimacy of decision makers.

    The last thing you want is people questioning the wisdom of their imperial leaders, which is why Wikileaks upset the Obama admin so much.

    They only released it now because:
    A. Nobody cares.
    B. Anyone that cares is probably dead or too old to care.

  5. Everyone, please put spoilers behind tags. Some people haven’t seen this one yet.

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