Pentagon Papers

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Formally a 47-volume report commissioned by the U.S. Secretary of Defense of the time, Robert S. McNamara, and titled History of U.S. Decision Making Process on Vietnam Policy, the Pentagon Papers refers primarily to the subset leaked by Daniel Ellsberg and published by the New York Times. Some parts, which have appeared in published versions, were also dictated on the U.S. Senate floor, with Senatorial immunity, by Sen. Mike Gravel, Democrat of Alaska.

The full document set, not limited to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War but going well before it, in the Wars of Vietnam, has never been published. Ellsberg, as well as the U.S. government, agreed that the truly sensitive parts dealt with ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the Vietnam War. Before that was known, however, the Johnson Administration had its Solicitor General, Erwin Griswold, file an urgent request in the Supreme Court of the United States. [1]

A separate action for prior restraint this quickly reached the Supreme Court of the United States in New York Times Co. v. United States. [2]

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