WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

The Pentagon Papers, Wikileaks, and the NYT

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There seemed to be some interest in class today about the Pentagon Papers case, Wikileaks, and the Times in those segments of the movie that we watched. (What I found particularly interesting was how, the night before publication, some senior editors at the Times had never even heard of Wikileaks.) Here’s some background information:

“Twenty-five years ago this month, The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a documentary history tracing the ultimately doomed involvement of the United States in a grinding war in the jungles and rice paddies of Southeast Asia. They demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance. 

The Government sought and won a court order restraining further publication after three articles had appeared. Other newspapers then began publishing. They, too, were restrained, until finally, on June 30, 1971, the United States Supreme Court ruled, by a vote of 9 to 0, that publication could resume.” (R.W. Apple, June 23, 1996 — “Lessons From the Pentagon Papers“.)