WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the granddaddy of WikiLeaks. Four decades ago, a young defense analyst leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about America’s conduct of the Vietnam War.
On Monday, that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form.
The National Archives and a trio of presidential libraries released the papers 40 years after The New York Times published the first in its series on the report. The sensational leak prompted a Supreme Court ruling that sided with the press, after President Richard Nixon tried to suppress publication.
Most of the 7,000-page study has been out for years. Monday’s release draws it together for the first time, and online. The study reveals a pattern of deception as the Johnson, Kennedy and prior administrations secretly escalated the conflict.