Skip to main content

The Pentagon Papers

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked a secret Pentagon study of the Vietnam War to the New York Times. Forty years later, in 2011, those documents were declassified.

Pentagon Papers in the News

Declassification of The Pentagon Papers

On June 13, 2011 the "Pentagon Papers" were declassified 40 years after they were leaked to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan by Daniel Ellsberg.  Officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, the top-secret study was the work of a task force commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara without the knowledge of President Lyndon Johnson.  The 4,000 pages of documents and 3,000 pages of historical analysis exposed the United States government's deception regarding its policies and practices in the conduct of the Vietnam War.

photo credit:

The "declassified" files were released to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California



The Pentagon Papers & Wikileaks

“EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Daniel Ellsberg, December 8, 2010

"Is Wikileaks the Pentagon Papers, part 2? Parallels, and Differences, Exist."  By Paul Farhi and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post Staff Writers, Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg speaks about the charges against Bradley Manning on the Democracy Now website.  

Ellsberg participates in a panel discussion of "Wikileaks, the Internet and Democracy".

"Wikileaks Q&A with Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind the Pentagon Papers" Christian Science Monitor, July 29, 2010

"Wikileaks Vs. the Pentagon Papers" by David Martin CBS News July 26, 2011 

 Wikileaks LibGuide

James P. Adams Library  ·  Rhode Island College  ·  600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908