Tue 14 Jun, 2011 10:28 pm
The New York Times began publishing excerpts of what came to be known as the Pentagon Papers on 13 June 1971. The first article in the series was titled "Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces Three Decades of Growing US Involvement". The name Pentagon Papers arose during the resulting media publicity. Street protests, political controversy and lawsuits followed helping to bring the war in Vietnam to an end.
On 30 June 1971 the Supreme Court decided that the press of the nation had been prevented from publishing this important document. Five days later, as precisely as I can calculate after the passing of 40 years, my first wife and I flew from Canada to Australia to take up teaching positions in Whyalla South Australia and help with the teaching work in the last years of the Baha’i Nine Year Plan: 1964 to 1973.
Today I was reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the release of these excerpts of the Pentagon Papers. The National Archives and Records Administration announced that the Papers would be declassified and released, all 7000 pages, to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California yesterday, on 13 June 2011. The papers were also released to the Nixon, Kennedy, and LBJ Libraries, as well as the Archives office in Bethesda, Maryland. The full release was coordinated by the Archives' National Declassification Centre as a special project to mark the anniversary of the report. –Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 14 June 2011.
I was really too busy to take it all in1
back then in the last half of June ’71.
That encyclopaedic history of the war
in Viet-Nam in 7000 pages-47 volumes
written while I was selling ice-cream,
teaching Inuit kids, and then recovering
from teaching Inuit kids, then driving an
armoured truck, doing security work and
finally teaching in that primary school in a
Cherry Valley southern Ontario. They were
all pioneering ventures from home towns
in the Golden Horseshoe so very long ago.
1 In June 1971 Daniel Ellsberg leaked this top-secret study of US decision-making in Vietnam. The documents became known as the Pentagon Papers. At the time, Ellsberg was a top US military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation & he and the Pentagon papers were just names in the news.
14 June 2011
I gather they reveal that the deception was even worse than we imagined.
You can't even begin to imagine, Dlowan.
Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda
By Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman
The American public will be slow to connect My Lai to Watergate, and yet that link is embedded in the political consciousness of those who are guiding the destinies of this country. Just as the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters were but a stitch in the fabric of illegal and criminal government, so My Lai was no more than a particularly horrible example of the American 'game plan" in the Vietnam War. The gruesome sequence of atrocity, frantic cover-up, unintended expose, hypocritical expression of humanitarian concern by commanders and rulers, and desperate public relations efforts to confine the blame to the triggermen is manifest in both settings.
Americans are fascinated by the Mafia, but very few citizens of this country believed until recently that the brutalities and deceptions of organized crime were also characteristic of government operations. We can be thankful, I suppose, that the United States government is not yet as efficient as the Mafia (whose skill has been built up over generations and whose personnel have been conditioned from birth) when it comes to hiding the traces of their crimes, cutting short the investigative trail, and screening out the occasional honest and principled operative.
Chomsky and Herman document beyond serious question the extent to which the United States government has engaged in and hidden crimes on our side in the Indochina War and fabricated a bloodbath myth to explain why we must continue to kill on a massive scale. Such a pattern of double deceit intends to convince the American public that we fight as men of conscience to protect our threatened friends from a horribly cruel enemy who is poised to massacre.
Professors Chomsky and Herman present convincing evidence on four principal concerns:
First, that this double deceit has been a systematic element in the official policy of our government over the years of American involvement in Indochina, although it has been carried to new extremes of blatancy during the Nixon presidency.
Secondly, that this pattern of distortion is imposed so effectively that it even envelops most citizens who oppose the war.
Thirdly, that America's world role as chief sponsor of counter-insurgency enterprises in the Third World has led beyond the distortion of information and included active participation, directly and indirectly, in the actual perpetration of atrocities.
Fourthly, that these morbid realities of distortion and participation have led to a widespread poisoning of the language of political discourse and the overall ethics of governance, making the public swallow official lies and numbing euphemisms about bloodletting of the innocent as integral to national security.
Thanks JTT, for your useful addition to this thread.-Ron
You're most welcome, Ron.