Pentagon Papers

Running Head: Pentagon Papers

Pentagon Papers
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DeVry University

In 1967, a research project was started that would change the face of how the American citizens and media saw the United States Government. It was at this time that U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and a team of analysts who also worked for the Department of Defense had started preparing a classified study of the United States political and military involvement in Vietnam from the end of World War 2 to what was then the present day, 1945 to 1967. As time went on and the war kept dragging the military presence in South Vietnam swelled to over 500,000 troops by 1968. It was at this time, 1969, that one of the military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg came to oppose the war, and felt it was time that the detailed information contained in the “Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force” which would later to be known as, The Pentagon Papers, should be more widely available to the American public.
While preparing for the study, Daniel Ellsberg and other analysts pulled classified material from the Department of Defense (DOD) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assess the involvement of the US government in Vietnam. The report as a whole was completed in 1969 and compiled into 47 volumes. It consisted of over 3,000 pages of narrative and over 4,000 pages of supporting documents. In these files, portions revealed that the administration of presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson has all intentionally misinformed and distracted the public about the severity of U.S. involvement in political and military issues leading to Vietnam. It included cases such as Truman’s decision to give military backing and aid to France with its battles against communist-led Viet Minh and Johnson’s plans to insight war on Vietnam in 1964, although on the political platform for presidential election he claimed to be against it.