Pentagon Papers Turns 50

This may have been the best eye-opener for people on the subject of the Vietnam War…..I still have my copy and remains in my “old Books” section of my library…..

2021 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the “Papers” and the feed it gave tom the anti-war movement….

This article is from the NYT…..

Brandishing a captured Chinese machine gun, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara appeared at a televised news conference in the spring of 1965. The United States had just sent its first combat troops to South Vietnam, and the new push, he boasted, was further wearing down the beleaguered Vietcong.
“In the past four and one-half years, the Vietcong, the Communists, have lost 89,000 men,” he said. “You can see the heavy drain.”
That was a lie. From confidential reports, McNamara knew the situation was “bad and deteriorating” in the South. “The VC have the initiative,” the information said. “Defeatism is gaining among the rural population, somewhat in the cities, and even among the soldiers.”
Lies like McNamara’s were the rule, not the exception, throughout America’s involvement in Vietnam. The lies were repeated to the public, to Congress, in closed-door hearings, in speeches and to the press. The real story might have remained unknown if, in 1967, McNamara had not commissioned a secret history based on classified documents — which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers.
 
It is a shame that the American people cannot muster the passion to end destructive and deadly wars we fight all over the globe….
 
The book failed to have a lasting effect on our proclivity to war……

The Pentagon Papers should have spawned permanent, radical skepticism concerning the candor and competence of U.S. foreign interventions. Philosopher Hannah Arendt observed that the Pentagon Papers revealed how “sheer ignorance of all pertinent facts and deliberate neglect of postwar developments became the hallmark of established doctrine within the Establishment.” That internal study also revealed how deceit became institutionalized. Daniel Ellsberg, who wrote a portion of the papers, noted that the documents reveal “a general failure to study history or to analyze or even to record operational experience, especially mistakes. Above all, effective pressures for optimistically false reporting at every level, for describing ‘progress’ rather than problems or failure, concealed the very need for change in approach or for learning.” Georgetown University professor Derek Leebaert observed that the U.S. military floundered in Vietnam in part because “it had forgotten everything it had learned about counterinsurgency in Korea.” The accolade of “The Best and the Brightest” received far less derision than it deserved.

Ellsberg, a former Pentagon official, risked life in prison to smuggle the report to the media after members of Congress were too cowardly to expose it. The Nixon Justice Department speedily secured a court injunction blocking the New York Times from continuing to publish excerpts. The Washington Post and other newspapers quickly began publishing additional classified excerpts, setting up a Supreme Court showdown on the First Amendment.

Pentagon Papers Failed to Cure Servile Pro-War Media

Sadly they are few that push back against the control of the M-IC on our foreign policy……until we get a grip and demand that these endless countless wars cease….we will have the body counts grow and grow….

Pay F*cking Attention People!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

3 thoughts on “Pentagon Papers Turns 50

  1. The lies about Vietnam were so frequent, and so obviously blatant, it’s a wonder there wasn’t some kind of uprising in America at the time. So many wasted lives, a tragedy.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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