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The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, lies and leaks

2017-12-16 | 🔗

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections seems to yield a new bombshell every week. Amid such high-profile revelations, we revisit a decades-old story that echoes to this day among the powerful in the nation’s capital.

This episode of Reveal tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg, a former government strategist responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers – thousands of classified documents that called into question America’s war in Vietnam. Our story juxtaposes Ellsberg’s story with that of Robert Rosenthal, our former executive director, whose first journalism job exposed him to the top-secret documents.  

Those papers are the subject of a new movie in theaters this holiday season. Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” depicts the Washington, D.C. paper’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers after the Nixon administration sued the first news organization to expose them, The New York Times.

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