Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Why the Pentagon Papers matter now
While we go on waging unwinnable wars on false premises, the Pentagon papers tell us we must not wait 40 years for the truth
Viet Cong guerrilla suspects led by US infantrymen to an interrogation point near Long Thanh, 40 miles southwest of Saigon, during the Vietnam war on 1 February 1966.
Reflecting on the release of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg bitterly regrets that he did not release sooner contemporaneous evidence in his possession that contradicted the official version of the 1964 Tonkin Gulf incident, which – just as with Iraq’s nonexistent WMD in 2003 – enabled the presidential executive to gain congressional approval for escalating US military involvement in Vietnam. Photograph: AP Photo/Henri Huet