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Pentagon Papers released, 40 years later

Forty years after The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, the complete version was released on June 13, 2011 by the National Archives. Daniel Ellsberg, pictured here at the Senate Watergate hearing in this UPI file photo, was responsible for leaking the papers to the press. The Pentagon Papers revealed serious issues with the administering of the Vietnam War by various administrations. President Richard Nixon tried to suppress the report, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the press. UPI/files
Forty years after The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, the complete version was released on June 13, 2011 by the National Archives. Daniel Ellsberg, pictured here at the Senate Watergate hearing in this UPI file photo, was responsible for leaking the papers to the press. The Pentagon Papers revealed serious issues with the administering of the Vietnam War by various administrations. President Richard Nixon tried to suppress the report, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the press. UPI/files | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- The complete Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam War, were made public Monday, 40 years to the day after the first leaks were published.

The New York Times' printing of excerpts leaked by Daniel Ellsberg led to a titanic battle with the Nixon administration and a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court expanding freedom of the press.

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Facebook archive of UPI's Pentagon Papers coverage

The full 7,000 pages, some of which Ellsberg withheld because he feared the Nixon administration might use them to sabotage peace talks, were posted by the National Archives on its Web site Monday, USA Today reported. They also will be available for viewing at the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon presidential libraries.

Ellsberg and others have said they do not expect any major new revelations.

In 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara commissioned the Vietnam Study Task Force to chronicle U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945 onward. The 47-volume report contained sensitive material exposing American policy failures.

AUDIO: UPI's coverage of the leak

Ellsberg, a former military analyst who had worked on the papers in 1967, began leaking parts of them to the Times early in 1971.

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