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Eleven Words in Pentagon Papers to Remain Classified

Eleven Words in Pentagon Papers to Remain Classified, by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News (May 26th, 2011).

The Pentagon Papers that were leaked by Daniel Ellsberg four decades ago have been formally declassified and will be released in their entirety next month — except for eleven words that remain classified.

David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, announced the surprising exception to the upcoming release of the Papers at a meeting of the Public Interest Declassification Board on May 26.

The Real Pentagon Papers, by A. J. Daverede, National Declassification Center blog (May 26, 2011)

The conditions under which the copies of the Report [leaked by Daniel Ellsberg] were made and distributed, coupled with the speed with which the copies were distributed and the urgency to publish the material, meant that the newspaper and magazine releases of the Papers covered only a very small portion of the 7,000 page Report.

The copies of the Report that were leaked to Congress ultimately had better luck in publication. Ultimately, Senator Mike Gravel (D, Alaska) made available his copy of the Report to the publishing house of Beacon Press, located in Boston. The Beacon Press editions, published in 1971 in both hard and soft cover versions, were the definitive account of the Report until now. However, Beacon Press had its own copy problems that led to words, paragraphs, and even full pages of the Report being deleted, possibly due to the quality problems in the copy received from Senator Gravel.

…NARA’s June release of the Report of the OSD Vietnam Task Force will present the American public with the first real look at this historic document. It is true that 11 words are redacted from one page of a 7,000 page report. However, this is very much a complete release of the Report.

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