The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, Lies and Leaks

the-pentagon-papersDeep look at the leaking and publication of the Pentagon Papers. At the center are two guys who have a knack for being in the room when history gets made: Robert J. Rosenthal and Daniel Ellsberg.

When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, he was turning his back on a long career close to power, immersed in government secrets. His early career as a nuclear war strategist made him fear that a small conflict could erupt into a nuclear holocaust. When the Vietnam War flared, Ellsberg worried his worst fears would be realized. He wonders if leaking top-secret material he’s seeing at work could help stop the war. Soon, he was secretly copying the 7,000-page history that would come to be known as the Pentagon Papers and showing them to anyone he thought could help.

As a result, President Richard Nixon wakes up to the biggest leak in American history. His first reaction is a little surprising: The Pentagon Papers might make trouble for the Democrats – this instinct starts a chain reaction that helps bring down his presidency.

Reveal | 21st May 2016

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