Q:

What did the Pentagon Papers reveal?

A:

Quick Answer

The Pentagon Papers revealed that at least three sitting Presidents and their administrations purposefully deceived the people of the United States by escalating the Vietnam War while stating the opposite. The Presidents included in the report that became known as the Pentagon Papers include Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, according to NBC News and the University of Virginia.

Know More

Full Answer

In 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara decided that a comprehensive analysis of the United States' involvement in Vietnam after 1945 was needed to help relieve his frustration over the war, according to the University of Virginia. The resulting document was approximately 7,000 pages long and chronicled the involvement of the United States in Vietnam from the end of World War II until the end of the 1968 Tet Offensive, according to the University of Virginia. Parts of the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the press by Daniel Ellsberg, one of the analyst who had helped create the report. According to NBC, the Nixon administration retaliated by attempting to suppress publication of the papers. The Supreme Court ruled that the printing of the papers was covered under the First Amendment and was legal, according to NBC. NBC also notes that in 2011, the National Archives declassified the Pentagon Papers, making the entire document available to the public.

Learn more about Vietnam War

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why could the U.S. not win the Vietnam War?

    A:

    There are many reasons why the United States was unable to win the Vietnam War, but the most pressing issue at the time that caused its end was public opinion, which turned overwhelmingly against the war after the Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive in 1968. Although President Nixon began bombing Cambodia in what seemed like an escalation, by 1969, the government had already decided to move towards withdrawal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many people died in the Vietnam War?

    A:

    There were 1.4 million casualties during the Vietnam War. This number accounts for casualties on both sides of the conflict. Over 2 million soldiers of both sides were wounded in the war but not killed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How effective was napalm and Agent Orange against guerrilla tactics in the Vietnam War?

    A:

    Despite the devastating effects of both Agent Orange and napalm, neither weapon worked particularly well against the guerrilla tactics of the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. The Vietcong used a variety of tactics to keep the Americans one step behind in spite of their superior weaponry.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the causes of the Vietnam War?

    A:

    The struggle between French colonial forces and native Vietnamese citizens supported by Chinese communists was one of the root causes of the Vietnam War. United States forces entered the conflict in support of the French in order to fight communism. When the French left, the Americans fought the war alone.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore