Complete Pentagon Papers released 40 years later

The Takeaway

Many historians view the release of the Pentagon Papers as a turning point in public perception of the Vietnam War. The documents candidly detailed US-Vietnam relations after World War II, including information that was never supposed to reach the American public.

The Takeaway’s Celeste Headlee talks to Fox Butterfield, one of the first New York Times reporters to review the classified documents. Butterfield recalls when he first was assigned to review the declassified documents:

I had no comprehension of what was going on. I went over to the Hilton, which was 10 blocks away, and the New York Times had already taken a suite of rooms. There, there were four large filing cabinets filled with these documents. Neil [Sheehan] and I began reading them. It was overwhelming and my mind was boggled when I opened the first set and there was this thing at the top that read, ‘Eyes Only President.’


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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