Definition of the Pentagon Papers from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Pentagon Papers

; NAmE
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secret papers from the Pentagon which were printed in the New York Times in 1971. The papers had been taken by Daniel Ellsberg, a government employee, and given to the newspaper. They were about a government study of the Vietnam War, and they revealed military actions about which the public had not been told. The US Department of Justice tried to stop them being published, but the Supreme Court decided that the newspaper had the right to publish them under the First Amendment. The Pentagon Papers helped to turn public opinion against the war and also strengthened the freedom of the press.