In New York last night (Wednesday), the presses of the New York Times started rolling with the latest installment of the controversial Pentagon Papers.
NEW YORK, USA (JUNE 30, 1971) (REUTERS)
GV Times Square, New York at night
CU Sign "Times"
GV INT First papers rolling off presses
SV Papers arriving in despatch department
Background: In New York last night (Wednesday), the presses of the New York Times started rolling with the latest installment of the controversial Pentagon Papers. Earlier in the day, the United States Supreme Court struck a historic blow for press freedom. By a six-three majority, the court rejected the Nixon administration's efforts to suppress further publication of the secret Pentagon papers on the Vietnam war.
SYNOPSIS: In Times Square, New York, one of the most controversial stories of the year again started rolling off the presses of the New York Times newspaper. Earlier on Wednesday, a historic decision by the United States Supreme Court had cleared the way for the Times--and the Washington Post--to start republishing secret Pentagon papers on the Vietnam war. By a six-three majority, the court had rejected efforts by the Nixon administration to suppress publication of further war secrets. On behalf of the administration, Attorney-General John Mitchell had claimed further publication could harm national security and jeopardise foreign relations in certain departments. But the Supreme Court said the temporary restraint on publication amounted to a flagrant violation of the first amendment to the Constitution--which defends freedom of speech.
So newspaper accounts of the Pentagon secrets were back on the streets early Thursday morning. After mounting its own top-security operation to publish the Pentagon papers, the Times had planned to carry eight articles. The three articles already published imply that President Johnson was secretly planning escalation of the Vietnam war despite election denials in 1964.