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(Ep 2) The New York Times, the Pentagon Papers, and the Secret Weapon of the First Amendment feat. James Goodale

When The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers it sparked one of the greatest battles for press freedom in US history. In an unprecedented move, the Nixon administration sought to bar The New York Times from publishing further. The Times’s outside counsel had told them they would not defend them if they chose to publish the top-secret history of the Vietnam War.

But their General Counsel, James Goodale, argued that The New York Times had the right to publish. As Goodale explains to host Chip Gibbons, while the First Amendment is today a cornerstone of press freedom cases, in those days it was a “secret weapon.”

And one he was prepared to use.

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1 comment
  • Great segment… My father is an ex Vietnam veteran… I owe my life to many people… the important work on pentagon papers has paved the way forward. Our world would not be the same had the pentagon papers not been leaked.

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