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The Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified study commissioned by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in 1967, detailed U.S. involvement in Vietnam by tracing policies and decision making in Indochina from the 1940s to 1968. The Pentagon Papers became public knowledge on June 13, 1971, with the debut of a series of articles in The New York Times by journalists Neil Sheehan and Hedrick Smith. By day three of the series, Attorney General John N. Mitchell requested The New York Times cease publication of The Pentagon Papers. The Times refused. Over the next few days, a series of court decisions addressing the right of the press to publish information and the right of the government to control information in the name of national security ensued. ...

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