The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

James Goodale, chief counsel for the New York Times when the Pentagon Papers were published, tells the stories of the internal debates and the reasoning behind the strategy that emerged in the intense debate over whether or not publishing these documents would be in the country's interest. Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles follows those weeks in June when the press's freedom of speech came under its most sustained assault since the Second World War.


James Goodale

Comments [12]

I'll never forget hearing Daniel Ellsberg himself, during Obama's first term, say that the /Obama/ administration has been /the worst/ in persecuting whistleblowers.

May. 29 2013 03:26 AM

I wonder how many people heard Mr. Goodale on Democracy Now! a few weeks ago:

Quite a contrast between that interview and this one, no?

(Requisite disclaimer: Democracy (Hypocrisy) Now! is the worst news/interview show there is-- except for all the others...)

May. 29 2013 03:24 AM
Dan from NY

Its good to hear an NPR guest speak some truth about his opinion of the press as it pertained to the "anointed one" im sure Leonard didnt see that one coming.

May. 28 2013 12:52 PM
Amy from Manhattan

RUCB_Alum, I'd also mention that when Pres. Reagan traded arms for hostages, those arms went to the Contras, who murdered thousands of Nicaraguans, wiping out whole villages where some of the people were suspected of supporting the Sandinistas, & particularly targeting health facilities, adult literacy centers, & schools (i.e., children).

May. 28 2013 12:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Mac Bundy" = McGeorge Bundy? A lot of younger listeners might not remember that name.

May. 28 2013 12:35 PM
Allen Guzmán from Brooklyn

It's incredibly distressing, to say the least, to hear Mr. Goodale say he believes that there are exceptions to the First Amendment. And yes, I can hear in the interview with Mr. Lopate that he's trying to posture himself as a big leftist, but when we've got this (not so) "great," formerly from a behemoth such as the NY Times going on record saying there are the exceptions to the First Amendment, it completely undermines the purported objective of the book he's trying to peddle. I'm sorry to say that it begs the question of whether that's the point.

May. 28 2013 12:27 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

As a Democrat who just got the presidency only due to Kennedy's assassination, his primary interest was getting the liberal legislation passed. OTOH, he could not be seen as the "president who lost Vietnam" the way Truman had been reviled for "losing China" or for the stalemate in Korea. He had no choice but to show that Democrats "stood up to Communism."

May. 28 2013 12:26 PM
john from office

The press is arrogant, who are they to say what is good for our security.

May. 28 2013 12:22 PM

Cannot agree, David. Will not ever agree. Any politician who puts their access to power above the well-being of American citizens is a disgrace and does not deserve the office.

LBJ engineered us into a war for god knows why.

Nixon was a traitor who convinced the South Vietnamese to pull out of the talks that would have ended the war in 1969

And Reagan traded arms for hostages AND engineered an additional two and a half months of capitivity for the Iranian hostages for 'optics'.

Shameless...just shameless.

May. 28 2013 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I knew that an election had been scheduled for 1956. One of my earliest TV memories from 1954, was watching the news of the French Foreign Legion surrendering to General Giap at Dien Bien Phu. I was just an eight year old kid, but that memory stuck for some reason. Later in the '50s I read the books of Bernard Fall who chronicled the Indochina War, from 1946 through 1954, so when Kennedy began to send "special advisers" and troops to Vietnam, being told that helicopters and the new A-teams would change things from the way the French had fought the war, I was quite skeptical. But there is no doubt in my mind that Ho Chi Minh was both a communist as well as a nationalist, and that divided my own personal internal opinion about what we should or shouldn't do about it. I still can't reconcile if our intervention in Vietnam was right or wrong. I don't really think LBJ himself really wanted it, but he was sucked into it as most of us were.

May. 28 2013 12:17 PM

RUCB_Alum, just politics as usual.

May. 28 2013 12:13 PM

LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
RMN and scuttling the Paris Peace Talks 1968
RWR and extending the Iranian Hostage Crisis until Inauguration Day

Hardball politics or treason?

May. 28 2013 12:09 PM

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