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Pentagon Papers finally published, 40 years on

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Pentagon Papers, a US government report into the Vietnam War, were finally published in full, 40 years after embarrassing details of the document were leaked.

President Lyndon Johnson’s administration commissioned a Vietnam Study Task Force in 1967 to write a comprehensive report about America’s ill-fated involvement in the Vietnam conflict.

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Excerpts were leaked to the New York Times in 1971, by former United States Military Analysist Daniel Ellsberg, showing that successive US administrations had lied to the public about Vietnam, and triggering then president Richard Nixon to attempt to prevent any further such leaks.

Although it is unclear if any new information is contained in the 47-volume report — much of it has already been published — Timothy Naftali, head of the Nixon library and museum, welcomed its declassification.

“The point here is that it was intended to be a unified collection. There’s a coherence and integrity to the collection which it hasn’t had until now. It came out in bits and pieces,” he told AFP.

“I can’t say why it took so long, but I’m delighted that it has happened,” added Naftali, speaking from the Nixon center in the late ex-president’s home town of Yorba Linda, east of Los Angeles.

The Pentagon Papers leaks led Nixon to set up a covert White House investigations unit, known as The Plumbers, to prevent further leaks to the media.

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Members of it were subsequently implicated in the 1972 burglary at the Watergate complex in Washington DC — sparking the Watergate scandal which eventually forced the president derisively nicknamed “Tricky Dick” to quit in 1974.

The California Nixon center has long had a copy of the Pentagon Papers — stamped “Top Secret” — in its vaults, as have a number of other presidential libraries and the National Archives in Washington DC.

Several of the volumes were put on display in Yorba Linda on Monday, but scholars can study its more than 7,000 pages most easily online, where it is available for the general public to read.

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Economist who hoped for ‘V-shaped’ recovery now predicting a prolonged downturn even worse than the Great Recession

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Tim Bartik is among the economists who has described the type of “V-shaped” economic recovery he would like to see in the United States following the coronavirus pandemic. Ideally, Bartik has asserted, all the businesses that have been shut down by the pandemic would reopen quickly when it’s safe to do so and put millions of Americans back to work. But journalist Andy Balaskovitz, in an article published in MiBiz on April 8, explains why Bartik (a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Michigan) now believes that predictions of a “V-shaped recovery” are wishful thinking — and why Americans are in for a lot of economic pain in the months ahead.

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‘Recipe for disaster’: Officials in Florida city say they face ‘unimaginable’ potential death from COVID-19

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Officials in the Florida city of Hialeah are warning that they are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and face the possibility of "unimaginable" death from the disease.

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November 2019 intel report warned of COVID-19 ‘cataclysmic event’ — even as Trump still insists no one saw it coming

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An intelligence report issued in November 2019 warned that COVID-19 could severely disrupt daily life throughout the world and described it as a potential "cataclysmic event."

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"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one source tells ABC News, who also says that the report was briefed "multiple times" to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

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