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WikiLeaks Documents Are Not the Pentagon Papers

War logs don't match revelations of Vietnam skullduggery
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2010 4:52 PM CDT
WikiLeaks Documents Are Not the Pentagon Papers
This screen grab from Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 shows the Wikileaks.org home page. An activist group called Wikileaks has begun posting 573,000 pager messages purportedly sent on Sept. 11, 2001.   (AP Photo/Wikileaks.com)

(Newser) – The release of 92,000 classified documents related to the Afghanistan war has prompted many comparisons to the Pentagon Papers. But that's a bit superficial, writes Richard Tofel for ProPublica. "In terms of important disclosures, it's not even close." The biggest WikiLeaks revelations involve Taliban fighters' use of heat-seeking missiles and the Pakistani intelligence service's complicated relationship with Taliban leadership—neither of which were actually secret.

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There's really no comparison to the Pentagon Papers bombshell, which exposed decades of lies and dissembling on Vietnam by presidents from Harry Truman to Lyndon Johnson. Hopefully, the presidential reaction to the leak will constitute another difference, Tofel writes. The Nixon administration responded by waging an unsuccessful legal battle against free speech and then "set off down the road that led to Watergate ." Click here for a run-down of the WikiLeaks secrets.
(Read more Pentagon Papers stories.)

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