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New York Times vs US 1971- This case came at a time when America was at unrest A controversial war had divided the country Opinions and arguments about whether the US involvement in Vietnam was warranted occupied the minds of American citizens The people were hungry for information regarding the war The Pentagon Papers somehow leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post fulfilled this need of the people for information The governments assumption of prior restraint seemed to be a major blow to free speech and a sharp addition to the power of the government The appellate courts indecisiveness brought the ultimate decision to the Supreme Court There was a deep division of opinion even among the Justices and their decision landmarked what had been previously uncharted waters The background to this landmark case has at its roots US policies in Southeast Asia These policies which eventually led to the Vietnam War were sharply criticized in a study authorized by Secretary of State Robert S McNamara in 1967 This 47-volume study officially named History of United States Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy have come to be known as the Pentagon Papers These papers detailed the entire history of our involvement in Vietnam from World War II to the beginning of the Paris peace talks Daniel Ellsberg an employee of a California think tank was given access to this study This think tank held Defense Department contracts to analyze American strategy in Vietnam Ellsberg had become convinced that our involvement in Vietnam was a mistake and that American forces should be withdrawn immediately Ellsberg and a man named Anthony Russo then photocopied the papers in a Los Angeles advertising office Believing that these papers strongly supported his views Ellsberg delivered a copy of
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