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June 2021

The Pentagon Papers 50 Years Later

Vital, with Enduring Significance

By George Freeman
Fifty years has not definitively resolved the impact and import of the Pentagon Papers case. Was it a monumental victory for the press? Was it a loss, since for the first time the courts imposed a prior restraint on a newspaper? Or was it an inconsequential one-off, since it hasn’t been a precedent for many subsequent cases?