On May, 26, David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, announced that the Pentagon Papers have been declassified and will be released in their entirety in hard copy and online in digital format on June 16– except for eleven words that will remain classified.
The Pentagon Papers are the popular name for a study of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam over a twenty year period that was commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967. Copies of the report were made by a former Department of Defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg. The top secret documents were eventually leaked to the New York Times which published the first excerpts in June 1971. Subsequently other media outlets continued to release parts of the report.
According to the blog of the National Declassification Center (NDC) “no one, outside the people properly cleared to view Top Secret, has seen the real Pentagon Papers.” The NDC states that the upcoming release “will present the American public with the first real look at this historic document.”
The Archivist also reported that the National Declassification Center has now achieved the capacity to process 14 million pages of classified records per month for declassification, and has declassified over 169 million pages of records over the past year. Ferriero added that the NDC is declassifying 91% of the material that it is processing.