Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pentagon Papers' 11 Secret Words

When a top-secret Defense Department analysis of the Vietnam War, which caused a legal uproar 40 years ago, was recently made public, the government said it was keeping 11 words secret, then changed its mind and published the 7000 pages in full.

Now a guessing game is vexing the even the leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, and the lead author of the report, Leslie Gelb, who can’t find them in the mountain of words.

It may be like the re-mastering of those ancient jazz records, which uncover sounds not caught by the existing technology but are now clearly heard in CDs, like Louis Armstrong’s breathing and muttering—-a gift from the past.

In the era of Wikileaks, why not imagine a ghostly Tweet embedded in the Pentagon Papers by some technological wizard in code to be teased out of those 47 volumes?
Properly sequenced, the message might read: “Don’t fight dumb wars for no good reason in faroff places.”

If such a warning is not explicit in the original Papers, it is crystal-clear in hindsight and should be passed on to the politicians who are trying to figure out what we are doing and why in the Middle East. Back to the future!


daniel noe said...

The eleven words are:

I can't believe you actually wasted seven months looking for these.

Raven said...

"We should not have meddled with Vietnam in the first place."