- I’d never heard of this story prior to seeing this, which I suppose reveals both my age and my inattentiveness to the annals of Nixon’s presidency.
- I’m about 80% sure that in thirty-five years when the United States is waging a pointless war against an invisible enemy, a war presented to the public under false pretenses, we’re going to see a movie similar to this one about George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. Because although this movie is about Viet Nam, it is of course metaphorically about the war in Iraq; you can never actually talk about the war that is currently happening, so you have to treat the one that already happened as a stand in for it.
- I love how long these classified reports are. 47 volumes? Jesus. I’m assuming there are actually people out there who have read it for fun the way other people read the Warren Commission for fun.
- There were some pretty hilarious off-the-record audio clips of Nixon being an asshole when he thought no one was listening. And, sometimes, even when he knew someone was listening.
- This story is a great example of free speech (in the actual government censorship, First Amendment sense of the term that people incorrectly apply to situations where usually someone is trying to tell them to stop being an asshole) in the press. Ellsberg gave the classified papers to the New York Times, which printed excerpts in a series of articles on the papers; the government got an injunction to prevent them from printing more classified information. While they were tied up in court, the Washington Post started printing additional excerpts; an injunction was filed against them too. Papers in Chicago and Boston picked up where New York and Washington left off and eventually there wasn’t anything the government could do to suppress the information. I just kept picturing Nixon running around shrieking “Make them stop!” and as soon as they got one paper to stop, two more would start printing in its place. Good stuff.
- I’m not sure if I found this engaging because I didn’t know anything about it or because it was a really good movie. I’ll go with the latter because I can’t possibly know if it’s because of the former.
Categories: 3 Stars