The recent WikiLeaks scandal is widely considered the biggest national security leak since the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which detailed the lies and deceptive tactics of the United States government regarding the Vietnam War.
Although the public gained access to the documents through media reports, the Federal government may finally declassify the papers 40 years later. According to The Associated Press, the National Declassification Center of the National Archives is working to declassify the full text of the Pentagon Papers, as well as the investigative material about the leak of the documents.
The Pentagon Papers, which revealed that the government knew the Vietnam War was going to be deadlier and more difficult to win than the public knew, were released by Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who had top security clearance.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a modern-day Ellsberg because of his knack for infuriating top government officials. Last year, Assange's website released approximately 250,000 diplomatic cables that revealed top-secret American foreign relations' intelligence and strategies.
High-profile defense attorney Alan Dershowitz recently joined Assange's legal team as he faces criminal charges overseas. During an interview with CNN, Dershowitz said that he is working with British lawyers on the American aspects of the lawsuits.
"I will be focusing on 1st and 4th Amendment issues, freedom of press and freedom of association, and limitations on the government’s power to intrude on these rights," Dershowitz told the media outlet. "I will also be interested in helping to develop the law involving the new electronic media."