Constitution Day
ATT: Dinah Zeiger
JAMM - University of Idaho
P.O. Box 443178
Moscow, ID 83844-3178

FAX: (208) 885-6450

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Contact & Locations


College of
Letters, Arts & Social Sciences

Physical Address:
Admin. Bldg. 112
phone: (208) 885-6426
fax: (208) 885-8964

Mailing Address:
College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences 
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3154
Moscow, ID 83844-3154

Coeur d'Alene

University of Idaho C'DA‎
1031 N Academic Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID
(208) 667-2588

College of
Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
University of Idaho
Admin. Bldg. 112
P.O. Box 443154
Moscow, ID 83844-3154
phone: (208) 885-6426
fax: (208) 885-8964

Daniel Ellsberg

Lesson 5: The Pentagon Papers: Freedom of the Press vs. National Security

Framing Questions
  1. What is rightful public knowledge versus government secrecy for national security purposes?
  2. What is the role of the press during wartime?
  3. Is freedom of the press a help or a hindrance for a democracy in times of conflict?
  4. What are the consequences of maintaining secrecy?


  1. Understand when and why it might be legitimate to keep information from the press and the people.
  2. Connect the Court’s rationale in New York Times v. United States to constitutional guarantees against prior restraint.
  3. Explain the inherent conflict between transparency in government and the national security rationale for secrecy.
  4. Discuss the choice implied by the decision in Pentagon Papers that the defense of the First Amendment poses: does scrutiny of government actions enhance democracy because it promotes accountability and reform or does it make Americans more vulnerable to attack?

The Pentagon Papers