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updated 2/16/2011 8:23:22 AM ET 2011-02-16T13:23:22

The Pentagon Papers were splashed over U.S. newspapers 40 years ago for the whole world to read. Not much of a secret after that.

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Except to the U.S. government.

The National Declassification Center of the National Archives is now working to declassify the full text of the papers, which lay out the government's history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

The archives says the center also is declassifying documents on which the Pentagon Papers were based and investigative material about the 1971 leak of the papers by Daniel Ellsberg. The leak led to a major legal victory for press freedom when the Supreme Court upheld the right of newspapers to publish the leaked papers.

National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper confirmed Tuesday that the center is working on declassifying the material.

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