The Rundown

History Thursday: The Afghanistan/Pentagon Papers

By: - December 12, 2019 9:38 am

Each day in our newsletter, we are highlighting stories and commentary from other media big and small throughout Ohio and the nation. If you’d like to get this feature directly to your inbox, please sign up for our newsletter here. 

Catching our eye:

History Thursday. CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting, “The Washington Post’s publication of US government papers about the 18-year-long Afghan war is being compared to the Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers. And the man responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, agrees with the analogy.

“In both wars, ‘The presidents and the generals had a pretty realistic view of what they were up against, which they did not want to admit to the American people,’ Ellsberg said in a phone interview Monday, hours after the Post’s Afghan war investigation was published.”

Historical context. Read about the explosive revelations of the Pentagon Papers here. The publication of the leaked documents led to a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 on the First Amendment and freedom of the press after the Nixon Administration attempted to force the New York Times to suspend publication of the documents.

Where have all the mom-and-pop community pharmacies gone? The Columbus Dispatch’s Marty Schladen is reporting, “Ohio’s reforms to the way it pays for Medicaid drugs haven’t gone nearly far enough, a national group representing chain pharmacies said Tuesday

“The (Medicaid) department is undertaking reforms after an analysis last year showed that in a single year, pharmacy middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers charged the state $244 million more for Medicaid drugs than they paid pharmacists…

“Independent and small-chain pharmacies have long complained that Ohio’s Medicaid reimbursements are making it hard to stay in business.”

Tricks of the trade.’s Sabrina Eaton is reporting that Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman supports the USMCA trade agreement worked out by U.S. House Democrats and the Trump Administration this week, while Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to review the deal to make sure it helps workers and includes strong labor enforcement protections.

Portman: “By opening more markets, it is good for American workers, farmers, and manufacturers, and it will create thousands of new jobs here in the United States.”

Brown: “I will need to read the agreement text and talk to important stakeholders before I determine whether it will get my vote.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

David DeWitt
David DeWitt

OCJ Editor-in-Chief and Columnist David DeWitt has been covering government, politics, and policy in Ohio since 2007, including education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, state and local government, business, labor, energy, environment, and social issues. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS, and He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is a board member of the E.W. Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends. He can be found on Twitter @DC_DeWitt