William M. Byrne Jr., 75, Judge in the Ellsberg Leak Case, DiesBreaking News
Although he worked as a federal prosecutor and was named by President Richard M. Nixon in 1970 to head the Commission on Campus Unrest, Judge Byrne is best remembered as the Pentagon Papers judge. He got the case the same year he arrived on the bench.
Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, and a co-defendant, Anthony J. Russo Jr., were charged with espionage, theft and conspiracy for leaking to The New York Times a secret study of American involvement in the Vietnam War that became known as the Pentagon Papers.
Judge Byrne dismissed the case in 1973, ruling that the government was guilty of misconduct, including a break-in at the office of Mr. Ellsberg's psychiatrist that was orchestrated by White House officials seeking to discredit him.
Mr. Ellsberg learned of Judge Byrne's death as he was attending a conference of First Amendment lawyers in Palm Desert, Calif. where he took part in a panel discussion of the Pentagon Papers.
"His dismissal of all charges against Tony Russo and myself with the eloquent denunciation of government misconduct, in which he said it offends a sense of justice, gave my wife and me one of the best days of our lives," Mr. Ellsberg said.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges
- English professor uses literature to help cure historical amnesia
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't