13. Ellsberg became a pariah and a hero at the same time
For opponents of the war in Vietnam, the revelations of the Pentagon Papers were a godsend. Therein was documented proof, prepared by the same military that was prosecuting the war, the American political and military leadership was lying about the war. Daniel Ellsberg became overnight a hero of the anti-war movement in the United States and around the world. Most of the focus of public attention was on the current state of the war, and the Nixon Administration, which had not been included in the report of the war as the events covered occurred before Nixon took office, nonetheless felt the heat over previous government deceptions.
To the pro-war hawks and conservative supporters of continued American expansion of the war, Ellsberg and his supporters were guilty of treasonous betrayal of the United States during a time of war (though officially it was not a time of war). To them, the problem revealed by the Pentagon Papers was the infiltration of less than committed or patriotic people in the Department of Defense and its major contractors, including RAND. Security was inadequate. When the Pentagon Papers were introduced on the floor of the Senate (entering them into the public record) they became a source of further divisiveness between the Democratic and Republican Parties.