John Oliver’s Monday night interview of Edward Snowden — which in 24 hours has been viewed by 3 million people on YouTube alone — renewed all the standard attacks in Democratic circles accusing Snowden of being a traitor in cahoots with the Kremlin. What’s most striking about this — aside from the utter lack of evidence for any of it — is how identical it is to whatNixon officials said to smear the last generation’s greatest whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg (who is widely regarded by Democrats as a hero because his leak occurred with a Republican in the White House). As The New York Times reported in August 1973:
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As the Freedom of the Press Foundation recently noted: in December 1973,The NYT described the origins of Nixon’s “Plumbers Unit” and detailed how much of it was motivated by the innuendo spread by Henry Kissinger that Ellsberg was a covert Soviet operative: