The more things change, the more they stay the same, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have any(Steven Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers leak, left; Edward Snowden of the NSA PRISM leak, right)
Of course, you won’t find too much support for that “traitor” and “defector” on the mainstream news networks (even Andrew Napolitano seems to be the lone voice lionizing Snowden as an “American hero” on the Fox News Network).
Dana Stuster writes at Foreign Policy.
“…[T]he reaction to Snowden’s leaks is in many ways different than the response Ellsberg received when the Pentagon Papers were published four decades ago. Then, politicians went out of their way to be associated with Ellsberg’s disclosures. Sen. George McGovern, who was running for president at the time, told the New York Times that he suggested Ellsberg make the Pentagon Papers available to “a respectable newspaper” and that he did not release the Pentagon Papers himself because it would have seemed too political, according to an Aug. 1, 1971 article. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s muted criticism was that he hoped the “man who leaked the report will be forgotten.” Retired Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did write in an editorial that Ellsberg had committed a “traitorous act” and “didn’t know what he was doing to the security of the United States.” But while that language may be par for the course today, it was an unusually scathing indictment at the time.”