NSA Apologists Try to Smear Snowden as a “Russian Spy” … Exactly Like Authorities Tried to Smear Daniel Ellsberg, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams

Even the FBI and NSA Say There’s No Evidence that Snowden Worked With Others

While NSA apologists like Mike Rogers say that Snowden is a Russian spy, the New York Times observes:

Officials at both the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. have said their investigations have turned up no evidence that Mr. Snowden was aided by others.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation points out that the Nixon administration also tried to smear Daniel Ellsberg as a Russian spy:

While it’s well-known that Rep. Rogers has a long history of making things up and telling the media, it’s less known that his tactics are drawn straight from Richard Nixon’s playbook, when his administration tried to discredit Daniel Ellsberg after he leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971.

Ellsberg is commonly looked at as the quintessential whistleblower today, but shortly after he leaked the top secret Vietnam War study, the Nixon administration made a concerted effort to paint him as a Soviet spy in the press, using anonymous quotes and non-existent ‘secret’ evidence. (Sound familiar?)

This is from the New York Times on August 11, 1973:

An attorney for Dr. Daniel Ellsberg has chided the Senate Watergate committee for failing to challenge what he called “totally false and slanderous” testimony by the former White House aide, John D. Ehrlichman, suggesting that Dr. Ellsberg delivered copies of the Pentagon papers to the Soviet embassy.

“During his testimony before your committee, Mr. Ehrlichman repeatedly asserted that the Pentagon papers had been given in 1971 to the Soviet Embassy and implied that this might have been done by my client, Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, or with his knowledge,” the attorney, Leonard B. Boudin, who wrote the committee. “These allegations are made of whole cloth; they are totally false and slanderous of Dr. Ellsberg.”

In December 1973, the New York Times reported on Nixon administration’s alleged reasoning for starting the White House Plumbers unit, which conducted several illegal operations against Ellsberg and the Watergate break-in:

One was a fear—nourished in part, some sources said, by Henry A. Kissinger, then the President’s national security adviser—that Daniel Ellsberg, who said he turned over the Pentagon papers to the press, might pass on to the Soviet Union secrets far more important than any information contained in the Pentagon study of the Vietnam war.

Specifically, the sources said, the White House feared that Dr. Ellsberg, a former Rand Corporation and Defense Department official, may have been a Soviet intelligence informer who, in the weeks after publication of the Pentagon Papers in June, 1971, was capable of turning over details of the most closely held nuclear targeting secrets of the United States, which were contained in a highly classified documents known as the Single Integrated Operation Plans, or S.I.O.P.

The second major concern was that a highly placed Soviet agent of the K.G.B., the Soviet intelligence agency, operating as an American counterspy, would be compromised by continued inquiry by the special prosecutor and the Senate Watergate committee into the Ellsberg case. The agent informed his F.B.I. contact that a set of the Pentagon papers had been delivered to the Soviet Embassy in Washington shortly after a Federal court had ordered The Times to stop printing its series of articles on the papers.

In July 1974, the New York Times published a leaked Nixon administration memo written in August 1971 on how they could discredit Ellsberg’s principal lawyer Leonard B. Boudin:

Most of what Daniel Ellsberg has said in public since he acknowledged stealing the Pentagon Papers seems calculated to position him as having responded to an order of morality higher than his onetime solemn undertakings to his country. This rationale, let it be remembered, was earlier employed by atomic spies Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass, Morton Sobell and Bruno Pontecorvo.

And although there is as yet no conclusive evidence that Daniel Ellsberg acted on specific instructions of the Soviet Union—as did those earlier informants—the distinct possibility remains that Ellsberg’s “higher order” will one day be revealed as the Soviet Fatherland. For history is replete with repetition and notable similarities exist.

But in the case of Daniel Ellsberg the benefits of [an acquittal] will accrue to the Soviet Union, the Vietcong and Communist China. For if Boudin is again successful—as he has been so often in the past—the agents of foreign powers will enjoy a liberty of action never before accorded them in the history of our country.

Whether it’s the Nixon administration or anyone else, any allegations made with no proof—and under the veil of secrecy—deserve extreme skepticism and strong pushback from the press. Rep. Mike Rogers’ evidence-free smears against Edward Snowden are no different.

Indeed, Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams did exactly what Edward Snowden did … and were likewise labeled as traitors by the British government.

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  • Suppose a foreign spy tells Americans the truth about their government, and a U.S. rep LIES and COVERS UP the truth. Which is worse: the spy or the rep? Which is the traitor: the spy or the rep?

  • Great post.

    Can I mention that there is a great idea in state legislatures to stop the military NSA in its tracks.

    Tennessee has a bill ordering all state agencies to stop providing water and electricity to the military NSA, and Washington State has a bill criminalizing helping the military NSA to spy on Americans.

    Now that rings true. True Americana.

    Let’s all get on board and encourage our state legislatures to do the same !!!

    Activism in the very best sense of the word.

  • Tonto

    Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Edward Snowden are all popular actors presented to you by the main stream media.

    What earth-shaking information has Edward Snowden really delivered since his main stream media orchestrated grand entrance into the popular world of the alternative media dis-info-tainment industry?


    • Maybe the mainstream media isn’t telling us everything Snowden is delivering?

      What about this:

      The second important disclosure by Snowden is the fact that all NSA raw intelligence is immediately and spontaneously transmitted to Israel to their own Intel proprietary contractors, who also just happen to be major intel contractors responsible for running almost all American cell phone billing and Congressional Internet and communications too.

      Of course, Veterans Today Editors and Authors have been claiming this for quite a while, and have repeatedly warned about use of various organizations like AIPAC, ADL, B’nai B’rith, SPLC and the like as agents of Israeli foreign espionage inside America. Of course all these claims will now more easily gain traction because of Snowden’s disclosures. However if folks dig a bit they will find that Tomas Drake, William Binney, Mark Novitsky and others disclosed this long ago but almost no-one was listening.(1)(2)(3)

      How interesting that NSA Officials, Senate Intel Committee members and the —>>> Major mass media <<<— are not screaming this from the rooftops and demanding all intel sharing with Israel be immediately stopped in all forms.


      • Tonto

        Anyone who reads knew long before Snowden that there was an Israeli connection in the U.S. intelligence loop. And you answered your own question.

        Snowden is a disinformation specialist. And all this hoopla about a resurgent Russia is just bullshit. Things have not been better in Russia in -a thousand years-. This is entirely due to the deal Yeltsin cut (and Putin gladly adheres to) when Yeltsin came here a few decades ago begging for help after the collapse of the USSR. Yeltsin got help. Russia got help. And they’re not about to rock the boat. The USA and Russia have never been closer allies. Russia is like the fifty-first state, and quite happy to be in such an envious position.

        Putin was literally asked to give Snowden a home/cover, and to make it look exactly like it is portrayed in the main stream media. But it’s all just a charade created only for the benefit of those who can be fooled so easily as this psy-op.

  • Any criminal will point their finger away from themselves to someone else.