The very rhetoric the American politicians used about the evil russian empire is that they surveilled their citizens. spied on journalists, actively suppressed the ability for their citizens to dissent.
This is the exact America we have now. Anyone who can claim to remember that era, yet conveniently capable of forgetting why Russia was bad, does not actually remember a damn thing. Also the Church Committee was still quite recent where the clear abuses of government and intelligence agencies was piled high upon the morass that was the Vietnam war which Ellsberg clearly dismantled for the propaganda it was. Anyone today who lived through that era, who can claim Snowden is the bad guy here, didn't understand it then, and doesn't understand it now.