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From: Wicked Licks (2:292/854)
To: All
Date: Tue, 21.12.10 03:23
Ron Paul defends Wikileaks on House floor
Huffington Post
Dec 11, 2010

In the wake of the recent WikiLeaks document dump, Representative Ron
Paul (R-Texas), the self-styled libertarian crusader who's spent the past
half-decade building up a massive grassroots following, has emerged as a
principal voice in support of the transparency that WikiLeaks has
provided. In a speech on the House floor yesterday, Paul held forth at
length on the controversy.

Others may disagree, but I don't read Paul's remarks as a defense of Julian

five minute oration. This was perhaps wise, given the fact that Assange is
facing charges unrelated to WikiLeaks abroad, and has become a fractious
enough figure within the WikiLeaks organization itself that internecine
battles have broken out, with one faction preparing to open their own site,
"OpenLeaks." But it's certainly a defense of WikiLeaks in principle, and

Ellsberg than he does Assange.

On balance, Paul's speech primarily touches on themes that he's advanced
throughout his career: his antipathy to neo-conservative empire-building,
the lies that precipitated the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the primacy
of individual liberty, and the value of dissent. WikiLeaks simply gives
Paul's convictions some urgency.

WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of
attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder
if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite
what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though
classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused
plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our
empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.There is now
more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter
and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we
guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact
that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war
against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that
Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a
heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even
assassination.

But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute
an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information
that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing
classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York
Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted?
Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.

The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not
found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel
Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret
documents. The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional
record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made
of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified
information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into
the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the
truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about
the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in
our history.

Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were
never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq,
though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any
information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the
Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of
these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the
relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to
the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence
in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation
of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

Questions to consider:

Number 1: Do the American People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing
wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much
secret information?

Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and
not at our governments failure to protect classified information?

Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per
year spent on intelligence gathering?

Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into
war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information
that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first
amendment and the independence of the internet?

Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on
Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign
policy of empire than it is about national security?

Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret
information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason,
and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that
promote secret wars, death and corruption?

Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our
government when it is wrong?

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised 'Let the eyes of vigilance
never be closed.' I yield back the balance of my time

--- D'Bridge 3.58
* Origin: WIKILEAKS (2:292/854)

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