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Ron Paul: Don't Shoot the Messenger

Ron Paul (R - Texas) is one of those political figures with whom I find myself in agreement about 50 percent of the time and the other 50 percent of the time I think he's nuts. Here we have an example of the former. Paul recently aired some very sober views on the manufactured hysteria surrounding the release of classified information by Wikileaks and Julian Assange. He posed nine questions that very few in political or media circles have the guts to ask:

1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?
2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?
3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?
4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?
5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?
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?
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?
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?
9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?

We shouldn't be angry at someone who exposes embarrassing information about our country, we should be angry at the individuals who committed the actual embarrassing acts. Oh, and if you're really angry at Assange and Wikileaks, then don't ever complain about a lack of transparency in government.



He is exactly right.

I don't see Assange as any sort of hero. If anything, from what I've seen, the leaks he has published are neither revelatory nor necessary--but have been a big setback for people doing actual diplomatic work.

What have we learned? That diplomats gossip? That war is bad? Wow.

While part of me thrills about the release of classified information, part of me finds what he did self-important and unconscionable, with enormous potential for unnecessary damage. So I don't really care what happens to Assange. (I was looking forward to his upcoming bank leaks, though).

That said, Paul enunciates far more important questions.

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