Ron Paul on Wikileaks: Lying is Not Patriotic
I normally don’t publish guest articles, but this week I’m on a roll. The Time Traveller post was just for fun, today’s post is deadly serious. I was writing my own post on Wikileaks, when I came across Congressman Ron Paul’s latest words on the subject. He covers the situation quite nicely, and since I am proud that at least one American politician hasn’t sold their soul to the bankers and militarists, I am reposting his speech here.
The one thing I would like to add is about the recent remarks by Clinton and other administration officials and their claim that Wikileaks is “putting American lives in danger.” The hypocrisy of that claim makes me want to puke, literally. Americans are being killed and maimed every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and every drone strike in the Muslim world creates new terrorists who hate America, and it’s Wikileaks who is putting Americans in harm’s way? No, it’s our insanely aggressive foreign policy, our wars, our drone strikes, our meddling in the Middle East and Central Asia that are putting American lives at risk … Clinton and Obama are sending Americans to die pointless deaths in foreign lands, not Wikileaks.
Or to put my feelings in perspective, even though I loathed George Bush’s foreign policy, I would have taken an assassin’s bullet for him because I still respected the office of the presidency and what it stood for. Obama’s craven sellout to the bankers and militarists has utterly destroyed what little respect I had left for the office of the presidency, and I can’t say the same about an assassin’s bullet today.
That being said, the words of Congressman Ron Paul on Wikileaks:
Lying is Not Patriotic
by Rep. Ron Paul, December 10, 2010
WikiLeaks’ release of classified information has generated a lot of attention world-wide 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, information so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing a grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.
There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principle supporter and financier of al-Qaeda and 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 self-proclaimed 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 can charge an Australian citizen with 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, New York Times, and others that have also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.
The New York Times, as a result 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 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 that challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and 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 for 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:
1. Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?
2. Could a larger question be: how can an Army Private gain access to so much secret material?
3. Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?
4. Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?
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 the time of a 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’s wrong?
Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised: “Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.”
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, and frankly I hope no one would use a picture like this for profit. Credit and copyright: AP Photo/Steve Ruark. It’s the coffin of Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Cornelius, killed in Afghanistan in August. I selected it because America’s war dead are still being relegated into the darkness by America’s so called free press.)
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