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Tue Aug 28, 2012, 02:09 PM

Ron Paul, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and the Libertarians’ Electoral Strategy [View all]

Ron Paul gave his speech in Florida Sunday night, at some distance from the convention that had offered him a time slot only if he would cleanly endorse the GOP nominee -- and only if party censors could preview his text

The Libertarians are the third largest political party in the US: in every election, they collect a few tenths of a percent of the vote. If each and every Libertarian voter rustled up several hundred new Libertarian recruits, they’d become a major force. But they haven’t done that yet. The Libertarians did win an electoral vote, once, back back in 1972, but it wasn’t because they cooked up a big mess of organized dialing and door-knocking: an elector, pledged to vote for “Tricky Dick” Nixon, simply pulled his own dicky trick and voted the Libertarian ticket. The GOP does not quickly forgive or forget, and though Paul might call himself a Republican, everybody knows he’s really a libertarian. Suspicion clearly remains, that Paul (like the faithless elector of 1972) is ready to betray the GOP for his Libertarian friends

So Paul spoke Sunday at the Sun Dome, not at the Times Forum. Some of what he said there is actually interesting -- but only because it is very very unoriginal. Paul called Bradley Manning “the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg” and said “Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody”. He complained that Sweden, under US pressure, was pursuing false charges against Julian Assange and would extradite Assange to the US for prosecution

The Libertarians, of course, have wandered forlornly for decades, hoping to pick up whatever support they could wherever they could. Back during the Vietnam War, for example, Libertarians often tried to recruit with the hook that they would legalize marijuana. And there were reports last year that Libertarians flocked to Occupy! events in hopes to win converts there. So one might wonder: has Paul just stumbled as an opportunist into Assangist territory?

But there really might be more to the story. The cypherpunk culture, that spawned Assange, had laissez-faire libertarian sympathies. And Assange calls himself a libertarian. He called himself a libertarian in a 2010 interview with Forbes; he called himself a libertarian on 60 Minutes in 2011; and he called himself a libertarian while pretending to consider a run for the Australian Senate in 2012. More precisely, Assange self-identifies as a free-market libertarian who dislikes regulation. His personal libertarian ideology would explain why Assange was eager to take credit for Climategate: when he later gushed "We released over ten years of emails from the CRU and those climate scientists!" maybe he was just thrilled (as a friend of free markets and foe of regulation) to have played a role in scuttling the Copenhagen Summit

Various Libertarians manage to repeat the very very unoriginal tale Ron Paul was telling in Florida in support of Assange
Raimondo, for example, firmly believes “the contest between Julian Assange and most of the world’s governments” is “a clear cut case of good versus evil” -- then trots out the now-familiar theory in which female Swedish CIA assets honey-trapped Assange to force him to face a kangaroo court in Sweden before being extradited to the US for detention at Guantanamo

Another well-known Libertarian, who plows these fields regularly and diligently, is Glenn Greenwald, associated with the Cato Institute. The day after the November 2010 election, Glenn Greenwald addressed Paulites in Wisconsin to discuss the possibility of splitting progressive voters away from the Democrats. Greenwald’s strategy then included Libertarian support for Citizens United, Bradley Manning, and the Tea Party, as well as attacks on Obama, in the hopes that the Democrats would lose still more seats in 2012


... Paul went on to defend, as he often does, the WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning, comparing him to "Daniel Ellsberg, who told us the truth about Vietnam." He suggested, again, that Julian Assange is being railroaded on false charges ...

The End of Ron Paul and His Selective Patriots
By John H. Richardson at 1:02AM
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/ron-paul-tampa-speech-12091867

... “Let me tell you, Bradley Manning didn’t kill anybody,” the Texas congressman declared at around minute 45, speaking of a “soft spot” in his heart for whistleblowers. “Bradley Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody. And what he has exposed—he is the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg, who told us the truth about Vietnam!” The crowd exulted. Paul then pivoted to a spirited defense of Julian Assange, chastising the government of Sweden for truckling to alleged American demands that the Aussie be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution ...

Ron Paul Stands for Manning and Assange
By Michael Tracey • August 27, 2012, 7:50 PM
http://news.xydo.com/toolbar/69719254?subject_id=1151

... Almost all cypherpunks were anarchists who regarded the state as the enemy. Most but not all were anarchists of the Right, or in American parlance, libertarians, who supported laissez-faire capitalism ...

The Cypherpunk Revolutionary: Julian Assange
Robert Manne
The Monthly | The Monthly Essays | March 2011
http://www.themonthly.com.au/julian-assange-cypherpunk-revolutionary-robert-manne-3081

... I’m not a big fan of regulation ... WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this ... A perfect market requires perfect information ... So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian ...

An Interview With WikiLeaks' Julian Assange
Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
11/29/2010 @ 5:02PM |911,599 views
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/an-interview-with-wikileaks-julian-assange/

... Assange prefers to be called a libertarian ...

Julian Assange gushes to “60 Minutes”
Monday, Jan 31, 2011 06:18 AM EST
By Adam Clark Estes
http://www.salon.com/2011/01/31/assange_60_minutes_video/

... In his first interview since declaring his intention to run for the Senate in the next federal election, Mr Assange said he ''could be described as a libertarian'' ...

Assange: what I'll do in the Senate
March 27, 2012
Philip Dorlin
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/assange-what-ill-do-in-the-senate-20120326-1vupq.html#ixzz1qJWQhL6S

... “There is clearly a significant level of support for Julian Assange which crosses party lines and is more concentrated amongst Greens voters” ... Assange announced plans to run for Australia’s 76-seat Senate in March, vowing to be a libertarian and “fierce defender of free media” were he elected to the upper house ...

WikiLeaks chief has ‘real chance’ of election: poll
Sun, May 20, 2012
AFP, SYDNEY
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2012/05/20/2003533290

Wikileaks Greatest Hits: Climategate
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021162614

If there was ever a clear cut case of good versus evil, then surely it is the contest between Julian Assange and most of the world’s governments ...

Raimondo Article: Assange's Last Stand
Submitted by reedr3v on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:19
http://www.dailypaul.com/243445/raimondo-article-assanges-last-stand

Glenn Greenwald
http://www.cato-unbound.org/contributors/glenn-greenwald/


... Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial....

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies
The benefits of his candidacy are widely ignored, as are the Democrats' own evils

Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 11:15 AM EST
By Glenn Greenwald
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/

At a talk given the day after the 2010 election — one that was a disaster for Democrats — “progressive” writer and civil liberties lawyer Glenn Greenwald gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, and expressed the hope that Democrats might suffer the same fate in 2012.  Greenwald’s ... approach to politics that got members of the Young Americans for Liberty — a Paulite Libertarian group that co-sponsored the event — excited ...

Re-rise of the Naderites: Glenn Greenwald’s third party dreamin’ **UPDATE: on Libertarianism
http://blog.reidreport.com/2011/04/re-rise-of-the-naderites-glenn-greenwalds-third-party-dreamin/

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Reply Ron Paul, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and the Libertarians’ Electoral Strategy [View all]
struggle4progress Aug 2012 OP
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