Skip to comments.Ron Paul stands up for Julian Assange
Posted on 12/03/2010 1:30:26 PM PST by lormand
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is taking a stand as one of Julian Assanges few defenders in Washington, arguing that the WikiLeaks founder should get the same protections as the media.
Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the Justice Department is examining whether Assange can be charged with a crime for posting hundreds of thousands of leaked government intelligence documents and diplomatic cables.
Many Republicans have gone even further in their attacks on Assange, especially former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said this week that the source who leaked to the WikiLeaks founder should be tried for treason and executed if found guilty.
But in a Thursday interview with Fox Business, Paul said the idea of prosecuting Assange crosses the line.
In a free society we're supposed to know the truth, Paul said. In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it.
This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason. I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion? he added. This is media, isn't it? I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?
Paul followed up with a post to his Twitter account Friday morning: "Re: WikiLeaks In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."
Until we “man-up” and start prosecuting people for treason (think Johnny Lind Walker and Jane Fonda and this Manning freak), we will always be playing on defensive. My beloved country.
And who did we disappear for the Pentagon Papers fiasco? We decided not to kill anybody then, and there was a US citizen involved who had committed treason.
Let's not go overboard here. Assange just printed in a foreign publication stuff handed to him. He broke no laws there, and isn't subject to our laws.
And it's beyond silly to think that this was the first time this info leaked, it was only the first leak of this stuff that got to the US Public. He's done us a favor in showing the incompetence of whoever has been in charge of security for the last few years.
3.5 million folks have had access to this info. Do you really thing that folks in Bejing or Moscow haven't been reading these papers and laughing at us for years?
Just because we (the American public) are the last to know this is no reason to kill the messenger.
Really? Is that what this is about, "everything"? That's a pretty broad statement.
We're talking about documents that reflect confidential discussions between American foreign service officers, their subordinates and superiors as well as their conversations with their foreign colleagues to include leaders of foreign countries.
You can't see ANY possible reason why these conversations should stay out of the public domain?
Huck is an idiot. One cannot commit treason except against your own country. For instance, it is impossible for me to commit treason against Canada.
Espionage, absolutely. AS I understand this crime carries a potential death penalty, that’s good enough for me.
I see no reason why Wikileaks should not be considered a member of the press or why it should be any more subject to prosecution than the NYT or other media that publish this stuff. I am very uncomfortable with somebody deciding who is and is not a journalist.
He’s not being investigated for treason ... he’s being investigated for espionage.
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United StatesVietnam Relations, 19451967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.
The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971. A 1996 article in the New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance.
Justice Black is often regarded as a leading defender of First Amendment rights such as the freedom of speech and of the press. He refused to accept the doctrine that the freedom of speech could be curtailed on national security grounds. Thus, in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), he voted to allow newspapers to publish the Pentagon Papers despite the Nixon Administrations contention that publication would have security implications. In his concurring opinion, Black stated,
In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Governments power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. [
] The word security is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment.
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713, 714 (1971)
The old crank ought to have first had a conversation with Ann Coulter before he shot off his mouth, but typically he’s stuck in attention whore mode.
I hope he’s ignored by Fox News Channel. I hope, I hope, I hope.
Apologies to Imperial Japan. They were doing us a favor by showing our vulnerabilities.
Manning yes. But before you get to Assange, there's a huge list of folks in our 'security' establishment that needed to be punished for incompetence and/or malfeasance.
Letting 3.5 million folks have access to this stuff was beyond stupid. It's like removing the compartmentalization of information at our nuke labs and letting the secrets walk out the door. It's so stupid to do this that it suggests intent.
This low level stuff is mostly embarrassing, but it's likely the same ideas were implemented for the higher classifications, that is they were made available to a much wider audience than before. If so, we have much larger fish to find and fry than Mr Assange.
Mr Assange could have been the type to sell this to Moscow (though I'm betting they already had it). But he did the one thing that is likely to get the problem solved. He published it where everybody could see it.
No doubt ~ and there are places in this world where we don’t have that access.
It's about conspiracy, not press freedom. Yes, we should strongly protect the press's right to publish virtually whatever it wants. That's not in question.
What is in question is can the press continue to be the "press" when it conspires with others to break US law? Assange is alleged to have been in contact with Manning (either directly or through intermediaries), BEFORE any of the data breaches occurred. And it's possible that Assange or his colleagues provided material support to Manning in his criminal act. IOW, he was an accomplice before an after the fact.
That is wholly different from the NY Times recieving anonymous classified materials in the mail, and then publishing them. Or, speaking whistleblowers who may then disclose information that they did not come to learn of by theft. Manning stole these documents (allegedly) and Assange very well may have helped him.
Just like the attorney-client privilege doesn't shield lawyers from criminal conspiracy charges if they knowingly engage in criminal activity with a client, the reporter-shield law shouldn't inoculate the press when they knowingly engage in criminal activity.
“Huckabee, who said this week that the source who leaked to the WikiLeaks founder should be tried for treason and executed if found guilty. “
Huck is a DOLT.
I stand with Ron.
You (and Lieberman etal) might be better served to direct your attention to the people who leaked to Assange.
Without those names we do not know the motivation of the leakers. Given that Hillary is Secretary of State and may be considering a primary challenge against her party’s incumbent President it is entirely possible that the White House itself is responsible for the leaks. Or—maybe it is a Clinton move. Dirty tricks is their trademark.
Or—maybe both of them!
Your post is far too rational for this thread.
Some of the stuff is good but the leaks about the US military were bad.
Also this is soros/O punking Hillary and Bill. Hussein will have no primary challenger.
You stand next to a Blame America moron and friend of Truthers.
I don't stand by either Huck or Paul. Both are camera whores, but Stevie Wonder can even see that Ron Paul is a certifiable kook.
The NY Times and Washington Post have done far more in revealing state secrets. He has a point.
Only yesterday Ron Paul stood up for Charlie Rangel.
Keeping his reputation for nutjob-iness intact.
You have a usurper who gained power in a coup in 2008 thanks to a fall guy on our side and Soros. As long as he is in power - things will only get worse.