Congressman Ron Paul questions wake of Wikileaks exposures

Posted Dec 10, 2010 by Michael Krebs
In the wake of the Wikileaks scandal and arrest, Congressman Ron Paul presented a number of questions that he believes should first be addressed.
Julian Assange
Julian Assange
New Media Days/Peter Erichsen
The Wikileaks fiasco has presented numerous challenges for the US government in terms of formulating a respectable prosecution against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange - and in managing the considerable embarrassment the revelations have detailed for American diplomats holding key international roles.
But the constitutional issues did not appear to escape the attention of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who used the Wikileaks question to further questions of his own.
"The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news," Paul said, addressing his colleagues in congress. "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."
But, according to Mr. Paul, the Wikileaks matter presents a constitutionally-backed forum to help underscore the lies the American voting public is regularly made to digest.
In his presentation before congress, Ron Paul suggests a number of questions be considered:
"Number 1: Do the America 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," he asked.
The arrest of Julian Assange has also caught the attention of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and the charges against Mr. Assange have become questioned by other world leaders.
But in the United States, the legality or illegality of Wikileaks appears to remain centered on the pivot line between free speech and espionage.