Congressman Ron Paul used a speaking engagement in Iowa over the weekend to offer his support to whistleblowers, applauding WikiLeaks in particular for exposing political fallacies.
Speaking before a crowd at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies’ (NFRA) Iowa Straw Poll, Paul saluted whistleblowers for helping the rest of America be in-the-know when the government wants otherwise, noting that even when the government says they are in support of whistleblowers, authorities continue to prosecute people who are only trying to bring transparency to the way the country works.
“The net results of protecting whistleblowers doesn’t work out that well,” Paul said on Saturday during his speech. “It all depends on what they’re blowing the whistle on. If they don’t want that information out, they come down very hard on the whistle blower.”
Private First Class Bradley Manning has been in the custody of the US government for 16 months now due to allegation that he leaked sensitive military information to WikiLeaks. For his supposed involvement, he has been subjected to cruel and harsh punishment and continued incarceration as he awaits trial. His imprisonment comes, however, during the administration of a president that touts himself as being remarkably transparent in his affairs.
Speaking over the weekend, Paul told the crowd that “the area that neither the Democrat nor the Republican leadership seems to welcome any whistleblowing is when there is an exposure on our foreign policy.” According to governmental agencies, Manning has released information pertaining to United States military operations overseas, including pictures of airstrikes perpetrated by US troops. Paul says that patriots such as Manning are essential for the country.
In his lecture, Paul, a current candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, also touched on Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst that leaked the Pentagon Papers and exposed the Vietnam War, says Paul, as “all rigged.”
“In the same way we get information from groups like WikiLeaks confirming the fact that we actually went into Iraq and there was no Al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction, it was all a gimmick to get us into a war that we didn’t need to be in,” Paul added.
“The best way to prevent this kind of dilemma for us getting the information after the fact, is we should have the information before the fact,” said Paul. “That is we should never go to war without a full examination and a declaration of war.”
In a GOP debate earlier this year, Paul was jeered from a conservative crowd near the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks for saying that the al-Qaeda-initiated incidents from a decade earlier were not an assault on America’s freedom, but rather a retaliation for America’s foreign policy.