Iraq War Veterans Against the War member and independent blogger Adam Kokesh has provided his own account of the events leading up to the public retraction of his endorsement of Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr:
Bob Barr just had to ruin it for everyone for his own selfish reasons. He had agreed to the platform, and agreed to be at the event, only to withdraw thirty minutes before it happened. There was an empty seat for him on the stage. Paul was gracious and kind, saying things like, â€œif he can make it,â€ but behind the scenes he was angry and hurt.
I went to Barr’s own press conference right afterwards still giving him the benefit of the doubt. I had hoped that he had a good reason for not being there that I was not aware of. Maybe he would say he had a personal issue. But instead, I sat there and listened to him prattle on about Ross Perot and getting votes and forcing policy issues and â€œprincipled leadership.â€ Then he asked Ron Paul to be his VP.
I was fuming. I had reservations about Barr before publicly endorsing him, but I even offered my support in a letter that was delivered through the LP staff which was ignored by the campaign. I thought his transformation was genuine and that it was a powerful sign for the LP to elect a newcomer, as if to say â€œwe will embrace anyone who comes around to our principles.â€ Unfortunately, we picked Barr instead. He has since shown himself to not fully comprehend or endorse the philosophy, having praised the troop surge, argued for intervention in Iran and South America, and advocated a national sales tax. He has also run as far from the LP as possible, and there is still no link to the LP on his website. His lack of willingness to work with other people on key issues (issues any true libertarian would be passionate about) is very revealing.
Kokesh moves on to describe the scene where he and Barr campaign manager Russ Verney argued over eachother and gives the gist of his side of the conversation:
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but what I was trying to say went something like this:
â€œWhat Ron Paul was doing today was taking leadership on some issues that I know you agree with and your lack of willingness to be a part of a team and work with others on these issues is telling. You have spoken a lot just now about leadership and unity, but it is clear you care about neither, except when you are the leader, and people are united behind you. Good leadership includes good followership and today, you showed your lack of both, and a complete lack of integrity. I am retracting my endorsement.â€
Kokesh closes stating that he remains an enthusiastic life member of the Libertarian Party, that he has signed the petition to remove Bob Barr from the national ticket, and has a few choice words for Russ Verney in response to today’s statement on “leadership.”