Wayne Root and the Issue of Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Here are a couple articles regarding Mr. Root and his comments (or lack of) about the controversy of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Reposted to IPR by Jill Pyeatt.

Wayne Root and Julian Assange

Written by Ayn R. Key

Although Wayne Root has a multitude of media appearances, and has his own blog, and publishes articles through the Libertarian Party Website, he appears reluctant to respond to feedback.

The only place where negative comments are allowed is when Independent Political Report reposts one of his articles.

He deserves credit for replying to some comments on IPR when they are directed at him, but some questions are rather consistently ducked.

Perhaps it is because he markets himself with the rather contradictory title “Reagan Libertarian” and had positioned himself as the most pro-war of libertarian presidential candidates until he discovered that libertarians are anti-war. But given that he is attempting to become the Libertarian Party presidential candidate for 2012, perhaps he should consider answering the really hard questions.

Such as “What is your position on Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, et al?”

For libertarians it would be easy to answer to the point where there is no point in asking the question. Support for Bradley Manning is unequivocal. Support for Julian Assange and Wikileaks is very strong. No libertarian would have anything negative to say about the posting of the Collateral Damage video.

Why then is Wayne Root not giving his opinion on this issue?

If he treats reporters the way he treats Libertarians when they start asking the difficult questions they will be far less forgiving, and while he will still get more press than any other Libertarian it will not be the press he desires since not all press is good press.

And there’s this:

Wayne Allyn Root’s Slick, Non-Position on Julian Assange

Written by Thomas M. Sipos

The Clintonesque Wayne Allyn Root knows how to speak forcefully — without actually taking a clear position on controversial issues.

Bold, empty statements are common among politicos. Buried within Root’s latest anti-Obama rant, Root says:

“Is Julian Assange of Wikileaks really a ‘threat to national security’ or is Obama and the United States Congress a bigger threat to the average taxpayer?”

This is clever, in that Root appears to defend Julian Assange — without actually doing so.

When Bush Sr. said that Saddam was “worse than Hitler,” Bush did not mean that Hitler was good. Merely that Saddam was worse.

Actually, Root doesn’t even say that Obama is worse than Assange. Root merely asks whether Obama is worse than Assange.

Root’s brief statement can thus be interpreted in every possible way:

1. Julian Assange is a pro-liberty hero.

2. Julian Assange is a monster, second only to Obama.

3. Julian Assange is a monster, worse than Obama.

4. Julian Assange occupies some moral position between “hero” and “monster.”

Root’s statement about Assange can mean anything. Root doesn’t defend Assange. To do so would threaten Root’s aspirations to join the lucrative field right-wing, media punditocracy. Instead, Root’s implied defense leaves him free to condemn Assange at some future date, should the neocon customer base require Root to do so.

However, if Root runs for a Libertarian Party office or nomination, one of his lapdogs can always spin Root’s statement so that it looks as if Root is defending Assange.

(It’s always better for Root’s LP lapdogs do the antiwar/anti-police state spinning, as it leaves Root free to renounce that spin should the neocon media require it. “My supporters misunderstood my statement,” Root can always say.)

Root knows how to be direct, even blunt. If he’s coy, or vague, it’s intentional.

Compare Root’s coyness on Wikileaks to Ron Paul‘s bold statement on Wikileaks.

34 thoughts on “Wayne Root and the Issue of Julian Assange and Wikileaks

  1. David Colborne

    To be fair, I’m not entirely sure what to think of Assange and Wikileaks, either. I get the knee-jerk “government bad!” instinct that inspires a lot of people to decide the guy is a hero to liberty because he revealed some State Department memos. On the other hand, complete transparency has drawbacks – sometimes you need to BS a little off-line and ponder some of the more ridiculous options in front of you to find a solution to an otherwise intractable problem. Put another way, think about how you would act, speak, and think if you were watched 24/7. Would it be an improvement over your current actions, words, and thoughts? Would you be effective in this environment? Wouldn’t you basically either keep quiet about everything, lest you offend the watchers, or use every means at your disposal to circumvent the watchers, whomever they might be? How would that make you better at your job, whatever it might be?

    Then there’s the matter of Assange’s motives. Frankly, he strikes me as the very embodiment of the sort of person that makes me fear centralized government in the first place – a self-important busybody that is absolutely certain he knows better than everyone else. He knows what should be secret and what shouldn’t be, and he’ll decide which is which for us. Lucky us that we have such an enlightened individual as our benefactor!

    I guess what I’m saying, if I’m saying anything, is this: I think Wikileaks is probably a net gain, I think our government hides a little more than it should from time to time, but I don’t think complete transparency from any organization is helpful or useful, even if it’s one I don’t like much, and I don’t particularly care for the man that set it all up. Given my mixed feelings on the subject, I don’t blame Root for being a little circumspect on the subject, either.

    Does that make sense?

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Frankly, he strikes me as the very embodiment of the sort of person that makes me fear centralized government in the first place – a self-important busybody that is absolutely certain he knows better than everyone else. He knows what should be secret and what shouldn’t be, and he’ll decide which is which for us.”

    If that’s the case, then why did he:

    1) Delay the release of the Iraq War Diary and Cablegate cables for months, while he

    2) Offered to let the Pentagon (Iraq) and State Department (Cablegate) vet the planned releases so as to recommend redactions to protect lives, etc; and then

    3) Partnered with several mainstream media outlets for the same vetting/redation purposes when DoD and State said they wouldn’t act to protect the stuff they claimed was so necessarily secret?

  3. David Colborne

    Two immediate thoughts immediately come to mind…

    1) Got a source?

    2) How do we know he wasn’t just trying to tease out which parts are the “juicy” bits?

    I’ll admit #2 is a bit of a stretch – he could have been negotiating in good faith.

    Honestly, the whole situation just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t appreciate people prying into my privacy, yet I’m supposed to be happy if we pry into the privacy of a group that I don’t like? I don’t know… neither direction (lots of government secrets, lots of nosy people) particularly sits well with me.

  4. David Colborne

    As far as the “privacy of a group you don’t like” is concerned, the government is theoretically your employee. Under what logic can the work material of an employee be considered “private” from his employer?

    Segregation of duties. I work in IT, so I have the domain administrator password. My boss (C-level) isn’t allowed to have it (seriously) because, if they have it, they can make changes to company records that could violate the law (mostly relating to auditing accounting changes, among other things). Consequently, the only record we have is a sealed envelope in a safe that’s watched by a third employee, who knows that he’s only supposed to receive the password from me and is only supposed to retrieve the password in the event that I quit, get run over by a bus, or am incapacitated during a network outage.

    There are several other examples of this sort of behavior in the private sector – lawyers that aren’t allowed to disclose information to their bosses or their clients, accountants that are supposed to retain their “independence”, and so on.

    As for Assange’s letter… okay. Neither my opinion of the guy or his work is set in stone. I’m still not going to view him as a hero, but I’ll tone down the annoyance at any possible self-righteousness on his part.

  5. Bruce Cohen

    Those are not articles.
    They are esentially unpublished rambling hate pieces that don’t actually fit the criterion for being published here.

    Too bad Sipos and Pyatt and her son can’t ever do anything CONSTRUCTIVE for the LP, like get us media or recruit people or something.

    They just have to complain continuously like little babies about the single MOST SUCCESSFUL Libertarian media ‘getter’ in the history of the LP.

    Thank goodness Wayne has thick skin, because if it was up to apathetic and lethargic weirdoes like you three ‘dunceketeers’, the LP would be in even worse shape than it is.

    Yeah kill the goose who laid the golden egg ’cause you’re jealous. LOL

    So far, Wayne and the rest of the grownups are still here while you whineytarians still whine.

  6. Jill Pyeatt

    My son, Bruce? You really have gone nuts. My high school child has never been near the Libertarian party, this forum, or you. So, now YOU’RE the one attacking children!

  7. Dixon Yarmouth

    Bruce Cohen has it right!

    If the LP would finally get the balls and get rid of a few dozen, loud, obnoxious anarchists, America and Israel haters, that look like the freak show at the circus and smell like the animal cage, we could be leading the Tea Parties, running Sarah Palin for President and have the endorsement of Glenn Beck.

    Get rid of the anarchists already please. If you hate America and Israel go join the communists or the Nazis. You are not Libertarians you patchouli smelling dope smoking rainbow freaks.
    Go suck Osama Bin Laden’s cock somewhere else. We don’t want you.

  8. Bruce Cohen

    My mistake, I thought you had something to do with ‘Ayn Key’ boy.

    The one who calls Police “pigs” when they can hear him, but hides his face so they don’t know who it is.

    What is the relationship and I promise not to make that mistake again, Missy P.

  9. Alan Pyeatt

    Dixon @ 8: Seriously? You want the LP to purge anarchists? That’s part of a comedy routine, right? Because nobody who reads IPR can possibly take it seriously.

  10. David Colborne

    Dixon, I honestly can’t decide if that’s brilliant satire or brilliantly misguided hate-filled rhetoric. Maybe it’s both. Either way, hat’s off to you.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    DY @ 8: “you patchouli smelling dope smoking rainbow freaks.”

    –You say it like it’s a bad thing–

  12. Jill Pyeatt

    Good luck, Ayn R. Key! You need to bring home straight A’s, if you want allowance (she says, completely ignoring the fact that she’s probably old enough to be his mother).

  13. Lidia Seebeck

    Jill– I don’t think you’re quite old enough to be AynRKey’s mom.

    Ayn– While I certainly empathize with the wish for extra income, I’m thinking you’re a bit old for an allowance.

    Bruce– Get over it. All political contenders have to answer hard questions sometimes. The best ones don’t evade questions.

    everyone– I don’t think you’ll find support in the CA XC for a purge of anarchists. That’s rather silly, not to mention stupid.

  14. paulie

    Dixon, I honestly can’t decide if that’s brilliant satire or brilliantly misguided hate-filled rhetoric.

    Well, you could try pronouncing Dixon Yarmouth phonetically. That might be a clue, LOL.

  15. Bryan

    Screw Assange what about Manning?

    This young man (god that makes me feel old) saw a war crime taking place on video. He reported not only that but other evidence he found as well. Should he face the death penalty OR and ungodly prison sentence? True, as a military member he had certain guidelines he had to abide by, at the same time he was NOT to follow a illegal order. (For reference to this look at the way the allies treated German soldiers after world war 2. If you didn’t try to stop it, or participated indirectly in it, you were guilty as well.)

    I don’t know what Pvt. Manning did, as far as following the rules of “chain of command”, but he couldn’t let his knowledge go by without some type of action.

    As to Assange, he reported incedents that occured. It appears that he attempted to go through the “proper channels”….but they seemed to be in denial that any of the incedents took place at all.

    It is not the reporters place to “guard state secrets”. Especially when the report can be verified….The “classified” info in some cases was available…just VERY difficult to find. And usually the only people who care enough to find it are the conspiracy theorists who lost credibility a long time ago.

    I guess it boils down to “if you said it, wrote it, or agreed to it….live up to it and move on”.

    Don’t expect W. A. Root to make a concrete statement on this issue until he is able to calculate the direction “conservatives” are pretty much united on. Then he will know his position.

  16. Michael Seebeck

    “I don’t think you’ll find support in the CA XC for a purge of anarchists. ”

    Not while I’m on it or around it.

    Besides, just being an anarchist is not grounds for removal anyway. Hell, my own county just elected Gary Chartier (a close friend) county chair. Wayne would do good to read Gary’s new book, “Conscience of an Anarchist” as it (and Gary) is everything Wayne isn’t in the libertarian movement–thoughtful, intelligent, low-toned, and rationally consistent.

  17. Michael Seebeck

    BTW, the closest the Pyeatts and Ayn R. Key come to being related is that they all were at my house for Thanksgiving.

  18. Tom Blanton

    It’s really too bad that Gary Chartier had to use the tag line “Why It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to the State and Build a Free Society” instead of something snappy like “Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts.”

    Wayne really has a way with words. Something tells me that Chartier’s book isn’t going to be a big hit with the Tea Party crowd, but maybe if he tries hard enough, he can compete with Wayne for air time on the Michael Savage Show, or maybe even on Hannity’s show.

    I wonder how many times Chartier could say the word “libertarian” on the radio.

  19. Tom Blanton

    Oh, is Chartier’s book out in audio format yet? If so, maybe Wayne could listen to it. He is so busy being a great libertarian thinker that he really doesn’t have time to read a lot of fancy words.

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