Last Updated – January 21, 2012
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 through 118 of the US Copyright Law.
December 3rd 2010
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is taking a stand as one of Julian Assange’s 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 hisTwitter accountFriday 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.”
All of a sudden, Congress is paying close attention to Ron Paul. The feisty congressman from Texas, whose insurgent “Ron Paul Revolution” presidential campaign rankled Republican leaders last year, now has the GOP House leadership on his side — backing a measure that generated paltry support when he first introduced it 26 years ago. Paul, as of Tuesday, has won 245 co-sponsors to a bill that would require a full-fledged audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of 2010. Paul attracted just 18 co-sponsors when he authored a similar bill, which died, in 1983. While the impact Fed policies have on inflation is once again a concern, fears about loose monetary policy and excessive federal spending appear even more widespread in 2009. “In the past, I never got much support, but I think it’s the financial crisis obviously that’s drawing so much attention to it, and people want to know more about the Federal Reserve,” Paul told FOXNews.com.
“I think if we can get that much attention on this bill, I don’t believe senators could vote against it, if people knew what they were voting for because everyone is suspicious of the Federal Reserve,” DeMint said. Paul’s underlying goal is to abolish the Federal Reserve, which he finds contemptible. “I blame almost everything on the Fed because they create the bubbles, they create the credit,” Paul said. But the move to require an audit, which Paul described as “neutral,” puts him a bit more in the congressional mainstream. “The whole process is unconstitutional. There is no legal authority to operate such a monetary system,” Paul said in February, in a statement calling for Washington to “end the Fed.” He introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act the following day.
CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Poll
For the second year in a row, Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, earning 30 percent of the vote. The Texas congressman, known for his libertarian views, ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 GOP candidate who is expected to run again, came in second place with 23 percent of the vote. Romney won the previous three presidential straw polls before Paul snapped his streak last year. Many convention-goers booed when the results were announced but the Paul supporters drowned them out with chants of “Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” Paul’s consecutive victories in the straw poll have frustrated many GOP faithful who would rather see a more credible contender win.
A CPAC official told Fox News that the big story is not Paul winning again but rather the strength of Romney’s second-place finish. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in a distant third with 6 percent of the vote, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 5 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels all received 4 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got 3 percent. Businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Dakota Sen. John Thune earned 2 percent. Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour finished with 1 percent.