Transcript: Julian Assange on Matt Drudge, Rand & Ron Paul
Full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FofnFbF_JO8
Josiah Ryan: My first question is, I wanted to ask your opinion on American journalist Matt Drudge. Do you consider him to be a friend or foe of your open government movement? Next I wanted to ask you about Senator Rand Paul. He's a libertarian, he's also a vocal critic of big government. I'm wondering about your opinion on him. And finally I'd like to know what you think of the hacktivist organization Anonymous. Thank you.
Julian Assange: So, three bites of the apple here. Okay, it means I'll have to be quick on each one.
Matt Drudge is a news media innovator and he took off, I don't know, about 8 years ago in relation to the Monica Lewinsky scandal is when he first became famous by publishing information that the establishment press in the United States would not. It is as a result of the self-censorship of the establishment press in the United States that gave Matt Drudge such a platform and so, of course, he should be applauded for breaking a lot of that censorship.
I think as time has gone by Matt Drudge is mainly involved in collecting interesting rumors that look like they might be true and publishing them. Social media has largely, sort of, taken that place.
His political positions, well y'know, I might agree with some and some I don't... he doesn't have that much of an influence on Australia or the sort of work that I do.
In relation to Rand Paul: well, I'm a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues. They have been the strongest supporters with the fight against the U.S. attack on WikiLeaks and on me in the U.S. Congress. Similarly they have been the strongest opponents of drone warfare and extrajudicial executions.
And so, that's quite an interesting phenomenon in the United States. The position of the Libertarian Republican, or a better description Right, coming from a principle of non-violence which is the American Libertarian tradition. That produces interesting results.
So, non-violence: well, don't go and invade a foreign country. Non-violence: don't force people at the barrel of a gun to serve in the U.S. Army. Non-violence: doesn't extort taxes from people to the federal Government with a policeman. Similarly, other aspects of non-violence in relation to abortion that they hold.
I think some of these positions that are held by Rand Paul, while I can see how they come from the same underlying Libertarian principle, I think the world is often more complex and by taking a no-doubt principled, but sometimes simplistic position, you end up undermining the principle.
There are short term vision and long term vision of the principle. It's quite hard to meld these together.
[discussion on Anonymous]
Host: Josiah, did you have any follow-up questions you would like to put to Julian Assange?
Josiah Ryan: Just one. If you've noticed, Mr Assange, there's been a swell of support for Libertarians, the Pauls, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and other Libertarian figures among American youth especially, college-age youth and others. What do you think this means for the U.S.? How would you interpret this as pertains to our political future?
Julian Assange: Well, the way I see things at the moment, nearly every other Democracy, sorry, nearly every Democrat in Congress has been co-opted by the Obama Administration or co-opted by DC social networks. The economically successful part of the Republican party is often in bed with the War Industry, completely in bed.
So now there's an extreme center in the United States where the Democratic Administration and a large chunk of the Republican Party have come together and are pushing for, very fast, in a dangerous position which compromises the future of U.S. democracy.
That is not a conservative movement. A conservative movement says hold onto what you've got, don't change what's working, be cautious about all changes in society.
So, the Republican Party, insofar as it is coupled together with the U.S. War Industry is not a conservative party at all. And the Libertarian aspect of the Republican party is presently the only useful political voice, really, in the U.S. Congress. It will be the driver that shifts the United States around. It's not going to come from the Democrats. it's not going to come from Ralph Nader. It's not going to come from the co-opted parts of the Republican Party. The only hope, as far as electoral politics are concerned in the United States, presently, is the Libertarian section of the Republican Party.