Ron Paul rose to the defense of WikiLeaks on the House floor today, criticizing the "hysterical response" of the US as "killing the messenger." He likened the leaks to that of the Pentagon Papers, which were considered by many to be traitorous at the time but ultimately exposed the "lies" of the Vietnam War. He also ridiculed the notion of prosecuting an Australian citizen, Julian Assange, on treason charges "for publishing US secret information that he did not steal."
Paul concluded by raising nine questions, beginning with, "Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?" and concluding with, "Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?" (For the full transcript, see the Huffington Post, or watch the video in the gallery from Mediaite.) The speech, writes HuffPo's Jason Linkins, "primarily touches on themes that he's advanced throughout his career: his antipathy to neo-conservative empire-building, the lies that precipitated the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the primacy of individual liberty, and the value of dissent."