I you’re a libertarian who believes the political process is the way to achieve liberty and envision Rand Paul as a critical part of your political strategy then, well, you’re not going to like this post. Between his political grandstanding, implicit approval on the drug war, and change of heart on domestic drone usage it’s pretty clear he’s a through and through statist. But if there is still any doubt in your mind that Rand isn’t a defender of liberty then put it to rest:
Sen. Paul reasoned that there need to be some laws that protect certain secrets and that Manning put many lives at risk by releasing millions of pages “willy-nilly”. His main concern is that whistle-blowers break laws in order to reveal state secrets.
“There do have to be laws to protect some secrets. I think if you’ve got the, you know, the plans on how to make a nuclear bomb that is a state secret. If you give that to the enemy, that is being treasonous,” said the Senator from Kentucky, “Even if you reveal it, you just have to have laws against that. What Manning did was just willy-nilly, just released millions of pages of things and I think some people have said there is potentially some harm from that. You know individual agents that could have been killed or put at risk from this. So there is a problem with that. So I just can’t support that.”
It appears, at least in the mind of Rand Paul, that Manning’s decision to collect documents, as he put it, “willy-nilly” trumps the fact that he revealed war crimes that were being perpetrated by the United States. Even if I believed in the legitimacy of the state I would believe that a state that conceals criminal activities loses the right to keep secrets.
A warrant is, effectively, a revocation of an accused person’s right to keep secrets. When you are accused of wrongdoing your home, business, personally electronics, and other properties can be riffled through by state agents. The same should apply to the state. It has been accused of war crimes since it entered Iraq (well, truthfully, before that) so the people should have a right to riffle through all of its stuff. But Rand seems to believe that the state has a special privilege to keep secrets even when its accused of wrongdoing. Rules are for thee, not for me after all.
If this is the type of person who you belief will deliver freedom to the United States then you’re sorely mistaken. On numerous occasions he has advocated giving the state special privileges that would allow it to maintain its reign of tyranny. Liberty cannot exist unless all members of society are subject to the same rulebook. As soon as one member gets to play by a different rulebook then the door is open for them to obtain power over others.