Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

An Open Letter to Lew Rockwell

ďTear Down This StonewallĒ

by Kevin D. Rollins and Robert Capozzi

Mr. Rockwell,

Sometimes, issues come down to a very simple question. Now is such a time.

Mr. Rockwell, did you or did you not ghostwrite for Dr. Ron Paul any or all of the hate-filled passages quoted in The New Republic story ďAngry White Man,Ē by James Kirchick?

There are several places on the Internet that speculate that you did. It has been suggested that you either confirm or deny these charges, for the good of the Paul campaign and for the cause of advancing liberty.

Thus far, you have disregarded that counsel. Instead, a review of your website, LewRockwell.com, indicates that you and your associates have attacked Kirchickís character; dredged up ancient history about The New Republic; and even attacked the Olin Foundation for supporting Kirchickís education. An associate linked to the Paul campaignís statement on the matter, but a review of LewRockwell.com does not find an echo of Dr. Paulís denunciation of ďsuch small-minded thoughts.Ē

We suggest, Mr. Rockwell, that this behavior can only be characterized as stonewalling. It is widely known that you have been associated with Dr. Paul for many years. The writing style in the quotes Kirchick cites sound quite reminiscent of your style.

We simply do not understand why you wonít stand up and deny that you are the ghostwriter, or admit it. The article appears to be factual, as no one denies that the newsletters contained these hateful racist and homophobic statements. This episode has cast a pall over the Paul campaign and over the great cause of liberty.

Liberty should not be associated with hate! To the contrary, the cause of liberty is one of peace and social harmony.

Frankly, it pains us to write you on this matter. Itís unpleasant for us, as we imagine it is for you. We are truly sorry if it causes any offense. The message of liberty, however, is far more important than any of our personal feelings.

In the strongest terms possible, we urge you to address this matter now and answer our straightforward question. We suggest you do so on your website. The longer it remains an open question, the more damage is done to the cause of liberty.

Respectfully,

Kevin D. Rollins, Publisher, The Free Liberal
Robert Capozzi, Editor, The Free Liberal


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Comments

What's the difference between Lew Dredging up old stuff on the New Republic, and the New Republic dredging up old stuff on Ron Paul? None!

The idiocy and hypocrisy of you writers are simply amazing and mind boggling.

# posted at by Mr. C

In the early '90s, the paleos were obsessed with being cranky, intolerant and even hateful, and some of it expressed itself in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report and unfortunately, the Ron Paul newsletters.

Many libertarian activists at the time objected to it strongly and ridiculed them for their troglodytic grumblings. That probably made the paleos even crankier!

# posted at by Rosetto Stome

What the New Republic did was worse. The damage done to Ron Paul's reputation, coming at a critical time in his campaign, can produce irreparable harm. If this smear tactic succeeds in its aim to scuttle his opportunity to become the Republican candidate for president in 2008, no amount of future vindication will be able to reverse that.

# posted at by John Bowery


Those who have watched the Dr. Paul campaign and have seen his demonstrated integrity in many areas can easily dismiss these claims of racism. I believe that he is not a racist, and if I thought he truly were, I would reject him entirely. Racism disgusts me - including the inherent racism of our arrogant belief that we can impose our will on the rest of the world.
Most of the public see Dr. Paul as a standard order politician though. Most are willing to entertain these claims unless they are strenuously rejected. So far, that hasn't happened.
Sure it's a smear, and it's a dirty trick. But it has worked. I became interested in Dr. Paul in November. A week into reading about him, I saw a mention of racist charges. Ten minutes of searching on Google revealed sufficient ammunition to sink the Paul campaign at any time. It happened this week. It could have happened a week ago, or a month from now. It doesn't matter. The ammunition was there, ready for use as soon as others felt Dr. Paul was a threat. (McCain or Giuiliani or Fox could easily have been behind it.)
Now many want to ensure that this taint of racism is not associated with the ideas of liberty, or with any particular political ideology. This is an old tactic to suppress certain viewpoints.
If more is not done on the part of Paul and others who may have been involved in those newsletters, more than his campaign and his followers will suffer long term consequences.
And new ways do need to be found to match up financial support with targeted, effective political action. Media campaigns against specific politicians or bills, ways to advertize support or opposition on a massive scale to certain policies... some form of wiki-politics that gives real people a voice and a way to put their money to effective use.

# posted at by b.w

It is amusing, watching you trying to get things to stick to "Dr. Teflon". You say he did something in 1988, that you think was bad? What were you up to in 1988? That is a long time ago, isn't it?

# posted at by stv

I think Dr. Paul did everything right in his career as a Physician, as a congressman, as a father and grandfather!

We need to adress this issue and grab the ones who wrote those articles so we can take this smear against Dr. Paul once and forever from the table. If we don't, they will keep coming with the same lies, again and again... because they have absolutly nothing against Dr. Paul.

What will be interesting is to ask the other candidates if they have an idea about the columns that are running under their names!

And YES, GHULIANI was behind it, he is the Nr. 1 candidate who profited from this smear on the NH primaries.

You want also to create some attacks video ads against GHuliani and co? www.wtpcast.com

# posted at by Liberty

There is little doubt that Rockwell edited and approved the newsletters. But the "race war" and AIDS stuff sounds a lot more like Gary "Y2K" North than Rockwell.

# posted at by jcp

According to this article, Lew has denied writing the material in question:

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/10/who-wrote-ron-paul-s-newsletters.aspx

# posted at by Steve Dasbach

"What's the difference between Lew Dredging up old stuff on the New Republic, and the New Republic dredging up old stuff on Ron Paul?"

The difference is about sixty years. Lew wrote about something from 1927 in his response.

# posted at by PC

It's important that we know exactly where these comments came from. I love Ron Paul and these racist comments do not discredit his ideas of liberty, non-interventionist foreign policy and sound money. However, to allow such racist comments in a publication under his own name is the height of stupidity and barring a miracle it will mean the end of the Ron Paul Revolution.

This is a dark day indeed. Without Ron Paul all we're left with is a bunch of pro-war, big spender CFR scum that will drive this nation into the dirt.

# posted at by VeryDisappointed

Mark Skousen said he disassociated himself from the paleos when Gary North said stoning was a biblical way of dealing with homosexuals.

# posted at by Rosetto Stome

So let's see Paul's against the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the war on drugs and the police state (a.k.a. terror known as "driving while black"), the board of education (teacher unions dumming our kids down by teaching to the test); For civil rights, personal responsibility and honest money. (Eliminating the inflation tax that harms the value of the money of the middle class, and the poor) Sheesh, I guess I can see where the racism is in that ... NOT!!! Your attempts to slander Dr. Paul are sophmoric at best, and abhorrent at worst. Anybody who takes you seriously with this kind of "sloppy journalism" does so at their own demise. Pathetic, truely pathetic.

# posted at by R

Who ever really penned those articles got me to thinking. And it dawned on me that I believe the same thing.

# posted at by Jim White

Lew Rockwell is in the closet and he wonít come out!

Asked: What is the difference between old stuff on New Republican and old stuff on the Ron Paul letter?

Answer: Rockwell attacks the todayís writers at the New Republic for what writers at the magazine believed toward the beginning of the last century. Entirely different set of writers. In Paulís case it asking Paul about the content of the newsletter he put out not the content of something put out by people before he was born.

Next it is absurd to blame the harm on the people who exposed this boil on liberty. Blame the people who put the boil there in the first place.

Does anyone here seriously believed that Paul put his name on a newsletter, published it and sent it out without ever reading it -- over a period of 20 some years?

If Paul disagrees with racism then why did he publish racist material in his own newsletter? If he was so upset by this content, as he says, why stay associated with the people who wrote the content to this day?

Liberty wants to get the people responsible. Well, isnít the publisher responsible? And the publisher was Paul. The columns didnít just run under Paulís name. He published them out of his own office. He knows who wrote it and he wonít name him -- but he canít. He canít admit he is still associated with the man who wrote that stuff and that this man is a major force in the Paul campaign.

Rockwell has not denied it. And if he didnít (and it appears he did) then as the editor he would know who did. Name the bastard Lew if it wasnít you.

# posted at by wmb

Lew Rockwell is in the closet and he wonít come out!

Asked: What is the difference between old stuff on New Republican and old stuff on the Ron Paul letter?

Answer: Rockwell attacks the todayís writers at the New Republic for what writers at the magazine believed toward the beginning of the last century. Entirely different set of writers. In Paulís case it asking Paul about the content of the newsletter he put out not the content of something put out by people before he was born.

Next it is absurd to blame the harm on the people who exposed this boil on liberty. Blame the people who put the boil there in the first place.

Does anyone here seriously believed that Paul put his name on a newsletter, published it and sent it out without ever reading it -- over a period of 20 some years?

If Paul disagrees with racism then why did he publish racist material in his own newsletter? If he was so upset by this content, as he says, why stay associated with the people who wrote the content to this day?

Liberty wants to get the people responsible. Well, isnít the publisher responsible? And the publisher was Paul. The columns didnít just run under Paulís name. He published them out of his own office. He knows who wrote it and he wonít name him -- but he canít. He canít admit he is still associated with the man who wrote that stuff and that this man is a major force in the Paul campaign.

Rockwell has not denied it. And if he didnít (and it appears he did) then as the editor he would know who did. Name the bastard Lew if it wasnít you.

# posted at by wmb

This reminds me of the Salem Witch Hunts of 1692.

Do you, or anyone you know, associate with anyone that might be a witch?

If Ron Paul were a real racist, he would only pardon the white people convicted in the racist war on drugs.

If I were going to guess, I would guess Eric Dondero Rittberg, not Lew. Lew doesn't seem to have the racist ideology.

Open Letter To Lew Rockwell
January 12, 2008

Dear Lew,

You have now had three opportunities - 1996, 2001, and 2008 - to prove that you are a friend of Ron Paul and freedom, and you have failed to do so each time.

This week, for the third time, the puerile, racist, and completely un-Pauline comments that all informed people say you have caused to appear in Ron's newsletters over the course of several years have become an issue in his campaign. This time the stakes are even higher than before. He is seeking nationwide office, the Republican nomination for President, and his campaign is attracting millions of supporters, not tens of thousands.

Three times you have failed to come forward and admit responsibility for and complicity in the scandals. You have allowed Ron to twist slowly in the wind. Because of your silence, Ron has been forced to issue repeated statements of denial, to answer repeated questions in multiple interviews, and to be embarrassed on national television. Your callous disregard for both Ron and his millions of supporters is unconscionable.

If you were Dr. Paul's friend, or a friend of freedom, as you pretend to be, by now you would have stepped forward, assumed responsibility for those asinine and harmful comments, resigned from any connection to Ron or his campaign, and relieved Ron of the burden of having to repeatedly deny the charges of racism. But you have not done so, and so the scandal continues to detract from Ron's message.

You know as well as I do that Ron does not have a racist bone in his body, yet those racist remarks went out under his name, not yours. Pretty clever. But now it's time to man up, Lew. Admit your role, and exonerate Ron. You should have done it years ago.

John Robbins, Ph.D.
Chief of Staff
Dr. Ron Paul, 1981-1985

# posted at by prezronpaul2008

I regret to say the libertarian movement has been taken over by blatant pacifists and conspiracy theorists and racists. When I hear Ron Paul on foreign policy, I want to put a tin foil hat on him.

# posted at by Andrew

Wow, what a witch hunt indeed. So, has anyone read any of this junk that passes for journalism? Kirchick claims he has a source for this garbage to prove it was Lew Rockwell.

Don't take my word for it, read Kirchick's blog post about who wrote the article here: http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/10/who-wrote-ron-paul-s-newsletters.aspx

In that post he writes "Some people "in the know" are implying that it's Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr."

Ok, want to know what this big source is? Want to know who the people in the know are?

He cites to it. Good thing too, thank goodness we get to see this piece of unconditional truth: http://www.dynamist.com/weblog/archives/002695.html

His "proof" comes from a blog, and consists of nothing more than a bare paragraph. This statement contains the proof: Ron Paul said--or, more likely, allowed to be said in his name (probably by Lew Rockwell).

More likely, probably by. Wow, now that is incontrovertible proof if ever I saw it. Thank you so much Mr. Kirchick for slandering a man so thoroughly based on a more likely, and probably by.

I hope to God you get sued. That is the most irresponsible journalism I have ever seen.

As for Mr. Robbins, despite the Ph.D by his name, you can find out more about him here: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/whoisjwr.php

If you read the actual article written by Kirchick, you will notice that not one of the articles he references occurred during Robbins' tenure as Chief of Staff and happened in some cases over a decade after he left.

Wow, he too refers to these people in the know, boy these people do get around. Ok, in all fairness he calls them all informed people, but still, I think the concept holds.

Hmmm, I wonder if there could be any reason why Mr. Robbins would want to lie through his teeth about Mr. Rockwell? I can't imagine. What could it be? Do you think maybe he is still sore about this awful review the Mises Institute (Run by Lew Rockwell) wrote about some piece of drivel that Robbins wrote:
http://www.mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=41

Oh, do read that. Please. I mean, if we are going to hurl insults, at least lets use ones based on reality.

Or could it be based on this post I found on the Daily Paul:


I'll tell you everything you need to know about John Robbins
On January 13th, 2008 cdwitmer says:

John Robbins has some very kooky, very strongly held religious opinions, and he anathematizes everyone who disagrees with him. Basically, if you don't agree with him, he writes you off as a gospel-denying, hell-bound heretic. In fact, I'll tell you what his bugaboo is; it can be summarized more or less as follows:

"You are justified by faith alone, and not by works. If you affirm that, you are saved, and if you place emphasis on the need for a Christian life characterized by faithfulness to God's commandments, that is 'works salvation' -- a damnable heresy and a sure sign that you are on the road to perdition. Affirmation of correct doctrine is essential to salvation."

Of course, you can see the immediate problem -- affirmation of "justification by faith alone" itself becomes a "work" of sorts and thus this particular attempt to get away from "works salvation" runs more or less directly into the arms of "works salvation."

Robbins has rightly been described as a gnostic, because for him the Christian faith is primarily about Christian doctrine -- ideas. For him, intellectual affirmation of all the right Christian doctrines is what the Christian faith is all about.

Robbins has rightly been described as a donatist, because he separates from and anathematizes Christians who don't see eye-to-eye with him. For John Robbins, all of Christendom could fit inside a phone booth, that's how tiny the number of genuine Christians is.

Robbins has long been grinding his axe for Gary North; Robbins has been attacking North for years. His animosity to Lew Rockwell comes as no surprise, given Robbins' background.

I note that Robbins was working for Dr. Paul until 1985, which predates the newsletters in question. Further, Robbins cites no hard evidence at all. Instead, he just makes bald assertions.

In the past, Robbins' repeated total failures to accurately analyze and critique his opponents in virtually any theological debate -- none of his opponents could ever recognize themselves in his writings, which is a sure sign of gross misrepresentation -- make me inclined to take his "open letter" as an affirmation that Lew Rockwell is innocent of the charges Robbins makes. That's how bad Robbins is -- whenever Robbins says "X," you will usually be much closer to the truth if you immediately assume "opposite of X." "Contrarian investing" works when Robbins is your advisor. Take whatever he says and do the opposite. I am seriously inclined to take Robbins' "open letter" as a confirmation that Lew Rockwell is okay.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/25203

Before you go believing people who refuse to give real citations or just fling out accusations based on things that "they" said, use your head a little will ya?

Are you going to believe Lew Rockwell who has written hundreds articles that are anything but racist and a man of deep integrity who has given up his non-profit status (at a cost of 350k or thereabouts) just to help Ron Paul and so he could print more articles about Ron Paul or are you going to believe one little cheap blogger who uses blogs as citations and a disgruntled evangelical who only accepts the right kind of Christian as being a real human?

To think that the people who are closest to Ron Paul are the ones leading the attack against Lew Rockwell makes me ill and embarrassed.

How many times has the MSM attacked Ron Paul? Why on earth would you believe this particular piece of garbage?

I will end on this note where one of the men that Mr. Kirchick attacked indirectly in his article attests to his ability file suit against this slandering filth:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/018418.html

I hope he files, I hope he files, I hope he files. There three times and clicking my heels together. That should do it right?

# posted at by Sandra for Lew

It's no longer important to figure out who the writers and editors of the newsletters were.

We already have the publisher. He's admitted it and taken responsibility.

Now libertarians get to decide in public whether to embrace or reject a reformed racist publisher. In a month, public perception of libertarians on this issue will be framed for years or maybe even decades to come.

The early phase of this is not going well for those who think libertarianism is incompatible with racism.

# posted at by Zariou

I've just stumbled across this. It appears that the heat is getting to Lew Rockwell, so he's sending his surrogates out to defend him. And, not surprisingly, the man who won't come clean about authoring the Ron Paul newsletters is (through his surrogates) demonstrating that he is ready to throw Paul under the bus:

"The burden of the newsletter content is on Ron Paul, the man whose name graces the covers, and shame on you scoundrel 'libertarians' for automatically drawing the assumption that Lew Rockwell must have, had to be, surely was involved in writing those passages that have you all so horrified. Yet you claim that this man, who has worked so hard - on his own time and dollar - to open peoples' minds to the more radical aspects of freedom and free markets, is 'destroying your movement,' as if this is some juvenile brotherhood of badges, pin pricks, sworn statements, and membership cards."

You can read the entire tiresome screed here:

http://www.karendecoster.com/blog/archives/002714.html

By the way, did anyone else not know that Rockwell was accused some time ago of having an affair with Cindy Sheehan? Google it if you want to read about it. I thought good paleos weren't so morally lax, what with being "traditionalist Catholics" and all that.

# posted at by Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor,

I'm not going to get involved with the issues surrounding the newsletter but seriously now, the Cindy Sheehan thing was just a sophmoric attempt by some radio dj's to score higher ratings. Nothing came of it for a reason.

Besides, have you ever seen a picture of the woman; she makes Ann Coulter look almost attractive.

This is in response to Carl Milsted's last piece.

Many of the things Ron Paul stands for are at stake, and it is too bad that the good things will suffer on account of this stuff.

After this election year, I would suggest that all the Ron Paul Supporters try to become active in local politics. I would suggest that the Republican Party is the natural home of libertarians. You might not get your national objectives accomplished, but I will point out that everything is local. If you can change local politics even slightly in your direction, you will have won an important skirmish in the political world.
Who knows what kind of an impact you people could have in a generation. Don't foolishly try to takeover the local party, become the party. Most of us will welcome your assistance in the fight against local tyranny.

If, as it seems increasingly clear, Rockwell was the driving force and probable author of these "comments" he should have come forward immediately and taken the heat for Ron. Failure to do so considering the damage this controversy has caused the Paul campaign is inexcusable and even cowardly.

I feel sorry for the tens of thousand contributors to the Paul Campaign, including myself, who are seeing their sacrifices squandered so that Rockwell (or whoever wrote the articles) can evade personal responsibility for the consequences.

# posted at by Paul Kunberger

I'd like to point out that stopping racism or any other ideologies of hate requires the criminalization of thought. This is impossible. Rather, we police hateful ACTIONS or attempted ACTIONS. Any attempt to eliminate hate-thought requires inconsistencies with rights, such as the freedom of speech. Thus, any political system designated to protect individual freedom is likewise doomed to allow both loving and hateful ideologies. Freedom lovers are consistently advocating that freedom brings harmony and prosperity through society, because cooperation brings mutual benefits. Ideologies that use energy to negatively impact others often find themselves relatively bankrupt in terms of moral, spiritual, and financial success. Intolerance of hate must come from individuals, not the state.

# posted at by Robert