The Triumphant Return from Iraq of The Once-Great Libertarian

Today’s Wall Street Journal as an OpEd by one of my oldest friends.

I got involved with the libertarian movement in 1972. One of the first libertarians I met and quickly became friends with was Bill Evers. In 1973 I initiated a faction fight in California’s Peace and Freedom Party (which I had been active in for a few years) between libertarians and socialists. By 1974 we had won a statewide primary fight and took control of the legal structure of the Party.

Bill Evers was one of the intellectual guiding lights for our successful faction. He co-wrote the 1974 platform of the California Peace and Freedom Party, which was unabashedly libertarian and specifically Rothbardian. Later that year, Murray Rothbard changed his earlier position and joined and endorsed the young Libertarian Party (LP).

At the 1975 national LP convention, Murray Rothbard and Bill Evers rewrote the party platform. The essential hardcore elements of the Rothbard-Evers platform continue today, partly due to LP rules which make it extremely difficult to change platform planks.

In 1978, Justin Raimondo, Bob Costello, and I formed the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus (LPRC) to continue to move the LP toward more principled stands, with a central focus on foreign policy. Shortly after the formation of the LPRC, Bill Evers joined and urged Murray Rothbard to do the same. We expanded the LPRC Central Committee to include Bill and Murray. Bill’s friends Colin Hunter and Scott Olmsted soon joined the Central Committee.

For the next few years (also the heyday years of the LP), the LPRC grew and gained influence within the LP. In 1983 the LPRC dissolved after the Central Committee split over the choice of a Presidential nominee for the LP. At the time, Bill Evers attacked Raimondo and me for "selling out" by supporting the Cato Institute-affiliated candidate, Earl Ravenal, over the "hardcore libertarian" choice of David Bergland.

During his involvement with the LP, I remember Bill Evers as Murray Rothbard’s closest associate, practically joined at the hip. The pair were explicit anarchists and proud enemies of the state.

In the 1990s Bill became a Republican and began his campaign to get a "high" government job. Bill was largely unsuccessful, landing only a low-level advisory position, rather than the assistant cabinet status he has been seeking, with a focus on the federal and California departments of education, while working at the Hoover Institution. The War on Terror changed everything, including for Bill. There was now an important connection (for the Empire) between the Department of Education and the Pentagon. Bill, with his unrivaled expertise in foreign affairs, soon became a more valuable asset.

In August 2003, Hoover announced that Bill was appointed senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Education. Actually, he would be working for the Pentagon via the Coalition Provisional Authority. Bill returned last month to Hoover as a hero, with his political future much brighter. In today’s article in the Wall Street Journal, Bill describes how successful the Pentagon has been at restoring public eduation in Iraq.

When Bill ran for Congress in 1982, he called for withdrawal of all US forces from around the world. He even made a point of calling for the abolition of the Marine Corps, in a challenge to his opponent, noted antiwar Republican (and ex-Marine) Paul McClosky.

I don’t know when Bill became pro-war, but I understand that he was a strong advocate of the invasion of Iraq, egging on the Stanford College Republicans to support the war.

Is Murray Rothbard rolling over in his grave?