One thing one has to say about most of the "liberventionists" – the tiny but vocal clot of pro-war, pro-Bush "libertarians" – and that is they oppose this administration’s attacks on our civil liberties here at home. But what are we to make of alleged libertarians, such as Neal Boortz, who wants to know why the FBI shouldn’t be allowed to spy on the antiwar movement:
"The FBI is investigating the backgrounds and organizational methods of antiwar demonstrators in the US. Hopefully that doesn't come as a surprise to you. It is safe to assume that a large number of these demonstrators are out there in the streets because they want America to fail in its efforts to fight terrorism and its efforts to bring secular representative governments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Translated: Many of these demonstrators are pro-Saddam and anti-US. So, who wouldn't want them investigated by the FBI?"
Oh, gee, I don’t know: maybe a self-described "libertarian" who advocates strictly limited government and regards such surveillance as impermissible, in principle. Perhaps someone who takes the Bill of Rights seriously. In short, someone who believes in upholding the primacy of individual liberty – even in the face of an unprecedented assault by a cabal of war-crazed power-hungry ideologues.
Is this guy for real? Half the American people do not support this war. Are they "anti-U.S."? And isn’t it just a little too whiney to blame the antiwar camp because the policies of the War Party are failing? Surely the antiwar contingent, including this column, predicted the tragedy now unfolding in Iraq in most of its particulars, but to infer from this that anyone is gloating seems to me to be awfully presumptuous. This hardly describes my own response, which I can describe only by resorting to the poetry of Robinson Jeffers:
mad girl with the staring eyes and long white fingers
Boortz openly sneers at the rule of law, and the constitutional restraints imposed on government power, that one would imagine would be axiomatic to a self-proclaimed "libertarian." In a textbook case of what being pro-war has to mean in this day and age, Boortz has no problem throwing overboard his assumed bias against expanding government power, and stops just short of wanting to outlaw the antiwar movement:
"Remember, as you've already learned, the organizers of the demonstrations last week in London were largely anti-American communists and Islamic radicals. So we're supposed to assume that all of the protestors in the United States are Boy Scouts and volunteers at nursing homes?
"Know your enemy .. and keep him close."
Hey, wait a minute, Neal: some of us were Boy Scouts. We’re against this war on the grounds that it is profoundly anti-American, and a moral abomination, along with the doctrine of imperial "preemption" you touted in one of your radio rants – an evil doctrine that is the antipode of the libertarian nonaggression principle.
As for volunteers in nursing homes: we’re going to need a lot more of them, in the days to come, as the wounded, the mutilated, and the mad come streaming back from Iraq. One wonders if Boortz is going to be volunteering for the job any time soon.
However, I do agree with that last part: Know your enemy. Libertarians of any and all stripes must surely know that someone who believes what Boortz believes is no friend of freedom. At a time when our liberties are being attacked, abridged, and abolished outright, Boortz is a deadly enemy of libertarians. He has no place at the Libertarian Party national convention for the simple reason that, in the battle to preserve what is left of our old Republic, he is on the other side of the barricades.
The Libertarian Party – what were they thinking?
Go ahead and ask them yourself: Send email to the convention coordinator, Nancy Neale at email@example.com.
Or call the National Libertarian Party, at: (202) 333-0008, or contact members of the Libertarian Party National Committee.
Justin Raimondo is Editorial Director of Antiwar.com and the author, most recently, of The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection.
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