Senator Rand Paul made headlines by objecting to a resolution calling for the release of the Mueller report, calling for full transparency regarding the decision making surrounding the investigation. While acknowledging that he wants the report to come out, Senator Paul said that we needed to know if there was “malfeasance or misuse of government power” in the Obama administrations handling of this matter. Paul questioned whether the Obama administration got involved in the 2016 election in an attempt to “manipulate and infiltrate the Trump campaign, to entrap them or try to spread information that was incorrect”.
Paul was visibly irate while describing the conduct of the FBI, accusing the FBI of sending spies into campaigns, making false accusations, and tying the country in knots for two years to the extent that people can’t talk to each other anymore. He pointed out that the passing around of the fake dossier occurred under President Obama, questioning whether Obama was involved and whether this was done for political purposes to elect Hillary Clinton.
Paul called for the release of the communications between John Brennan, James Clapper, and FBI Director James Comey, pointing out that Brennan & Clapper are both known to have lied to the Senate. The Senator said that we need to know why they decided that the fake Russian dossier was real, excoriating the deep state for their obvious political bias and pointing out that the investigation was based on a lie.
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This did not sit well with Reason Magazine, whose associate editor penned an objection to Senator Paul’s amendment which can only be described as a textbook display of gaslighting. Describing the Senator’s attempt at achieving government transparency as Senator Paul wanting “to put conditions on government transparency”, associate editor Scott Shackford attacked the Senator for seeking information from deep state actors who have clearly engaged in poor behavior. He describes Senator Paul’s attempt to attain full transparency regarding the Mueller investigation as “disturbing”, claiming that it will escalate politicization.
Shackford declares that he does not believe the Russia investigation was politically motivated. This is despite the fact that the basis for the FISA Warrant was a piece of political opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign. How a libertarian can conclude that Paul’s calls for transparency are politically motivated, yet the FISA Warrant based on Clinton campaign opposition research was not politically motivated, is beyond me.
This is unfortunately not the first time that Reason Magazine has run cover for the deep state in the course of the Mueller investigation. They have published pieces which would make any libertarians stomach turn, such as Senior Editor Jacob Sullum’s assertion that President Trump’s “hot headedness” was what saved him from an obstruction charge (rather than the lack of having committed a crime).
Sullum has even implied that Trump was kept from talking to the FBI because his lawyers were afraid that he would lie to them about obstruction. The worst example was Sullum’s piece claiming that Trump’s attempts to get to the bottom of the Obama administration spying on his campaign was a “politically motivated DOJ probe”.
Unfortunately, Sullum & Shackford are not the only writers at Reason who seems keen on trusting the deep state over a man who has been in the private sector for his entire life. Keith Whittington laughably described a special counsel who leaked every single significant detail ahead of time as being “unusually resistant to leaks”, before going on to contradict that assertion within that very same sentence. Whittington goes on to accept as fact that Trump committed actions which hampered the investigation, a conclusion which nobody from the Special Counsel’s office has substantiated. There are examples like this peppered throughout the publication, something which should cause libertarians to call into question the commitment Reason has against fighting the deep state.
Libertarian readers should look to sources other than Reason for libertarian political commentary. The unfortunate reality is that libertarian circles around DC have become toxic in the Trump era, and this is a perfect example. It is therefore not at all surprising, though still incredibly unfortunate, that Reason has degenerated into a magazine which accepts deep state narratives regarding President Trump without questioning them.