Open Letter To Lew Rockwell – From John Robbins

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

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30 Comments on “Open Letter To Lew Rockwell – From John Robbins”

  1. titusferguson Says:

    Thing like this drive me mad. There is no way that statements that appeared in Ron Paul’s newsletters can be attributed solely to Lew Rockwell. To do so is complete misinformation and straight out blame shifting.

    Paul needs to take responsibility for what he wrote. If he no longer believes the things he wrote, then say that. But stop blaming other people.

  2. Just because its there doesn’t mean that he did it. This is the type of thought that has doomed our country. We only have one election left (if at all) before we lose all our rights. This country is already run by a fascist goverment! All Bush has to do is wave his pen and he will be dictator! For those that don’t know what fascism is – It is a term invented by Mussolini and he said that a better way to look at this would be a corporate government. The only difference between our country if this happens and Germany under Hitler is that Hitler took over the corporations and the corporations are taking over ours. Vote for America Vote Ron Paul 2008!

  3. ponggod Says:

    Ron Paul *has* taken moral responsibility for these events and apologized repeatedly. What more is he supposed to do? He has never in his numerous speeches and writing ever said anything similar to the offensive comments that ended up in his newsletters more than a decade ago. Anyone still claiming he is a racist is merely using that as an excuse for some other dislike of him, not because they truly have any evidence to believe that.

    And as for Lew Rockwell, where is the evidence that he is the one who wrote it? Just because several people (who probably have axes to grind) are speculating that it was he, doesn’t make him guilty of anything.

  4. tjpw Says:

    I am sick at heart. My man Ron Paul and the movement is dead as far as the Presidential campaign is concerned unless the person(s) who wrote the racist articles in the Ron Paul newsletters steps forward and explains all in full and exonerates Dr. Paul. I live in a largely black neighborhood. The fact that I now feel uncomfortable with my Ron Paul sign in the yard shows the extent of the problem. I know Dr. Paul is not a racist, but I can’t answer the simple question, ‘Who wrote these and who caused them to be published and why?’. I agree that whomever did write and publish these needs to come forward NOW for if Dr. Paul in innocent here (and I believe he is) and they don’t come forward, they will be responsible for the loss of a great opportunity to save our country. It is cowardly and morally wrong to write a ghost piece such as this and let another fellow take the fall. Free speech is one thing, but anonymous wrting that implicates another is not ‘free speech’. Freedom means that right to have an opinion and speak it, not to hide from it. Whoever wrote these needs to come forward NOW. Or my involvement is over. Its not that I won’t continue to love Dr. Paul and his message, but we can’t have a President with a big question mark over his head. Whoever is hiding needs to come out, claim it, and exonerate Ron Paul NOW. It may already be too late.

  5. bookstoysgames Says:

    Doesn’t it say something about Ron Paul that he let this stuff get out under his name? If he is a good leader, then he would be responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

    It seems to me that the person ultimately responsible for this mess is Ron Paul himself.

  6. magma2 Says:

    Yes, Paul is responsible, since it was his name on the newsletters, which is why just saying “it wasn’t me” is not enough. I still think it’s better to look like a bit of a derelict overseer who foolishly trusted his editor to protect his good name than a racist.

    FWIW I heard rumor that the Rockwell people are now claiming Dr. Robbins didn’t even write the letter. Which, in my mind, says a lot too.

  7. Odale Says:

    The very fact that we are discussing racism, still, in 2008, is the sickening part. Every candidate is being accused of one thing or another but when it comes to race, we hear the longest and loudest noise.

    Why is that, in a country of many ethnicities? Distraction? To keep us from focusing on more important issues like the Islamic radicals have promised to “take over the world”?

    WHY are we not talking about CURRENT racist views that are much more blatant and divisive? Vist and look for ‘Obamination’. Do not say that Obama may not embrace the creeds—he’s been a member for years!! THAT’s what needs to be addressed b/c Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam) is featured in Obama’s church’s Trumpet Magazine on their website…and the pastor’s daughter is the publisher (page down in the post for the links)! These are the suspect ideologies the American public should be worried about.

    Even Hillary and Bill are now being accused! So we don’t look too close at the real ‘audacity’?

    Please, God, we need Ron Paul’s leadership!

  8. Odale Says:

    And the church has the ‘audacity’ to have the name of Christ in their name???

  9. bookstoysgames Says:

    It would be best not to go on rumors, and to wait until the story is dfinitely out.
    I agree that it is better to be a derelict overseer than to be a racist, but I wouldn’t want either type of person as my leader. It looks like Ron Paul’s ideas will get him a certain amount of popularity, but this problem which we hope is in his past will keep him from gaining any broad popularity.

  10. graemebird Says:

    I don’t see the statements as being racist. More to do with excessive conspirational tendencies.

    We have to recapture the time and place. It was the high watermark of race-based policies in America. All this cultural relativism and multi culti jive. It was a time when the serious policing concepts that Rudi brought to New York hadn’t rolled out over the country. A time where the massive crime rates were yet to be rolled back.

    I reject the charge of racism on any of them. Like I said its just an excess of conspirational thinking. We can have too little of that too. Too little of that sort of thinking and we are all taken for a bunch of suckers.

    This was a massive fishing expedition by the National Republic. If they had done it to their own pages they would have a thick file on themselves. These exerpts are from years and years of newsletters. And most of them are fair enough. Only one or two of them look like they come out of someone who at the time was somewhat paranoid and despairing.

    They really aren’t that bad. In fact they amount to proof of the almost squeaky-clean nature of these guys. If someone followed me and the rest of us around for the last twenty years and logged everything we’ve said or written I’d like to think they would have a massive amount of incriminating material. There really is very little there.

    So the rest of the writing must have been righteous.

    We are letting the leftists lob grenades into our camp. We ought to stick by both Ron Paul and Lew in this hour and start putting it back on the big government types. The New Republic could never stand up to this sort of scrutiny for starters.

    We should stop this frenzy.

    You all should Chant “Ron Paul Lew Rockwell Ron Paul Lew Rockwell” about twenty times and get your heads right. These guys are incredible champions of liberty and we can forgive them a bit of conspiracy theory now and then.

    Everyone seems to be playing by the leftists rules and social norms and we ought to stop it and get behind our mates.

  11. graemebird Says:

    “I am sick at heart. My man Ron Paul and the movement is dead as far as the Presidential campaign is concerned unless the person(s) who wrote the racist articles in the Ron Paul newsletters steps forward and explains all in full and exonerates Dr. Paul.”

    You don’t understand these Jackals on the other side. It won’t do a damn thing what you are suggesting but make them bay for more blood.

    Lew is the founder of the Mises Institute. Think of what he has done for the cause of liberty when it comes to the most important thing of education, education and more education. I wake up grateful for this man every day. He’s a champion. The guy whose set up the best website on the net without question.

    Let him keep his privacy. Tactically speaking the worst thing he could do would be to come out and get down on one knee in front of the Jackals. Best to not say a damn thing about it. No comment no comment and no comment again.

    This may turn out good paradoxically. There are a lot of conspiracy types in America. Not all of them free enterprisers. Perhaps Ron Paul can get the conspiracy vote along with a bunch of other votes from both sides of the street.

    In the leftist camp nothing you do is a problem unless you are foolish enough to come out and admit it. Look at Clinton. They all still love him though he sold all that technology to the Chinese and lied blatantly to the public. But the left would now be in contempt of him if he had owned up to anything pre-emptively.

    Let the various writers stay mum on all this. Even if you don’t accept my take on it thats the best deal tactically.

    Its all a big bunch of nothing anyhow.

    Ron Paul!! Lew Rockwell!! Ron Paul!! Lew Rockwell!!

  12. magma2 Says:

    I don’t see the statements as being racist. More to do with excessive conspirational tendencies.

    You may not see the remarks that way, but the vast majority of Americans leaning towards Paul might think something like “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be” is racist. I do.

    It’s not enough for some of the statements not to be “that bad,” men’s entire careers have been taken down for a lot less. I also can tell you most signing up for Paul didn’t think they were signing up for Lew Rockwell too, but I guess they were and now they’re getting what they deserve.

    At least as Ron continues to place lower and lower in the upcoming primaries, as people are scared off by the lingering patina of racism and images of Ron Paul nuts chasing Hannity down the streets of New Hampshire yelling “you suck,” we’ll know why.

    Can’t blame Dr. Robbins for wanting to save the man’s campaign even if the man himself is willing to let it go in the toilet in order to protect his “friend.”

  13. graemebird Says:

    I don’t think its racist. Its a complement even. And people who have been mugged are right to feel pissed off about it and maybe even let off a bit of steam even if the mugging didn’t occasion bodily harm.

    If a similarly candid newsletter by libertarians were being written in Paris in this day and age, when dozens of cars are being torched every week, then such a newsletter would likely have a lot of statements that can be construed as anti-Muslim. Twenty years hence when the context was lost they could be made to look unforgiveably so.

    We libertarians don’t believe in this sacrifice business. That was a private newsletter to a select constituency. Their readership would have expected candour and a bit of dark humour too no doubt.

    So it would be out of character to try and get Lew to sacrifice his standing to the Ron Paul campaign. Lew Rockwell himself is incredibly important to the cause of liberty. Time to just circle the wagons and when the left ask questions talk about other things.

    Ron Pauls response to this is dead on but the pressure must be horrible. He reminds us that none of the other candidates wants to pull all of those people, black and white, that are suffering in prison for non-violent drug-related crimes……. he reminds us that he wants to get them all out of jail.

    He reminds us that it is minorities who often cop a disproportionate amount of the “blood-tax” when you leave people in the field in this unforgiveable state of passive defense. People waiting to be blown up.

    And everyone over at Mises would jump to that point of view in a second. THEY HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT THOSE BLACK KIDS ROTTING IN JAIL ON ACCOUNT OF A FEW GRAMS OF COKE.

    These peole at Mises are the real deal They really mean it. Lew brings on fellows to speak at the Mises seminar who have experienced war. The plight of the soldiers coming home with head injuries and lost limbs is never far from their thoughts. Lew just had one lecturer talking about the siren song of the state. All about how the state entices young men to their destruction. And the lecturer was almost overcome with emotion early on.

    I want to confess right now to being a lot more Hawkish then this crowd at the Mises institute. I’m an Australian and my country doesn’t really have the option of cutting back on defense. And we would be vulnerable if the Americans pulled back and become a sort of super-tough-Swizterland.

    But though I disagree with these people here and there to me they are the best people around. They really do care about these things. For Americas black people it would be the best news they could ever have if the Mises influence helped end the war on drugs and freed up the labour markets and the markets for education.

    Lew is a terrific bloke. I mean him and Ralph Raico brought ,who I think is our greatest living economist, back into the fold over at Mises. I speak, of course, of the brilliant George Reisman. And Lew brought him in even though he and Rothbard had unresolved disagreements and even though he is somewhat more Hawkish then the Mises crowd.

    You are judging the left like you would judge good people that you know. You project your own way of thinking onto them. I tell you if Lew were to come out and claim it was all his doing they would smell weakness and they would be after Ron Pauls scalp with added fury.

    I just don’t think there is much in this. People get pessimistic and despairing every now and then. Perhaps they write things late at night just before deadline that reflects this sort of despair and anger. These are years of newsletters that the New Republic fishing expedition had to pour through to come up with some of these quotes …… only one or two that I might have been embarrassed myself to write.

    We who support both Ron and Lew and the efforts of the Miseans have to act tough now. Let the specifics of it all be a mystery for the next thrity years since it isn’t important or all that bad anyhow.

    We just have to learn to do what the left does a little bit and learn to close ranks and keep talking about the good things our crowd can do.

    If there is any chance to end this hateful war on drugs and let a bunch of barely culpable people out of jail its only going to happen under Ron Paul and thats the message we need to change the subject to if put under questioning.

    Just keep changing the subject to the good things that will happen in a Ron Paul presidency. The end to black unemployment. Giving poor people a serious form of money that they will be motivated to save. A new revolution in societal upward mobility. And all those people out of jail and police resources turned to legwork for real crime keeping all the heighbourhoods, no matter what race, no matter how poor…. keeping them crime-free and secure just for a change.

    Just keep changing the subject. Thats what a politician does. Sacrificing Lew will only keep the subject live.

  14. graemebird Says:

    By the way. I’m not blaming Doctor Robbins at all. Look we all want Ron Paul to do well. I can see where Dr Robbins is coming from. I just wanted to put my own opinion in and its coming from the point of view of seeing our crowd often being manipulated by the left to fight amongst eachother. Now is a bad time in my view to be fighting amongst eachother. Let the internal bloodletting come, if it must come, after the election. We are all friends here I hope. All friends behind Dr Paul.

    I’m just trying to put my perspective out there. Take it as tactical advice only if you like.

  15. magma2 Says:

    Sacrificing Lew will only keep the subject live.

    I appreciate your love for Lew Rockwell and your willingness to defend the man even in the face of such blatantly racist remarks, but this is not about Lew Rockwell except insofar as he is responsible for the newsletters — newsletters which Paul himself repudiates.

    You seem to forget Paul said; “The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed.” OK, well whose name is on the newsletters where those quotations were found? Uh, not Lew Rockwell’s and just hoping the issue will go away if we just ignore it won’t help either. Do a quick Google, everyone is talking about it and Paul’s campaign has become an embarrassment to even his natural supporters and allies because of it. Paul’s good name is being tarnished and those very close to him, i.e., the culprits, are allowing it to happen.

    As I’ve quoted Dr. Robbins elsewhere on this blog:

    “If the TNR article torpedoes his campaign, the torpedo was provided by men who have pretended to be friends of Dr. Paul for years. If anything, they have preyed on his trusting nature and naivete.”

  16. […] Capozzi Eric Dondero Steve Horwitz Thomas Knapp Nick Levy Carl Milsted Greg Newburn Tom Palmer John Robbins Kevin Rollins Timmy Sandefur Brad Spangler Glen Whitman Share […]

  17. graemebird Says:

    Right. But I don’t know what he’s supposed to say. Trying to bring back the context of both the newsletter and the times would leave him tongue-tied under the glare of the television lights and then the soundbites that could be taken for such long-winded explanations would be atroctious.

    All you can do in that case is try and quickly segway to bringing the troops, black and white home. And not necessarily all of them from the Middle East…. How about this horrid destruction of Columbia thats going on with the war on drugs…. and what the war on drugs is doing to black communities as it reaches back from Afghanistan and Columbia and invades these vulnerable communities…

    … as it corrupts your police and judiciary…..

    Only Ron Pauls crowd will not rest until the destruction of Columbia by this intervention is halted, and the troops, many of them black, are home and now in stronger less violent communities…….

    … Now just look at that above. How quickly I could change the subject and start ranting on about the great benefits that the good Dr could shower upon the American civilisation. And on Columbia as well when it comes to it.

    For my part I think tactically that we all should change the subject that way when we are put on the spot on the Doctors behalf.

    But supposing Lew really is culpable. And somebody knows he is culpable. If that somebody, after the election, goes down to Auburn and gives him a good talking to and the talking turns to shouting and Lew winds up hanging his head and then everyone goes for beer afterwards… Well let it be. But just amongst the pro-liberty crowd. Don’t try and insist that he hangs his head in front of these leftist jackals. Don’t make him get down on one knee in front of these horrid statists. It would only make their shadows grow larger and the shadows of their teeth grow larger at a faster rate.

    Lew has been a great and fervent booster of the Ron Paul campaign of course you know. That has to be taken into account as well. He calls Ron Paul “The statesman of the epoch.” He’s the biggest booster for Ron Paul there is.

    I just think there is some tactical misreading of the media here. If we always twist things to the (AUTHENTIC AND MASSIVE) benefits that the black community will get out of a Ron Paul presidency and countless other benefits for the American civilisation then we will ride this thing through, I feel this way of doing things is tactically better then fighting amongst eachother and demanding full disclosure and peoples scalps.

    This is a tactical estimate and I feel I have a sense of the oppositions psychology. And our own camps psychology comes with being told we were facists all our life when in fact it was the leftists all along. So we are all a bit wrongfooted and ready to turn on eachother when some leftists play the race card. Or pull the race pin from the race grenade and lob the race grenade into our camp.

    We are just a little bit oversensitive about accusations like this and work too hard to distance ourselves from these accusations like we are guilty from the start.

  18. nh4ronpaul Says:

    First of all who says any of those comments were racist? Are they like Hillary’s anti-semitism? Or her pandering to LaRAZA? Nope, they are merely observations in life.


    /IGNORE this blog and anyone else that thinks this is an important issue.

    if Obama’s separatist church is not an issue then these unsigned essays should not be either.

  19. graemebird Says:

    Rons 72 now. If we miss out on him this time we’ve lost him forever.

    I’m hoping he’ll do real well in South Carolina.

    Murdochs crowd seem to be blackballing him and of course public radio won’t talk about him.

  20. graemebird Says:

    Rons seen off another competitor on the Republican side. Mitt Romney out. Thats 8 down and 2 to go and then it would be an easy win in November.

    This war against international jihadism is a multi-phase war. It didn’t need to be but thats the way its turned out.

    This next phase there is only one thing for you to do.


    There’s only one nation you need to build.

    Its time to come home now.

  21. magma2 Says:

    “8 down and two to go”? McCain is the nominee. Huckababy is just busy vying for the veep position which he will not get. Ron Paul will not win, cannot win, is probably (as you suggest) too old to win, but he is the only one who should win.

    Paul’s legacy will be the sheer amount of young people he’s attracted to the ideas of liberty, his inspiring people once again recognize the limits of government specified in the rule of law; the Constitution, and to leave those who have joined his campaign with the hunger to fight on. My hope is that his new book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, will be to the crop of young people he’s attracted to his campaign what Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative was for young people in the ’60’s.

    That is the “hope for America.”

  22. Steve Matthews Says:

    I’m sorry to see that Lew Rockwell seems at least as attached to the Paul campaign this time around as he was in 2008. If Paul continues to do well, I suspect those commenets will be dragged out again in an attempt to discredit him.

  23. dubiousraves Says:

    Ron Paul let this swill go out on his own newsletter for years. Thus, he is fully responsible. If he’s apologized in the past for this, I haven’t heard it. Now that this muck is rising to the surface again, Paul will have to address it fully and honestly, explaining how he let blatant racism — and please don’t diminish it as anything less than that — get out under his name, i.e, with his approval, for years. Otherwise he has no business anywhere near the presidency.

    This is much worse than Niggerhead. After all, that was just a name.

  24. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi David. I agree Paul bears the responsibility for the newsletters, but saying this went on “for years” is an exaggeration. Everyone who knows Paul knows he didn’t write the newsletters and more than one person close to Paul during that period have named Rockwell as the man who did.

    If Rockwell would (as Robbins says) “man up” and admit he is the one who wrote them the matter would be put to rest. If anything, Paul was stupid to trust Rockwell in the first place, but that hardly disqualifies him from the presidency. But, make no mistake the GOP machine is busy moving against Paul with Republican shills like Hannity and Limbaugh leading the way. The establishment can’t stand Paul, which certainly explains your remarks.

  25. Sean Gerety Says:

    As was reported on the Reason blog last time this smear reared its ugly head:

    Eric Dondero claims that the newsletters were edited by Rockwell, and I believe he indicated that “80%” of the articles were written by Rockwell. The fact that Rockwell is allowing Paul to twist in the wind demonstrates that he is an absolute, complete, total and utter piece of garbage who cares about one thing, and one thing only: Lew Rockwell. Why a Christian gentleman like Ron Paul would lie for a such a scumbag is a mystery to me.

  26. […] that Ron Paul wrote the objectionable material in the newsletters (smart money has always been on Lew Rockwell), and I am not sure I’ve ever heard anybody even express the opinion that Ron Paul agrees or […]

  27. […] By most accounts, Lew Rockwell is the chief ghostwriter, an assertion confirmed by Paul’s former chief of staff, another former staffer, and even his 2008 congressional staff. It’s unfathomable that Paul […]

  28. Patrick Freeman Says:

    My question is, if the media believes the newsletter question to be valid and that they have a responsibility to inform the public then why wasn’t it important a couple weeks ago? Ron Paul announced his candidacy way back in May and he’s done TONS of interviews since then and I never once heard the newsletter issue raised. All of a sudden, two weeks from the Iowa Caucus and at a time when Paul has risen to front-runner status the media shifts from a total blackout of the issue to discussing nothing BUT the newsletters? Definitely makes it seem that they have an agenda doesn’t it?

    Those of you struggling with the infamous newsletter issue should definitely check out the following links for clarification:

  29. Sean Gerety Says:

    Patrick, you’re right, the newsletters are an issue again because Paul is a threat to the GOP establishment and they are the only thing the establishment has to once again cripple Paul. They did the same thing in ’08 immediately prior to the NH primary.

    It’s a perennial issue for Paul and Rockwell (if he wrote the letters and I believe John Robbins when he said he did) should come clean and Paul should disassociate himself completely from Lew. He should have done it years ago. Anyone who would buy into, much less try and implement, Rothbard’s “Outreach to Rednecks” strategy is an idiot to begin with.

  30. Bob S Says:

    As we have said elsewhere:

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    Who’s the biggest racist of them all?

    Not R Paul by long shot.

    But even if he was the Grand Klaxon of the Klu Klux Klan,and he’s not,
    the present occupant of the big white house on Pennsylvania Ave. still has got some ‘splaining to do.

    As in what was he doing sitting for twenty years in the black version of KKK church?

    FTR Black Liberation Theology teaches that one, America’s original sin was African slavery and two, the white man is the only thing holding the black man back. (Which of course is why, Wright moved up and out of the ghetto to a exclusive gated community upon retirement.)

    Um, problem. One, we already fought a war to abolish slavery – when every other western power was able to abolish slavery peacefully. Two: to politicize the human/spiritual condition is to fall prey to the idea that man does not live, but by politics alone. IOW there is a political solution to everything, including original sin.

    Memo to J. Wright and his congregants.
    Lots of reelly smart wite peepul have been mining this totalitarian vein of fools gold for a long time. Ever since the French Enlightenment/Revolution all the way through the Nazees, the Rooshians and Mow See Tung.
    If u think u r so smart, how r u any differunt?

    If there is a coherent answer to that question, don’t expect to hear about it from the Mainly Smearjob Media.

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