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Summary:

Ron Paul’s campaign suffered a setback this week in its effort to identify who uploaded videos that appear to show the presidential candidat…

Ron Paul

Ron Paul’s campaign suffered a setback this week in its effort to identify who uploaded videos that appear to show the presidential candidate bashing a former rival’s ties to China.

A federal judge yesterday refused the campaign’s request for an order that would have forced YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) and Twitter to disclose details about “NHLiberty4Paul.” That name is associated with a Twitter and YouTube handle, likely from New Hampshire, that issued messages suggesting former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman is a Chinese agent.

The Paul campaign, which has disavowed the allegations, responded with a lawsuit earlier this month. Here is an excerpt:

The Video also questions Mr. Huntsman’s religious faith, refers to Mr. Huntsman as “China Jon” and asks whether his daughters are “even adopted.” The Video ends with a fictitious depiction of Mr. Huntsman in a Mao Zedong uniform and the text “American Values and Liberty – Vote Ron Paul,” thereby falsely implying that Plaintiff created, endorsed or is affiliated in some way with the Video and its content.

The people associated with NHLiberty4Paul also issued a series of tweets that insult Huntsman and claim Paul is the only real conservative in the GOP race.

In a recent filing, the Paul campaign asked US Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James to grant an order that would have forced Twitter, YouTube and other third parties to provide information about NHLiberty4Paul.

In a two-page order (shown below), James stated that the Paul campaign had not met the “good cause” criteria necessary to obtain the order.

This means that the campaign can’t for now obtain the identities of the defendants who are listed in the lawsuit as “John Doe.”

Jerrold Abeles, an attorney for the Paul campaign, said in a phone interview that the order is not the end of the road for the Paul campaign. Abeles said the campaign still has the option to file an amended request seeking to unmask the John Does.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of false advertising, trademark infringement and libel. The suit is unusual because free speech principles of American law make it nearly impossible for a national political figure like Paul to win a defamation case.

Ron Paul is a libertarian whose followers rabidly support his philosophy of small government and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Ron Paul 2012 v. Does, C 12-0240 (N.D. Cal.; Jan 25 2012)(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

  1. It is pretty obvious that it came from the Huntsman camp. Who else had access to home movies? Those daughters had the means and motive. I think Huntsman dropped out fearing disgrace.

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    1. Now that anonymity has been assured, dirty tricks can abound freely.  But watch out – someone could identify themselves as “Citizens4Romney” and then do a video of Ron Paul – “Ron Paul hates Jews! Ron Paul hates blacks! Ron Paul hates Italians! Ron Paul hates everyone! Paid for by Citizens4Romney.”  

      Goes to show that when opponents of liberty have no rationale argument, they just lash out with invective and disdain (cough-Levin), without desiring to engage in the argument itself (cough-Gingrich).

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  2. Huntsman’s drop-out was kind odd, but I also think this lawsuit is kind of odd.  What does the Paul campaign have to gain from finding out who posted the video?  

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    1. Are you kidding! EXPOSE THEIR ASS! THAT’s WHAT!

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    2. One thing they gain is credibility when they say they had nothing to do with it and do not condone it.

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    3. he at the very least distances himself from it, and if huntsman was behind him then he exposes some dirty tricks

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    4. huntsman was only in it for NH because that was the state where RP was the biggest threat. RP might have tied or beaten Romney if not for huntsman.

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      1. exactly right, and hunstman dropped out the same day paul received endorsements from 4 SC state senators which the MSM ignored anyhow, and instead talked about this stupid video, and how it was from paul supporters. the stop paul by any means campaign is evil and insidious.

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    5. Dr. Paul has every right to protect his reputation from this type of fraud… The video does clearly imply that Dr. Paul’s campaign created, endorsed or is affiliated in some way with the Video and its content.  That is not an opinion, but rather a matter of public record as we saw when numerous media sources wrongfully accused Dr. Paul’s campaign of creating, endorsing or being affiliated in some way with the Video and its content.  Dr. Paul is the great defender of our constitution, including free speech.  However, false advertising, trademark infringement and libel are not part of free speech, as free speech does NOT violate the rights of others…

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    6. It is quite simple – if he would win it, nobody would try to do this or similar trick again.

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    7. you can’t figure that out by yourelf???

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    8. It would force the media to admit they damaged the campaign by not checking out the story before blabbing about it on national TV.

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    9. ZachariahWiedeman Saturday, January 28, 2012

      I think what they are trying to gain is deniability. This pretty much puts the kibosh on any accusations of Paul’s involvement, complacency, or behind-the-scenes endorsement of this ad.

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    10. What does the Paul campaign have to gain?  Proof that the videos came from a Huntsman supporter, possibly one of his own daughters.  Then Keith Olbermann would have to eat crow.

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    11. Well soot… You don’t know me, right? Reveal your personal information (full name, home address and phone) and I promise you’ll have a different opinion by tomorrow morning.

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  3. I’m no legal expert, plus I’m a “rabid” (per the article) Ron Paul supporter so my reasoning is suspect. But this general area of law – the intersection of defamation and hacking – is very much a current topic given what’s going on in the UK and USA over the alleged News Corp phone hacking. Of course like everything else related to Paul the MSM will portray it as out-of-the-mainstream even though – like war, deficits, and crony capitalism – it’s an issue on the minds of many Americans.

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    1. biasdomehead Your guy has claimed there  is an absolute freedom of speech . yet he seeks to censor it. Like you little  fools have been doing for three years now.
       You’ve been censoring any talk about the racist newsletters from NPR website for three years.
       any mention of his gold investments in mines that are big polluters.
       you  WronG bots have been censoring in force, and then ou bitch about SOPA. LOL What’s the worry? the competition.

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  4. He hopes to show it was dirty campaign tactics by the Huntsman camp and that NH4Liberty
    is not a Ron Paul supporter. If this was done by some unassociated individual then there is very little to gain but if it is dirty campaign tactics by a competitor it will shine a light on shady campaign
    practices that are probably not that uncommon.

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  5. I just watched the video and I don’t see how Ron Paul could win access to subpoena the person’s information.  The only references to Paul are the NHLiberty4Paul username and “Vote Ron Paul” at the end of the video.  Nowhere does it say it was created by the Paul campaign or endorsed by him.  It just looks like a video created by a Paul supporter, a private citizen voicing their support for him.

    And even if it was created by Huntsman or a supporter, that’s not illegal either.  I don’t see a case for libel or trademark infringement at all.

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    1. Have you forgotten the non-stop coverage the media gave this stupid video for 3-4 days prior to the NH primary election? Paul was bad-mouthed that entire time by every mainstream/cable television station, and hundreds of popular internet news sources. They immediately placed blame on “Ron Paul supporters” despite the obvious fact that anyone could’ve opened that youtube account to upload this single video. Many trusted news sources even reported that this video was actually from Ron Paul’s campaign! Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman and family were interviewed constantly, receiving sympathy and more free publicity in those 3-4 days, than he’d received during his entire career.

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      1. i believe even cindy mccain tweeted ‘SHAME ON RON PAUL’ regarding this video, and that helped it get picked up that he posted it. The hypocrisy of the media to cover the video but not the TRUTH really chaps my ass

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      2.  Indeed!

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    2. The case isn’t about prosecuting something illegal, but embarassing someone who did something unethical and in poor taste by creating it (especially if it was a Huntsman insider.) There are many details that make it look like an insider posted it to make Ron look bad. It would make huntsman look really bad if he did it. If they did, I hope they get the disgrace and backlash they deserve.

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    3. The media had reported many times that the video was uploaded by a Ron Paul supporter and in some cases insinuated the Paul campaign was responsible. Can you not see that this shed bad light on Paul at an important time during the NH primary?

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    4. The
      owner of the YouTube account NHLiberty4Paul is quoted as saying,
      “Sorry, campaign has asked me not to speak to reporters.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/huntsman-denounces-

      That is libel, plain and simple: “To misrepresent damagingly.”

      That’s when the account holder made this into Libel…..

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  6. Justin Raimondo Friday, January 27, 2012

    “Jeff Roberts is a journalist whose fans, friends, and family RABIDLY support his philosophy of biased reporting.”

    Go back to journalism school, you dolt.

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    1. With respect, Justin, you’re kind of validating my point..

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      1. Justin Raimondo Friday, January 27, 2012

        Why? Because I took the time to read your article all the way through, and also took the time to comment? If that is “rabid,” then you have a very low opinion of the average American.

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        1. Fair point.. I wasn’t trying to belittle Ron Paul or his supporters.. I respect Paul and agree with a number of his ideas.. My comment was just an observation that his base appears to have more fervor than the other candidates.. But, yes, I concede ‘rabid’ may not have been the best word choice.. (Although I do maintain this lawsuit is a stupid idea)

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          1. Justin Raimondo Saturday, January 28, 2012

            I agree: the lawsuit was dumb, and also contrary to libertarian principles.

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            1. I disagree. Lawsuit was necessary after the fact that the
              author of the clip was asked to remove it and he/she did not. That alone makes
              a case for premeditative action and should not be tolerated. Everybody can
              voice its opinion but at the same time should be responsible for it.

              Lawsuit is a right path for a dispute.  The deeper side effect of the clip was that
              all the media associated that clip with Ron Paul’s campaign without even
              thinking twice. And this is not right. A potential win of this case would make
              those who picked the “news” that quickly think twice before they say
              something unconfirmed or untrue next time. This would be a great lesson in my
              opinion.

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            2. No way. It forced Huntsman out of the race to avoid embarrassment and it sheds light on how the msm is a dishonest, unorganized, grab-asstic piece of amphibian sht doing all they can to discredit the Doc. Even if the suit fails, it did its job.

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            3. Not really.  The idea of Liberty is that people should be free to live their lives as they want and do what they please – SO LONG AS they don’t harm others or interfere with the rights of others.

              In this case, they “harmed” Ron Paul’s reputation.  In a truly Free society, people who are harmed have the right for redress & to hold responsible the party causing the harm.  (some may argue, as well, that there may even be a “duty” to pursue this in order to stop this kind of behavior from harming others)

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          2. I disagree that the lawsuit is a stupid idea. It should be
            done and it should set a precedence for the future. People should be
            responsible for their actions. It is even bigger if Huntsman’s campaign (or
            family) was involved. I absolutely think that this type of action is necessary.
            That is what the judicial system is created for. Don’t you think?

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            1. Obviously, if they haven’t taken it down, they pretty much believe they are untouchable. How many people get sued for slander every year in this country? This is something that seems to be aimed at derailing Dr. Paul’s candidacy and I think it is right to try and find out who is behind it, who has cost you votes, and time to deal with it, etc. Strange thing is that I bet Grinch or Mittens especially would have no trouble twisting someone’s arm to find out who it was… and the MSM would be in a righteous uproar over this treatment of their chosen puppet. 

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          3. You’re right, the word “rabid” clearly has a strong negative connotation and was definitely “not the best” choice, unless your point was to bash Ron Paul and his supporters.

            I strongly suspect this in fact was your point, but — like a true dolt — you quickly backed down when called out by a writer of greater stature (and talent…and integrity) than yourself.

            I would nonetheless thank you for the apology, except what you offered wasn’t quite an apology…just a dubious denial (“my comment was just an observation…”) and a tepid concession that *maybe* you didn’t use “the best” word.

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            1. Actually, one definition of “rabid” as given by dictionary dot com states aspects of being uncontrollable (which many Paul supporters I’ve seen are quite proud of,) while another is “extremely zealous or enthusiastic.” I have described myself as rabid about things in the past. 

              I do find it interesting how big government is ok when it benefits Ron Paul, it seems. And while I think anyone who takes Ayn Rand seriously is too socially dangerous to gain my trust, I acknowledge that he does have a small number of ideas I agree with.

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            2. Me again. I had not meant to post as “correction,” that sounds arrogant, I has used that to correct an earlier post of mine and forgot that it kept the name. Apologies.

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            3. I don’t see how “big govt” has anything to do with uncovering the guilty party in this case. If anything, the media that ran with the story is part of the big govt establishment that obviously does not want a Ron Paul victory.

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      2. Passion in defense of liberty. Jeff Roberts, you think we are motivated because we like the way that 76 year old bag of bones looks and talks? Its the idea of liberty, not some old Doctor from Texas, that drives us.

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  7. ZachariahWiedeman Friday, January 27, 2012

    If Anonymous is such a strong supporter of Ron Paul (as has been supposedly claimed), why don’t they just unmask the imposers?

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    1. anonymous is good but they aren’t that good. youtube is owned by google.  To unmask them Anony would need to hack google. That is no easy feat

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      1. I’d like to see them try it though… :)

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    2. Anonymous does not support Ron Paul.

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  8. lawsuit is a great idea if he exposes who did it. A true ron paul supporter probably would have taken it down by now, but it’s still up.

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    1.  I agree with you, Joe. If this was a true Ron Paul supporter who wanted the man to win and realized that RP’s reputation was on the line by being associated with this via the MSM propaganda, this person (or persons) would have taken it down. That it continues to be a thorn in the side of RP convinces me that it was done deliberately by someone opposed to RP getting the nomination. Mittens or Grinch could probably “pull some strings” to have this sorted out if it was them being attacked as in the MSM eyes, they’d be the victims. The MSM is despicable.

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  9. James Anthony Friday, January 27, 2012

    The most telling, yet not surprising, conclusion we can draw from this entire debacle with Huntsman and Paul is this – when the youtube China Jon story broke, within 48 hours over 700 news media organizations tied the video to Ron Paul’s supporters and blasted the video all over the place as headline news and painted Dr. Paul in the poorest light possible.
    Compare that to this news that we are commenting on regarding the Paul campaign lawsuit in Federal court. Barely an utterance. If you had any doubt about the media manipulation against Ron Paul this should dispel your last shred of skepticism.

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    1. “broke”?… the MSM is a large BOIL on the a** of this nation that needs to be broke… :)

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  10. Simple solution.  Sue YouTube and Twitter for libel.  During the discovery phase the source would be identified. Or, is there an attorney out there who can tell me why this would not be so?

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