Exposing the Rage Against the War Machine Rally

Earlier this week, I was scrolling my Twitter timeline and came across some information being posted by other individuals to cause concern involving the Rage Against the War Machine rally that the Libertarian Party, Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, and Libertarian Mises Caucus joined as sponsors. To get straight to the point, several speakers, sponsors, and organizers have direct ties or otherwise support Vladimir Putin or the invasion of Ukraine itself. Because of this, at best, this rally can be categorized as an anti-US involvement rally, but it certainly is not anti-war.

The two items that sent me on this journey are pictured below, and I will expand on both Jackson Hinkle and the Center for Political Innovation later on. I will state now that the “Z” featured in the poster held is the designator used on vehicles for those being transported to the Ukraine front, and Jackson Hinkle has been in full support of the invasion through his words and selling “Z” merchandise.

Fighting against war, speaking up against the greatest failure of humanity, is what brought me into the philosophy of libertarianism because I faced war first-hand as a Marine Corps infantryman and couldn’t stand the things I saw and had to do in order to come home. I lost 23 friends in war and even more after we came home. For more than a decade I have been an advocate for peace.

I was once a member of the Libertarian Party, but after seeing what was happening in other avenues, I decided it best to leave to continue activism elsewhere as the party no longer held many of the same ideals I hold under the new leadership. I’m not here to rehash the takeover, however, but wanted to provide some background. The reason I am speaking up today is because there are individuals I know still in the party who believe they can take it back, and this leadership needs to be exposed. Donors should also be aware of what their donations are funding.

I am by no means a journalist, but I will do my best to document what I have found and establish the case that this event is not what it appears to be.

Angela McCardle noticed the Rage Against the War sponsorship on December 14, 2022 for the January 8, 2023 meeting. 


The suggested time allotted in the proposed agenda by Ms. McArdle was only 5 minutes, which indicates debate was not expected.

Proposed Agenda Supplied by Angela McArdle

The meeting was held on January 8th, 2023 electronically, you can view the entire meeting on YouTube, but the relevant section for the agenda item to support this rally as an official sponsor begins at 2:07:25 (3) LNC Monthly E-Meeting January 8 2023 – YouTube. The link will open in a new tab.

Through this section of the meeting, there was no inquiry about the types of groups that would be sponsoring, nor who would be speaking at the event, although Ms. McArdle did state she knew that the People’s Party had already selected some speakers. With almost no actual information about what the event would be including, the Libertarian National Committee voted unanimously, essentially based on the name of the event alone and the vote was unanimous approval to be listed as a sponsor and spend $1,500 of donor contributions to the event. This means either they didn’t care, voted on the name alone, or had discussed on the secret list out of public view, which would be funny if true since this board was elected promising transparency.

Vote total from Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos submitted draft minutes. Image links to actual email in the business list.

So, who are the groups and individuals that the Libertarian Party has chosen to ally with? Let’s start breaking it down.

The People’s Party

First, is the second major contributor: The People’s Party. 

Right off the bat we find a Russian connection, someone who endorses the People’s Party that has constantly praised Vladimir Putin: Mr. Oliver Stone.

So, a key influence for the party already has a slant in favor of one of the parties involved in this war, and that slant is toward the leader and country that invaded another. I wish that the statements stopped there, however, when you go through The People Party’s Twitter postings, you can see a pro-Russia agenda all throughout. Not once, that I could see, do they blame Russia’s government or Putin for making the decision to invade. They do however excuse the actions and in some measures even support them. 

Don’t take my word for it. Take their word for it [opens in another tab]: (27) The People’s Party (@PeoplesParty_US) / Twitter. Throughout their timeline you will find plenty of blame on the United States, NATO, Ukraine, and everyone else, except for the Kremlin. While one could argue that United States foreign policy is bad, and I do, or that there is corruption involved in every government mentioned, none of that is a justification to invade another country.

The People’s Party is Chaired by Nick Brana. He has plenty of excuses for Russia himself and doesn’t call for any actual accountability or to end the war by saying they should withdraw their army from Ukraine. No point of view I can find except US/NATO bad and to blame. As a matter of fact, in a recent interview with George Galloway, he is quoted as saying “no other country can end this war,” referring to the United States and Ukraine. 

Pinned tweet on Nick Brana’s profile as of 1/27/2023

INTERVIEW: Rage against the war machine. #NickBrana and the coalition of the unwilling – YouTube

George Galloway, himself a questionable individual, is a paid host of a show on Russia Today called Sputnik. In other words, he is controlled by the Russian government in what is allowable to say because the state controls the media in Russia and if you move off the index card they provide, you are no longer given a platform. His talking points are approved by a country that keeps a tight control on information they allow. His paycheck comes from them. No bias there, right? Galloway is attempting to hold similar events in Europe.

Back to Mr. Brana, Chair of the People’s Party. It seems based on his own posting; he is quite the fan of Vladimir Putin, and his motivations are less to do with anti-war and more to do with anti-United States. And while there is plenty of criticism to levy toward the US, you don’t excuse the actions of invasion simply because that individual or government stands against the United States.

You can find more of his “greatest hits” on his Twitter account Nick Brana – #PeoplesParty (@nick_brana) / Twitter. Although, if you already scanned through The People’s Party Twitter, you would find them nearly identical, minus the screenshot above that is his pinned tweet. It is evident that he supports Vladimir Putin, in spite of the fact that everyone who assisted and contacted me has assured that there is no pro-Putin element involved in this rally.

One of the more telling parts about Mr. Brana’s stance is that it is in direct violation of the platform The People’s Party has on its website.

“The Nuremberg Tribunals established aggression as the highest international crime. End wars of aggression, preemptive wars and regime change. Close Guantanamo and return it to Cuba. Prosecute officials who committed torture in violation of the Geneva Convention. Return habeas corpus and due process.”

Our Platform – Movement For A People’s Party (peoplesparty.org)

This is a war of aggression, claimed to be preemptive to “prevent escalation by NATO,” and is in favor of regime change as a Kremlin puppet state. All three points that are supposed to be opposed are supported by Mr. Brana.

The Speaker List

Confirmed Speakers and Sponsors

I will preface this with the fact that, in large part, the speaker list is a who’s who of Russia Today. The majority of them are regular contributors and paid by the Russian government through their state-controlled media. So, there is an inherit bias present through that alone. In order to keep their jobs, anything they say publicly has to meet the approval of the Kremlin. I am not going to get into whether or not what they say and claim about the Russia-Ukraine War is true, because frankly, I do not trust the propaganda of any government. Most of the justification for Russia’s invasion I have seen are the same things I have heard from neocons in my own government toward our military misadventures, including Iraq where I served.

I will also note that there is not any Ukrainian point of view present. I am not stating that it must be someone who is from the government of Ukraine or their media, but they have no one to speak to what is witnessed in the war from the Ukrainian perspective. Further, I don’t believe one source I looked into has asked for Russia to withdraw their forces. Most blame the United States, NATO, and Ukraine’s government. [update note: one speaker looked into so far has been critical of Putin/Russia as well. He is mentioned below as I break down speakers.]

There is a pattern with nearly every one of the speakers on their social media accounts. It is almost a carbon copy along their timelines. Pre-invasion, each stated how crazy it would be for Russia to invade and that all intelligence sources in the West were wrong. Following the Russian military beginning the invasion, each stated that Russia would have a swift victory and it would be pointless to fight back. Some of the speakers listed even support the invasion itself. Throughout the year, they have maintained these sorts of talking points, trying to justify what was happening. All the while placing the onus on Ukraine to stop fighting. Essentially toeing the Kremlin line that has been Russia’s official position.

As a matter of fact, if you were to follow along with accounts controlled by the Russian Federation on social media, such as diplomats, you would see the parallel matches almost perfectly. The talking points had been issued.

This isn’t to say that every person listed is necessarily taking a check from Russia, but the others who are not paid have typically used a Russian source in the claims they make, and again, have not placed any responsibility on Russia to withdraw.

Jimmy Dore

Mr. Dore is no stranger to being controversial. As a comedian, one often finds themselves saying things no one else will. However, in regard to Russia and Ukraine, he continues to toe only the Kremlin line. Beyond that he maintains contact and appearances with most of the shows other speakers host. Essentially an RT favored guest as well as regular appearances with Grayzone, which we will get to in a moment, but they do support a lot of authoritarian regimes to say the least.

Most of his timeline on social media consists of anti-US government sentiment. That we do share in common. However, he tends to lean into a lot of conspiracy theories that are very far out there. Each to their own, but I have a hard time taking him credibly with much of what he says. The majority of his posts involve COVID-19.

As far as confirmed speakers go, his ties to Russia seem to come more from favoring Russian sources over US sources rather than realizing all governments are going to spin in their own favor and attempt to control the narrative in the media, as seen in the screenshot below.

Screenshot from Mr. Dore’s Twitter account.

An interesting thread on Jimmy Dore was written up, including taking money from the Assad Regime in Syria, another authoritarian state [in reality all governments are to some degree, but that is another story]. There is a slant toward the Western side in the thread as is seen in using the name calling of “vatnik,” but the information is sourced: https://twitter.com/P_Kallioniemi/status/1619350636977618945 [opens in new window].

Often cited talking points used as justification for invasion in Ukraine

Medea Benjamin

The co-founder of Code Pink is no stranger to anti-war protests, as the group was formed in response to the War in Iraq. On the surface, I share many of their goals, however, often this group in their pleas for peace tend to lean in to surrender to a bully unless the bully is the United States, Israel, or other Western countries. There was never any talk of Iraq or Palestine surrendering to the United States or Israel, respectively.

Peace is an admirable goal to have, but not at the cost of a people’s liberty in opposing tyrants. Ms. Benjamin also joins the ranks of those who use Russian talking points almost verbatim in the lead up to the invasion and then parroting after they invade: deny then amplify Putin’s demands.

Note: To reiterate, I am not here to necessarily agree or disagree with validity of demands. I do agree with some of them, but this is to illustrate that the talking points change to fit a certain narrative, one that is sourced in the Kremlin.

Ms. Benjamin, however, goes much further in her critiques of the war in Ukraine in having written a book that essentially is nothing more than trying to justify the actions of Vladimir Putin. An excellent review and counter to her book is found at: https://oaklandsocialist.com/2022/12/14/review-of-medea-benjamins-book-on-ukraine/ which will open in another tab.

One part of the book I want to highlight, as she attempts to justify actions taken are on page 127:

“One of the consequences of the impunity enjoyed by senior US officials in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts was that it encouraged Putin to believe that he, too, could get away with aggression and war crimes against Ukraine. Another is that much of the rest of the world would see any Western-led effort to hold Russia criminally accountable as a flagrant double standard—and they would be right.”

Yes, I oppose a great many things the United States has done. Especially because of service in Iraq and realizing far too late that it was not anything remotely Constitutional, just, or legal under international law. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to give the Russian government a pass with “well the US did it too!” No, and this is not the position of anti-war.

Scott Horton

Mr. Horton is a regular commentator on behalf of antiwar.com. An organization I have supported over the years, especially in the 20+ years of the United States Global War on Terror. I used to follow and respect Scott Horton because of the work he did exposing certain things the United States did in the Middle East, as it was close to the heart for me.

He tore apart the United States government narrative of the justifications used, especially in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. So why do I take such issue with him today? Because Russia is using the same kind of justifications in their invasion of Ukraine. Examples include there are Nazis in Ukraine [al Qaeda in Iraq]; the government of Ukraine is killing its civilians and Russia is trying to intervene [Saddam is killing Iraqi civilians, so the United States needs to intervene]; and so on.

One other interesting quote I find is what is advertised in his graphic for Rage Against the War Machine, I’ll point out the logical fallacy in a moment.

To answer Mr. Horton’s question: yes, Mexico and Canada would have the right to enter into a voluntary military alliance with Russia or China. Just as Belarus entered into an alliance with Russia. It is when that alliance invades a sovereign nation or threatens invasion, making war imminent, when such an alliance would be bad. The simple act of an alliance is not, in and of itself, bad.

Now we can debate whether or not an alliance is defensive or offensive, but the principle is that each nation does maintain the ability to choose who they trade with, who they make military pacts with, etc. I, for one, would prefer the total disarmament of all the world’s militaries, but that is not going to happen in my lifetime, unfortunately. So, countries will make allies in their best interests, and the only thing I can protest is the actions my own government takes. Ukraine entering NATO or wishing to enter is up to the member states, only one of which I have any say in.

Beyond this quote, you will find Mr. Horton usually cites Russian sources for his most of his information in his opposition to the aid being provided to Ukraine. I personally believe taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for someone else’s defense, but that is on moral grounds, not Russia’s propaganda machine that works at the same level [at least] as the United States spin factory. I don’t trust most of what my country’s official narrative is, I also do not trust a former KGB officer and what his state-controlled media is saying. Truth is out there, but usually somewhere in the middle and will not hold anyone in a good light.

Beyond the use of Russian sources in his citation, Mr. Horton has a nasty habit of telling people who disagree with him on Ukraine to kill themselves on social media, earning him a Twitter suspension earlier this year.

Garland Nixon

Now we start getting more into actual connections to Russia and their propaganda in this war.

Mr. Nixon is a mouthpiece in the United States for Russia State Media through Russia Today and Sputnik News.

You will note in the background caption “Garland’s work centres on foreign policy with a predominant focus on anti-imperialist movements worldwide.” Great, right? What is his stance on the Russian invasion to annex territory, an imperialist action?

His entire timeline is like this. One note I do need to make on this specific tweet, since he invoked “Nazi:” Garland Nixon has mentioned the Wagner Group, the paramilitary company that recruits from prisons, exactly one time one his Twitter account, and it wasn’t because they have neo-Nazis in their ranks.

Garland Nixon’s bias is very clear in everything he writes, speaks on, and frankly, who pays him. His slant is in favor of Russia, and based on what he tweets, he may actually support what is going on simply because it’s an “up yours” to Western governments. I find no evidence that he opposes war, just things the United States gets their hands in. Why an anti-war rally chose an individual who cracks jokes about the very real atrocities of war is beyond me. I find it repugnant. There is nothing funny about people being sent into the meat grinder.

Garland Nixon, pictured on the far left, at CPI event.

The image above also shows Garland Nixon attending the Center for Political Innovation event where they were holding the “z” banners and old Soviet flag featured at the beginning of the article, which was what tipped me off to looking into this whole situation.

David Swanson

David Swanson founded the organization World Beyond War and he was probably the most refreshing of the speakers I looked into. Scanning his social media, I see that he is opposing multiple conflicts around the world and raising awareness of growing militarism in national policies and police forces. While he certainly does do more to focus on US foreign policy, and let’s face it, the scrutiny is needed, he is also talking about things happening in Africa, Japan, Israel, the Middle East, and much more and it extends beyond just what influence the United States is doing.

I believe based on the things I have seen, he is more like me, universally opposed to war and not making excuses just because the United States is involved on one side. In searching the term “Putin” on his profile, while he hopes for a negotiated peace, he does call out Vladimir Putin on several items.

Out of all reviewed thus far, he seems to be the most genuine of those calling for peace. Recognizing the Russian government’s role in all this as well as other elements like NATO. Probably the most balanced and fair of the speakers in this rally, which is possibly its only saving grace with its majority Russian state media paid staff speaking.

Daniel McAdams

Longtime ally and aide to former Congressman Ron Paul, as well as the Executive Director for the Ron Paul Institute, has a long history of excusing Russia and Vladimir Putin along with Dr. Paul himself. From the illegal occupation of Crimea, followed by a referendum under duress, to the current state of the Ukraine-Russia War, most often, justification is found on the side of Russia. This dates back decades to Dr. Paul as a Congressman opposing even Non-Governmental Organizations being a nefarious plot to undermine other countries. When he speaks about non-intervention, he means all but trade.

This article goes over the Ron Paul Institute overall but does cite McAdams several times. https://freebeacon.com/politics/the-ron-paul-institute-for-putins-priorities/, and while we can debate who wrote the article as a part of the “neocon regime,” what you need to understand is that the information is accurate and can be independently fact-checked.

Article screen captured from Lew Rockwell’s website

The above pictured article taken from Lew Rockwell’s website fits the same pattern many of the other speakers have taken, where they talk about how swiftly Ukraine would fall to Russia, a major part of disinformation that starts with the Kremlin. Mr. McAdams is also no stranger to contributing to Russia Today as well as having ownership of a domain known as Daily Putin.

Domains registered and owned by Daniel McAdams

McAdams Twitter is, needless to say, solely placing blame on the United States and Western Europe for what is occurring in Ukraine. You are more than welcome to go scroll through his “anti-Satanism” tweets and a whole ton of conspiracy laced garbage if you want: https://twitter.com/DanielLMcAdams a lot of it is a trip through crazy town, a lot of right-wing focus on things like traditional values, vaccines, and a myriad of other things, but you will note that he doesn’t blame the Kremlin once, at least that I could see, for choosing to cross Ukraine’s border, but as established with the earlier article, he has a history with his boss excusing Russia and Vladimir Putin.

I am working to verify the claim listed below, because this shows a much more direct connection between McAdams and the Russian government. This was sent to me anonymously, but if you can corroborate, feel free to reach out to me. It isn’t in the least bit surprising if true based on what I have seen so far in defense of Russia.

As for the rest that can be confirmed, he follows the same pattern others have (1) deny the invasion will happen, (2) say that it will be swift victory for Russia, (3) justify the actions over the course of a year on why it isn’t so bad. Usually with a whataboutism involving the United States.

Jackson Hinckle

This is one speaker that crosses the line from slant/influence into outright support of the Russian invasion. I am not speaking in hyperbole in making this statement, and I could easily write an entire article on him alone. Mr. Hinkle did the typical deny the invasion would happen, but as soon as it did, he was on board fully. He even started selling “Z” merchandise like t-shirts to celebrate the war effort.

Any rally that includes this man cannot be anti-war. It is one thing to listen to only a few sources for information or to accept what the Russian government puts out from their intelligence when giving the status on the ground or why they are doing what they are doing. It is quite another to outright support war. His inclusion alone should have been enough for the Libertarian Party to pull their sponsorship of the event.

Scott Ritter

This is another that is severely concerning. I’m not going to get into the pedophile stuff, because while it should really disqualify him from being taken seriously by anyone in politics, it isn’t relevant to the subject matter of the rally. I know a lot of folks have been mentioning this and while vile, I’m establishing the concerns in relation to stances in this rally.

Jumping right in: Scott Ritter very well may be an actual Russian asset, converted during his time as a weapon inspector.

As this excerpt shows, Mr. Ritter denies writing the reports he wrote about the situation he was in with a young, female interpreter. When I was in the US Military, we were warned about foreign agents using these tactics to get you compromised. I can personally confirm that this is a real situation you are briefed on when you deal with sensitive information. I also know that this is a tactic our own government uses to attempt to get information and flip people to spy on our behalf.

If that isn’t enough evidence in and of itself, Mr. Ritter also happens to have followed the near identical pattern of almost every other speaker. In what he chooses to retweet and put out himself. He is also a featured columnist on Russia Today.

Random concerns about the rally

Outside of the speakers and sponsors that I have discussed, I have several concerns about things that have been brought to my attention that need to be addressed, these questions answered. I have several people telling me that they are being ghosted by organizers and questions of liability concerns are being dodged.

I am waiting on emails and permission to publish on liability concerns submitted to me. The person may wish to remain anonymous, however, I will state that this individual reached out to the Libertarian National Committee with these concerns since the Party is an official sponsor. Not only that, but Angela McArdle used the LNC headquarters building as the agent/director address when filing corporate paperwork with the State of Virginia. This, combined with her status as Chair and with the Committee voting to approve sponsorship does mean that if something were to go awry, there very well could be civil liability levied against the party.

Image screenshot from the corporate filing. Image links to Virginia State Corporation Commission full filing

I received information from someone close to antiwar.com that told me suggested speakers were turned down, however, in speaking directly with Eric Garris, Director of antiwar.com, he stated that he had not spoken with anyone involved with organizing the primary rally in Washington, D.C., but is involved in setting up a concurrent rally in San Fransisco to support the overall rally effort to end this war and is also supportive of Rage Against the War Machine rally in D.C. on February 19th. The one item Mr. Garris did state in regard to speakers was that there has been issues with selection of who would get selected because of more sectarian type issues due to political factions.

A major concern of antiwar.com is more in line with the escalation between two nuclear powers. During our discussion we both mentioned the need for more diverse voices, especially like the article they ran involving people escaping the draft situation in Ukraine and would like to hear from those facing the same circumstances in Russia. Another point of our discussion was the wish for a perspective from refugees. [an earlier report went into the turning down of speakers, but on further confirmation, the information wasn’t correct and lost in translation]. Antiwar.com is far more balanced in the viewpoints they have provided over the years and is a great source to get a fuller picture of what is happening in conflicts, since they look into multiple angles.

Angela McArdle issues

When I started writing this, I had no idea how deep things would go or what I would receive. On the base, as I established, it appeared at a minimum she was acting incompetently and rushing through things without doing much research. Recent information shows this is actually much worse.

An individual on the National Committee has blown a whistle but wishes to remain anonymous. Ms. McArdle has been taking actions on this rally in the name of the Libertarian Party long before getting permission from the rest of the board. As I established in the previous section, she had submitted the LNC Headquarters address in the official paperwork with the State of Virginia. The date of the filing is 12/15/2022. This is only one day after she noticed the board that she would be asking for a vote. In meeting she admits to being the one who filed the paperwork.

The whistleblower has said everything was going on behind the scenes without input from the board, and everything that has been discussed since was done on the “secret list.”

She [McArdle] had that protest and bank account set up way before the Jan 8 meeting. She only asked the LNC to ratify what she’d done. She was already using party name and assets before then. There was a backchannel dustup over that bank account and some on the committee questioned it.

They are operating without transparency and McArdle is acting without consent of the board. Questions are now present as to who paid the 501(c)4 filing fee with the Internal Revenue Service, which costs $600. She stated that she filed the paperwork which requires that $600 to process for tax exempt status. Did this money come from the Libertarian Party accounts without a vote or her personal funds? At this moment, we have not been able to get a response due to being blocked on social media.

Want to do something?

If you are a Libertarian Party member, this official sponsorship was done with your money in your name. You have member rights. I would highly recommend that you contact the Libertarian National Committee and tell them how you feel about the fact that if they vetted the speakers as a board it was done in secret and not publicly. However, by every indication, the board voted based on the name of the event and didn’t look into any of it.

You can email the entire board at https://www.lp.org/libertarian-national-committee/. If I were still a member, I’d be demanding that they pull the sponsorship at least until the rally pulls Jackson Hinkle, Garland Nixon, Tara Reade, and remove Center for Political Innovation as a sponsor.

If I were on the National Committee, as I once was years ago, I would be personally making a motion to remove the sponsorship entirely. If I were still a member, I would be asking that, but I understand if an individual is ok with using a POV from Russia as part of the rally. I personally would mention that there is no one representing the conscripted soldiers, the people of Ukraine that want to defend their home, or the folks that are trying to live their lives while dealing with air strikes and shelling. An anti-war perspective includes all aspects of the situation, not one country, who also happens to be a belligerent in the conflict, as the overwhelming point of view.

This article is ongoing as I continue to research the remaining speakers, sponsors, and issues.

3 thoughts on “Exposing the Rage Against the War Machine Rally

  1. Very well put together information and definitely of interest. While I long ago stopped following (personally following as in I no longer identify within the political spectrum at all) any who espouse a political viewpoint, I enjoy what you write!


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