Libertarian Party To Feature Child Sex Predator at Isolationist Rally

Scott Ritter / Wikimedia Commons
January 30, 2023

The Libertarian Party wants to gut the Pentagon's budget, close all overseas American military bases, and dismantle the CIA. And it has tapped a convicted child sex predator to make its pitch in Washington.

Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector, is slated to speak at "Rage Against the War Machine," which the Libertarian Party is organizing at the Lincoln Memorial on Feb. 19. Ritter was charged in 2001 with attempting to solicit an undercover police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl in an online chat and again in 2009 with exposing himself online to an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl. Ritter was sentenced in October 2011 to up to five years in prison. He was paroled in 2014.

The Libertarians are embracing Ritter even as other isolationist groups cut ties with him over his predilection for underage girls. In 2021, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an isolationist think tank funded by George Soros and Charles Koch, removed an article from Ritter, which downplayed Russia's cyber attacks, following outcry over his convictions for solicitation of minors. But Ritter has remained active in isolationist foreign policy circles. He spoke last year at a Ron Paul Institute event and contributes to Russian state propaganda outlet Russia Today.

The Libertarian Party and its event partners released a 10-point list of demands aimed at weakening U.S. defense. They are calling to "close all U.S. military bases abroad," "cut the military budget in half," and dismantle the CIA. The coalition also blames the United States for Russia's war against Ukraine, in which Russian forces have killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians. The coalition makes the unfounded claim that the United States "instigated" the war by helping overthrow Ukraine's Russia-backed president in 2014.

Ritter will appear alongside numerous other activists critical of U.S. foreign policy. Anti-Israel activists Max Blumenthal and Medea Benjamin are listed as speakers alongside Ritter. Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, will also speak at the event.

Ritter's sordid past goes unmentioned in his bio for the event. It instead highlights his role on the United Nations Special Commission's weapons inspection team in Iraq, on which he served from 1991 to 1998.

The Libertarian Party did not respond to a request for comment.