Republican 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson defended WikiLeaks as an agent of government transparency Thursday, breaking with a large bipartisan consensus that the group is a threat to the United States.

"Government needs to be transparent," Johnson, a libertarian, told RT's The Alyona Show on Thursday evening. "The more transparent that government is, the better off we all are. Basically, everything we see out of WikiLeaks is what we theorized was actually the truth."

"The idea of transparency is something that I believe in," he said.

The anti-secrecy group has brought about national uproars after obtaining and releasing classified U.S. secrets, and has become a top target of the U.S. government. Johnson, however, said he would not go after it or its leader Julian Assange.

"I would not. I think that they are the messenger, and that if it wasn't WikiLeaks it would be someone else," the former governor of New Mexico told Alyona. "I wasn't really surprised at any of the information that has been let out. I haven't been made aware of any information that's been let out that's led to a loss of life."

Watch video of the interview, via RT.

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[h/t Dave Weigel]