Osama bin Laden

Ron Paul for President: It's (Very Close to) Official


Politico is reporting that Ron Paul will make an official announcement of his presidential bid for 2012 tomorrow morning in New Hampshire.

Politico is also reporting that Paul continues to be fearless about tweaking the national security jingos in his own party and out of it, casting aspersions on the official Greatest Thing That's Ever Happened to America®, the killing of Osama Bin Laden:

"I think things could have been done somewhat differently," Paul said this week. "I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he's been in prison. Why can't we work with the government?"

Asked by WHO Radio's Simon Conway whether he would have given the go-ahead to kill bin Laden if it meant entering another country, Paul shot back that it "absolutely was not necessary."

"I don't think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary," Paul said during his Tuesday comments. "I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he'd been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters into London, because they were afraid the information would get out?"

This very controversial position is in line with his general sense that the U.S. should not and need not act like a power that can do whatever it wants wherever it wants, and that other people and nations in the Middle East generally deserve to be treated with the same sympathy and empathy as any other. He's held firm to these stances, and seems like he'll continue to, though it remains to be seen how many GOP primary voters will go along with him.

My interview with Paul on the announcement of his exploratory committee a couple of weeks back. And for a blast from the past, my interview with Paul in January 2007 on the announcement of his 2008 exploratory committee.

NEXT: Sell Off the Post Office! Nick Gillespie on Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano

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      1. BOOSH IS A NAZZY.


    2. Ron Paul introduced authorization for letters of marque right after 9/11 to get bin Laden CONSTITUTIONALLY. Here’s the bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congres…..=h107-3076

      1. Letters of Marque could be a pretty baddass metal band name…if it wasn’t for the frenchified word.

  2. That’s actually a good point. What if bin Laden had been holed up in Disney World (specifically, the Cinderella Castle) like I thought he was? Would we have simply attacked, or would we have asked the Disney government to hand him over?

    1. Last time I checked Disney World wasn’t a sovereign state.

      1. Clearly, you know nothing of Florida or Disney. Disney is a sovereign state, like the Vatican. Only with a giant mouse instead of a pope.

        1. What do you mean’instead of’? He is the Mouse Pope.

          1. Personally, I’m a space pope fan myself.

        2. The difference is Disney would be afraid of losing our tax dollars, Pakistan ain’t

          1. Disney fears nothing. Within their borders and the state of Florida, they are all-powerful.

        3. The mouse ears hide the devil horns.

        4. Actually, there are two cities (Bay lakes and Lake Buena Vista) and a development district (a state chartered quasi-governmental authority) on the Disney property, all wholly owned and operated by the Disney company.

          Those guys that look like rent-a-cops you see in the parks are sworn Florida peace officers.

          (Yes, I know, I know cities aren’t actually sovereign governments but rather corporations with special charters)

          They actually did it that way for the special powers that cities and development authorities have to build infrastructure. It also accelerates their construction process since their building inspectors are their own employes.

          1. Assassinations involve less red tape that way.

      2. Are the joos dead yet?

        1. Ol’ Walt|5.12.11 @ 3:38PM|#
          Are the joos dead yet?

          No, but we’re working on pushing them into the sea.

        2. actually he didn’t hate the Jews. This was part of the smear campaign after he became staunchly anti-communist and anti-union.

    2. What did Mickey know, and when did he know it?

    3. I’m on it!

    4. What the US military did to Osama is much more humane than what Disney’s military would have done. You do not fuck with the mouse.

      1. You mean, sue him pennyless?

        1. I’ve got the cause of action right here, without even thinking about it. Remember when the image of Bert from Sesame Street was used in an al Qaeda poster? That’s copyright and possibly trademark infringement.

          Disney’s ability to destroy infringers is legendary. They’ve sent cease-and-desist letters to school children.

          Note: So I typed C&Ds; in the text, and the server inserts a semicolon after the “s.” Why? It just did it again!

          1. That’s the way Disney prefers it. They’ve got the entire Internet to bow to their will.

            1. The entire Copyright Act is amended the moment Steamboat Willie is threatened with public domainization.

              1. Oh, the irony

                1. Disney steals like nobody’s business. Virtually nothing they do is original.

                  1. Welcome to the world of entertainment, Pro L.

          2. Disney sued some daycare center in S Florida years ago over a mural they done with disney characters to amuse the kiidies.

            Universal thought that was mean spirited of them (or saw a PR opportunity) and donated the rights to some of their characters and sent a couple of their artists to paint a new mural over the offending artwork.

            1. Good for Universal. Bad for the Mouse. Fucking Mouse. We hatess it!

  3. Not surprisingly, a lot of righty outlets are using this as some sort of evidence that RP is “unserious” and shouldn’t be paid any attention to in the primaries. It’s the fucking ’08 debate all over again, where some asshole Republican (in ’08 it was Gulianni) makes some retarded, false-choice point involving terrorism, and everyone acts like they’ve face crushed RP.

    The unfortunate reality might be that it’s impossible for anyone who isn’t a full on fornicator of the military state is just a non-starter in the GOP. Sure, RP and GJ are _more_ correct on fiscal issues that righties claim to be so incensed about, but that’s all irrelevant in the face of the constant fellatio delivered to hard power projection. I mean, fiscal responsibility and the Constitution are all well and good until they get in the way of blowing up brown people.

    1. I don’t think one needs to be “a full on fornicator of the military state” to think killing Osama was the right thing to do.

      1. Sure you do. Killing Osama was only possible because of the incredible size of the military, it’s overreach, and its use as a tool for power projection as opposed to legitimate defense. These are only made possible by the reacharound given to the military/industrial hydra. You can’t support the conclusion without supporting the premises.

        Furthermore, even if killing Osama was eventually the right thing to do, that doesn’t mean that a military operation by the US was a necessary component of that. Maybe the Pakistanis wouldn’t have arrested him, maybe they would’ve. We probably could’ve bribed em. But even if not, that doesn’t justify ignoring the cost of executing him.

        1. The cost of killing an enemy we’re fighting a war against (yes, no congressional declaration of war).

        2. We probably could’ve bribed em.

          Why in fuck should we pay them? Hell, that’s what we’ve been doing for almost a decade, and where did it get us? Fuckers are lucky we don’t blow half their shithole of a country off the face of the Earth just for making fools of us.

          1. Bribing them would have probably been cheaper then maintaining a puppet state in Afghanistan that will instantly fail the second we look the wrong direction, and good fucking riddance to it. And even if bribing the Pakistanis would not be cheaper, a lot more American soldiers would be alive and many more would still be able to walk and fuck. Oh wait. That’s right. You don’t give a shit about the troops despite what you claim.

            Fuckers are lucky we don’t blow half their shithole of a country off the face of the Earth just for making fools of us.

            Have you seen that children, white christian children no less, are being routinely molested by the TSA in order to somehow mystically protect us? Miss America was even hand-raped the other month by those fucking mongoloid goons. Is nothing sacred? Are we that fucking stupid to think terrorists are planting C4 in the shit-filled diapers of toddlers and old women or inserting condoms full of gasoline into Miss America’s asshole without her knowing it? Pakistan does not need to make fools of us, we are already doing it without their help. Well…I shouldn’t say we, since it is so inaccurate. People like YOU are making fools of us. Pakistan should send you a “thank you” basket full of assorted jams and cheeses for doing their job for them.

  4. Better answer: I would have parachuted in myself, killed him with my sword-cane*, and then turned myself in to the Pakistani police.

    *also acceptable: umbrella-gun

    1. Sorry, aren’t sword-canes and umbrella-guns illegal?

      1. Only at the mall.

        1. And Gotham City.

    2. I would’ve used my umbrella to emit a gas that knocks out bin Laden and his henchmen. Then I would dehydrate them so I could collect Obama’s dust in a small vial to be reconstituted later.

      1. +1 for the obscure reference.

        1. Don’t use heavy water.

        2. Batman is obscure?

      2. Obama’s dust? He doesn’t own the dust, and don’t even think about snorting comrade Obama. It’s alright comrade, everyone makes mistakes.

      3. Another +1 here. I got that too

    3. How about “stuffed him with liquor and bacon?”

      1. How about “stuffed him with liquor and bacon?” and SKULL FUCKED HIM!

    4. Couldn’t you just use a paper bag wearing Canadian?

  5. “Last week marked an important milestone in the war on terrorism for our country. Osama bin Laden applauded the 9/11 attacks. Such deliberate killing of innocent lives deserved retaliation. It is good that bin Laden is dead and justice is served. The way in which he was finally captured and killed shows that targeted retribution is far superior to wars of aggression and nation-building. In 2001 I supported giving the president the authority to pursue those responsible for the vicious 9/11 attacks. However, misusing that authority to pursue nation-building and remaking the Middle East was cynical and dangerous, as the past ten years have proven.”

    That’s Paul’s statement from last week. I’m guessing he’ll be clarifying his position sometime soon

    1. Ya, this statemnt from last week made great sense. “Targeted retribution,” rather than the “winning hearts and minds” nation-building and occupation policy of the last 10 years, is exactly what we should have been doing. I couldn’t agree more with what he said last week.

      Then today he makes this idiotic statement. I mean, comparing the governemnt of Pakistan to the governemnt of the UK? The US had to take out Bin Laden ourselves because the US could not trust the Pakistanis to deliver him to us. But I’m pretty sure if Bin Laden actually were in London, the US could count on the British to arrest him, which would make sending in the SEALs unnecessary.

      1. Either we recognize the sovereignty of our allies or we don’t. If we can’t trust them to execute the terms of our alliance, why do we have one? Sure, politically in the here and now, Obama HAD to err on the side of getting UBL, sovereignty or no, ally or no. But I think Paul is right in general.

        1. Apparently Bush made deals with Musharraf that the US would be able to carry out a raid like we did.

          I don’t think it’s right to treat all allies the same. From the perspective of Bush/ and Obama,dealing with Pakistan is a necessary evil for the war in Afghanistan/ WOT. From that perspective, without Pakistan’s somewhat/begrudging cooperation things would be even more difficult than they already are.

        2. Either we recognize the sovereignty of our allies or we don’t. If we can’t trust them to execute the terms of our alliance, why do we have one?

          “Ostensible allies” =/= “actual allies”

          It is better to pretend they are real allies, in recognition that they backed down on harboring the Taliban on 9/11, and thus be able to work with them on some things, then totally piss them off and have them turn openly hostile.

          You don’t have to love a regime to be able to deal with them.

          1. This is what I wanted to say.

      2. While the TONE of the comments is different, there is nothing technically contradictory about them. He is praising ONE aspect of the way it was done in this statement, and expressing general approval of getting Bin Laden. In this later interview, he is critiquing ANOTHER aspect of the way it was done.

        1. Fair enough. But I’m still guessing that if the media continues to run with this he’ll come out with a third statement that reconciles the two.

          He has to differentiate himself from Obama while still sounding sufficiently badass

        2. I think the technical term for that is called schizophrenia.

  6. If I were Ron Paul, I would let the Bin Laden thing slide. Its not worth the mess he will probably get in to over security issues… again.

    1. He won’t be able to let this slide. If he is still running among the top three in the polls, the other candidates will attack him on this issue.

      1. Yes, this is a non-recoverable fail. Jeebus, who does Paul have advising him?

        1. Perfect job of making himself into a joke candidate before he even enters the race officially.

  7. What happened to letters of reprisal??

    1. Congress turned them down both times Paul introduced them.

      1. Congress turned them down both times Paul SF’d them.

        Protip: Don’t call terrorists “pirates” in your legislation.

        1. They’re in roughly the same classification, as evil, violent, organized non-state actors.

  8. “Why can’t we work with the government?”

    There’s a sentence I never thought I’d see come from Ron Paul, heh.

    1. inoright?

  9. No we wouldn’t be scared of sharing info with the Brits, but we were clearly wary of involving Pakistan in the operation, for good reason it seems. Should we have trusted Pakistan to to arrest and hand over OBL?

    1. Well, you trust ’em with nukes, don’t you?

      1. No, I don’t. The US provides a lot of assistance in helping to secure Pakistan’s nukes.

        1. Well, you trust ’em not to reject the assistance, don’t you?

      2. “Not being able to do anything about them having nukes” =/= “trusting them with nukes”

    2. Which certainly speaks to Paul’s point about having fewer foreign entanglements — especially with people that we can’t trust.

      1. That’s a goal to aspire to, but that’s not the way things are right now. We do have foreign entanglements, OBL was an enemy that needed to be dealt with, Pakistan couldn’t be trusted.

  10. You have to watch out for precedence, too. There are terrorists holed up in Pakistan that India would love to get their hands on. Would it be ok for India to fly into their nuclear-armed neighbor’s territory and take out a few thugs? If the US can do it, does India think they can too?

    1. Very good point.

    2. You have to watch out for precedence, too. There are terrorists holed up in Pakistan that India would love to get their hands on. Would it be ok for India to fly into their nuclear-armed neighbor’s territory and take out a few thugs?

      It’s precedent…and yes, if Pakistan refused to turn them over, I think India might well be justified to go in and get them – providing, of course, that she was willing to risk a war over the matter. Strictly India’s decision.

  11. big f*cking deal…

  12. I need to see his entire statement, but just from that excerpt, Paul is asking to lose.

    Politically speaking, the country is faced with a lot of problems right now. Do you really want to toss away your chance of being able to be in a position to work on those problems because you want to criticize the killing of the most wanted terrorist in the world?

    Come on Paul, who do you have advising you?

    1. Seriously. I like the man very much, but this kind of sentiment is just silly. The comparison between England and Pakistan is a bit informed as well. If Bin Laden were in England Blair would have stormed the hotel himself… The point about Pakistan was that they weren’t going to arrest him for us. Which means we either get him ourselves, or go ahead and declare war on Pakistan. I think Obama made the right call.

  13. “Would it be ok for India to fly into their nuclear-armed neighbor’s territory and take out a few thugs? If the US can do it, does India think they can too?”

    Yes, in fact they can, and we shouldn’t give a damn about it. The whole question of “would it ok for India…” is meaningless.

    Paul’s statement is a total disaster. It is predicated on the assumption that we could rely on Pakistani government to accomplish the same thing. It shows that he doesn’t understand the reality of Pakistan. He sounds like some old hippy who thinks everybody would be generous and polite if only they were not oppressed by the powerful.

    I will never ever again vote for him.

  14. I like Ron Paul, but if he thinks asking officials of the country that has been essentially harboring Bin Laden for years, for permission to capture OBL, wouldn’t likely result in OBL getting tipped off and escaping, he’s out of touch with reality here.

    1. This statement is SO going to bite him in the ass during any candidate debate. He’s toast.

  15. Eesh. Paul’s failure (like most libertarians) is that he’s politically tone deaf.

    We could not have trusted Pakistan, or at least trusted every individual who would have carried out the operation, to not ruin it. They likely knew he was there anyway and at best did not act out of fear of his supporters. If the US was knowingly shielding, say, Pinochet, I frankly wouldn’t blame the Chilean government for acting on behalf of his victims, even if it involves violating our sovereignty. Justice is more important than artificial lines in the sand.

    Bin Laden deserved his fate. Taking him prisoner would have resulted in massive hostage taking, and more innocent lives. That’s not to say some other retaliation won’t, but that happens either way and the risk seems greater if we take him prisoner.

    I’m almost 100% in agreement with Paul on foreign policy, but this was a truly idiotic statement.

    1. Paul’s failure (like most libertarians) is that he’s politically tone deaf.

      True, but incomplete.

      Not only are libertarians typically tone deaf, there are also exceedingly few of them who have anything approaching a realistic foreign policy. Because so few of them are (willing? able?) to come to grips with how the real world works, once you get outside the bubble (or is it “artificial lines in the sand”) that is the US.

      What’s really sad is that as bad as libertarian foreign policy tends to be, on net balance, the D’s and R’s are even worse.

      But nobody seems to recognize that little detail.

      1. Fortunately, Ron Paul is one of the few with a sensible foreign policy.

  16. While Paul’s statement borders on the idiotic (pending further context), to be fair to him, it’s not like the current administration is immune from making asinine statements themselves (that are equally as dumb). See remarks, among others, on Assad being a reformer as he’s cracking down and murdering protestors, or remarks about high speed rail as Chinese agencies come out saying it’s been a terrible, bankrupting thing for them, or remarks on a solar panel industry that has been a joke in Spain…

    1. I don’t think any of the posters here quite get the level of emotion on this. The “jingos” that Doherty says that Paul is “tweaking” are about 85% of the country (and 99.5% of Republican primary voters). They don’t give a damn about Assad or solar panels or any other damn thing. They’re going to react to Paul like he wiped his ass with the flag.

      Or, as someone posted in another thread, there are two national figures who have a problem with killing bin Laden: Ron Paul, and Michael Moore. Nice strategy for getting the Republican nomination.

      1. I don’t disagree.

        My comment was simply to show that in the realm of dumb statements from politicians, Paul’s statement certainly has company.

  17. By the way, I remember last time around a lot of comments about the remarkable level of support Paul was getting from young people. Anyone notice the average age of the folks shouting “U-S-A” in NY, DC, and every sports stadium in the country?

    But I’m sure that once they calm down, they’ll be happy to listen to Paul lecture on the Fed or the gold standard or whatever.

    1. You really think criticizing the Fed is not a popular position these days?

  18. If RP really doesn’t know “Why can’t we work with the (Paksitani) government?” then he has no place in the presidency. The idea of working with the two-timing back-stabbing Pakistani government shows that RP is ignorant of how the ISI works and/or has terrible judgement. Further, his wink at “international law” makes me want hurl. There is no international law. Pakistan is not a real ally like London. RP does not take foreign policy seriously.

  19. “Further, his wink at “international law” makes me want hurl.”

    I noticed this, too. Who is going to enforce this law? Next thing you know, he will want us to be the policeman of the world.

    Unbelievable. I have known for a long time that he had these obnoxious hippie tendencies, but this really settles it once and for all.

  20. Ron Paul wanted to go after bin Laden CONSTITUTIONALLY ten years ago by introducing authority for letters of marque. http://www.govtrack.us/congres…..=h107-3076 That would have saved us an awful lot of money, too…

    1. How is this relevant? As his much more recent words show, he obviously changed his mind.

      I think maybe he and Michael Moore could go together to the United Nations and beg them to allow us to intervene. I’ve heard the UN is very much into small-government…

  21. Wait, he was on the stage for a presidential debate even though he wasn’t running for president?

  22. the U.S. should not and need not act like a power that can do whatever it wants wherever it wants

    Any time someone says something ridiculous like this, I’m compelled to respond.

    On a relative scale (which is what matters for my argument), and in a military sense, the US is probably the most powerful nation/empire in history. Compared with what other powers similarly situated throughout history have done, or would have done if offered the opportunity, the US is an amazing model of restraint, modesty, and forbearance.

    If the US were anything like the ancient empires (take, for example, Assyria), half of the globe right now would be smoldering rubble, and the other half would be populated by slave laborers. Instead, the US mainly (like the British Empire) tries to preserve enough global order so that reasonably free trade can occur, to the benefit of most of the world’s population. I’m “rounding off” a lot of unpleasantness, but in the main, that’s what the US has been doing.

    1. Well then, now we know.

      If you were a real libertarian, you’d have simply said that the US doesn’t need no stinking military power.

      fwiw, I agree with you and would further argue that many, including Americans, benefit greatly from the role the US (and British Empire before them) do. The world would not be quite such a nice place otherwise, nor is it likely that world trade would be nearly as free or extensive as it is.

      But I’ve been drummed out of libertarian circles before, for making such comments (and was drummed out of the D’s and R’s camps long before that).

    2. While I agree that so far America’s empire has been largely benevolent compared to, say, the USSR and China (ignoring the dozens of dictators we prop up and fund), isn’t this just basically saying it works because we’ve had the “right” people in charge so far? One can’t assume such relative restraint would continue in perpetuity.

      I also understand the argument that Paul seems to miss – that most of the countries we’re in invited us there and want us to stay (even if the residents don’t). That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t close 95% of our bases, since maintaining this kind of massive global operation is far too expensive and has unintended consequences (like terrorism).

  23. I see a lot of people still don’t get it. Ron Paul says what is right, and lets other people think about it and realize later that he was right all along.

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