Keep Your Eye on the Target
Ron Paul's Speech of 11/29/01
Congressman Ron Paul, House of Representatives, November 29, 2001
Keep Your Eye on the Target
We have been told on numerous occasions to expect a long and protracted war. This is not necessary if one can identify the target- the enemy- and then stay focused on that target. It's impossible to keep one's eye on a target and hit it if one does not precisely understand it and identify it. In pursuing any military undertaking, it's the responsibility of Congress to know exactly why it appropriates the funding. Today, unlike any time in our history, the enemy and its location remain vague and pervasive. In the undeclared wars of Vietnam and Korea, the enemy was known and clearly defined, even though our policies were confused and contradictory. Today our policies relating to the growth of terrorism are also confused and contradictory; however, the precise enemy and its location are not known by anyone. Until the enemy is defined and understood, it cannot be accurately targeted or vanquished.
The terrorist enemy is no more an entity than the "mob"or some international criminal gang. It certainly is not a country, nor is it the Afghan people. The Taliban is obviously a strong sympathizer with bin Laden and his henchmen, but how much more so than the government of Saudi Arabia or even Pakistan? Probably not much.
Ulterior motives have always played a part in the foreign policy of almost every nation throughout history. Economic gain and geographic expansion, or even just the desires for more political power, too often drive the militarism of all nations. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have not been exempt. If expansionism, economic interests, desire for hegemony, and influential allies affect our policies and they, in turn, incite mob attacks against us, they obviously cannot be ignored. The target will be illusive and ever enlarging, rather than vanquished.
We do know a lot about the terrorists who spilled the blood of nearly 4,000 innocent civilians. There were 19 of them, 15 from Saudi Arabia, and they have paid a high price. They're all dead. So those most responsible for the attack have been permanently taken care of. If one encounters a single suicide bomber who takes his own life along with others without the help of anyone else, no further punishment is possible. The only question that can be raised under that circumstance is why did it happen and how can we change the conditions that drove an individual to perform such a heinous act.
The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington are not quite so simple, but they are similar. These attacks required funding, planning and inspiration from others. But the total number of people directly involved had to be relatively small in order to have kept the plans thoroughly concealed. Twenty accomplices, or even a hundred could have done it. But there's no way thousands of people knew and participated in the planning and carrying out of this attack. Moral support expressed by those who find our policies offensive is a different matter and difficult to discover. Those who enjoyed seeing the U.S. hit are too numerous to count and impossible to identify. To target and wage war against all of them is like declaring war against an idea or sin.
The predominant nationality of the terrorists was Saudi Arabian. Yet for political and economic reasons, even with the lack of cooperation from the Saudi government, we have ignored that country in placing blame. The Afghan people did nothing to deserve another war. The Taliban, of course, is closely tied to bin Laden and al-Qaeda, but so are the Pakistanis and the Saudis. Even the United States was a supporter of the Taliban's rise to power, and as recently as August of 2001, we talked oil pipeline politics with them.
The recent French publication of bin Laden, The Forbidden Truth revealed our most recent effort to secure control over Caspian Sea oil in collaboration with the Taliban. According to the two authors, the economic conditions demanded by the U.S. were turned down and led to U.S. military threats against the Taliban.
It has been known for years that Unocal, a U.S. company, has been anxious to build a pipeline through northern Afghanistan, but it has not been possible due to the weak Afghan central government. We should not be surprised now that many contend that the plan for the UN to "nation build" in Afghanistan is a logical and important consequence of this desire. The crisis has merely given those interested in this project an excuse to replace the government of Afghanistan. Since we don't even know if bin Laden is in Afghanistan, and since other countries are equally supportive of him, our concentration on this Taliban "target" remains suspect by many.
Former FBI Deputy Director John O'Neill resigned in July over duplicitous dealings with the Taliban and our oil interests. O'Neill then took a job as head of the World Trade Center security and ironically was killed in the 9-11 attack. The charges made by these authors in their recent publication deserve close scrutiny and congressional oversight investigation- and not just for the historical record.
To understand world sentiment on this subject, one might note a comment in The Hindu, India's national newspaper- not necessarily to agree with the paper's sentiment, but to help us better understand what is being thought about us around the world in contrast to the spin put on the war by our five major TV news networks.
This quote comes from an article written by Sitaram Yechury on October 13, 2001:
The world today is being asked to side with the U.S. in a fight against global terrorism. This is only a cover. The world is being asked today, in reality, to side with the U.S. as it seeks to strengthen its economic hegemony. This is neither acceptable nor will it be allowed. We must forge together to state that we are neither with the terrorists nor with the United States.
The need to define our target is ever so necessary if we're going to avoid letting this war get out of control.
It's important to note that in the same article, the author quoted Michael Klare, an expert on Caspian Sea oil reserves, from an interview on Radio Free Europe: "We (the U.S.) view oil as a security consideration and we have to protect it by any means necessary, regardless of other considerations, other values." This, of course, was a clearly stated position of our administration in 1990 as our country was being prepared to fight the Persian Gulf War. Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction only became the issue later on.
For various reasons, the enemy with whom we're now at war remains vague and illusive. Those who commit violent terrorist acts should be targeted with a rifle or hemlock- not with vague declarations, with some claiming we must root out terrorism in as many as 60 countries. If we're not precise in identifying our enemy, it's sure going to be hard to keep our eye on the target. Without this identification, the war will spread and be needlessly prolonged.
Why is this definition so crucial? Because without it, the special interests and the ill-advised will clamor for all kinds of expansive militarism. Planning to expand and fight a never-ending war in 60 countries against worldwide terrorist conflicts with the notion that, at most, only a few hundred ever knew of the plans to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The pervasive and indefinable enemy- terrorism- cannot be conquered with weapons and UN nation building- only a more sensible pro-American foreign policy will accomplish this. This must occur if we are to avoid a cataclysmic expansion of the current hostilities.
It was said that our efforts were to be directed toward the terrorists responsible for the attacks, and overthrowing and instituting new governments were not to be part of the agenda. Already we have clearly taken our eyes off that target and diverted it toward building a pro-Western, UN-sanctioned government in Afghanistan. But if bin Laden can hit us in New York and DC, what should one expect to happen once the US/UN establishes a new government in Afghanistan with occupying troops. It seems that would be an easy target for the likes of al Qaeda.
Since we don't know in which cave or even in which country bin Laden is hiding, we hear the clamor of many for us to overthrow our next villain- Saddam Hussein- guilty or not. On the short list of countries to be attacked are North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran, and the Sudan, just for starters. But this jingoistic talk is foolhardy and dangerous. The war against terrorism cannot be won in this manner.
The drumbeat for attacking Baghdad grows louder every day, with Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, and Bill Bennett leading the charge. In a recent interview, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, made it clear: "We are going to continue pursuing the entire al Qaeda network which is in 60 countries, not just Afghanistan." Fortunately, President Bush and Colin Powell so far have resisted the pressure to expand the war into other countries. Let us hope and pray that they do not yield to the clamor of the special interests that want us to take on Iraq.
The argument that we need to do so because Hussein is producing weapons of mass destruction is the reddest of all herrings. I sincerely doubt that he has developed significant weapons of mass destruction. However, if that is the argument, we should plan to attack all those countries that have similar weapons or plans to build them- countries like China, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, and India. Iraq has been uncooperative with the UN World Order and remains independent of western control of its oil reserves, unlike Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. This is why she has been bombed steadily for 11 years by the U.S. and Britain. My guess is that in the not-too-distant future, so-called proof will be provided that Saddam Hussein was somehow partially responsible for the attack in the United States, and it will be irresistible then for the U.S. to retaliate against him. This will greatly and dangerously expand the war and provoke even greater hatred toward the United States, and it's all so unnecessary.
It's just so hard for many Americans to understand how we inadvertently provoke the Arab/Muslim people, and I'm not talking about the likes of bin Laden and his al Qaeda gang. I'm talking about the Arab/Muslim masses.
In 1996, after five years of sanctions against Iraq and persistent bombings, CBS reporter Lesley Stahl asked our Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeline Albright, a simple question: "We have heard that a half million children have died (as a consequence of our policy against Iraq). Is the price worth it?" Albright's response was "We think the price is worth it." Although this interview won an Emmy award, it was rarely shown in the U.S. but widely circulated in the Middle East. Some still wonder why America is despised in this region of the world!
Former President George W. Bush has been criticized for not marching on to Baghdad at the end of the Persian Gulf War. He gave then, and stands by his explanation today, a superb answer of why it was ill-advised to attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power- there were strategic and tactical, as well as humanitarian, arguments against it. But the important and clinching argument against annihilating Baghdad was political. The coalition, in no uncertain terms, let it be known they wanted no part of it. Besides, the UN only authorized the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. The UN has never sanctioned the continued U.S. and British bombing of Iraq- a source of much hatred directed toward the United States.
But placing of U.S. troops on what is seen as Muslim holy land in Saudi Arabia seems to have done exactly what the former President was trying to avoid- the breakup of the coalition. The coalition has hung together by a thread, but internal dissention among the secular and religious Arab/Muslim nations within individual countries has intensified. Even today, the current crisis threatens the overthrow of every puppet pro-western Arab leader from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Many of the same advisors from the first Bush presidency are now urging the current President to finish off Hussein. However, every reason given 11 years ago for not leveling Baghdad still holds true today- if not more so.
It has been argued that we needed to maintain a presence in Saudi Arabia after the Persian Gulf War to protect the Saudi government from Iraqi attack. Others argued that it was only a cynical excuse to justify keeping troops to protect what our officials declared were "our" oil supplies. Some have even suggested that our expanded presence in Saudi Arabia was prompted by a need to keep King Fahd in power and to thwart any effort by Saudi fundamentalists to overthrow his regime.
Expanding the war by taking on Iraq at this time may well please some allies, but it will lead to unbelievable chaos in the region and throughout the world. It will incite even more anti-American sentiment and expose us to even greater dangers. It could prove to be an unmitigated disaster. Iran and Russia will not be pleased with this move.
It is not our job to remove Saddam Hussein- that is the job of the Iraqi people. It is not our job to remove the Taliban- that is the business of the Afghan people. It is not our job to insist that the next government in Afghanistan include women, no matter how good an idea it is. If this really is an issue, why don't we insist that our friends in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait do the same thing, as well as impose our will on them? Talk about hypocrisy! The mere thought that we fight wars for affirmative action in a country 6,000 miles from home, with no cultural similarities, should insult us all. Of course it does distract us from the issue of an oil pipeline through northern Afghanistan. We need to keep our eye on the target and not be so easily distracted.
Assume for a minute that bin Laden is not in Afghanistan. Would any of our military efforts in that region be justified? Since none of it would be related to American security, it would be difficult to justify.
Assume for a minute that bin Laden is as ill as I believe he is with serious renal disease, would he not do everything conceivable for his cause by provoking us into expanding the war and alienating as many Muslims as possible?
Remember, to bin Laden, martyrdom is a noble calling, and he just may be more powerful in death than he is in life. An American invasion of Iraq would please bin Laden, because it would rally his troops against any moderate Arab leader who appears to be supporting the United States. It would prove his point that America is up to no good, that oil and Arab infidels are the source of all the Muslims' problems.
We have recently been reminded of Admiral Yamamoto's quote after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in expressing his fear that the event "Awakened a sleeping giant." Most everyone agrees with the prophetic wisdom of that comment. But I question the accuracy of drawing an analogy between the Pearl Harbor event and the World Trade Center attack. We are hardly the same nation we were in 1941. Today, we're anything but a sleeping giant. There's no contest for our status as the world's only economic, political and military super power. A "sleeping giant" would not have troops in 141 countries throughout the world and be engaged in every conceivable conflict with 250,000 troops stationed abroad.
The fear I have is that our policies, along with those of Britain, the UN, and NATO since World War II, inspired and have now awakened a long-forgotten sleeping giant- Islamic fundamentalism.
Let's hope for all our sakes that Iraq is not made the target in this complex war.
The President, in the 2000 presidential campaign, argued against nation building, and he was right to do so. He also said, "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us." He wisely argued for humility and a policy that promotes peace. Attacking Baghdad or declaring war against Saddam Hussein, or even continuing the illegal bombing of Iraq, is hardly a policy of humility designed to promote peace.
As we continue our bombing of Afghanistan, plans are made to install a new government sympathetic to the West and under UN control. The persuasive argument as always is money. We were able to gain Pakistan's support, although it continually wavers, in this manner. Appropriations are already being prepared in the Congress to rebuild all that we destroy in Afghanistan, and then some- even before the bombing has stopped.
Rumsfeld's plan, as reported in Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper, lays out the plan for the next Iraqi government. Turkey's support is crucial, so the plan is to give Turkey oil from the northern Iraq Karkuk field. The United States has also promised a pipeline running from Iraq through Turkey. How can the Turks resist such a generous offer? Since we subsidize Turkey and they bomb the Kurds, while we punish the Iraqis for the same, this plan to divvy up wealth in the land of the Kurds is hardly a surprise.
It seems that Washington never learns. Our foolish foreign interventions continually get us into more trouble than we have bargained for- and the spending is endless. I am not optimistic that this Congress will anytime soon come to its senses. I am afraid that we will never treat the taxpayers with respect. National bankruptcy is a more likely scenario than Congress adopting a frugal and wise spending policy.
Mr. Speaker, we must make every effort to precisely define our target in this war and keep our eye on it.
It is safe to assume that the number of people directly involved in the 9-11 attacks is closer to several hundred than the millions we are now talking about targeting with our planned shotgun approach to terrorism.
One commentator pointed out that when the mafia commits violence, no one suggests we bomb Sicily. Today it seems we are, in a symbolic way, not only bombing "Sicily," but are thinking about bombing "Athens" (Iraq).
If a corrupt city or state government does business with a drug cartel or organized crime and violence results, we don't bomb city hall or the state capital- we limit the targets to those directly guilty and punish them. Could we not learn a lesson from these examples?
It is difficult for everyone to put the 9-11 attacks in a proper perspective, because any attempt to do so is construed as diminishing the utter horror of the events of that day. We must remember, though, that the 3,900 deaths incurred in the World Trade Center attacks are just slightly more than the deaths that occur on our nation's highways each month. Could it be that the sense of personal vulnerability we survivors feel motivates us in meting out justice, rather than the concern for the victims of the attacks? Otherwise, the numbers don't add up to the proper response. If we lose sight of the target and unwisely broaden the war, the tragedy of 9-11 may pale in the death and destruction that could lie ahead.
As members of Congress, we have a profound responsibility to mete out justice, provide security for our nation, and protect the liberties of all the people, without senselessly expanding the war at the urging of narrow political and economic special interests. The price is too high, and the danger too great. We must not lose our focus on the real target and inadvertently create new enemies for ourselves.
We have not done any better keeping our eye on the terrorist target on the home front than we have overseas. Not only has Congress come up short in picking the right target, it has directed all its energies in the wrong direction. The target of our efforts has sadly been the liberties all Americans enjoy. With all the new power we have given to the administration, none has truly improved the chances of catching the terrorists who were responsible for the 9-11 attacks. All Americans will soon feel the consequences of this new legislation.
Just as the crisis provided an opportunity for some to promote a special-interest agenda in our foreign policy efforts, many have seen the crisis as a chance to achieve changes in our domestic laws, changes which, up until now, were seen as dangerous and unfair to American citizens.
Granting bailouts is not new for Congress, but current conditions have prompted many takers to line up for handouts. There has always been a large constituency for expanding federal power for whatever reason, and these groups have been energized. The military-industrial complex is out in full force and is optimistic. Union power is pleased with recent events and has not missed the opportunity to increase membership rolls. Federal policing powers, already in a bull market, received a super shot in the arm. The IRS, which detests financial privacy, gloats, while all the big spenders in Washington applaud the tools made available to crack down on tax dodgers. The drug warriors and anti-gun zealots love the new powers that now can be used to watch the every move of our citizens. "Extremists" who talk of the Constitution, promote right-to-life, form citizen militias, or participate in non-mainstream religious practices now can be monitored much more effectively by those who find their views offensive. Laws recently passed by the Congress apply to all Americans- not just terrorists. But we should remember that if the terrorists are known and identified, existing laws would have been quite adequate to deal with them.
Even before the passage of the recent draconian legislation, hundreds had already been arrested under suspicion, and millions of dollars of al Qaeda funds had been frozen. None of these new laws will deal with uncooperative foreign entities like the Saudi government, which chose not to relinquish evidence pertaining to exactly who financed the terrorists' operations. Unfortunately, the laws will affect all innocent Americans, yet will do nothing to thwart terrorism.
The laws recently passed in Congress in response to the terrorist attacks can be compared to the effort by anti-gun fanatics, who jump at every chance to undermine the Second Amendment. When crimes are committed with the use of guns, it's argued that we must remove guns from society, or at least register them and make it difficult to buy them. The counter argument made by Second Amendment supporters correctly explains that this would only undermine the freedom of law-abiding citizens and do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or to reduce crime.
Now we hear a similar argument that a certain amount of privacy and personal liberty of law-abiding citizens must be sacrificed in order to root out possible terrorists. This will result only in liberties being lost, and will not serve to preempt any terrorist act. The criminals, just as they know how to get guns even when they are illegal, will still be able to circumvent anti-terrorist laws. To believe otherwise is to endorse a Faustian bargain, but that is what I believe the Congress has done.
We know from the ongoing drug war that federal drug police frequently make mistakes, break down the wrong doors and destroy property. Abuses of seizure and forfeiture laws are numerous. Yet the new laws will encourage even more mistakes by federal law-enforcement agencies. It has long been forgotten that law enforcement in the United States was supposed to be a state and local government responsibility, not that of the federal government. The federal government's policing powers have just gotten a giant boost in scope and authority through both new legislation and executive orders.
Before the 9-11 attack, Attorney General Ashcroft let his position be known regarding privacy and government secrecy. Executive Order 13223 made it much more difficult for researchers to gain access to presidential documents from previous administrations, now a "need to know" has to be demonstrated. This was a direct hit at efforts to demand openness in government, even if only for analysis and writing of history. Ashcroft's position is that presidential records ought to remain secret, even after an administration has left office. He argues that government deserves privacy while ignoring the 4th Amendment protections of the people's privacy. He argues his case by absurdly claiming he must "protect"the privacy of the individuals who might be involved- a non-problem that could easily be resolved without closing public records to the public.
It is estimated that approximately 1,200 men have been arrested as a consequence of 9-11, yet their names and the charges are not available, and according to Ashcroft, will not be made available. Once again, he uses the argument that he's protecting the privacy of those charged. Unbelievable! Due process for the detainees has been denied. Secret government is winning out over open government. This is the largest number of people to be locked up under these conditions since FDR's internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Information regarding these arrests is a must, in a constitutional republic. If they're terrorists or accomplices, just let the public know and pursue their prosecution. But secret arrests and silence are not acceptable in a society that professes to be free. Curtailing freedom is not the answer to protecting freedom under adverse circumstances.
The administration has severely curtailed briefings regarding the military operation in Afghanistan for congressional leaders, ignoring a long-time tradition in this country. One person or one branch of government should never control military operations. Our system of government has always required a shared-power arrangement.
The Anti-Terrorism Bill did little to restrain the growth of big government. In the name of patriotism, the Congress did some very unpatriotic things. Instead of concentrating on the persons or groups that committed the attacks on 9-11, our efforts, unfortunately, have undermined the liberties of all Americans.
"Know Your Customer" type banking regulations, resisted by most Americans for years, have now been put in place in an expanded fashion. Not only will the regulations affect banks, thrifts and credit unions, but also all businesses will be required to file suspicious transaction reports if cash is used with the total of the transaction reaching $10,000. Retail stores will be required to spy on all their customers and send reports to the U.S. government. Financial services consultants are convinced that this new regulation will affect literally millions of law-abiding American citizens. The odds that this additional paperwork will catch a terrorist are remote. The sad part is that the regulations have been sought after by federal law-enforcement agencies for years. The 9-11 attacks have served as an opportunity to get them by the Congress and the American people.
Only now are the American people hearing about the onerous portions of the anti-terrorism legislation, and they are not pleased.
It's easy for elected officials in Washington to tell the American people that the government will do whatever it takes to defeat terrorism. Such assurances inevitably are followed by proposals either to restrict the constitutional liberties of the American people or to spend vast sums of money from the federal treasury. The history of the 20th Century shows that the Congress violates our Constitution most often during times of crisis. Accordingly, most of our worst unconstitutional agencies and programs began during the two World Wars and the Depression. Ironically, the Constitution itself was conceived in a time of great crisis. The founders intended its provision to place severe restrictions on the federal government, even in times of great distress. America must guard against current calls for government to sacrifice the Constitution in the name of law enforcement.
The"anti-terrorism" legislation recently passed by Congress demonstrates how well-meaning politicians make shortsighted mistakes in a rush to respond to a crisis. Most of its provisions were never carefully studied by Congress, nor was sufficient time taken to debate the bill despite its importance. No testimony was heard from privacy experts or from others fields outside of law enforcement. Normal congressional committee and hearing processes were suspended. In fact, the final version of the bill was not even made available to Members before the vote! The American public should not tolerate these political games, especially when our precious freedoms are at stake.
Almost all of the new laws focus on American citizens rather than potential foreign terrorists. For example, the definition of "terrorism," for federal criminal purposes, has been greatly expanded A person could now be considered a terrorist by belonging to a pro-constitution group, a citizen militia, or a pro-life organization. Legitimate protests against the government could place tens of thousands of other Americans under federal surveillance. Similarly, internet use can be monitored without a user's knowledge, and internet providers can be forced to hand over user information to law-enforcement officials without a warrant or subpoena.
The bill also greatly expands the use of traditional surveillance tools, including wiretaps, search warrants, and subpoenas. Probable-cause standards for these tools are relaxed, or even eliminated in some circumstances. Warrants become easier to obtain and can be executed without notification. Wiretaps can be placed without a court order. In fact, the FBI and CIA now can tap phones or computers nationwide, without demonstrating that a criminal suspect is using a particular phone or computer.
The biggest problem with these new law-enforcement powers is that they bear little relationship to fighting terrorism. Surveillance powers are greatly expanded, while checks and balances on government are greatly reduced. Most of the provisions have been sought by domestic law-enforcement agencies for years, not to fight terrorism, but rather to increase their police power over the American people. There is no evidence that our previously held civil liberties posed a barrier to the effective tracking or prosecution of terrorists. The federal government has made no showing that it failed to detect or prevent the recent terrorist strikes because of the civil liberties that will be compromised by this new legislation.
In his speech to the joint session of Congress following the September 11th attacks, President Bush reminded all of us that the United States outlasted and defeated Soviet totalitarianism in the last century. The numerous internal problems in the former Soviet Union- its centralized economic planning and lack of free markets, its repression of human liberty and its excessive militarization- all led to its inevitable collapse. We must be vigilant to resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society, so that our own government does not become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist.
The executive order that has gotten the most attention by those who are concerned that our response to 9-11 is overreaching and dangerous to our liberties is the one authorizing military justice, in secret. Nazi war criminals were tried in public, but plans now are laid to carry out the trials and punishment, including possibly the death penalty, outside the eyes and ears of the legislative and judicial branches of government and the American public. Since such a process threatens national security and the Constitution, it cannot be used as a justification for their protection.
Some have claimed this military tribunal has been in the planning stages for five years. If so, what would have been its justification?
The argument that FDR did it and therefore it must be OK is a rather weak justification. Roosevelt was hardly one that went by the rule book- the Constitution. But the situation then was quite different from today. There was a declared war by Congress against a precise enemy, the Germans, who sent eight saboteurs into our country. Convictions were unanimous, not 2/3 of the panel, and appeals were permitted. That's not what's being offered today. Furthermore, the previous military tribunals expired when the war ended. Since this war will go on indefinitely, so too will the courts.
The real outrage is that such a usurpation of power can be accomplished with the stroke of a pen. It may be that we have come to that stage in our history when an executive order is "the law of the land," but it's not "kinda cool," as one member of the previous administration bragged. It's a process that is unacceptable, even in this professed time of crisis.
There are well-documented histories of secret military tribunals. Up until now, the United States has consistently condemned them. The fact that a two-thirds majority can sentence a person to death in secrecy in the United States is scary. With no appeals available, and no defense attorneys of choice being permitted, fairness should compel us to reject such a system outright.
Those who favor these trials claim they are necessary to halt terrorism in its tracks. We are told that only terrorists will be brought before these tribunals. This means that the so-called suspects must be tried and convicted before they are assigned to this type of "trial" without due process. They will be deemed guilty by hearsay, in contrast to the traditional American system of justice where all are innocent until proven guilty. This turns the justice system on its head.
One cannot be reassured by believing these courts will only apply to foreigners who are terrorists. Sloppiness in convicting criminals is a slippery slope. We should not forget that the Davidians at Waco were "convicted" and demonized and slaughtered outside our judicial system, and they were, for the most part, American citizens. Randy Weaver's family fared no better.
It has been said that the best way for us to spread our message of freedom, justice and prosperity throughout the world is through example and persuasion, not through force of arms. We have drifted a long way from that concept. Military courts will be another bad example for the world. We were outraged in 1996 when Lori Berenson, an American citizen, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life by a Peruvian military court. Instead of setting an example, now we are following the lead of a Peruvian dictator.
The ongoing debate regarding the use of torture in rounding up the criminals involved in the 9-11 attacks is too casual. This can hardly represent progress in the cause of liberty and justice. Once government becomes more secretive, it is more likely this tool will be abused. Hopefully the Congress will not endorse or turn a blind eye to this barbaric proposal. For every proposal made to circumvent the justice system, it's intended that we visualize that these infractions of the law and the Constitution will apply only to terrorists and never involve innocent U.S. citizens. This is impossible, because someone has to determine exactly who to bring before the tribunal, and that involves all of us. That is too much arbitrary power for anyone to be given in a representative government and is more characteristic of a totalitarian government.
Many throughout the world, especially those in Muslim countries, will be convinced by the secretive process that the real reason for military courts is that the U.S. lacks sufficient evidence to convict in an open court. Should we be fighting so strenuously the war against terrorism and carelessly sacrifice our traditions of American justice? If we do, the war will be for naught and we will lose, even if we win.
Congress has a profound responsibility in all of this and should never concede this power to a President or an Attorney General. Congressional oversight powers must be used to their fullest to curtail this unconstitutional assumption of power.
The planned use of military personnel to patrol our streets and airports is another challenge of great importance that should not go uncontested. For years, many in Washington have advocated a national approach to all policing activity. This current crisis has given them a tremendous boost. Believe me, this is no panacea and is a dangerous move. The Constitution never intended that the federal government assume this power. This concept was codified in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. This act prohibits the military from carrying out law-enforcement duties such as searching or arresting people in the United States, the argument being that the military is only used for this type of purpose in a police state. Interestingly, it was the violation of these principles that prompted the Texas Revolution against Mexico. The military under the Mexican Constitution at that time was prohibited from enforcing civil laws, and when Santa Anna ignored this prohibition, the revolution broke out. We should not so readily concede the principle that has been fought for on more than one occasion in this country.
The threats to liberty seem endless. It seems we have forgotten to target the enemy. Instead we have inadvertently targeted the rights of American citizens. The crisis has offered a good opportunity for those who have argued all along for bigger government.
For instance, the military draft is the ultimate insult to those who love personal liberty. The Pentagon, even with the ongoing crisis, has argued against the reinstatement of the draft. Yet the clamor for its reinstatement grows louder daily by those who wanted a return to the draft all along. I see the draft as the ultimate abuse of liberty. Morally it cannot be distinguished from slavery. All the arguments for drafting 18-year old men and women and sending them off to foreign wars are couched in terms of noble service to the country and benefits to the draftees. The need-for-discipline argument is the most common reason given, after the call for service in an effort to make the world safe for democracy. There can be no worse substitute for the lack of parental guidance of teenagers than the federal government's domineering control, forcing them to fight an enemy they don't even know in a country they can't even identity.
Now it's argued that since the federal government has taken over the entire job of homeland security, all kinds of jobs can be found for the draftees to serve the state, even for those who are conscientious objectors.
The proponents of the draft call it "mandatory service." Slavery, too, was mandatory, but few believed it was a service. They claim that every 18-year old owes at least two years of his life to his country. Let's hope the American people don't fall for this "need to serve" argument. The Congress should refuse to even consider such a proposal. Better yet, what we need to do is abolish the Selective Service altogether.
However, if we get to the point of returning to the draft, I have a proposal. Every news commentator, every Hollywood star, every newspaper editorialist, and every Member of Congress under the age of 65 who has never served in the military and who demands that the draft be reinstated, should be drafted first- the 18-year olds last. Since the Pentagon says they don't need draftees, these new recruits can be the first to march to the orders of the general in charge of homeland security. For those less robust individuals, they can do the hospital and cooking chores for the rest of the newly formed domestic army. After all, someone middle aged owes a lot more to his country than an 18-year old.
I'm certain that this provision would mute the loud demands for the return of the military draft.
I see good reason for American citizens to be concerned- not only about another terrorist attack, but for their own personal freedoms as the Congress deals with the crisis. Personal freedom is the element of the human condition that has made America great and unique and something we all cherish. Even those who are more willing to sacrifice a little freedom for security do it with the firm conviction that they are acting in the best interest of freedom and justice. However, good intentions can never suffice for sound judgment in the defense of liberty.
I do not challenge the dedication and sincerity of those who disagree with the freedom philosophy and confidently promote government solutions for all our ills. I am just absolutely convinced that the best formula for giving us peace and preserving the American way of life is freedom, limited government, and minding our own business overseas.
Henry Grady Weaver, author of a classic book on freedom, The Mainspring of Human Progress, years ago warned us that good intentions in politics are not good enough and actually are dangerous to the cause. Weaver stated:
"Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others- with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means."
This message is one we should all ponder.
Posted Nov. 9, 2001
By Kelly Patricia OMeara
Otter added that "some of these provisions place more power in the hands of law enforcement than our Founding Fathers could have dreamt and severely compromises the civil liberties of law-abiding Americans. This bill, while crafted with good intentions, is rife with constitutional infringements I could not support."
Like most who actually have read and analyzed the new law, Strossen disagrees with several provisions not only because they appear to her to be unconstitutional but also because the sweeping changes it codifies have little or nothing to do with fighting terrorism. "There is no connection," insists Strossen, "between the Sept. 11 attacks and what is in this legislation. Most of the provisions relate not just to terrorist crimes but to criminal activity generally. This happened, too, with the 1996 antiterrorism legislation where most of the surveillance laws have been used for drug enforcement, gambling and prostitution."
"I like to refer to this legislation," continues Strossen, "as the 'so-called antiterrorism law,' because on its face the provisions are written to deal with any crime, and the definition of terrorism under the new law is so severely broad that it applies far beyond what most people think of as terrorism." A similar propensity of governments to slide down the slippery slope recently was reported in England by The Guardian newspaper. Under a law passed last year by the British Parliament, investigators can get information from Internet-service providers about their subscribers without a warrant. Supposedly an antiterrorist measure, the British law will be applied to minor crimes, tax collection and public-health purposes.
Under the USA PATRIOT Act in this country, Section 802 defines domestic terrorism as engaging in "activity that involves acts dangerous to human life that violate the laws of the United States or any state and appear to be intended: (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping."
The ACLU has posted on its Website, www.aclu.org, a comprehensive list of the provisions and summarizes the increased powers for federal spying. The following are a sample of some of the changes as a result of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act. The legislation:
- minimizes judicial supervision of federal telephone and Internet surveillance by law-enforcement authorities.
- expands the ability of the government to conduct secret searches.
- gives the attorney general and the secretary of state the power to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations and deport any noncitizen who belongs to them.
- grants the FBI broad access to sensitive business records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime.
- leads to large-scale investigations of American citizens for "intelligence" purposes.
More specifically, Section 203 (Authority to Share Criminal Investigative Information) allows information gathered in criminal proceedings to be shared with intelligence agencies, including but not limited to the CIA in effect, say critics, creating a political secret police. No court order is necessary for law enforcement to provide untested information gleaned from otherwise secret grand-jury proceedings, and the information is not limited to the person being investigated.
Furthermore, this section allows law enforcement to share intercepted telephone and Internet conversations with intelligence agencies. No court order is necessary to authorize the sharing of this information, and the CIA is not prohibited from giving this information to foreign-intelligence operations in effect, say critics, creating an international political secret police.
According to Strossen, "The concern here is about the third branch of government. One of the overarching problems that pervades so many of these provisions is reduction of the role of judicial oversight. The executive branch is running roughshod over both of the other branches of government. I find it very bothersome that the government is going to have more widespread access to e-mail and Websites and that information can be shared with other law-enforcement and even intelligence agencies. So, again, we're going to have the CIA in the business of spying on Americans something that certainly hasn't gone on since the 1970s."
Strossen is referring to the illegal investigations of thousands of Americans under Operation CHAOS, spying carried out by the CIA and National Security Agency against U.S. activists and opponents of the war in Southeast Asia.
Nor do the invasion-of-privacy provisions of the new law end with law enforcement illegally searching homes and offices, say critics. Under Section 216 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Modification of Authorities Relating to Use of Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices), investigators freely can obtain access to "dialing, routing and signaling information." While the bill provides no definition of "dialing, routing and signaling information," the ACLU says this means they even would "apply law-enforcement efforts to determine what Websites a person visits." The police need only certify the information they are in search of is "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation."
This does not meet probable-cause standards that a crime has occurred, is occurring or will occur. Furthermore, regardless of whether a judge believes the request is without merit, the order must be given to the requesting law-enforcement agency, a veritable rubber stamp and potential carte blanche for fishing exhibitions.
Additionally, under Section 216, law enforcement now will have unbridled access to Internet communications. The contents of e-mail messages are supposed to be separated from the e-mail addresses, which presumably is what interests law enforcement. To conduct this process of separation, however, Congress is relying on the FBI to separate the content from the addresses and disregard the communications.
In other words, the presumption is that law enforcement is only interested in who is being communicated with and not what is said, which critics say is unlikely. Citing political implications they note this is the same FBI that during the Clinton administration could not adequately explain how hundreds of personal FBI files of Clinton political opponents found their way from the FBI to the Clinton White House.
And these are just a few of the provisions and problems. While critics doubt it will help in the tracking of would-be terrorists, the certainty is that homes and places of business will be searched without prior notice. And telephone and Internet communications will be recorded and shared among law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, all in the name of making America safe from terrorism.
Strossen understands the desire of lawmakers to respond forcefully to the Sept. 11 attacks but complains that this is more of the same old same old. "Government has the tendency," she explains, "to want to proliferate during times of crisis, and that's why we have to constantly fight against it. It's a natural impulse and, in many ways, I don't fault it. In some ways they're just doing their job by aggressively seeking as much law-enforcement power as possible, but that's why we have checks and balances in our system of government, and that's why I'm upset that Congress just rolled and played dead on this one."
Paul agrees: "This legislation wouldn't have made any difference in stopping the Sept. 11 attacks," he says. "Therefore, giving up our freedoms to get more security when they can't prove it will do so makes no sense. I seriously believe this is a violation of our liberties. After all, a lot of this stuff in the bill has to do with finances, search warrants and arrests."
For the most part, continues Paul, "our rights have been eroded as much by our courts as they have been by Congress. Whether it's Congress being willing to give up its prerogatives on just about everything to deliver them to an administration that develops new and bigger agencies, or whether it's the courts, there's not enough wariness of the slippery slope and insufficient respect and love of liberty."
What does Paul believe the nation's Founding Fathers would think of this law? "Our forefathers would think it's time for a revolution. This is why they revolted in the first place." Says Paul with a laugh, "They revolted against much more mild oppression."
Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight.
=================================================================Ron Paul for President 2004To: the Honorable Ron Paul
Sir, we come to you as very concerned American Patriots.
First of all, we want you to know that we have the greatest respect for you and your insistence on doing the right thing in support of freedom. You have been one to show America that there is still a glimmer of hope for generations to come.
It is our faith in America's future, and the facing of the harsh realities of the past, that brings us to you, Sir. America needs Ron Paul at the helm.
We realize that you currently intend to focus on your reelection as representative to Congress from the 14th District of Texas. Still, we share the hope of many Patriots that you will eventually, and hopefully soon, choose to be America's candidate of choice for President in the 2004 election.
Rather than telling us No, we ask that you allow us to rally a base of support for a campaign for your Presidency.
Many of us are trying to bring the 3rd parties for freedom together to choose and support a common candidate. That is the purpose of the United America Party and Patriot Alliance, for example.
The idea of you running for President would set the Patriot Movement on fire, and could help unite a divided movement. We believe the support needed to elect Ron Paul President is here.
The signatures below from this petition, as well as from others that may be drafted among the various parties and organizations, can help provide evidence that the grassroots support needed to get you elected as President does indeed exist.
We also offer to you the independent website Paul2004.com in support of your candidacy for the White House. When you decide to accept our offer, we will gladly turn the website over to you and your official campaign staff.
There are many of us standing at the ready to do what needs done to get the 3rd Parties heavily involved to get Ron Paul elected President in 2004. We also anticipate that many from the Republican Party, as well as many who do not affiliate with any party, will gladly support your candidacy.
In locations where we are not able to get you on the official ballot, we will promote a write-in campaign.
We await your affirmative reply, but meanwhile we will gladly work to show you the level of support you have.
As we said before...America needs you -- as President.
Let's surprise them.
Unless you say no, or unless a more qualified candidate steps forward (It is hard for us to imaging that this could be the case), we will be voting for you in both the primary election and general election in 2004, whether you are on the ballot, or whether we submit your name as a write-in.
Paul Walker email@example.com
Congressman Too Truthful by: Congressman Ron Paul
Sat Apr 27 15:22:12 2002
Subject: [APFN] Congressman Too Truthful by: Congressman Ron Paul
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 15:45:17 +0000
From: "Paul Walker" firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman Too Truthful by: Congressman Ron Paul
The other day, I made a huge "gaffe" on national TV: I told the truth about
the crimes of the U.S. Government.
As you can imagine, the ceiling fell in, and a couple of walls too.
Congressmen are supposed to support the government, I was told. Oh, it's
okay to criticize around edges, but there are certain subjects a member of
the House of Representatives is not supposed to bring up. But I touched the
real "third rail" of American politics, and the sparks sure flew.
I was interviewed on C-SPAN's morning "Washington Journal," and I used the
opportunity, as I do all such media appearances, to point out how many of
our liberties have been stolen by the federal government. We must take them
back. The Constitution, after all, has a very limited role for Washington,
If we stuck to the Constitution as written, we would have: no federal
meddling in our schools; no Federal Reserve; no U. S. membership in the
U.N.; no gun control; and no foreign aid. We would have no welfare for big
corporations, or the "poor"; No American troops in 100 foreign countries; no
Nafta, GATT, or "fast-track"; no arrogant federal judges usurping states
rights; no attacks on private property; and no income tax. We can get rid of
most of the cabinet departments, most of the agencies, and most of the
budget. The government would be small, frugal, and limited.
That system is called Liberty. It's what the Founding Fathers gave us. Under
liberty, we built the greatest, freest, most prosperous, most decent country
on earth. It's no coincidence that the monstrous growth of the federal
government has been accompanied by a sickening decline in living standards
and moral standards. The feds want us to be hamsters on a tread mill working
hard, all day long, to pay high taxes, but otherwise entirely docile and
controlled. The huge, expensive, and out-of control leviathan that we call
the federal government wants to run every single aspect of our lives.
Well, I'm sorry, but that's not America. It's not what the Founders gave us.
It's not the country you believe in. It's not the country I believe in. So,
on that TV interview, I emphasized not only the attacks on our property, but
also the decline of our civil liberties, at the hands of the federal police.
There's not supposed to be any federal police, according to the
Then I really went over the line. I talked about the Waco massacre. Bill
Clinton and Janet Reno claimed those 81 church members including 19
children, burned down thier own Church, killed themselves, and good
riddance. So they put a few survivors on trial, and threw them in prison for
We're not supposed to remember that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms--talk about an unconstitutional agency--rather than arrest David
Koresh on his regular morning jog, called in the TV stations for a big
publicity bonanza, and sent a swat team in black masks and black uniforms to
break down his front door, guns blazing. They also sent in a helicopter gun
ship, to shoot the roof of a church full of innocents.
The Branch Davidians resisted, and after a heartless siege of almost two
months, and after cutting off food, water, electricity, and playing horrible
rock and roll through huge speakers 24 hours a day, the Feds sent in tanks
to crush the walls of the church, and inject poisonous CS gas.
Now, CS gas is banned and under the Paris Convention on Chemical Warfare.
The U.S. could not use it in war. But it could and did use it against
After the tanks did their work on the church, the place burst into flames,
and all 81 people--men, women, children, and babies--were incinerated in a
screaming horror. Did some feds set the fire? Did the flammable CS gas
ignite, since without electricity, the parishioners were using lanterns? Did
a tank knock over a lantern, striking one of the bales of hay being used
against the thin walls as a defense against bullets? Or did the Davidians,
as Clinton and Reno claim, kill themselves?
A new documentary- -Waco: Rules of Engagement--may show, throughout FLIR
infrared photography, FBI snipers killing the Davidians by shooting through
the back of the church, where no media cameras were allowed. This film won a
prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It was made by people who took
government's side, until they investigated.
Whatever the truth, there's no question that an irresponsible federal
government has innocent blood on its hands, and not only from Waco. And the
refusal of corrupt perverse liberals to admit it means nothing.
It my interview, in answer to a caller's question, I pointed out that Waco,
in the federal murders at Ruby Ridge'--especially the FBI snipers shot that
blast apart the head of the young mother holding her baby caused many
Americans to live in fear of federal power. Then uttered the sentiment that
caused the media hysteria: I said that a lot of Americans fear that they too
might be attacked by federal swat teams for exercising their constitutional
rights, or merely for wanting to be left alone.
Whoa! You've never seen anything like it. For days, in an all-out assault, I
was attacked by Democrats, unions, big business, establishment Republicans,
and of course the media, in Washington in my home state of Texas. Newspapers
foamed at the mouth, calling me a "right-wing extremist". (Say, isn't that
what George III called Thomas Jefferson?)
I was even blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing! And by the way, I don't
believe we've gotten the full truth on that either. All my many opponents
were outraged that a congressman would criticize big government. "If you
don't like Washington, resign!" said a typical big-city newspaper editorial.
But the media, as usual, were all wet. (Do they ever get anything right?)
The average Congressman may go to Washington to wallow in power, and line
his pockets with a big lobbying job for a special interest (so he can get
keep ripping-off the taxpayers). But that's not why I'm in Congress. It's
not why I left my medical practice as a physician. It's not why I put up
with all of the abuse. It's not why I refuse a plush Congressional pension.
I'm in this fight for reason. I want to hand on to my children and
grandchildren, and to you in your family, a great and free America, an
America true to her Constitution, an America worthy of her history. I'll not
let the crooks and clowns and criminals have their way. I'm in Congress to
represent the ideas of Liberty, the ideas that you and I share, for the
people of my district, for the people of Texas, for the people of America.
That's why I'm working to stop federal abuses, and to cut the government:
its taxes, its bureaucrats, its paramilitary police, its spending, its
meddling overseas, and every single unconstitutional action it takes. And
not with a pair of nail scissors, but with a hammer and chisel. Won't you
help me do this work?
Not much of the federal leviathan would be left, if I had my way. But you'd
be able to keep the money you earn, your privacy would be secure, your
dollar would be sound, your local school would be tops, and your kids
wouldn't be sent off to some useless or vicious foreign war to fight for the
U.N.. But Jefferson and the other Founders would recognize our government,
and our descendants would bless us. By the way, when I say cut taxes, I
don't mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS,
and replace them with nothing.
Recently, I asked a famous Republican Committee Chairman--who's always
talking about getting rid of the IRS--why engineered a secret $580 million
raise for the tax collectors. "They need for their computers," this guy told
me. So the IRS can't extract enough from us as it is! The National Taxpayers
Unions says I have the highest pro-taxpayer rating in Congressional history,
that I am the top "Taxpayer's Best Friend". You know I won't play the
Capitol Hill games with the Capitol Hill gang, denouncing the IRS while
giving the Gestapo more of your money. Or figuring out some other federal
tax for them to squeeze out of you. I also want to abolish the Federal
Reserve, and send Alan Greenspan out to get a job.
The value of our dollar in the level of our interest rates are not suppose
to be manipulated by a few members of the power elite meeting secretly in a
marble palace. The Federal Reserve is unconstitutional, pure and simple. The
only constitutional money is gold and silver, not notes redeemable in them.
Not fed funny money. Without the Federal Reserve, our money could not be
inflated at the behest of big government or big banks. Your income in
savings would not lose their value. Just as important, we wouldn't have this
endless string of booms and busts, recessions and depressions, with each
bust getting worse. They aren't natural to the free market; there caused by
the schemers at the Fed. President Andrew Jackson called the 19th centuries
Fed " The Monster" because it was a vehicle for inflation and all sorts of
special-interest corruption. Let me tell you, things haven't changed a bit.
I also work to save our schools from D.C. interference. Thanks to the feds,
new curriculums not only smear the Founders as "racist, slave owning
elitists," they seek to dumb down all our students so they will all be
equal. "Look-say" reading and the abolition of phonics has the same purpose,
and so does the new "fuzzy" math, in which there at no right and no wrong
answers. That must be what they use in the U.S. Treasury! It's certainly
what they use in the U.S. Congress.
But ever since the beginning of federal aid to education and accelerating
with the establishment of the rotten Department of Education, SAT scores
have been dropping. Schools, with few exceptions, are getting worse every
year. To save our kids, we must get the sticky fingers of the feds off our
local schools, and let parents rule. That's what the Constitution says, and
the Bible too.
And then there's my least favorite topic, the U.N.. World government is
obviously unconstitutional. It undermines our country sovereignty in the
worst way possible. That's why I want us out of the U.N., and the U.N.
itself taking a hike. After all, the U.N. is socialist and corrupt (many
votes can be bought with a "blond and a case of Scotch" one U.N. ambassador
once said). It costs many billions, and it puts our soldiers in U.N.
uniforms under foreign commanders, and sends them off to unconstitutional,
undeclared wars. When Michael New, one of the finest young men I've ever
met, objected to wearing U.N. blue, he was kicked out of the American Army.
What an outrage! Not one dime for the U.N., and not one American soldier!
Not Haiti, not in Bosnia, not in Somalia, not in Rwanda. I know its radical,
but how about devoting American military efforts to defending America, and
Such ideas, said one newspaper reporter, make me a maverick, who will never
go far because he won't go along to get along. Darn right! What does "go
far" mean? Get a big government job? To heck with that. And I won't sell my
vote for pork either. When I walked through the U.S. Capitol this morning, I
got angry. The building is filled with statues and paintings of Jefferson,
Madison, and the other Founders. Those great men sacrificed everything to
give us a free country, and a Constitution to keep it that way. When I was
first elected, I placed my hand on the Bible and swore an oath to uphold the
Constitution. That's exactly what I'm fighting for. Such ideas drive the
liberals crazy. That's why I badly need your help. I've been targeted
nationally for defeat. The Democrats, the AFL-CIO, the teachers union, big
business PACs, the trial lawyers, the big bankers, the foreign aid
lobbyists, the big media, and the establishment Republicans want to dance on
my political grave. The Fed, the Education Department, in the U.N. are
anxious to join in. They can't stand even one person telling the truth. And
they're terrified when that truth gains the people support.
Right now, four well funded Democrats are competing to try to beat me, and
Republican is rumored to have been offered money at a secret meeting in
Mexico(!) if he would try to knock me off in a primary. Won't you help me
stay up here to fight? Frankly I'm in trouble if you don't. My Texas
district has 22,000 square miles (not a misprint). I've got to travel all
over it, set up small offices to be manned by volunteers, advertise, pay
phone bills, and distribute video and audio tape to the people to get around
the big media lies. As I know from my last election, which I won by the skin
of my teeth, the media will carry any smear, repeat any libel, throw any
piece of mud, no matter how untrue. In fact, the less true, the more they
like it. They are determined to silence me. But you can help me overcome all
this. Together, we can beat the bad guys arrayed against our country and our
freedom. We can support the Constitution. We can win. Your generous
contributions of $25 or $50 would be great. $100, $250 , or even $500 or
$1000 would be magnificent. Of course, any amount would help, and in return,
I will keep you up-to-date on this fight as a member of my "kitchen
cabinet". What great men founded this country! What great people have
carried on their fight! That fight is not lost, not if you will join in.
Washington, D.C. is a loser, but among the people, our ideas are gaining
every single day.
Keep the tide turning in our direction. Please make your most generous
contribution. Join this fight for the Constitution, and stop those who want
to rip it up, and throw it in the Potomac. Together, we can join the
Founders fight. Together we can make this history.
Washington D.C. 20515
Ron Paul for President 2004
Keep Your Eye on the Target:
Ron Paul's Response to "Ron Paul for President 2004" Petition
December 10, 2001
A little more than 12 hours into the beginning of the posting of this
petition for Ron Paul for President 2004, I spoke with Penny Langford, from
Ron Paul's district campaign office in Texas. She said she has spoken with
Ron about our petition and movement, and said that he is encouraged by this,
as a means to help get the message of Constitutionalism out there more. As
anticipated, he is not saying "yes" to our proposal, but neither is he
saying "no." He does not expect that a win for the White House will happen
at this time in history. Nevertheless, being a Christian man, he believes
in miracles and knows that "stranger things have happened" with more humble
Bottom line: He didn't say No, so we're on. Let's really push this
On another note, I might mention a couple of strategy items that came to
mind for me when speaking with Penny. I personally do not want Ron to
divert any of his attention away from what he is doing right now --
defending freedom day after day on the floors of Congress. He is virtually
alone up there, and we need him to be doing just what he is doing. Let us
do all the leg work in getting the word out that Ron Paul is the candidate
of choice for President in 2004. Let his work in the House of
Representatives be his "campaign."
In this age of the Internet, old campaign methods can be circumvented. If a
miracle is going to happen, it is most likely going to be because of an
unconventional approach. For example, "stumping" can be done via the
Internet, and without the Congressman even spending time away from what he
is doing now. Also, the idea that a write-in ballot could succeed is made
feasible because with the internet we have a way to monitor beforehand just
how much support he has. Another unconventional potential advantage with
the proposed approach is that Ron doesn't need to line up with any one party
in particular, but could be adopted by several third parties as their
front-runner candidate of choice, even without his direct acceptance of
their nomination. That way he can draw votes from people of any party. He
can stand for what he stands for, without having to tow an entire party
along with him; and we all know that in this day, a single third party has
zero chance of winning the White House. At the same time, his candidacy for
President could go a long way toward uniting some of the third parties,
giving them something substantial in common.
Some states require certain preliminary preparations before candidates can
count as a write-in choice. We can take care of all that so that anyone
from any party anywhere in the country, can write in "Ron Paul" on their
ballot if he is not already there by some party's sponsorship.
This non-partisan, everyone-for-Ron-Paul-vote-for-him campaign could be a
winner. This petition will allow us to see just how feasible it could be.
Sterling D. Allan
============================================================================ALERT: US military is NOT the UN's military
December 10, 2001
Dear liberty activist,
Do the men and women of the United States' military
serve their fellow American citizens or do they serve
the faceless bureaucrats of the United Nations? This
question will be answered on Tuesday (12/11) at 4:00 p.m.
by the U.S. House Committee on International Relations in
2172 Rayburn House Office Building.
The committee will markup (take action) on H.J. Res. 75.
The fourth resolve clause of H.J. Res. 75 states: "the refusal
by Iraq to admit United Nations weapons inspectors into any
facility covered by the provisions of Security Council
Resolution 687 should be considered an act of aggression
against the United States and its allies."
Will the men and women of the U.S. military become the standing
army of the United Nations? Will U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan become our military's new commander-in-chief? We say NO!
Congressman Ron Paul, a member of the committee, will vigorously
oppose H.J. Res. 75 tomorrow afternoon. We need to stop H.J. Res. 75 from
passing the House International Relations Committee. You can help now by
Commentary about H.J. Res. 75 by Henry Lamb
List of International Relations Committee Members
The Liberty Committee
To join The Liberty Committee, please go to
To report a change of address or be removed from our list, please
go to http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/pages/contact_us.asp
911 - TERROR IN AMERICA Part 1
911 - TERROR IN AMERICA Part 2
911 - TERROR IN AMERICA Part 3
911 - TERROR IN AMERICA Part 4
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