Ron Paul on Homeland Security

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President

We supported Taliban; differentiate them from al Qaeda

ROMNEY: The right course for America is to recognize we're under attack. We're under attack by people, whether they're Al Qaida or other radical violent jihadists, and we're going to have to take action to protect ourselves. The right way, Congressman Paul, to keep us from having to go to those wars is to have a military so strong that no one would ever think of testing it.

PAUL: I served in the air force for five years during the height of the Cold War from '62 to '68. I was over in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. I would like to point out one thing about the Taliban. The Taliban used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians. The Taliban's main goal is to keep foreigners off their land. It's al Qaeda--you can't mix the two--al Qaeda want to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says we don't want foreigners. We need to understand that, or we can't resolve this problem in the Middle East. We are going to spend a lot of lives and a lot of money for a long time to come.

Source: Fox News debate on MLK Day in Myrtle Beach, SC , Jan 16, 2012

Getting bin Laden OK; Iranian nukes not OK

Q: You have said that you wouldn't have authorized the raid to get Osama bin Laden. You think that a nuclear Iran is really none of our business.

A: Well, I think that's a misquote. I don't want Iran to get a nuclear weapon. I voted to go after bin Laden. Yes, the president is the commander-in-chief, but he's not the king. We would have saved ourselves a lot of grief if we only had gone to war in a proper manner, and the proper manner is the people elect congressmen to make a declaration of war. But we went into Afghanistan. We went into Iraq. We're involved in so many countries. Now they want to move on to Syria. And there's some that can't wait until they start bombing Iran.

Q: What about sanctions on Iran?

A: Sanctions themselves always leads up to war. And that's what we're doing. And this just pushes Iran right into the hands of the Chinese. So our policy may be well intended, but it has a lot of downside, a lot of unintended consequences, and, unfortunately, blowback.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

17,000 troops for Baghdad embassy? Come home!

Q: Would you extend the payroll tax cut, and what about the Social Security Trust Fund?

A: I want to extend the tax cut, because if you don't, you raise the taxes. But I want to pay for it. And it's not that difficult. In my proposed budget, I want to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from overseas. The trust fund is gone. But how are we going to restore it? We have to quit the spending. We have to quit this being the policemen of the world. We don't need another war in Syria and another war in Iran. Just get rid of the embassy in Baghdad. We're pretending we're coming home from Baghdad. We built an embassy there that cost a billion dollars and we're putting 17,000 contractors in there, pretending our troops are coming home. I could save [billions] and we don't have to raise payroll taxes.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa , Dec 10, 2011

The Patriot Act is unpatriotic; it undermines our liberty

GINGRICH: [to Paul]: I would not change the PATRIOT Act. And I'd look at strengthening it, because I think the dangers are literally that great.

PAUL: I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. I'm concerned, as everybody is, about the terrorist attack. Timothy McVeigh was a vicious terrorist. He was arrested. Terrorism is still on the books, internationally and nationally, it's a crime and we should deal with it. We dealt with it rather well with McVeigh. But why I really fear it is we have drifted into a condition that we were warned against because our early founders were very clear. They said, don't be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. Today it seems too easy that our government is so willing to give up our liberties for security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.

GINGRICH: Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That's the whole point.

Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate , Nov 22, 2011

Waterboarding is torture: illegal, uncivilized, and immoral

Q: Does waterboarding constitute torture?

Cain: I don't see it as torture. I would return to that policy.

Bachmann: I would be willing to use waterboarding. I think it was very effective. Barack Obama is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA.

Paul: Well, waterboarding is torture. And it's illegal under international law and under our law. It's also immoral. And it's also very impractical. There's no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. Why would you accept the position of torturing 100 people because you know one person might have information? And that's what you do when you accept the principal of torture. I think it's uncivilized and has no practical advantages and is really un-American to accept on principal that we will torture people that we capture.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy , Nov 12, 2011

Enhance national security by slashing military spending

Q: You proposed eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, Housing and Urban Development. You say it will save a trillion dollars in one year. You're proposing a 15% cut to the Defense Department. Can you guarantee national security will not be hurt by that?

PAUL: I think it would be enhanced. I don't want to cut any defense. And you have to get it straight. There's a lot of money spent in the military budget that doesn't do any good for our defense. How does it help us to keep troops in Korea all these years? We're broke. We have to borrow this money. Why are we in Japan and Germany? Because we pay for it. We're broke. To cut military spending is a wise thing to do. We would be safer if we weren't in so many places. We have an empire. We can't afford it. The empires always bring great nations down. We spread ourselves too thinly around the world. This is what's happened throughout history, and we're doing it to ourselves. I say it's time to come home.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

We can blow up the world 20 times and we can't cut a penny?

SANTORUM: [to Paul]: I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending. We should have all the resources in place to make sure that we can defend our borders, that we can make sure that when we engage in foreign countries, we do so to succeed. The central threat right now is Iran.

PAUL: Well, I think we're on economic suicide if we're not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 900 bases, 150 different countries. We have enough weapons to blow up the world about 20-25 times. We have more weapons than all the other countries put together essentially. And we want to spend more and more, and you can't cut a penny? I mean, this is why we're at an impasse. I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something. Something real. This budget is in bad shape and the financial calamity is going to be much worse than anybody ever invading this country. Which country is going to invade this country? They can't even shoot a missile at us.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Guantanamo prisoners are just suspects; not terrorists yet

BACHMANN: [to Paul]: We have an absolute policy: We don't negotiate with terrorists [ to release hostages, like Israel did with the Palestinian Authority last week].

PAUL: Are you all willing to condemn Ronald Reagan for exchanging weapons for hostages out of Iran? We all know that was done.

SANTORUM: Iran was a sovereign country. It was not a terrorist organization.

PAUL: Oh, they were our good friends back then, huh?

SANTORUM: They're not our good friends. They're a sovereign country, just like the Palestinian Authority is not the good friends of Israel.

PAUL: Reagan negotiated for hostages.

SANTORUM: We've negotiated with hostages, depending on the scale, including the Soviet Union. But there's a difference between releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in response to a terrorist demand.

PAUL: But they're all suspects. They're not terrorists. You haven't convicted them of anything.

SANTORUM: That is certainly a proper role for the United States.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Military spending is not necessarily defense spending

Q: Do you believe high defense spending is essential to security?

GINGRICH: I think that we are greatly underestimating the threat to this country.

PAUL: First thing I would like to do is make sure that you understand there's a difference between military spending and defense spending. I'm tired of all the militarism that we are involved in. And we're wasting this money in getting us involved. And I agree, we are still in danger, but most of the danger comes by our lack of wisdom on how we run our foreign policy. So I would say there's a lot of room to cut on the military, but not on the defense. You can slash the military spending. We don't need to be building airplanes that were used in World War II--we're always fighting the last war. But we're under great threat, because we occupy so many countries. We're in 130 countries. We have 900 bases around the world. We're going broke.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Abolish the TSA; let airlines establish security

Q: You want to demolish the TSA. What would exist in its place?

PAUL: The airlines that are responsible for carrying their cargo and their passengers. I mean, why should we assume that a bureaucracy can do better? And look at the monstrosity we have at the airports. These TSA agents are abusive. Sometimes they're accused of all kinds of sexual activities on the way they maul people at the airport. So the airlines could do that.

Q: I'll give them your best at LAX tonight.

PAUL: I would think the airlines should treat passengers as well as a company that hauls money around, and they protect their money. They have private guards. [The airlines] could do that. Just remember, 9/11 came about because there was too much government. Government was more or less in charge. They told the pilots they couldn't have guns, and they were told never to resist. They set up the stage for all this. So, no, private markets do a good job in protecting--much better than this bureaucracy called the TSA.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

Many terrorists have been properly tried in US courts

Q: [to Bachmann]: Rep. Paul says terrorism suspects have committed a crime and should be given due process in civilian courts. Why is he wrong?

BACHMANN: Because terrorists who are from foreign countries who commit acts against US citizens do not have any rights under our Constitution.

PAUL: She turns our rule of law on its head. She says that the terrorists don't deserve protection under our courts, but, therefore, a judgment has to be made. They're ruled a terrorist. Who rules them a terrorist? I thought our courts recognized that you had to be tried. And we've done this. We've brought individuals back from Pakistan and other places. We've given them a trial in this country, near 300, we tried and put them in prison. So this idea that we have to reject the rule of law, when you assume somebody is a terrorist, they can be targeted for assassination, even American citizens, that affects all of us eventually. You don't want to translate our rule of law into mob rule.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Waterboarding doesn't achieve anything

Q: Would you support a resumption of waterboarding under any circumstances?

SANTORUM: Under certain circumstances or any circumstances?

Q: Under any circumstances that you could imagine.


JOHNSON: I would not.

PAUL: No, I would not, because you don't achieve anything.

SANTORUM: Well it's just simply not true, Ron. The fact is that what we found is that some of this information that we find out that led to Osama Bin Laden actually came from these enhanced interrogation techniques.

PAUL: Not true.

SANTORUM: And by the way we wouldn't have been able to launch a raid into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden if we weren't in Afghanistan.

CAIN: I heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say it very clearly a few months after 9/11 2001 after the tragedy, the terrorist have one objective, to kill of us and so, yes, I believe that we should do whatever means possible in order to protect the people of this nation, that's their ultimate goal.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Assassination policy targeting citizens is unconstitutional

The Obama administration's current policy permits the assassination of any suspect anywhere in the world, including an American citizen. This, they argue, is crucial to keep all Americans safe. Somewhere along the way we forgot that the enemies of our Constitution are both foreign and domestic. Our government has, for years, been involved in "regime change" around the world, which includes the use of assassination.

On Feb. 3, 2010, the Director of National Intelligence admitted that indeed such a policy existed. As he put it: "Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives." No longer trying to keep assassination top secret and even admitting it can involve an American citizen is a bold and scary change in attitude. Many people now believe that it is proper under the law, necessary for our security, and condoned.

Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 12 , Apr 19, 2011

Conscription is not part of Constitution nor free society

With the current military exhausted and the increasing odds of armed conflict, the specter of the draft is once again raised. For now, though, the disastrously weak economy will serve the interest of the state by prompting many individuals to volunteer, despite the risks involved. Conscription should never be part of a free society. It's not permitted in the United States since our Constitution does not provide the authority to force someone into involuntary duty to fight a war. Slavery is precisely forbidden, and that's what involuntary service is. Countries that conscript or have the capacity to conscript are more likely to get involved in unnecessary political wars.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 54 , Apr 19, 2011

Hated for freedom? No, hated for invading their countries!

On 9/11, most Americans expressed shock and amazement that anyone would have a reason to deliver a message to the United States in the form of a bloody and destructive attack. Most people asked what we ever did to incite such a thing. George Bush explained that these crazy people must have "hated us for our freedoms." Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, to say the least. There are lots of people who hat us for invading their countries, supporting dictatorships, starving people through sanctions, and maintaining an unprecedented military empire of global reach. Truly, the United States is an empire by any definition, and quite possibly the most aggressive, extended and expansionist in the history of the world. Do we really find it shocking that some people in the world don't like this? Would we, as American citizens, like it if some superpower were doing this to us?
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 83-84 , Apr 19, 2011

Patriot Act is radical departure from 4th Amendment

It was a mere 34 days after the 9/11 attacks that the Patriot Act was passed by Congress. It was more than 300 pages in length and was available only one hour before the short debate started. Much of what was included in the bill actually had been proposed off and on for years before the attack. The impact and fear generated by the attacks offered the opportunity that many of the neoconservatives were anxiously waiting for. The Patriot Act represented a radical departure from the protections of th Fourth Amendment. It authorized self-written search warrants (FBI and other agents) and national security letters and essentially undermined the privacy of all Americans protected by our Constitution. No records are now safe from the government. All Americans are potential terrorists and subject to unrestrained searches. The fact that an extremely unpatriotic piece of legislation was called the Patriot Act tells you about the arrogance and cynicism that exists in Washington.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.255-256 , Apr 19, 2011

100 detainees have died of torture under US custody

The image of Americans torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo circulated around the Muslim world has done unbelievable harm by the hatred it generated against all Americans. It's going to take a lot of time to alter that sentiment, and it won't happen without a change in our foreign policy and our assumption that we can arrest anybody anywhere in the world at will. General Barry McCaffrey, not exactly an outsider, commented on our torture program: "We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces & the CIA." The ACLU and many news sources estimate that at least 100 detainees died as a result of torture while in American custody. Our government has tried to downplay those deaths as suicide. So far there's been no effort to hold accountable the individuals responsible for this travesty.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.293-294 , Apr 19, 2011

Politically convenient wars are not at all necessary

The Depression was not ended by the beginning of WWII, as many still claim. War's mass death & destruction are never a benefit to the economy, yet the warning that bad economic times frequently lead to war--when a country can least afford it--is appropriate today. War distracts from economic problems, a benefit to bad politicians. Unemployment rates go down when millions are engaged in the war effort, even forced into it. All too often these politically convenient wars are not at all necessary.
Source: End the Fed, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 35 , Sep 16, 2009

Conscription is unconstitutional--including National Service

Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to conscript citizens. The power to raise armies is not a power to force people into the armies.

Lesser forms of the draft, such as compulsory “national service” are based on the sam unacceptable premise. Young people are not raw material to be employed by the political class on behalf of whatever fashionable political, military, or social cause catches its fancy. In a free society, their lives are not the plaything of government.

Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 56 , Apr 1, 2008

FactCheck: US spends $572B on foreign operations, not $1T

In the Jan. 30 debate, Paul claimed the US spends a trillion dollars on a “foreign operations” each year, saying, “This money should be spent back here at home. We have a $1 trillion foreign operation to operate our empire.”

Pres. Bush’s proposed fisca 2009 budget includes $572 billion for defense spending. Even if we called the entire defense budget an overseas cost of maintaining an empire--and then kicked in the entire $50.6 billion budget for the State Department and international programs-- Paul is still $378 billion short.

The Paul campaign cites a 2006 think-tank article which included a number of items that one might generally not think of as defense spending: including the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, 1/3 of the funding for the FBI and 1/2 of NASA’s funding. The numbers also include medical and retirement pay for veterans and a large portion of interest on the debt.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library , Feb 11, 2008

Military is not in good shape; we have a de facto draft

We debate on how we get the strongest national defense. I don’t think we’re doing very well. Our military is not in good shape. A lot of equipment is down; our National Guards are drained; our reserves are overseas. We have men going back a 3rd, 4th, and 5th time, they’ve been in five years; they get out; they get recalled. We have a de facto draft. There’s a danger of this war spreading and no end in sight. McCain says we should stay there for 100 years if necessary; I say there’s no need to do that!
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

We don’t need any troops abroad--they don’t help our defense

Q: How many troops do we have overseas right now?

A: I don’t know the exact number, but more than we need. We don’t need any.

Q: It’s 572,000. And you’d bring them all home?

A: As quickly as possible. They will not serve our interests to be overseas. They get us into trouble. And we can defend this country without troops in Germany & troops in Japan. How do they help our national defense? Doesn’t make any sense to me. Troops in Korea since I’ve been in high school! It doesn’t make any sense

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

Suicide terrorism stops when we stop intervening abroad

Q: Under your doctrine, if we did not have troops in the Middle East, would al Qaeda leave us alone?

A: Not, not immediately, because they’d have to believe us. But what would happen is the incentive for Osama bin Laden to recruit suicide terrorists would disappear. Once we left Lebanon in the early ‘80s, suicide terrorism virtually stopped, just like that. But while we were there, suicide terrorism killed our Marines. We have to understand how we would react if some country did to us exactly what we do to them, and then we might have a better understanding of their motivation, why somebody would join the al-Qaeda. Since we’ve been over there al-Qaeda has more members now than they did before 9/11. They probably had a couple hundred before 9/11.

A: No, it’s both. It’s sort of like if you step in a snake pit and you get bit, you know, who caused the trouble? Because you stepped in the snake pit or because snakes bite you?

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

In wartime, people willing to sacrifice liberty for security

Q: A former aide of yours said this: “After Sept. 11, one of the first things Paul said was not how awful the tragedy was, it was, ‘Now we’re going to get big government.’” Was that your reaction?

A: When you have war--whether it’s a war against drugs war against terrorism, war overseas--the mentality of the people changes and they’re more willing to sacrifice their liberties in order to be safe and secure. So, yes, right after 9/11 my reaction was, “it’s going to be a lot tougher selling liberty.” But I’m pleasantly surprised that I’m still in the business of selling liberty and the Constitution and there’s still a lot of enthusiasm for it. I might have been too pessimistic immediately after 9/11 because, in a way, it has caused this reaction and this uprising in this country to say, “Enough is enough. We don’t need more Patriot Acts, we don’t need more surveillance of our people. We don’t need national ID cards. We don’t need the suspension of habeas corpus. What we need is more freedom.”

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

No presidential power for secret surveillance

Q: Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

A: No.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power , Dec 20, 2007

Habeas corpus always applies, even to Guantanamo

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement made by former Attorney General Gonzales in January 2007 that nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus, separate from any statutory habeas rights Congress might grant or take away?

A: I strongly disagree with him because I think it was absurd. If we can’t deny habeas corpus it infers that you have habeas corpus. So I would strongly disagree with his whole interpretation of habeas corpus.

Q: Do you think that that extends to non US citizens in US custody overseas, i.e. Guantanamo?

A: I think that might depend upon the circumstances of declared war, and what the circumstances might be.

Q: The context would be Gitmo, the case before the Supreme Court.

A: I would think then that we should, under those circumstances, follow the principles of habeas corpus.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power , Dec 20, 2007

We have a de-facto draft; we can achieve more in peace

Why is it then that I get the most money as a candidate for the presidency from active military personnel? They’re tired of the war too. We already have a de facto draft. These men who have fought valiantly are called up time and time again. Their services are extended from 12 months to 15 months. They’ve been over there two and three times, and they don’t see an end in sight.

This whole idea, we’re going through the same argument, the light at the end of the tunnel. We did this in the ‘60s when I was in the service. And we finally left Vietnam, tragically. But we do much better in peace with Vietnam. We trade with them. They have become Westernized. What we achieved in peace we couldn’t achieve in war.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

Protect against terrorism by understanding their motivations

Q: What motivates Al Qaeda?

It’s not because we are wealthy & prosperous & free. They come here because we are in their country. Permanent bases [in Iraq & elsewhere in the Arab world] just mean that we have expanded the opportunity for the terrorists to come here because there is greater motivation. So, if we want to protect ourselves against terrorism, we have to understand what motivates them. Even Wolfowitz admitted this. He said that the base in Saudi Arabia was an instrumental part of what motivated Osama bin Laden. So if we ignore that, it is at our own folly.

Q: When you made that point at the debate the other night, there were some boos that came out from that Republican audience. Are you in step with Republican voters?

A: I would say that since 70% of the American people want out of the war, and they are tired of it, the Republicans better pick somebody who is opposed to the war or have a new foreign policy, or they can’t win.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Dec 2, 2007

Violating habeas corpus will be used against us

If you are going to regulate Islamic thinking in this country, be careful, because all the rules you set will be used against Christians. So, protect civil liberties. If you use the violation of civil liberties when it comes to habeas corpus and secrecy, we are going to suffer from this. If we could have done something before 9/11, we should have gotten the government out of the way on regulating our airlines. We should have had more respect for the Constitution.
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Protect military chaplains’ right to pray in preferred faith

Q: I’m a former Navy chaplain who was punished for praying in Jesus’ name, 1 of 68 chaplains now suing the Secretary of the Navy. Would you sign an executive order to protect a military chaplain’s right to pray according to the dictates of his conscience --and enforce the law that’s been on the books since 1860--to protect military chaplain’s right to pray according to their faith?
Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Eliminate FBI & DHS; interpret intelligence intelligently

Q: You say that you would eliminate the IRS, the CIA, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Homeland Security, Medicare. You used to want to end the FBI. But if you get rid of the CIA, let alone the FBI, how would President Paul have any idea, any intelligence of what our enemies, foreign and domestic, are up to?

A: Well, you might ask a better question. Before 9/11, we were spending $40 billion a year, and the FBI was producing numerous information about people being trained on airplanes, to fly them but not land them. And they totally ignored them. So it’s the inefficiency of the bureaucracy that is the problem. So, increasing this with the Department of Homeland Security and spending more money doesn’t absolve us of the problem. Yes, we have every right in the world to know something about intelligence gathering. But we have to have intelligent people interpreting this information.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Governments orchestrate fear to throw their weight around

Fear, usually orchestrated by government, is a powerful catalyst. Fear makes the people demand protection from every sinister evil lurking around the corner that’s about to attack us. The embodiment of evil may well be a single demented individual, halfway around the world. Though incapable of attacking anyone, such an individual stirs up irrational fears and encourages policies over time that are not in our best interest.

When the people of a nation are fearful and insecure, it allows bullies in government to throw their weight around with promises of safety. Confidence and true strength, by contrast, encourage humility.

The success of government propagandists promoting war is nothing new. The public is too easily led to support war based on concocted fear. Getting into a war is a lot easier than getting out. It is not in the nature of government to admit mistakes and confess that any war, no matter how disastrous, should be ended.

Source: A Foreign Policy of Freedom, by Ron Paul, p.362 , Jun 15, 2007

DHS is unmanageable bureaucracy--eliminate it

Q: You would eliminate the Department of Homeland Security?

A: DHS is a monstrous type of bureaucracy. It was supposed to be streamlining our security and it’s unmanageable. I mean, just think of the efficiency of FEMA in its efforts to take care of the floods and the hurricanes.

Q: You would eliminate DHS in the midst of a war?

A: We should not go to more bureaucracy. It didn’t work. We were spending $40 billion on security prior to 9/11, and they had all the information they needed there to deal with the threat, and it was inefficiency. So what do we do? We add a gigantic bureaucracy, which they’re still working on trying to put it together, and a tremendous amount of increase in f

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina , May 15, 2007

Be cautious about warrantless searches & habeas corpus

Q: What mistakes do you see in the Bush administration?

A: I would work very hard to protect the privacy of American citizens, being very, very cautious about warrantless searches. And I would guarantee that I would never abuse habeas corpus.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Criticizes use of war on terror to curtail civil liberties

He criticizes the United States’ intervention in Iraq and what he charges is the use of the war on terror to curtail civil liberties. He also endorses a non-interventionist foreign policy and defederalization of the healthcare system, opposes the death penalty and abortion, and is strongly opposed to a military draft. He has also broken with his party by voting against the Patriot Act in 2001 and again in 2005. He is strongly opposed to a military draft.
Source: SourceWatch.org , Jan 22, 2007

We’d be as furious as Muslims are, if our land was occupied

PAUL: [to GIULIANI]: They don’t attack us because we’re free and prosperous--but because we invade their countries, because we have bases in their country.

GIULIANI: There’s an Islamic, terrorism threat against us. It’s an existential threat. It has nothing to do with our foreign policy. It has to do with their ideas, their theories, the things that they have done and the way they’ve perverted their religion into a hatred of us. Our foreign policy is irrelevant--totally irrelevant.

PAUL: Try to visualize how we would react if they did that to us, if a country, say China, came that great distance across the ocean, and they say, “We want you to live like us. We want you to have our economic system. We want bases on your land. We want to protect our oil.” Even if we do that with good intentions--even if the Chinese did that with good intentions, we would all be furious.

ROMNEY: Ron, you’re reading their propaganda.

Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

Grouping terrorists together damages relations with Muslims

PAUL: We had an air base in Saudi Arabia, that was given as the excuse for 9/11. There’s always a radical element in almost all religions. They have to have an incentive. We give them that incentive. The question that you aren’t willing to ask is, why is it that they attack America? I mean, they don’t attack the Canadians. They don’t attack the Swiss.

ROMNEY: Is it such a mystery as to why they attack America? We’re the strongest nation in the world.

GIULIANI: Ron, it’s simply not true. Islamic terrorists killed over 500 Americans before September 11, going back to the late 1960s. They have also killed people recently in Bali, in London. They have launched attacks in Germany. I could go on and on. The attack on Leon Klinghoffer.

PAUL: You paint all Islamics the same way, and this is a dangerous thing. What you’re doing is damaging our relationship by destroying our relationship with all Muslims. That’s what you’re doing.

GIULIANI: I do not accept that criticism.

Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

We can’t fight for freedom if we impose Patriot Act

We must remember initiating force to impose our will on others negates all the goodness for which we profess to stand. We cannot be fighting to secure our freedom if we impose laws like the Patriot Act and a national ID card for Americans.

Unfortunately, we have lost faith and confidence in the system of government with which we have been blessed. Today too many Americans support the use of force to spread our message of hope and freedom.

A powerful bureaucratic military state negates all efforts to preserve those conditions that have served America so well up until recent times. That is not what the American dream is all about. Without a change in attitude, the dream dies: a simple changes the restates the principles of liberty enshrined in our Constitution will serve us well in solving the problems we face. The people are up to the task; I hope Congress is as well.

Source: House speech, in Foreign Policy of Freedom, p.340-341 , Sep 8, 2005

Conscription is forced servitude--no draft for illegal wars

The ultimate cost of war is almost always the loss of liberty.

The plan for “universal liability to serve” once again is raising its ugly head. The dollar cost of the current war is staggering, yet plans are being made to drastically expand the human cost by forcing conscription on the young men who have no ax to grand with the Iraqi people and want no part of this fight.

Justifying conscription to promote liberty is one of the most bizarre notions ever conceived by man. Forced servitude, with the risk of death and serious injury as a price to live free, makes no sense. What right does anyone have to sacrifice the lives of others for some cause of questionable value?

All drafts are unfair. All 18- and 19-year olds are never drafted. By its very nature, a draft must be discriminatory. All drafts hit the most vulnerable young people, as the elites quickly learn how to avoid the risks of combat.

Source: House speech, in Foreign Policy of Freedom, p.277-280 , Nov 21, 2003

Explore reasons behind terrorist attacks on US

I believe that winning this battle against the current crop of terrorists is quite achievable in a relatively short period of time. But winning the war over the long term is a much different situation. This cannot be achieved without a better understanding of the enemy and the geopolitics that drive this war. Even if relative peace is achieved with a battlefield victory over Osama bin Laden and his followers, other terrorists will appear from all corners of the world for an indefinite period of time if we do not understand the issues.

Without an understanding of why terrorism is directed towards the US, we may as well build a prison for ourselves with something called homeland security, while doing nothing to combat the root causes of terrorism. Let us hope we figure this out soon.

Source: House speech, in Foreign Policy of Freedom, p.158-160 , Oct 25, 2001

Reassess “mutual security” treaties; our allies never aid us

The odds of getting assistance from our allies to protect our security if we are threatened are infinitesimal, as compared to the possibility of our sons dying for someone else’s security.

We should reassess all our military treaties. They are called “mutual security” treaties, but no one expects our allies to come to our assistance if we are attacked. We have been forced to stand alone and bear all the cost of our defense and most of the cost of the defense of our allies.

Source: Freedom Under Siege, by Ron Paul, p. 45-47 , Dec 31, 1987

Military Keynesianism? Blowing up bombs is economic negative

Since World War II, in many of the conflicts around the world, US. weapons have been used on both sides, and not infrequently, against us. Military Keynesianism is every bit as harmful as domestic Keynesianism. Yes, some jobs are created to build bombs and missiles, but only at the expense of other jobs that would make more productive use of capital. Manufacturing and blowing up missiles and bombs cannot raise the standard of living of American citizens--it's an economic negative: more debt and no benefits to American citizens.

Military Keynesianism invites mercantile policies. Frequently, our armies follow corporate investments around the world and have for more than a hundred years. It's no secret that many believe we're in the Middle East to protect "our" oil. Military Keynesianism is justified by our foreign policy of occupation and nation building and preventive war. Innocent people die, property is destroyed, and the world is made a more dangerous place.

Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.175-176 , Apr 19, 2011

Ron Paul on Imperialism

Islamists attacked us for US bases on Arab lands

SANTORUM: [to Paul]: On your Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11. On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. We are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions. They want to kill us because of who we are and what we stand for.

PAUL: As long as this country follows that idea, we're going to be under a lot of danger. This whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for this, and they're attacking us because we're free and prosperous, that is just not true. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit--they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for 10 years. Wouldn't you be annoyed? If you're not annoyed, then there's some problem.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Neither Dems nor GOP will cut one nickel from militarism

Q: What would you do for the economy that could pass through a divided Congress?

A: You have to allow liquidation of debt, eliminate the malinvestment. Then you go back and you can get growth again by having a better tax structure, lower taxes, invite capital back into this country, get a lot less regulations. And under those conditions, you can have growth again.

Q: And you can get it through a divided Congress?

A: Well... the divided Congress will exist for a long time to come. Yes, you would have to get it through a--you'd have to get it through a divided Congress. But the one thing is, if you approach it constitutionally and if you approach it on the principles of liberty, you can bring people together. If we have to cut, maybe we wouldn't be so--so determined that you can't cut one nickel out of the militarism around the world. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans want to cut that. So if you want to cut, you have to put the militarism on the table, as well.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

American Empire is big government war & militarism

We're in an ideological struggle and one that is winnable, but it cannot be won without addressing the status of the American Empire. An empire, which requires perpetual war and preparation for war, is incompatible with a free society. Those who consider themselves to be opponents of big government and yet have an uncritical attitude toward militarism and war are either fooling themselves or haven't thought enough about the problem. War feeds the growth of the state. The choice is liberty or dictatorship (authoritarianism), republic or empire. The notion that we can cut government and maintain the empire is preposterous. A country that supports preventive war, allows assassination of its own citizens, and endorses torture can hardly be called a republic. We now have troops stationed around the world in 135 countries and with more than 900 bases. Many on the right who endorse the preventive-war mentality to see any connection between a policy of perpetual war and the loss of civil liberties at home.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 88-91 , Apr 19, 2011

We can't keep troops in 135 countries & 900 bases forever

Just remember the Soviet system did not collapse because we had to fight them, they collapsed for economic reasons. Guess where their final plunge was on their empire? Afghanistan. So it makes no sense for us to think that we can keep troops in 135 countries, 900 bases and think we can do it forever. So no matter how badly you want us to do that, it's time to reassess that foreign policy. It's time for us to bring troops home, we've had troops in Japan since World War 2 and in Germany, why are we paying for their defense?

Now, there's been a lot of talk about the budget deficit. The military is not equated to defense, defense spending is one thing, military spending is what Eisenhower called the "military industrial complex" and we have to go after that. Government is out of control and it's very hard for us to get a handle on it.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

We’re broke and we just can’t continue to police the world

Our Constitution gives us no authority to be the policemen of the world. All great nations end for financial reasons, and that is what’s happening today. We can’t afford it any longer. We spend a trillion dollars a year maintaining an empire. The Founders said: Be friends; trade with people; mix with people; don’t fight with people; don’t tell them what to do; practice diplomacy. But we are in this endless streak of interfering, involving, and dictating. We have two choices: we go to a country and we say “Do it our way or we’ll bomb you.” Then if they do it our way, we give them money. But we’re broke. We’re broke and we just can’t continue to do this. That’s what the dollar is telling us. The debt is too high, the dollar is weakening, the middle class is being wiped out, the international debt is so big, and we’re dependent on others, our good jobs are overseas. Who’s going to pick up the pieces? Are we going to restore REAL, conservative, Constitutional values to our country?
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

Stop policing the world and we can get rid of income tax

Q: If you eliminate the income tax, as you propose, do you know how much lost revenue that would be?

A: A lot.

Q: Over a trillion dollars.

A: That’s good. We could save hundreds of billions of dollars if we had a sensible foreign policy. If you’re going to be the policeman of the world, you need that. You need the income tax to police the world and run the welfare state. I want a constitutional-size government.

Q: Would you replace the income tax with anything else?

A: Not if I could help it. You know, there are some proposals where probably almost anything would be better than income tax. But there’s a lot of shortcomings with the, with the sales tax. But it would probably be slightly better than the income tax--it would be an improvement. But the goal is to cut the spending, get back to a sensible-size government.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

Bring all troops home from abroad & save $100B’s every year

Q: You recommend this: “I’d start bringing our troops home, not only from the Middle East but from Korea, Japan and Europe and save enough money to slash the deficit.” How much money would that save?

A: To operate our total foreign policy, when you add up everything, it’s nearly a trillion dollars a year. So I would think if you brought our troops home, you could save hundreds of billions of dollars. You can start saving immediately by changing the foreign policy and not be the policeman over the world. We should have the foreign policy that George Bush ran on. You know, no nation building, no policing of the world, a humble foreign policy. We don’t need to be starting wars. That’s my argument.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

9/11 resulted from blasphemy of our bases in Saudi Arabia

Q: You said about September 11th, “They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there.” And then you added later that al-Qaeda has “determination. The determination comes from being provoked.” How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?

A: Well, read what the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had a base in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA’s been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and they get annoyed with this. How would we react if they were on our land? We would be very annoyed, and we’d be fighting mad.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 23, 2007

Pre-emptive war policy is a grave mistake

Institutionalizing the principle of preemptive war surely will be one of the gravest mistakes made in this new century. A secret war or CIA coup, although bad, is nothing compared to an openly declared policy that we now have a moral right and duty to start wars of our bidding. We have crossed the Rubicon. Unless we reverse the policy of preemptive war and fully reinstate habeas corpus, the American republic will remain a dead letter.
Source: A Foreign Policy of Freedom, by Ron Paul, p.366 , Jun 15, 2007

Pre-emptive war is not part of the American tradition

Q: What’s the most pressing moral issue in the US today?

A: I think it is the acceptance just recently that we now promote pre-emptive war. I do not believe that’s part of the American tradition. We in the past have always declared war in the defense of our liberties or go to aid somebody, but now we have accepted the principle of preemptive war. We have rejected the just- war theory of Christianity. And now, tonight, we hear that we’re not even willing to remove from the table a pre-emptive nuclear strike against a country that has done no harm to us directly and is no threat to our national security!

We have to come to our senses about this issue of war and pre-emption and go back to traditions and our Constitution and defend our liberties and defend our rights, but not to think that we can change the world by force of arms and to start wars.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Military aggressiveness weakens our national defense

Q: How do you reconcile this moral leadership kind of role of conservatism with the very libertarian strain of conservatism--the Barry Goldwater conservatism--that you represent?

A: You do it by understanding of what the goal of government ought to be. If the goal of government is to be the policeman of the world, you lose liberty. And if the goal is to promote liberty, you can unify all segments. The freedom message brings us together; it doesn’t divide us. I believe that when we overdo our military aggressiveness, it actually weakens our national defense. I mean, we stood up to the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. Now we’re fretting day and night about third-world countries that have no army, navy or air force, and we’re getting ready to go to war. But the principle, the moral principle, is that of defending liberty and minimizing the scope of government.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Jihadists attack because we have bases in their countries

PAUL: [to ROMNEY]: I’m as concerned about the nature of the threat of terrorism as anybody, if not more so. But they don’t attack us because we’re free and prosperous. There are radicals in all religions that will resort to violence. But if we don’t understand that the reaction is because we invade their countries and occupy their countries, because we have bases in their country--and we haven’t done it just since 9/11, but we have done that a long time. It was the Air Force base in Saudi Arabia before 9/11 that was given as the excuse. If we don’t understand that, we can’t win this war against terrorism.

ROMNEY: Unfortunately, Ron, you need a thorough understanding of what radical jihad is, what the movement is, what its intent is, where it flows from. And the fact is that it’s trying to bring down not just us, but it’s trying to bring down all moderate Islamic governments, Western governments around the world, as we just saw in Pakistan.

Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

Costs of war always higher than expected & go on for decades

  1. The costs of war are always much more than anticipated, while the benefits are much less.
  2. The cost of war is more than just the dollars spent; it includes death, injuries, and destruction along with the unintended consequences that go on for decades.
  3. Support for offensive wars wears thin, especially when they are not ended quickly.
  4. The Iraq war has been going on for 15 years with no end in sight.
  5. Ulterior motives too often preempt national security in offensive wars.
  6. Powerful nations too often forget humility in their relationships to other countries.
  7. World history and religious dogmatism are too often misunderstood and ignored.
  8. World government is no panacea for limiting war.
  9. Most wars could be avoided with better diplomacy, a mutual understanding of minding one’s own business, and respect for the rights of self-determination.
Source: House speech, in Foreign Policy of Freedom, p.326-327 , Jun 14, 2005

Conscription is a trait of totalitarian government

Conscription is a trait of totalitarian government, and is not characteristic of a nation that champions freedom. There are some who recognize that the draft is truly a violation of individual rights and oppose its imposition, except in extreme circumstances. Even though a defense of freedom compels the rejection of the draft under all conditions, those who recognize their inconsistencies and would permit a draft only under emergency conditions are less of a threat than those who advocate peacetime conscription.

The Founding Fathers never granted constitutional authority to the Congress or the President to conscript an army. In 1865, the states approved the 13th Amendment which provides that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Denying that conscription is anything but involuntary servitude is a distortion of clear language and intent of this amendment.

Source: Freedom Under Siege, by Ron Paul, p. 63-66 , Dec 31, 1987

Ron Paul on Voting+Sponsorships

Opposes Patriot Act & Iraq War

Ron Paul is not your typical Republican. He strongly opposes the war in Iraq. He voted against the Patriot Act, and warns that President Bush is going down a dangerous path toward war with Iran.
Source: Jill Morrison on KUHF, Houston Public Radio , Jan 17, 2007

Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

    Congressional Summary: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content, including:
  1. broadcasting, transmitting, and programming over noncommercial educational radio broadcast stations
  2. cooperating with foreign broadcasting networks
  3. assisting and supporting noncommercial educational radio broadcasting
  4. paying dues to such organizations
  5. or acquiring radio programs for public broadcast.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Blackburn, R-TN]: This bill gets the Federal Government--and Federal taxpayers--out of the business of buying radio programming they do not agree with. This is a bill that is long overdue. Regardless of what you think of NPR, its programming or statements by its management, the time has come to cut the umbilical cord from the taxpayer support that has become as predictable as an entitlement program. Much has changed in the media landscape since the wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-HV066 on Feb 17, 2011

Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad.

CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective Act of 2007 or RESTORE Act: Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to provide that a court order is not required for electronic surveillance directed at the acquisition of communication between non-US citizens outside the US, whether or not the communication passes through the US or the surveillance device is located within the US; and provides procedures when one party is located inside the US or is a US citizen.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. CONYERS: Earlier this year, in the Protect America Act, PAA, amendments were made to FISA, giving the Government enhanced flexibility to collect foreign intelligence information. But the broad scope of the authority without up-front court approval raised grave concerns about the need for more safeguards of innocent Americans' communications. The RESTORE Act improves upon the PAA by providing a series of checks and balances while still allowing maximum flexibility. The RESTORE Act does not require individual warrants when persons are abroad, but it is firm that a FISA warrant is required to obtain communications of people in the US.

OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. KING of N.Y.: Electronic surveillance is one of the strongest weapons in our arsenal. The real enemy is al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism, not our own government working so hard to protect us. The PAA updated FISA and struck the appropriate balance between protecting our citizens from terrorist attacks and protecting our civil liberties. Today's bill, the RESTORE Act, marks an undeniable retreat in the war against Islamic terrorism. It limits the type of foreign intelligence information that may be acquired and actually gives foreign targets more protections than Americans get in criminal cases here at home.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Bill passed, 213-197.

Reference: RESTORE Act; Bill H.R.3773 ; vote number 08-HR3773 on Mar 14, 2008

Voted YES on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations.

PRESIDENT'S VETO MESSAGE:This bill would impede efforts to protect [against] terrorist attacks because it imposes several unnecessary and unacceptable burdens on our Intelligence Community. [I reject] subjecting two additional vital positions to a more protracted process of Senate confirmation [and I reject] a new office of Inspector General for the Intelligence Community as duplicative. [Most sigficantly,] it is vitally important that the CIA be allowed to maintain a separate and classified interrogation program, [and not] use only the interrogation methods authorized in the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. My disagreement over section 327 is not over any particular interrogation technique such as waterboarding. Rather, my concern is the need to maintain a separate CIA program that will shield from disclosure to terrorists the interrogation techniques they may face upon capture.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. REYES: This legislation goes a long way towards strengthening oversight of the intelligence community, which the President seems to consistently want to fight. That's why the President vetoed it. He wants the authority to do whatever he wants, in secret, with no oversight or authorization or without any checks and balances. Well, I don't agree. The Constitution gives us a role in this process. We do have a say in what the intelligence community does. That's why we need to override this veto.

OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. HOEKSTRA: This bill fails to give the intelligence community the tools that it needs to protect the American people from radical jihadists. The debate on this authorization bill is not about a single issue, [waterboarding], as some would have you believe. It is about the need to ensure that we give the right tools to our intelligence professionals in this time of enhanced threat.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Veto override failed, 225-188 (2/3rds required)

Bill Veto override on H.R. 2082 ; vote number 08-HR2082 on Mar 11, 2008

Voted YES on restricting no-bid defense contracts.

  1. Improving the Quality of Contracts--to restrict the contract period of noncompetitive contracts to the minimum period necessary to meet urgent requirements; and not more than one year unless the the government would be seriously injured.
  2. Increasing Contract Oversight--to make publicly available (on websites) justification documents for using noncompetitive contract procedures.
  3. Promoting Integrity in Contracting--to prohibit former federal officials from accepting compensation from contractors as lawyers or lobbyists.

Proponents support voting YES because:

In Iraq, we were told we needed Halliburton to get a contract without any competition because they were the only ones who know how to put out oil well fires. So they got a contract on a cost-plus basis even though they had a history of overcharging the taxpayers. And then later we found out that they didn't do anything about putting out oil well fires in the first Gulf war; it was Bechtel, not Halliburton. Contractors were given special treatment by not having healthy competition.

In dealing with Hurricane Katrina, and we have seen the same mistakes again: No-competition contracts; cost-plus contracts. We have seen what the result has been: Wasted taxpayer dollars. This bill requires that if there is an emergency to give a contract, give it. But then have bidding within a year.

Opponents support voting NO because:

We support transparency and accountability in decision-making, but this bill asks for audit reports that are only advisory. To provide those to Congress not only gives you too much information, a lot of it can be misleading and can increase the number of contract disputes.

When you are fighting a war, you need to move quickly. You don't give a 6-month appeal to the folks that lose the competition. You don't give small business set-asides because there is one thing you don't have, you don't have time.

Reference: Accountability in Contracting Act; Bill H R 1362 ; vote number 2007-156 on Mar 15, 2007

Voted NO on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.

Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to allow the President & Attorney General to authorize electronic surveillance without a court order to acquire foreign intelligence information, after certifying that the surveillance is directed at the acquisition of communications of foreign agents.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Intelligence is the first line of defense in the war on terrorism. That means we have to have intelligence agencies and capabilities that are agile, that are responsive to changes in technology, and that also protect the civil liberties of Americans. Let me make an analogy. With modernization, we replaced Route 66 with Interstate 40. We no longer have the stoplights and the intersections. We created on ramps and off ramps and concrete barriers to protect the citizens where traffic was moving very quickly. That is like what we are trying to do here--FISA needs modernization.

Opponents support voting NO because:

We are legislating in the dark. We do not even know what the President is doing now because he will not tell us. The New York Times exposed that the administration had authorized secret surveillance of domestic conversations. When exposed, the President claimed he was operating under inherent powers, but court decisions have found that the President cannot simply declare administration actions constitutional and lawful, whether or not they are.

Yet rather than finding out what is going on, this legislation retroactively legalizes whatever has been going on. The President already has broad latitude to conduct domestic surveillance, including surveillance of American citizens, so long as it is overseen by the FISA court.

This bill does not enhance security, but it does allow surveillance without the traditional checks and balances that have served our Nation well.

Reference: Update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978; Bill H.R.5825 ; vote number 2006-502 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted NO on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.

A resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 5020) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities. Voting YES indicates support of the current methods for intelligence-gathering used by the CIA and other agencies. The resolution's opponents say:
Reference: Intelligence Authorization Act; Bill HR 5020 resolution H RES 774 ; vote number 2006-108 on Apr 26, 2006

Voted NO on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists.

REAL ID Act of 2005: To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5]; Bill H.R.418 ; vote number 2005-031 on Feb 10, 2005

Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses.

Expresses the continued support of Congress for, and encourages the executive branch to continue challenging any judicial decision against, specified provisions of Federal law prohibiting making certain Federal contracts with or grants to institutions of higher education that prevent military recruiters from having access to their campuses and to certain information about their students.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Rep Mike Rogers [R, AL-3]; Bill H.CON.RES.36 ; vote number 2005-016 on Feb 2, 2005

Voted NO on supporting new position of Director of National Intelligence.

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: Establishment of Director of National Intelligence, to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Requires the Director to have extensive national security expertise. Prohibits the Director from being located within the Executive Office of the President or simultaneously serving as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other intelligence community (IC) element.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins {R, ME}; Bill S.2845 ; vote number 2004-544 on Dec 7, 2004

Voted NO on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003: Vote to pass the bill that would supply $77.9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations in fiscal 2003, including $62.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The bill would also provide for $4.2 billion for homeland security, $8 billion in aid to allies and for Iraqi relief and rebuilding; $3.2 billion for U.S. airlines to cover additional security costs; and $1 billion in aid to Turkey.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL; Bill HR 1559 ; vote number 2003-108 on Apr 3, 2003

Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns.

Armed Airline Pilots Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would create a program where commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would then be permitted to carry guns aboard airlines. To participate in the program, commercial pilots would have to undergo specialized training. At least 250 commercial pilots would undergo the training. Within two months of the bill's enactment, the Transportation Security Agency or TSA, would then be required to begin weapons training for pilots who had volunteered for the program. Airlines and pilots will not be held legally accountable when defending planes from terrorist acts except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence The TSA could temporarily put the program on hold if a pilot's gun unintentionally discharges and causes injury to a crew member or passanger. The bill also would entail flight attendants to undergo self-defense training. Also study training all federal law enforcement officers on aviation anti-terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL; Bill HR 4635 ; vote number 2002-292 on Jul 10, 2002

Voted NO on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.

Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA; Bill HR 2561 ; vote number 1999-334 on Jul 22, 1999

Voted YES on deploying SDI.

Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA; Bill HR 4 ; vote number 1999-4 on Mar 18, 1999

End draft registration; all-volunteer forces .

Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
  1. US military should be deployed only where there is a clear threat to vital US interests and only with the consent of the US Congress.
  2. No branch of the military should be put in harm’s way without a clear entrance and exit strategy and a goal, which when achieved, constitutes victory.
  3. US military personnel should always be under US command.
  4. US armed forces should be all-volunteer.
  5. Military draft registration should be eliminated.
Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC10 on Dec 8, 2000

Federal duty to provide missile defense .

Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:

The Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
It is the duty of the federal government to provide a system to defend against missile attacks.

Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC11 on Dec 8, 2000

Rated 67% by SANE, indicating a mixed record on military issues.

Paul scores 67% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

Terminate Selective Service.

Paul sponsored terminating Selective Service

Introductory statement by Sponsor:

Rep. PAUL: I am today introducing legislation to repeal the Selective Service Act. The Department of Defense, in response to calls to reinstate the Draft, has confirmed that conscription serves no military need. In his December confirmation hearings, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated his opposition to a military Draft. Secretary Gates' immediate predecessor, Donald Rumsfield, also publicly opposed reinstating the Draft.

Obviously, if there is no military need for the Draft, then there is no need for Selective Service registration. In 1993, the Department of Defense issued a report stating that registration could be stopped "with no effect on military mobilization and no measurable effect on the time it would take to mobilize, and no measurable effect on military recruitment."

Yet the American taxpayer has been forced to spend over $500 million dollars on an outdated system "with no measurable effect on military mobilization!" Shutting down Selective Service will give taxpayers a break without adversely affecting military efforts. I hope all my colleagues join me in working to shut down this un-American relic of a bygone era and help realize the financial savings and the gains to individual liberties that can be achieved by ending Selective Service registration.

Source: Repeals the Military Selective Service Act (H.R.424 ) 07-HR424 on Jan 11, 2007

Appoint chiropractors as commissioned officers.

Paul co-sponsored appointing chiropractors as commissioned officers

A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should take immediate steps to appoint doctors of chiropractic as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces.

Source: S.CON.RES.75/H.CON.RES.294 08-SCR75 on Apr 10, 2008

Free postage for soldiers serving abroad.

Paul signed H.R.704

Supply Our Soldiers Act H.R.704 1/27/2009 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:h.r.00704:

Source: Fair Tax Act 09-HR704 on Jan 27, 2009

Military spouses don't lose voting residency while abroad.

Paul signed Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Source: S.475&HR.1182 2009-S475 on Feb 25, 2009

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Ron Paul on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(AE)
Jill Stein(G)
C.G.David Walker(AE)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: May 31, 2012