Why Ron Paul is a traitorous, libertarian idiot

Doug Bandler's picture
Submitted by Doug Bandler on Fri, 2011-09-30 21:38

Anwar Awlaki, the U.S. born al Qaeda leader whose writings inspired Muslims, including the U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan of the Fort Hood massacre, to commit terrorist attacks against Americans, has been killed by a CIA drone attack in Yemen. But Ron Paul, that potential savior of America according to some SOLO posters, has already condemned the Obama administration for "assassinating" this man without a trial.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Forgive the HuffPo link.

The AP article:

Ron Paul: Anwar Al-Awlaki, U.S.-Born Al-Qaeda Cleric, 'Assassinated'

MANCHESTER, N.H.--Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is condemning the Obama administration for killing an American born al-Qaida operative without a trial.

Paul, a Texas congressman known for libertarian views, says the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki on Yemeni soil amounts to an "assassination." Paul warned the American people not to casually accept such violence against U.S. citizens, even those with strong ties to terrorism.

Anwar al-Awlaki was considered one of the most influential al-Qaida operatives wanted by the United States. U.S. and Yemen officials say he was killed in a U.S. air strike targeting his convoy Friday morning.

Paul made the comments to reporters after a campaign stop Friday at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. He said America's leaders must think hard about "assassinating American citizens without charges."

How can this man be so stupid? Never mind. I know the answer to that.


Goode

Michael Moeller's picture

I was drawing an analogy between the method of the drug-pusher and Ron Paul, not trying to give an historical account on how drugs are cut and in what concentrations. I was obviously being facetious with the "90% Drano". I simply figured that there are drug-pushers who used cheap, available products as a substitute to cut drugs.

Well, now you forced me to look it up because this is a subject with which I have no familiarity. Indeed, drug-pushers do cut drugs with more lethal poisons that are cheap and available. Here and here show that heroin is cut with strychnine (rat poison), arsenic, laundry detergent, and cleaners like Ajax. (Ha! I was actually pretty close with the Drano.) And some of the effects are liver failure, CNS depression, coma, and death.

If you want me to improve the analogy, Ron Paul cuts his political philosophy with intellectual strychnine. I agree that drug addiction is a choice, and so is one's support for Ron Paul.

Goode, I was simply using an analogy and I am not particularly interested in debating how drugs are cut and so forth, as that is a major distraction from the thrust of this thread.

Further...

Ross Elliot's picture

...if the question is, who is the true inheritor of the Founders' vision, then I'm wondering who in the past 100 years has exceeded, in spirit, if not in being, and upon the presidential stage, Ron Paul.

Certainly Reagan had the magnificence of presence, but who else has really cut the philosophical mustard?

That said, and frankly, if Paul were president, he may be able to moonlight as Mr Magoo during oval office downtime. And oval office downtime is a good thing. The president that presides least, presides best.

But, I've said it before and I'll say it again: if we have the choice between restoring the promise of America within the vision of the Founders and within the limits of the Constitution, or sinking into the mire, we must side with Paul.

Does that mean that the actions taken in Afghanistan in late 2001 were wrong? No, they were right on the money. Does it mean that if we have credible intelligence that Iran has a nuclear launch system that we just sit back and wait for Israel to be incinerated? No, we bomb that capability back to the stone age.

But further than that, I say no to nation building and decade long wars in pursuit of it. I say make America a strong capitalist nation again, stop protecting an ungrateful world from its own folly, and stop pretending that an Objectivist-orientated state could sanction 90% of what's being done in our name.

The choice is very close to being taken out of America's hands. Critical mass has been reached. Anyone ever study the demise of Greece, Rome, Britain? Does anyone here know what Rand's Wave is?

I'm wondering...

Ross Elliot's picture

...if anyone in their right mind thinks that the 10th is an excuse for states to impose tyranny?

The context of the 10th was within the context of the federal constitution. And the Bill of Rights imposed limits upon that.

Now, you can argue, as I would, that the BOR and indeed the Constitution itself did not go far enough in limiting the power of government, be it federal, state or local, in protecting rights. But the Founders could not, in their time, have foreseen the viciousness with which individual rights would be assaulted in the 20th century. Hell, they wrote the thing over 60 years before the Communist Manifesto was published.

The achievement was nonpareil and built upon everything from antiquity to the English Bill of Rights. I give the Founders a pass on any omissions.

It's the ungrateful children and beneficiaries of their toil and sweat that deserve the blame.

Michael

Richard Goode's picture

Shame on you for comparing drug dealers to Ron Paul.

Drug dealing is an honest trade.

The Drug-Pusher Method.

Did you mean, the Drug-Capitalist Method?

A drug pusher will administer a small dose of something pure to get a person hooked. The person begins to take higher and higher doses of drugs cut with other lethal poisons. Their life is falling apart, but they can't break away from that initial high of the pure dose, or what's left of it in the cut drug. This goes on until they overdose on a drug that is 90% Drano.

Rubbish. A drug pusher's job is to make his customers happy. Because of the legal status of his trade, a drug pusher is acutely aware of the value of the return custom of loyal customers. No way does a drug pusher cut his product with "other [sic] lethal poisons". It's ridiculous to think that a drug pusher wants to bite—let alone kill—the hand that feeds. Drug dealing is not socialised medicine.

Drug addiction is a lifestyle choice.

Kinsella is an ugly libertarian

Doug Bandler's picture

From Kinsella:

To sum up, the problem with the gay sex decision is that the Constitution did not limit the power of states to enact such laws, nor did it empower the federal government to do anything about it. Further, the Fourteenth Amendment was illegally ratified, and is a bad idea to boot. Finally, using the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to strike down a law banning sodomy requires disingenuous, result-oriented reasoning.

Ugly. But this is inevitable given the current misunderstanding of rights even among libertarians. I think that this Constitutional confusion over the 9th, 10th and 14th Amendments was inevitable given the failure to fully ground and define rights. Rand's exposition on Rights is truly radical and the next great civilization will, in Rand, have intellectual ammunition that our Founding Fathers didn't have.

"So there was SEAL Team 6, and they could have taken bin Laden"

Robert's picture

Could have taken him?!?!?

How? By threatening to tickle him with a large feather if he didn't come quietly? Bah. You don't even know what the tactical situation was.

But let's say that the SEALs always meant to shoot him. So what?

Killing enemy leaders during a war is a time-honored American tradition. Three examples off the top of my head:

(1) Operation Vengeance: in 1943 FDR ordered the death of the enemy admiral (Yamamoto) who conceived the attack on Pearl Harbor. The men of the USAAF's 339th Fighter Squadron obliged.

(2) In 1916, Woodrow Wilson ordered that Francisco “Pancho” Villa be hunted down after he led a number of cross border raids into the US from Mexico. This includes one wherein he led 1,000 men to raze Columbus New Mexico; killing many US citizens - women and children included - in the process. On Wilson's orders, General Pershing led a 10,000 man-force (including a young George Patton) on a year long and fruitless manhunt for the prick. Whilst searching Mexico for him, Pershing took the time to destroy Villa's gang.

(3) The battle of Saratoga in 1777. Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne leads an invasion army from Canada down the Hudson river valley aiming to split the colony of New York in twain.

He encounters Continental fortifications on high ground at Bemis Heights. They are defending a defile on the trail to Albany. To capture Albany, Burgoyne must assault and take those heights. He decides to attack the position's flank and sends a column in a right-hook through Freeman's Farm.

Opposing this movement are light infantry led by Daniel Morgan. Outnumbered and without canon, Morgan repeatedly stalls the British advance; in one instance by ordered his riflemen to kill every British officer leading a British column attempting to force their way through his skirmish line.

Later, the battle develops further around Freeman's Farm; at a critical moment Morgan takes the steam out of a British assault by ordering his men to target the British General (Simon Fraser) leading the attack. To his chosen sniper (Timothy Murphy) Morgan says "That gallant officer is General Fraser. I admire him, but it is necessary that he should die, do your duty." Fraser dies and the British attack stalls.

Morgan's men almost killed Burgoyne too - they put three rounds through his coat and hat without finding flesh. And he was the leader of the British Army attempting to invade America from Canada.

So there is the history. Even before the Constitution was written, men who would rise to lead the country (Morgan was part of George Washington's army) thought nothing of killing the enemy leaders whenever the opportunity presented itself.

And it is only recently that lawyers have argued that such actions constituted 'assassination,' a term that AFAIK used to be reserved for the deliberate targeting of political leaders. Not those directly involved in planning and inspiring military and terrorist attacks.

So enlighten me, how exactly is the death of Osama Bin Laden any different?

Do you imagine that we aren't at war with Al Queada?

Do you imagine that Osama was in retirement?

"I read your answer to mean

atlascott's picture

"I read your answer to mean that the 10th Amendment would allow states to impose a individual mandate to buy a good or service. Is that correct?"

No. Though there are plenty in politics who would like to do so.

"Scott, this is an incredibly dangerous reading of the 10th. The logical extension of this theory is that the states could build walls to keep their citizens in. One of the main reasons Jefferson urged Madison to implement the Bill of Rights (against Madison's initial reticence) were the variable and/or flaws in the protection of individual rights in state constitutions. Jefferson's intent and the Bill of Rights would be rendered null and void if states could simply override any individual rights with a legislative act."

Agreed.

No more time tonight. More later.

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

I am confused by your answer. I read your answer to mean that the 10th Amendment would allow states to impose a individual mandate to buy a good or service. Is that correct?

If this is the case, then no, I do not agree with your interpretation and application of the 10th. The 10th states that *powers* not granted to the feds are reserved for the states and the people, respectively. Legitimate *powers* can only be construed in light of how they protect rights. Construing the 10th to allow states the powers to infringe rights -- like imposing an individual mandate -- sets no limit on the power of state governments.

Scott, this is an incredibly dangerous reading of the 10th. The logical extension of this theory is that the states could build walls to keep their citizens in. One of the main reasons Jefferson urged Madison to implement the Bill of Rights (against Madison's initial reticence) were the variable and/or flaws in the protection of individual rights in state constitutions. Jefferson's intent and the Bill of Rights would be rendered null and void if states could simply override any individual rights with a legislative act.

Indeed, you and Ron Paul are running afoul of the 14th Amendment if you are construing it this way. The substantive due process clause (and the dead-letter Privileges & Immunities clause) of the 14th protect against state infringements on an individual's right to life, liberty and property. Forcing an individual to buy a good or service should be protected under the 14th as a violation of his property and liberty to buy or not buy a good or service. If you do not construe state "powers" in terms of individual rights, the abuse by state governments has no logical limit.

Furthermore, the way Ron Paul construes the 10th, he sets up an inherent conflict with the 14th. He explicitly says so here:

Ron Paul defended the states' rights view. "I would remove jurisdiction from federal courts so the states could immediately do what they want," said Paul. "But when you refer and use the 14th Amendment, it implies that the 14th amendment repealed the Ninth and 10th amendment."

Indeed, his flawed 10th Amendment analysis puts him conflict with the 14th. And he adopts the disastrous position that the 10th supports state government powers to infringe individual rights, thus we seem him exposed naked on the individual mandate issue. Excellent, excellent question by Chris Wallace. He's allowing the states "leeway" to do all kinds of "bad things". I really would like to know how far he permits states to go in piling up infringements of individual rights. Seriously, the guy is extremely dangerous.

And this brings us full-circle to the 14th and "anchor babies". I would be inclined to agree with you, Scott, if Ron Paul did not elsewhere disparage the 14th. See his views on the Texas v. Lawrence case. You know, the case overturning Texas sodomy laws. Ron Paul thinks it is a-ok for the states to enter the bedrooms of gays. He treats the 14th as "imaginary", and defends it on 9th and 10th Amendment grounds. Again, his 10th construction inherently conflicts with the 14th.

Ron Paul's most ardent supporters (i.e. anarchos) have been waging a war against the 14th for years. See here, here (defending the Kelo decision and rejecting the 14th), and here (defending affirmative action and rejecting the 14th).

And that is the standard line for this warped 10th Amendment interpretation. If there is a conflict between individual rights and federal enforcement of those rights against the states, they side with state power and jettison individual rights. Normally, I would not impart their views onto Ron Paul, if Ron Paul had not used the exact same line of reasoning on anchor babies and sodomy laws.

Hmmm

atlascott's picture

"He doesn't say he's against responding to foreign aggression with force. No, he's in favor of attacking individual terrorists, and when we do, he's against that too because of the "rule of law"."

Get it straight. Didn't you JUST accuse Paul of saying that he is against responding to foreign aggression with force?

Didn't Pakistan cooperate with us when we captured Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- the mastermind behind 9/11 and other terror attacks?

"He was captured on March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan by Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, and transferred to U.S. custody. In March 2007, he confessed to masterminding the September 11 attacks, the Richard Reid shoe bombing attempt to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic Ocean, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and various foiled attacks. He was charged in February 2008 with war crimes and murder by a U.S. military commission and faces the death penalty if convicted." (Wikipedia)

He was on the lam, was captured, and was tried and has become a non-threat. And HE is not a US citizen.

So there was SEAL Team 6, and they could have taken bin Laden and interrogated him and got valuable intel. And instead, they just popped him in the head.

And there was our drone missile launch area, identifying Awlaki's location down to the particular room. And instead of capturing him, trying him, and getting intel, which was so useful in the Mohammed situation, we killed him.

Ron Paul is right - this change in policy is shooting us right down the rabbit hole of tyrrany.

Not too nice

atlascott's picture

First, shame on you for comparing Ron Paul to a drug dealer.

Second, here is the most dramatic flaw in your thinking here.

"Ron Paul, if nothing else, is a master at this method. Notice how he frames his answers. He doesn't come right out and say killing bin Laden or al-Awlaki is a bad thing. No, he is concerned about "the rule of law" and the "assassination of American citizens". Some people swallow it."

See, the PROBLEM is that you and I and American citizens are SUPPOSED to care about the rule of law and the assassination of American citizens. Ron Paul does. That's why he talks about what he does. Do you REALLY think that Paul think Osama or Awlaki were nice men? Of course not! But you do not sacrifice the rule of law for the expediency of the moment. Doing so is what creeps like Rahm Emmanuel and Saul Alinsky preach - never waste a crisis. Are Objectivists NOT supposed to be pragmatists? Aren't Objectivists SUPPOSED to adhere to principle?

Evidently, not on this issue, and not on this website when discussing the Republican Anti-christ! Lol!

But, I am glad that you brought up the Awlaki killing (another American citizen was also killed in the drone attack). Here is the text of the 5th Amendment:

"Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Where does it say that citizens lose their protections when overseas? Or when it is inconvenient to criminally prosecute them? both of these reasons have been advanced by you previously to suggest that the killings were Constitutional. They were not.

Your best argument here was when you pointed out that Paul DID vote for AUMFAT (Authorization for use of Military Force Against Terrorists). If you read the text of the resolution, you see that it really gives the President some broad powers to pick targets. Discretion to kill at will, really, with no oversight.

"That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

Now we could argue about whether the President had information to put Awlaki in the group set for force. But that would be speculation, and it would not matter because there is nothing in this resolution which requires any screening or procedural safeguards (very similar to the Patriot Act, I might add). Notably absent is a prohibition against taking action against American citizens.

I believe that it is a rule in statutory construction and interpretation that you read a rule which is silent on a particular issue as in accord wit superior law. In other words, you assume that the drafter understood that the resolution is inferior to the US Constitution.

And under this analysis, yes, the killing was unConstitutional.

Now, Ron Paul voted for the resolution, and that's too bad. It was probably not consistent with his values as I understand them, but I freely admit that I do not know everything about him.

But why should that matter? You WOULD have voted for the resolution!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Saying that Ron Paul is wrong on foreign policy and wrong about wanting to reduce the size of our military and stop fighting wars of aggression by definition means that you are then FOR those things.

Supporting those things requires my tax money and the blood and wealth of my countrymen -- vastly more than would be required under Paul's excellent logical and just policy. And that is before we cut the $50 billion + we spend on foreign aid every year.

So it is not a "straw man" to suggest that if you reject the logic of Paul's foreign policy, that you then ought to answer for how you plan on continuing to finance such an expensive operation. I did not see an answer as to this point from you, other than your calling it a straw man and moving on.

It isn't a straw man. Even if we disagree on proper foreign policy, if yours costs citizens their sons and their tax dollars, I think that it is a reasonable question to ask.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I hate playing defense here for two reasons: one, it is light lifting for you to Google criticisms and post them, and then the presumption, I guess, is that if I do not debunk them, I have ceded ground. I reject that analysis and that burden.

The truth is, many on this site have already made up their minds on Ron Paul, and nothing is going to change that.

Second, I really do not have time to do it. Honestly, I don't.

But it really irks me, because I will admit that he has a long uphill battle to have even a chance to be POTUS (and likely will not, lets face it), but he does not deserve to be the subject of scorn and name calling that he is getting. The guy is a very decent man and a patriot who truly cares about American and the rule of law and the Constitution. He deserves more from his fellow liberty lovers than scorn, derision and name calling.

Finally, I will leave you with this, a brilliant summary of Dr. Paul's foreign policy:

[~From the Paul Campaign Website~]

If you hit someone and kill their family, they will hate you and probably hit you back in the future.

That’s what blowback is all about. It seems like such a simple concept, but many of Ron Paul’s former opponents for the Presidency vehemently denied its validity.

They professed that what our military does abroad has no effect on how the citizens of the world feel towards us. Rudy Giuliani in particular believed that the 9/11 terrorists hated our wealth and freedom so intensely that they sacrificed their lives to prove it. (Of course, our government bombing their countries, propping up their dictators and supplying their enemies with money and weapons had nothing to do with it.)

Instead of securing our borders, we’ve been planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression. Within a few short years, we turned Iraq into the world’s leading breeding ground for terrorists. Our military is spread thin all across the planet, yet we remain involved in dangerous power plays that unnecessarily put the lives of our soldiers at risk. And we brazenly squandered the wealth of our nation as if there were no tomorrow.

It doesn’t make any sense unless you consider increasing the profits of the military-industrial complex to be in the “national interest”, no matter what the cost to the rest of us may be.

America first. That is what Ron Paul‘s national defense proposal is all about. And with America he means all Americans, not just the elite. If elected President, Ron Paul will continue his efforts to secure our borders, hunt down the 9/11 terrorist planners (who are still at large), safely withdraw our troops from Iraq and other countries around the world, and finally overhaul the intelligence apparatus in cooperation with intelligence professionals rather than political opportunists.

Ron Paul loves America. He is one of the very few true patriots left in Washington who are actively working on protecting our freedoms, our lives and our dignity.

Hi Michael

atlascott's picture

Very busy day at work, so I apologize for the curt previous responses.

"How much "leeway" do the states have to do "bad things", Scott? Can states build walls to keep their citizens in? You tell me."

States have as much leeway to do "bad things" as their citizens allow them, within the bounds of the Federal and State Constitutions.

Either you are serious about the 10th Amendment, or you are not.

Constitutional law has transformed the Commerce Clause into a catch-all. Essentially, per SCOTUS, the Feds can regulate everything, now.

I do not think that is a correct interpretation of the Constitution, and is an example of what I have described before: policy decisions made based upon desired outcome, and "reasoned" back to the Constitution, which is contorted into a meaningless pretzel.

I know it is rhetorical, but no, I cannot think of a State which would pass a law walling itself off. Nor would doing so pass State Constitutional muster, and definitely not Federal muster under current Commerce Clause interpretation. Article V and the 4th Amendment might come into play, as well.

Ron Paul is 100% correct here, and I cannot imagine why you or any reasonable person would have a problem with it.

As to the 14th Amendment, your argument is a bit disingenuous. Ron Paul takes issue with only that portion of the 14th Amendment which allows illegal "anchor" babies to be citizens. Is he the only Republican who holds this view? Is he wrong? You seem to suggest Paul does not support the 14th Amendment in its entirety, and that is plain wrong.

Ron Paul does not support government tyrrany, period. Shame on you for suggesting otherwise. I think you know better, but you are trying to "win". It makes this exchange less than it ought to be.

Doug

Michael Moeller's picture

I agree wholeheartedly about the philosophical rationalism. There are a few notable exceptions among libertarians, such as Randy Barnett, but they are becoming rarer and rarer by the moment. The loud-mouth anarchos are vile beyond words. I can't even stand to read the more moderate Cato and Reason people anymore. Every time I check out their sites, the reasoning is so poor I end up doubting if I will ever return. The articles are populated with cynicism and/or mealy-mouthed defenses that accept their opponents' premises. The Hayekian model, if you will.

In this debate with Scott and watching Stossel defend Ron Paul on O'Reilly last night, I had a significant insight into Ron Paul's method. That is, how this con artist is able to swindle otherwise decent and rational people. I mean, there Stossel was defending Paul's statements about how it was "fine" for Iran to get a nuke. He was arguing how we should offer them trade instead and how they don't have missiles to reach the US and on and on. Ludicrous.

The Drug-Pusher Method.

A drug pusher will administer a small dose of something pure to get a person hooked. The person begins to take higher and higher doses of drugs cut with other lethal poisons. Their life is falling apart, but they can't break away from that initial high of the pure dose, or what's left of it in the cut drug. This goes on until they overdose on a drug that is 90% Drano.

Similarly, Ron Paul gives people a taste of free market economics. It is increasing cut with greater and greater doses of downright absurdity. Their political philosophy is falling apart around them, but they crave certain aspects of the pure drug, or what's left of it (Audit the Fed!). Then they overdose on 90% lunacy.

Ron Paul, if nothing else, is a master at this method. Notice how he frames his answers. He doesn't come right out and say killing bin Laden or al-Awlaki is a bad thing. No, he is concerned about "the rule of law" and the "assassination of American citizens". Some people swallow it.

He does not say he will doing nothing about Iran. Rather, it is our fault for installing the Shah in 1953 and the fact that we are "over there". He doesn't say he supports their acts of aggression, but it's a "blowback" result of our earlier foreign policy.

He doesn't say he's against responding to foreign aggression with force. No, he's in favor of attacking individual terrorists, and when we do, he's against that too because of the "rule of law".

Look at his answer to Chris Wallace. He is at great pains to avoid stating he thinks it valid for states to force an individual to buy a good or service. No, he tries to paper over that conclusion by pointing to the evil of the federal government doing it. Then he throws in some crumbs about the free market to pretend he hasn't said what he just said.

Next thing you know, you're on TV rationalizing doing nothing about Iran getting a nuke and pretending like it's no big deal if they do.

Lesson: kids, stay off drugs.

Michael - Pure KASS

Doug Bandler's picture

So a quick summary for you, Scott. He would withdraw the military from all areas around the globe. He would not attack first, no matter how imminent or credible the threat. He wants "free trade" with Castro and Iran. If attacked, he has shown he has no interest in attacking nation-states. He has shown he will vote for measures against individual terrorists, but then will go back on his own vote and condemn any action against them as unconstitutional. How does this all add up re Ron Paul using our troops to defend America on foreign lands, or even defend it at all?

Yes to all of this. What this shows is the fundamental problem with libertarianism: philosophic rationalism. Its just like Peter Schwartz argued: the libertarians take "liberty" and divorce it of any context. And I have become convinced that it is this out of context "love of liberty and freedom" which has destroyed libertarianism and the legacy of Classical Liberalism and resulted in the dominance of the American Right by the Conservative movement. Conservatism seems sane compared to the gross stupidity of libertarianism. Ron Paul is a case study in just how dangerous libertarians are. Hell, Paul makes Obama look sane and hawkish!! Which means that in many ways the libertarians are worse than the Left.

And Objectivists are lumped together with libertarians. How that breaks my heart.

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

Each one of those positions I outlined are Ron Paul's positions. You can quickly google each one of them. Please correct the ones you think I got wrong. Hell, I even quoted him directly from a Republican debate not more than 1 month ago. Do you agree with his answer? That is, do you agree that a state can force an individual to buy a good, like healthcare?

Too funny

Michael Moeller's picture

While Goode accuses me of bad faith, he actually has the audacity to bring up a previous thread in which his bad faith is exposed threadbare. It starts here where he obstinately refuses to answer questions directly, like always. Of course he doesn't like my questions because, as the answers were eventually teased out, Goode is caught red-handed in a maze of contradictions and logical fallacies. When it comes to logic and Goode, never the twain shall meet.

Then we have this thread as another prime example. Check out his answer to Linz's question, which gave me a great, big belly laugh. First Goode agrees with Ron Paul that the US should "think hard about 'assassinating American citizens without charges'". Then he turns right around and quotes himself: "Shoot first, answer questions later". Apparently, Goode's definition of "thinking hard" about an action includes simply acting and then considering the consequences after the fact. Oh well, nobody expects Goode to be consistent.

And this still does not answer the essential dispute. Goode is taking the "safe" position and straddling the fence by sharing Ron Paul's concern for assassinating an American citizen, which al-Awlaki is, but also saying al-Awlaki had it coming. Oh. How about Goode take a stance on Ron Paul's position that al-Awlaki's killing "flouts the law"? This is the controversy over Ron Paul's statements, not the broad generalization that people should be worried about killing another American. The other American, in this case, is a top al-Qaeda commander located in another country and at war with America. What is Goode's stance on the legality of killing him? I've asked him twice, and he has not answered, as usual.

Earlier, Goode also said the fact that Gitmo is located in Guantanamo Bay and not Pearl Harbor "speaks for itself", thus parrotting the line that Gitmo was used to avoid US jurisdiction. Yet, somebody with actual knowledge of the subject, points out to him how this is false. Not only could the US simply put him in place like Bagram where there is no judicial dispute re the detainee's detention, but rather putting them in Gitmo actually opened the door to judicial action because of territorial status (See Boumedienne). Caught not knowing what he is talking about, his "speaks for itself" quickly changed to "I don't know nor care".

Move on to the next topic! That is, refer to me with pejorative m-words and accuse me of bad faith. Stunning, stunning intellectual ability.

Richard Goode is a very, very sick individual.

Wow

atlascott's picture

"True, he is against a federal government that is tyrannical, but apparently has no problem with tyranny as long as it is on the state level."

You could not be more incorrect. I am not going to correct you. You'll have to read Ron Paul and do some corrective reconsideration for yourself.

I enjoy math

atlascott's picture

But this calculation is for you to complete.

This time, try to use accurate inputs to the equation. In other words, you are distorting Dr. Pauls' positions. Again.

And where you get his positions correct, you are wrong in condemning his positions.

I get it. You have some poorly supported and inaccurate reasons for disliking Ron Paul enough to call him a liar, etc.

And Scott...

Michael Moeller's picture

Let's dispense with the false alternative/strawman arguments. Eg., If you do not support Ron Paul, you in favor of a "large, militaristic government" that acts as the world's policemen. Um, no. People are against Ron Paul because his foreign policy is sheer lunacy for the reasons already spelled out.

And believe me, it does not end there. His warped 10th Amendment/states' rights stance causes him to advocate policies anathema to individual liberty. See here from three debates ago:

Wallace: Congressman Paul, you are a constitutional expert, and you talk a lot about the Constitution. What do you think of this argument, that the state has a constitutional right to make someone buy a good or service just because they're a resident, not because they're driving and need a driver's license, but just the fact that they are a resident?

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas: No, the way I understand the Constitution, the federal government can't go in and prohibit the states from doing bad things. And I would consider that a very bad thing, but you don't send in a federal police force because they're doing it and throw them in a court. So they do have that leeway under our Constitution.

But we have big trouble in this medical care problem. And we have drifted so far from any of our care being delivered by the marketplace. And once you get the government involved -- and both parties have done it. They've developed a bit of a medical care delivery system based on corporatism. The corporations are doing quite well, whether it's Obama or under the Republicans.

The drug companies do well. The insurance companies do well. The organized medicine do well. The management companies do well. The patient and the doctors suffer. There's a wedge. Every time you have the government get in here with these regulations, and have these mandates, there's a wedge driven in between the doctor and the patient. We have to get the people more control of their care, and that's why these medical savings accounts could at least introduce the notion of market delivery of medical care.

So Ron Paul does not support the federal government involved in healthcare, but the states can "do bad things", like impose an individual mandate. So what happens to his talk of a free market when an individual state, like Massachusetts, imposes an healthcare individual mandate? Poof, gone.

How much "leeway" do the states have to do "bad things", Scott? Can states build walls to keep their citizens in? You tell me.

This is fully consistent with Ron Paul's views on such things as the 14th Amendment, which he is against. You know, the amendment that incorporates the Bill of Rights and enforces them against the states? You in favor of that, Scott?

True, he is against a federal government that is tyrannical, but apparently has no problem with tyranny as long as it is on the state level.

Michael

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

Draw out the full logic of his positions, please. Sorry for not elaborating more, but I just didn't have the time yesterday to spell out the full position.

He doesn't support preemptive war. First, if you agree that the Constitution supports US military action where a nation presents a clear and present danger, but has not yet struck, then he is blowing smoke about the constitutionality of his position. What does Ron Paul propose? Have a dirty bomb take out part of Manhattan before he decides to act?

Does that sit well with you, Scott?

So I suppose your question is whether I am overstating my case by claiming that he would not use American troops in foreign lands. Of course he is not going to come right out and say that, but let's look at the sum total of his positions.

First, he advocates pulling out of every country across the globe, which immediately puts all the troops within our borders. We know he is not going to act preemptively. After all, he thinks it is "fine" for Iran to get a nuclear bomb. He would have us withdraw and/or end our support for places like Taiwan, Israel, and South Korea. The imbecile has gone so far as to say that North and South Korea should reunite.

The man does not even support economic sanctions on rogue nations. He wants to end the embargo with Cuba. He wants to trade with Iran and help prop them up longer than Iran could otherwise exist.

Therefore, in each and every case where America faces a rogue regime, he supports no action, not even economic sanctions.

So what about the case where America is attacked? Thankfully, we have precedent for how Ron Paul would respond.

America was attacked on 9/11, and Ron Paul did support the AUMF against terrorists. Ron Paul actually had his own legislative proposal on the matter where he would NOT attack any nation-states involved in supporting or harboring terrorists, but rather individual terrorists. Yet, he condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden. He condemned the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Therefore, not only would Ron Paul not support military action against nations funding/supporting terrorism, when the chips were down, he went back on even his own vote to kill individual terrorists. He condemned them as unconstitutional, even though he voted for it. How, on God's green earth, could this man possibly trusted to strike against a nation that attacks America?

So a quick summary for you, Scott. He would withdraw the military from all areas around the globe. He would not attack first, no matter how imminent or credible the threat. He wants "free trade" with Castro and Iran. If attacked, he has shown he has no interest in attacking nation-states. He has shown he will vote for measures against individual terrorists, but then will go back on his own vote and condemn any action against them as unconstitutional. How does this all add up re Ron Paul using our troops to defend America on foreign lands, or even defend it at all?

You do the math.

Full Circle

atlascott's picture

I have noted elsewhere, even on this site, that it is amazing to me that after Dr. Peikoff calls for support of the Democrats because the "greatest threat" to America is the GOP religious right - the consensus on this site was that this was error, and the Progressive Democrats were the larger danger.

Now, orthodox Objectivism seems to be allied with Christian Conservative Republicans along with the consensus of those on this site. Forgotten are the issues of how inimical Christian Conservatives and orthodox Objectivism are to issues of personal liberty dear to many on this site for the most personal of reasons.

Remarkably, it is foreign policy which seems to be uniting these strange bedfellows.

They are united against Democrats (good) and also against Republicans, libertarians and Tea Partiers who raise the issue of the propriety of America's disasterous foreign policy, whose cost in dollars and blood we can ill afford.

They call Ron Paul: stupid, lunatic, traitor, deluded -- the list goes on and on -- for making the ~same~ observation Ayn Rand demands of each of us -- giving heed to the operation of cause and effect and accepting consequence and reality and changing our behavior when the outcome does not suit -- and by accepting the conclusion that a primary cause of antipathy towards the United States is quite simply -- blowback --a CIA term -- meaning that our costly and meddling foreign policy has unintended consequences. Our puppet government in Iran led directly to the Iran Hostage Crisis. This is what blowback means. It does not mean that anyone is morally blaming the victim of that crisis or of the terrible tragedy of 9/11. Every historian understands that there is always a "why" -- yet Objectivists and Christian Conservatives seem to have forgotten this elementary fact, or are ignoring it. They prefer, it seems, to bury their head in the sand and forget thousands of years of human civilization and the fundaments of human psychology.

The evidence is vastly to the contrary regarding Paul and his capacities. Ron Paul has been given the moniker "Dr. No" because for years, he has been a lone, sane voice of reason in Congress. He has written books clearly and plainly laying out his POSITIONS on issues, and why he holds them. This is very differnt than an Obama, Clinton or Palin inspirational book about how wonderful they are. Ron Paul lives in the world of ideas. He sees the problems and has educated himself and thought through real solutions. Liberty lovers comparing their important view with Dr. Paul would find a well-informed and principled ally in virtually every, or at least most, cases.

Remarkably, the anti-Paul Bloc are united in support of a large, militaristic government, a necessary consequence of their preferred "America as world policeman" foreign policy. A large, expensive standing army. Occupation of foreign military bases all over the place. The use of American troops as occupying force/police force. The Patriot Act and other such legislation which accelerates the destruction of the American experience manifestly and culturally -- by turning Americans into compliant herd animals willing to be searched and monitored and poked and prodded at a bureaucrat's whim.

It is heartening to see the multi-front attack, because it means that Ron Paul's message -- and the Tea Party's true message -- is sinking in. A large paternalistic government which monitors and assassinates its citizens at Executive whim and no review with a large standing army with occupying forces the world over is not he vision the Founding Fathers had, and it is an America we cannot afford, either in dollars or in the blood of our young men and women.

The simple fact is: one cannot stand FOR individual rights AND such abominations as the Patriot Act and the infrastructure necessary to occupy other nations, fight wars of aggression and keep military bases all over the world. Doing so is also too costly, meaning no true lover of liberty would countenance the confiscation of private productivity needed to support the military-industrial complex.

Yet this is the illogical tightrope many on this site have decided to walk -- accepting soundbites for real understanding of Ron Paul's foreign policy. It is a tightrope over a deep chasm, and one end is not tied off.

We owe our citizens the opportunity for them to prosper. We owe our friends, friendship and trade. We owe our military men and women safety and should risk their lives only when necessary - which means no more wars of aggression, and no more occupation and nation building and police actions. We owe other nations respect for their sovereignty and justice when they do not respect ours.

This is the vision of America Ron Paul stands for.

I am foolish

atlascott's picture

I actually try to answer questions and raise those whose answers convince me of my position.

I always thought that being direct and simple in communications in a sincere desire to understand and compare positions and ideas was how you efficiently communicate.

Psychology is so interesting to me.

Iran has Slayer

Richard Goode's picture

America's leaders must think hard about their foreign policy priorities. Am I wrong, or is Iran today a clear and present danger?

Iran ALREADY has Slayer. We must NOT let them acquire nuclear capability. That, to me, just screams "Death!" LOL.

Got the Filth?

Richard Goode's picture

You're a moving target, Michael.

As I said a few months back, on the Got the Filth! thread

Michael's questions mutate faster than stories from the White House. And they multiply. If I answer them selectively, will they evolve?

Doug

Richard Goode's picture

Its becoming apparent that the only things that libertarians are really good for is economics (if they are VonMiseans) otherwise they are a massive liability for the spread of Objectivism.

Linz is a libertarian, don't you know? New Zealand's #1 libertarian, in fact. He was a founding member of, the first leader of, and most successful vote-deliverer for the Libertarianz Party. He's really good for much, much more than economics. And

otherwise they are a massive liability for the spread of Objectivism.

Linz, a massive liability for the spread of Objectivism?! Hahaha! Objectivism is a massive liability for the spread of Objectivism, with or without Linz's or anyone else's help or hindrance.

So, watch your language. And mind your grammar, please. It's "it's", not "its".

What should America's leaders do?

Richard Goode's picture

I agree with Scott that we need

some procedural protection against wanton government violence against its citizenry. Without SOME procedural protection, government agents do what they want. Witness the KNOWN abuses of the Patriot Act which stand unmentioned and uncorrected.

I agree with Ron Paul that America's leaders must think hard about "assassinating American citizens without charges."

And having thought hard about what to do about an American citizen who directly advocates and inspires the assassination en masse of American citizens without charges, what should America's leaders do?

Goblinite Baade of course won't say.

I haven't said, explicitly. But I have said, on this thread

Nice guy. He had it coming.

and, elsewhere on SOLO (on closely related topics),

Shoot first, answer questions later.

under the circumstances... we could find the bastard and lovingly shoot him

it's imperative that we have bigger guns than than the Islamic Jihadists.

I think America's leaders should have done

Exactly what Obama did do, that's what.

I think Obama's greatest strength is foreign policy. He does what has to be done, and only what has to be done. He doesn't beat about the bush.

He beats Bush. Got the Filth!?

Michael the Mephitic

Richard Goode's picture

You're a moving target, Michael.

Of course, he is.

Bad faith, nebulised.

Andrew McCarthy from NRO link

Doug Bandler's picture

Andrew McCarthy from NRO weighs in on the Awlaki affair. McCarthy is one of the better writers at NRO. He gets Islam. He is also a lawyer and, I believe, was a prosecutor in the trial of the 1993 Trade Center bombers.

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

He makes some of the same points made here by Michael (I recommend following him regularly for good commentary on all things Islam related and good commentary in general). He cites the 2004 Hamdi ruling. Also, if you read through the comments you will see that it is the libertarians that are against the killing of Awlaki and they are, as usual, making asses of themselves. Its becoming apparent that the only things that libertarians are really good for is economics (if they are VonMiseans) otherwise they are a massive liability for the spread of Objectivism. I can see why Peikoff, Brook and the ARI avoid libertarians but speak at Conservative forums. There are sane Conservatives. There really aren't any sane libertarians.

Also see these:

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

Moving Target

atlascott's picture

You're a moving target, Michael.

For example, (just one because that's all the time I have)

You go from this:

"The problem Paul has is that he doesn't recognize America's right to self-defense against foreign aggressors in foreign territories."

to this

"Here is Ron Paul on preemptive war. Scott, he has categorically denied such action, no matter how imminent or credible the threat. This is a good distance from the general constitutional standard that the US can assert it's right to self-defense where another nation represents a clear and present danger."

First, they are not the same thing. Second, where does this "general constitutional standard" come from? Not from the pages of the US Constitution.

As to where SCOTUS grants equivalence between Congressionally authorized violence and Declaring War, it does so in the very case you cited.

You have some ax to grind here against Dr. Paul. You've proven that.

What you have not addressed are Dr. Paul's position on any of this, instead relying on the desire to assume that his is dumb, dishonest or clueless. In fact his record shows that he is a good principled man and a patriot.

That said, my opinion is that his vote for AUMF against terrorists is contrary to his position on declaring war.

Doug

Michael Moeller's picture

No problem.

An Inconvenient Truth

Michael Moeller's picture

Well, this might help explain some things. I did a little digging on the votes for the AUMF. AUMF generally refers to two resolutions, one authorizing military action in Iraq and another authorizing the use of force against terrorists. I looked up the vote, and Ron Paul voted against the Iraq resolution. But lo and behold, Ron Paul voted in favor of the use of force against terrorists, including those organizations responsible for the attacks on 9/11.

Um, didn't al-Qaeda plan and execute the attacks 9/11 attacks and isn't al-Awlaki a senior commander? So what is Ron Paul doing blathering about the unconstitutionality of the al-Awlaki assassination when he, Ron Paul himself, voted to authorize the use of force against al-Qaeda and its operatives? Might be a good question to ask him when he starts grumbling about the lack of Congressional authority and veering off into the War Powers Act.

Oh wait, he's too busy floating the possibility of impeachment for the al-Awlaki assassination. Yes, Ron Paul wants to know how -- in killing al-Awlaki -- the Obama administration "flouted the law". Ron Paul could call himself as a witness during the impeachment process and perhaps ask who was that 'Ron Paul' guy that voted for using force against al-Qaeda.

What a jerk.

Michael

Doug Bandler's picture

Thanks for filling in the legal details. Ron Paul is even worse than I thought.

More Points...

Michael Moeller's picture

Smear the man? It's all his own doing.

Let's get the facts straight, here. Ron Paul is not saying the AUMF was unconstitutional and SCOTUS is wrong with their standard. Per your own quote, the buffoon is running around stating that the president is acting without Congressional authority (false, see 2002 AUMF), and then goes on to cite the 1973 War Powers Act (?!?). Since when has the Bush Administration or the Obama Administration used the War Powers Act to justify Iraq/Afghanistan once the AUMF was put in place, pray tell?

Is Ron Paul unaware of this fact, even though he served in Congress when the AUMF was passed?

So tell me again how it is not disingenuous of him to bleet about the lack of Congressional authority and the War Powers Act? Best case: he's asleep at the wheel and ignorant of Congressional legislation that occurred on his watch. Worst case: he's lying through his teeth.

Here is Ron Paul on preemptive war. Scott, he has categorically denied such action, no matter how imminent or credible the threat. This is a good distance from the general constitutional standard that the US can assert it's right to self-defense where another nation represents a clear and present danger.

Really?

Michael Moeller's picture

"SCOTUS says authorizing police actions is equivalent to Declaring War"

Where does SCOTUS say that?

Incorrect

atlascott's picture

"The problem Paul has is that he doesn't recognize America's right to self-defense against foreign aggressors in foreign territories."

Cite that. You are making unsupported guesses to smear the man.

Just because he doesn't support occupation and police action does not mean he will not fight when necessary. Folks too often just seem to always find a good reason for another use of our military. Another reason to reduce its size. And once you are no longer adhering to a foreign policy guided by individualism and respect for the sovereignty of other nations, occupation and wars of aggression can always be justified, can't they?

"The US "occupied" France and Germany during WWII, does that invalidate the declaration of war? "

France was occupied by the Germans. The Allies invaded German-occupied France with the permission of the remaining French government in 1944, and the war was over in 1945. In fact, the entire war only lasted 6 years, with lower technology, slower troop movement and in an action involving virtually the entire world.

Compare that to what we have in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 10 years. Wow. We toppled their governments right away - in way less than a year. But we stayed. We rebuilt. We installed their government. We police their elections. WE friggin have our Marines patrol house to house. Absolute lunacy. Not a war of defense, which is the only kind of war a moral nation should fight. And it is paradoxically THOSE immoral and ill-conceived actions -- which were also unConstitutional since they do not comprise War but rather empire building -- that have resulted in the vast expenditures of money and lives that we can no longer afford. Very few Americans died invading and conquering these countries. Trillion of dollars and thousands of lives have been forfeit because otherwise very smart Americans cannot grok the distinction between Declaring War and authorizing a vague use of military force.

We DID invade Germany, basically in 1945, the same year the war ended. And then, the vast majority of our troops came home. And the Nazis got trials, didn't they? We didn't just shoot them everywhere they were found. They were tried and killed where appropriate.

You do not seriously accept the premise that our current military adventure is the same in its essentials to fighting WWII, do you? It seems that way, since you brought it up.

No, what we have in Afghanistan is a Vietnam-style patrol and police action, except in mountains and steppes and desert rather than jungle.

No coincidence that WWII was the fruit of a Declaration of War and Vietnam and these are "authorizations of the use of military force" - whatever that means.

Re: Ron Paul and use of military troops in foreign countries

darren's picture

Would Ron Paul never use troops in foreign countries -- no matter how much of an imminent and lethal threat

Of course not. Because Paul believes that all such threats must by definition be examples of blowback for earlier wrongs committed by the US.

"Don't you find his

atlascott's picture

"Don't you find his statements disingenuous?"

No, because it is clear in my mind that he does not believe that what Congress is doing is Declaring War.

He believes that Congress is authorizing police action, not Declaring War. SCOTUS says authorizing police actions is equivalent to Declaring War.

Ron Paul does not agree with this analysis, and neither do I. And the consequences of acting as world police are clear as compared to the limited duration and focus of a Declared War.

Now, it is true that the decision-makers in Congress are the ones who keep us embroiled in these conflicts, regardless of what they are called. The Founding Father certainly didn't want us to be embroiled in police actions all over the globe as we are. But I guess Congress could "Declare War" everyplace misguided people want to have America embroiled in conflicts where we do not belong. But I think -- and I believe that Ron Paul would agree -- that the act of Declaring War has more gravity, and it would cause more Congressmen to think about what we are doing and how we are spending resources (lives and money).

SCOTUS can uphold the equivalence, and you can agree, if you like. To Ron Paul, and many who agree with him, there is a distinction with important consequences.

So, no, I think Ron Paul is neither absurd, disingenuous, or any of the other stuff.

What is absurd and disingenuous are all of the other folks on stage with him, who are full participants in the corruption of big government and bad governance, who are now all on the Tea Party bandwagon of smaller government and "change" - they stand for no such thing. Status quo. Whereas Ron Paul stands for a return to Constitutionally limited powers, or at least the attempt to do so.

Re: declaration of war

darren's picture

there needs to be a Declaration of War under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution for a war to be Constitutional.

Article I, Section 8 merely says that congress shall have the power to declare war; it doesn't lay out specifically in what form the declaration must be made. As soon as congress voted to allow president Bush the right to invade Iraq, that approval was the declaration. Only far lefties like Kerry claimed surprise and dismay when Bush actually proceeded with the invasion, despite the fact that Kerry himself voted in favor of such approval. If Ron Paul believes that POTUS must actually say in front of TV cameras "I hereby declare war on Iraq" then he has misinterpreted the Constitution.

Paul and others seem to have in mind the sort of statement that FDR made in front of news cameras after Pearl Harbor when he declared war on Japan ("Last night, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Last night, the Japanese attacked Guam. Last night, the Japanese attacked . . . "). It's rhetorically very florid and pretty, but unnecessary from the point of view of the Constitution.

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

For the second time, I do not disagree with Ron Paul just because SCOTUS reasoned so. I disagree because SCOTUS's reasoning is correct.

Ron Paul is being irresponsible, to say the least. He's running around stating that the president is acting without Congressional authority and bleeting about the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act was not used to justify the wars. For Christ's sake, the guy was serving in Congress when Congress authorized the use of military force in Iraq. Did he fall asleep during the vote? Furthermore, whether Ron Paul disagrees with SCOTUS or not, it is well-established -- with the last decision coming during the Vietnam war -- what the standards for the declaration of war are.

So why is he running around clamoring about the president acting unilaterally and without Congressional authority? Don't you find his statements disingenuous?

On the contrary, authorizing and funding a war is precisely what Congress is authorized to do since their Article I powers include controlling the purse strings and the declaration of war. Funding the war is a very important check on the President's power as Commander-in-Chief, as Congress can pull the plug if they think the president has exceeded his authority.

Let me touch on a few of your other points. AUMF was not a "blanket authorization of the use of force". One could argue that the term "terrorists" is overly broad, but al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are not state-actors (besides the AUMF granting the use of force against states who do harbor such terrorists).

And calling it "on-going" or an "occupation" does not invalidate a declaration of war. Every war is indefinite in duration when declared as nobody knows when it will be won, and a time limit is not a requirement. Furthermore, "occupation" is one of Ron Paul's buzzwords meant to divert attention from his underlying premises. The US "occupied" France and Germany during WWII, does that invalidate the declaration of war? When asserting the right to self-defense against foreign aggressors, it will be necessary to enter their lands. SO??? Would Ron Paul never use troops in foreign countries -- no matter how much of an imminent and lethal threat -- because such action constitutes "occupation"?

The problem Paul has is that he doesn't recognize America's right to self-defense against foreign aggressors in foreign territories. And that's why the man will never be president, thank Galt!

A duck is a duck

atlascott's picture

I would prefer they call a Declaration of War a Declaration of War for the reasons previously discussed.

It would also prevent the description of military actions as anything less than Declared War. Why NOT make it clear if it is in fact a declared war? 3 simple words "Declaration of War"?

I'd also like to see foreign policy more in line with what the Founding Fathers described, copiously, in their writings, rather than this costly exercise in Empire we have going now.

But, you do have a point. Article II Section 2 DOES say "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States..." so the Executive has a part to play in war.

And the Constitution is silent on the grounds for war. So, there was a vote, and funding. Why not just Declare War? Would have saved SCOTUS some time and effort.

Ron Paul's point about a Declaration of War being pointed and defined cannot be ignored. It seems to me that a blanket "authorization of force" is just sort of an ongoing mess, which is a hallmark of most American military adventures since WWII -- the last "declared" war, if memory serves.

I think Ron Paul is correct in this regard -- authorizing and funding military force is not what Congress is authorized to do. Congress may authorize a war -- not authorize an ongoing military occupation that in no way resembles war -- which is what we have in the Middle East right now.

So he has a point, and if you cede your reasoning capacity to SCOTUS's word on Constitutionality, then I can understand why his position may appear to be absurd.

But I disagree, and so do an awful lot of other people. The man has a very, very good point.

"Extrajudicial" Killing

Michael Moeller's picture

No, Scott, al-Awlaki's killing was not done by Executive Order. The president was specifically authorized by Congress in 2002 to use military force against Al Qaeda and its operatives.

To be "extrajudicial", the act must be outside legal authority, and here it is not. And to your point about al-Awlaki being an American citizen, what case or law stipulates that an American citizen waging war on foreign soil must be afforded all the privileges of a criminal defendant in America? I am well-acquainted with the legal history on this topic (i.e. the laws of war), and there is none. You might have a case if he were on American soil, but he is not.

And for good reason this is not a requirement, as asserting jurisdiction in territories that are not sovereign US territory is just a bit difficult. For instance, Scott, should Obama first have gone to a neutral magistrate and presented evidence of probable cause to get a search warrant? How about an arrest warrant? Even though Yemen is a foreign country where the jurisdiction of the courts do not reach? Sounds like that would be "extrajudicial". After all, these would be a requirement under criminal law.

Should al-Awlaki have been Mirandized -- another requirement under criminal procedure? Should he have been granted full legal counsel? You get the point.

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

I would have a problem with a SCOTUS decision IF they exceeded their constitutional authority. Indeed, that is not the case here.

How is it, that you and Ron Paul argue that the president acted alone or exceeded his authority when Congress DID grant the use of force? To authorize him to use force AND to fund it is not enough for you? What if Congress said we "declare war", and then refuse to fund it -- would you find that constitutional?

Where in the Constitution does it say Congress has to use the words "declare war"?!?! It doesn't, however inconvenient that may be for Ron Paul. The Constitution says that Congress has the power to declare war, but does not state the specifics of what a declaration of war must consist of, which, of course, has to be interpreted by SCOTUS. So, again, Ron Paul is either ignorant of the legislative history and the well-established precedent for declaring war, or the guy is spinning falsehoods to suit his own agenda.

Do you not find Congress authorizing the use of military force and funding it to be adequate for what constitutes a declaration of war? Seems reasonable to me, but let's not pretend that the president acted unilaterally without authorization from Congress. Ron Paul is spouting that line and it is categorically false.

I find it rather absurd that Ron Paul says the wars are unconstitutional when Congress -- a Congress he served in, no less -- specifically authorized the use of force in Iraq and all the politicians (except for Ron Paul) understood what that means, as it is a well-established precedent for the declaration of war. If it was unconstitutional, all Congress had to do was repeal the AUMF of 2002, or refuse to fund the war. They did not, even when the Dems took control of Congress in 2006.

Yes

atlascott's picture

"Ron Paul is either lying or unaware of the resolutions passed by a Congress he served in."

I think his point is -- a Declaration War should be a Declaration of War , not merely a use of military force under the direction of the Executive that we call something else. There are some good reasons for this. One is clarity. Another is being aware of the seriousness of the use of force. Another is the seriousness of the costs of war in terms of blood and gold. None of these three have been hallmarks of American military action since we have been fighting undeclared wars, and it has pretty much been indisputable that the use of our military has grown to be used for all sorts of reasons beyond a declaration of war. I can see Ron Paul's point. It is a great point.

If a room full of political appointees (SCOTUS) decides to misread the Constitution, we have a definitional problem, don't we?

On the one hand, if you accept SCOTUS as the end word on Constitutionality, nothing can be unConstitutional if it bears their imprimatur.

Yet, none of here is to cede our responsibility think for ourselves, and when something is clearly wrong, well -- its clearly wrong.

It is hard to dispute that there is a lot of crap going on which is given the stamp of approval which ought not to have been.

I reject a lot of SCOTUS decisions as essentially policy decisions from which they work backwards and make the Constitution fit. It is the #2 reason our government has become the unwieldy behemoth it is.

Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

No, I'm not talking about the War Powers Act.

The issue of the Iraq war was litigated in federal court in Doe v. Bush. The First Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case and SCOTUS denied cert, as they should have. It has long since been settled that Congress does not need the words "declare war" to be a valid declaration of war under Article I.

What is needed is that Congress authorizes the president to use military force and grants the president funding to execute the use of military force. Both of these happened. In 2002, Congress authorized the president to use force in Iraq (see AUMF of 2002), and granted him funding.

Ron Paul is either lying or unaware of the resolutions passed by a Congress he served in. This was not an Executive Order, nor did the president act without Congressional authorization -- authorization that fully meets the standard for an Article I declaration of war set forth by earlier SCOTUS cases.

Extrajudicial Killing

atlascott's picture

Anwar Awlaki was killed extrajudicially. He received no due process, responded to no charges, was no charged criminally as far as I know.

here is what we do know. He made inflamatory speeches. He urged violence and death against the West and America specifically. These are definitely crimes.

He was killed by Executive Order.

Why the confusion about this?

@Linz

atlascott's picture

"And having thought hard about what to do about an American citizen who directly advocates and inspires the assassination en masse of American citizens without charges, what should America's leaders do?"

So let me get this straight. You advocate assassination of American citizens by America without a trial. You DO know what trials are for? To ascertain whether charges are true and to ensure that justice is served. This is some procedural protection against wanton government violence against its citizenry. Without SOME procedural protection, government agents do what they want. Witness the KNOWN abuses of the Patriot Act which stand unmentioned and uncorrected. You ignorant headstrong man.

"Ron Paul: friend of Islamogoblinite-scum terrorists. As are those who support him."

Does that mean I should be put down by government agents? Since I am a terrorist? In your once-Communist heart sleeps a Fascist. Or some other breed of totalitarian.

Declaration of War

atlascott's picture

Hi Michael:

I suspect you know this, but Ron Paul's position on this is that there needs to be a Declaration of War under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution for a war to be Constitutional.

He rightly says "A declaration of war limits the presidential powers, narrows the focus, and implies a precise end point to the conflict. A declaration of war makes Congress assume the responsibilities directed by the Constitution for this very important decision, rather than assume that if the major decision is left to the President and a poor result occurs, it will be his fault, not that of Congress. Hiding behind the transfer of the war power to the executive through the War Powers Resolution of 1973 will hardly suffice."

Instead, we have our military used as a world police force and at the whim of NATO.

I understand but disagree with the SCOTUS argument. There is a lot that SCOTUS has gotten wrong. The Constitution should not be read as an impediment to circumvent or a malleable thing to manipulate in order to contort it to comport with a policy decision. When you do, all manner of problems arise, and they have.

Since you are...

Michael Moeller's picture

Such a pillar of good faith, how about an answer to my previous question?

"You originally called the killing "extrajudicial", but then backpedaled from that. So how would you classify it? Illegal? Like Ron Paul, 'unconstitutional'?"

Well, you should care...

Michael Moeller's picture

If you want to speak intelligently about a subject. You see, Goode, you swallowed whole -- then mindlessly regurgitated -- the leftist meme that Gitmo was created to evade the reach of US civilian courts, which was your point re Gitmo not being in Pearl Harbor as if it was something nefarious.

The problem, however, is that you are ignorant of the basic facts and the law. The US already had such facilities, and therefore your argument defies the logic that Gitmo was created to deny them access to the courts (by not being in US territory). In fact, genius, it was the territorial status of Guantanamo Bay that gave the majority in Boumedienne a straw to grasp at when striking down the military commissions. In other words, if Bush was trying to act "extrajudicially" by detaining enemy combatants in Gitmo, he sure bungled it when he could have just put them in Bagram, etc. Nor do you seem the least bit aware of this being done during previous wars and the fact that it is not unconstitutional, but why let get in the way of accusing me of "bad faith".

After all, we all are aware of your "good faith" in answering questions put to you.

Malodorous Moeller

Richard Goode's picture

WHY would they use Gitmo as a detention facility when there are already plenty around the globe to achieve the same effect?

I neither know nor care.

WHY did Ayn Rand move from Russia to New York when there were 49 other states to which she could have moved to achieve the same effect? I neither know nor care.

Get it, chief?

You reek of bad faith.

One more question

Michael Moeller's picture

You originally called the killing "extrajudicial", but then backpedaled from that. So how would you classify it? Illegal? Like Ron Paul, "unconstitutional"? I sure am curious.

Wolverine Blues

Richard Goode's picture

Weasel words from weasels

You want weasel words from weasels? Look no further than "enemy combatants" from the Bush administration.

More than a little "slow"

Michael Moeller's picture

Yes, Goode, that was my point. The US did/does detain enemy combatants at Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and the territory is not sovereign US territory, which was obviously where you were going with that whole post re Gitmo at Pearl Harbor.

Being that was your obvious point, WHY would they use Gitmo as a detention facility when there are already plenty around the globe to achieve the same effect? Get it, chief?

More Moeller moronry

Richard Goode's picture

Goode: "Why was Gitmo located in Guantánamo Bay and not in, say, Pearl Harbour? The answer speaks for itself."

It does? Then tell me, Goode, why not hold the prisoners in Bagram or Abu Ghraib or the many other U.S. prison facilities where the U.S. detains enemy combatants and are not sovereign U.S. territory.

Abu Ghraib is not a U.S. prison facility. (Since 2006.)

The U.S. does not detain "enemy combatants". (Since 2009.)

Why not hold the prisoners in Bagram? (Approximately 1700 prisoners are interned at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. Approximately 170 prisoners are detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.)

The answer - "not sovereign U.S. territory" - speaks for itself.

I suggest, Michael, that you rephrase your question. And then address it to someone else.

Weasel words from weasels

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Baade (who else?) piously intones:

I agree with Ron Paul that America's leaders must think hard about "assassinating American citizens without charges."

And having thought hard about what to do about an American citizen who directly advocates and inspires the assassination en masse of American citizens without charges, what should America's leaders do?

Goblinite Baade of course won't say.

Exactly what Obama did do, that's what. And I'm no friend of Obama.

Ron Paul: friend of Islamogoblinite-scum terrorists. As are those who support him.

Interesting Claims

Michael Moeller's picture

Goode: "Why was Gitmo located in Guantánamo Bay and not in, say, Pearl Harbour? The answer speaks for itself."

It does? Then tell me, Goode, why not hold the prisoners in Bagram or Abu Ghraib or the many other U.S. prison facilities where the U.S. detains enemy combatants and are not sovereign U.S. territory.

Scott,

I see Ron Paul state quite often that the wars are "unconstitutional". Please explain to me how, especially since SCOTUS has ruled on this issue.

Michael

Darren

Richard Goode's picture

Extrajudicial? What makes you think this was extrajudicial?

I misspoke.

Nonetheless, I agree with Ron Paul that America's leaders must think hard about "assassinating American citizens without charges."

Why was Gitmo located in Guantánamo Bay and not in, say, Pearl Harbour? The answer speaks for itself.

@darren

atlascott's picture

There is always a strong urge to suppose that any new thing which occurs is its own specie.

"This is terrorist activity, not merely criminal. Had Clinton recognized the difference back in 1993 when Yousef made the first attempt to topple the World Trade Center, there's a very good chance that the second attempt in 2001 would never have occurred."

When a criminal act is perpetrated by an individual or individuals, it is criminal. When it is supported by a government, it is an act of war.

Planning an attack and taking any step towards making it happen - including meetings where you talk logistics -- is criminal.

There are rules set up to handle both. They were put in place to be fair and comport with the need for justice and the rights of the accused when calmer heads considered these processes.

Demonstrate their failure or insufficiency and THEN posit some other approach.

Example: Afghanistan. The ruling Taliban would not give up those hiding under their protection. We invaded with Congressional authorization.

Big government thralls

atlascott's picture

Every freedom lover should give pause when a government starts targeting individuals for assassination.

That's what you call this. Here's a definition for you folks wringing your hands about Ron Paul's accurate use of the word.

"An assassination is "to murder (a usually prominent person) by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons."

That about sums it up.

EITHER we live by the rule of the law, OR we do not. And here, in America, it is clear that we do not.

UnConstitutional wars. Assassinations. What can't you alleged freedom-lovers not understand?

The jihad within out own Western countries are the ones you folks should be focusing on.

For a group of smart folks, I am shocked that you go along with statements like "The U.S. also believes Awlaki had sought to use poisons, including cyanide and ricin, to attack Westerners."

Yes, our enemies hate us and would like to kill us. But the propaganda machine can be turned against anyone, and as Dr. Goode points out, it is usually against the scoudrels and dregs first. Then, whomever else those in power decide.

Here's another way of putting it: for the first time, I damned glad that many of you folks hail from NZ and do not get a vote here.

You are torching the tree and unwittingly helping the more devastating destruction of the forest.

You are terrifyingly willing to trade liberty for "safety" (haha) -- as if killing one guy thousands of miles away has anything to do with safety.

--------------------------------------------------------

Was the guy evil? Sure. Was he part of any active plot? I doubt it. More likely he was sticking his head in the sand. But you have no more source of true information one way or the other on that issue than I do.

What's wrong with catching him? Getting intel from him regarding what YOU must presume is some dangerous ongoing plot, rather than some cultural primitive sticking his head in the sand and trying to disappear before he goes the way of Osama bin Laden.

And how do you really know we got either on of them? No bodies? Um.....it makes me skeptical.

Anyway, I see the practical problems of proof at trial.

But if you do not adhere to the rule of law in every case, even the tough ones, then it becomes commonplace to repair to the rule of man whenever it suits.

--------------------------------------------------------

American life is locked down. We have a massive Federal budget for TSA, FBI, CIA and lots and lts of monitoring going on. We have a Supreme Court which says that Americans have "no expectation of privacy" in an increasing large number of situation, even sitting at home with your blinds shut.

We should declare war and win them with a cold efficiency when necessary.

But where there are no wars, none should be fought by Executive order, and the United States government should not be in the business of nation building or assassination.

If you disagree, then please point out where in the Constitution such provisions exist to warrant such actions.

So, it is either-or.

Do you support the rule of law, or do you accept the rule of man?

Judson Phillips' opinion

gregster's picture

How many other ways are there to say this?

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed today along with some other jihadists. Al-Awlaki had been trying to secure weapons of mass destruction to use against America and was behind a number of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks.

Fortunately, a missile fired from a Predator drone today ended this threat to America.

What was Ron Paul’s response?

Ron Paul called it, “an assassination.”

I have little good to say about the Obama regime, but at least they are still killing terrorists. Something is wrong with this picture when, at least in this area, Obama is a better leader than Ron Paul.

What part of self-defense does Ron Paul not get?

Terrorists do not care about the law. A grand jury indictment does not scare them. They are willing to kill themselves to kill Americans. There is only one way to stop them and that is to kill them.

Al-Awlaki was an American citizen, only by virtue of the fact he was born in the United States. He was not an American in any sense of the word. He was an enemy of this country who lived for one purpose. He wanted to kill Americans.

Al-Qaeda and the other Muslim terrorists are not a traditional army but the are an enemy nonetheless. If an enemy decides to bomb the United States, we do not send the FBI after them, we send the Marines. We do not go out to arrest them, we go out to destroy them.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt did not convene a grand jury. He bombed the hell out of Germany and Japan. In a war, you fight your enemy. In a war, you kill your enemy.

Ron Paul does not get the fact there are threats to America. Ron Paul thinks there is nothing wrong with Iran having the bomb. He is totally nuts. Iran wants to see a world wide Caliphate and is led by a man who believes he must create as much world wide chaos as possible to bring about the Islamic second coming.

What would happen if Ron Paul were President? It would be the nightmare scenario. He would treat terrorism as if it were a criminal justice problem.

Ron Paul is dangerous for America and if he is ever elected, he will kill Americans. . He should not be allowed into the White House, even on the public tour. He should not be allowed in Congress. He should not even be allowed to vote on what to have for dinner tonight.

Ron Paul. A man who does not think America should be allowed to defend itself.

Ron Paul, a terrorist’s best friend.

Tea Party Nation list.

Phillips may have been reading you here Doug - he titled this "Ron Paul Is An Idiot."

@ Stephen Berry

darren's picture

I think it is incredibly dangerous for a Government to have the power to kill their own citizens without a trial.

It's also incredibly dangerous for a government to have the power to kill its own citizens with a trial. Anything a government does is incredibly dangerous because governments, per se, are incredibly dangerous institutions: they have a monopoly on the initiation of the use of physical force. Unfortunately, a free society cannot do without such an institution (silly statements by anarcho-capitalists to the contrary notwithstanding). The solution is not to prevent governments from doing their job of protecting citizens and their property; the solution is constantly to keep one's eye on government, and to keep it severely out of the peaceful, voluntary transactions among its citizens. Such transactions by citizens, alas, do not include someone's plans to poison people or blow up planes as part of a trans-national plot to impose an entirely different kind of cultural, economic, and political order. This is terrorist activity, not merely criminal. Had Clinton recognized the difference back in 1993 when Yousef made the first attempt to topple the World Trade Center, there's a very good chance that the second attempt in 2001 would never have occurred.

There are lists Doug

gregster's picture

Here's America's most wanted terrorists.

Dealing with legal technicalities

Doug Bandler's picture

Alright, if we are going to get into legal technicalities then here is the issue: Does the process for targeting Americans turned traitorous terrorist overseas offer adequate protection for the target’s individual and constitutional rights? Given the nature of our government (and any government today), it might be the case that the current legislation does not deal with this sufficiently. I don't know. I think that the courts have ruled upon al-Awlaki’s case and validated his death sentence but again I'm not sure.

One Objectivist I read has made this suggestion. He argued that for non-emergency situations, some type of judicial review ought to be instituted. Also, for situations where the identity of the target is no secret, as was the case with al-Awlaki, there ought to be an official list for those enemies that are wanted "dead or alive". You could also add extra protections by stipulating a two week period where the target is not to be harmed so as to give him the opportunity to surrender himself to US custody and then be given due process.

But with al-Awlaki none of this was necessary. The guy was a Jihadist who waged war against America relentlessly for years. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson should know this. But sadly this is the "Saddamite" strain of thought that plagues so many libertarians. Thus my disdain.

Quite so ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That Ron Paul is both a moron and a monster on these matters is a no-brainer.

Strange indeed is this persistent Saddamite strain of libertarianism that would wish to Miranda-ise Osama himself. (Didn't Paul deplore Osama's assassination also?)

Sad that the otherwise wholly admirable Stephen is in thrall to it. Stephen, it's not the lingering aftermath of Peronitis, is it?!

At the very least, after this hideous (albeit brave) confession, the next meal is on you.

However, this wasn't a case

Richard Wiig's picture

However, this wasn't a case of the US government arbitrarily deciding to go after a "citizen". He was man in hiding actively engaged in war against the United States. Once again the government has done something right and proper. Here's to much more of it.

The final third?

Marcus's picture

"Doug is Linz's other two thirds."

Does that make Goode the final third?

I think it is incredibly

Stephen Berry's picture

I think it is incredibly dangerous for a Government to have the power to kill their own citizens without a trial.
It always starts with an emergency...

@ Richard Wiig

darren's picture

Why on earth do you agree with Ron Paul?

Because the United States Constitution is actually a suicide pact. Didn't you know that?

Say wha??

darren's picture

But it is against scoundrels that extrajudicial killing is first aimed,

Extrajudicial? What makes you think this was extrajudicial?

Why on earth do you agree

Richard Wiig's picture

Why on earth do you agree with Ron Paul?

I agree with Ron Paul

Richard Goode's picture

I agree with Ron Paul.

He said America's leaders must think hard about "assassinating American citizens without charges."

Of course, they must. The trouble with Ron Paul is that he spends too much time defending scoundrels. But it is against scoundrels that extrajudicial killing is first aimed, and extrajudicial killing must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

Doug has a man crush on Linz, and Linz is Doug's biggest fan. Linz is the libertarian in the bromance. Doug is Linz's other two thirds.

[Nice guy. He had it coming.]

I agree with Ron Paul.

Stephen Berry's picture

I agree with Ron Paul.

Re: Awlaki

darren's picture

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44...

Following the strike, a U.S. official outlined new details of al-Awlaki's involvement in anti-U.S. operations, including the attempted "underwear" bombing on Dec. 25, 2009, of a U.S.-bound aircraft. The official said al-Awlaki specifically directed the man accused of trying to bomb the Detroit-bound plane to detonate an explosive device over U.S. airspace to maximize casualties.

The official also said al-Awlaki had a direct role in supervising and directing a failed attempt to bring down two U.S. cargo aircraft by detonating explosives concealed inside two packages containing copier ink cartridges mailed to the U.S. The U.S. also believes Awlaki had sought to use poisons, including cyanide and ricin, to attack Westerners.

[Nice guy. Glad we got him.]

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