Ron Paul reissues claims on American policy and 9/11
November 20th, 2011
12:26 PM ET
3 years ago

Ron Paul reissues claims on American policy and 9/11

(CNN) - Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul reiterated his controversial stance Sunday that some policies of the United States contributed to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Speaking on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Paul said his views were consistent with analysis from various groups.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

“I think there's an influence,” Paul said. “That's exactly what the 9/11 Commission said. That's what the DoD has said. That's also what the CIA has said. That's what a lot of researchers have said.”

Paul said American intervention in foreign nations was a trigger to potential terrorists, who he said were sending the message: “We don’t like American bombs to be falling on our country.”

He cited withdrawing a military base from Saudi Arabia immediately after 9/11 as an indication that U.S. military policy was partly responsible for the actions of terrorists.

Paul has previously said that the military presence in Saudi Arabia was a motivator for terrorists, who were angered by American troops in the Islamic country.

The Texas congressman made clear he did not think America’s form of government and economy were to blame, but rather the specific foreign policies pursued by the United States.

“To deny this I think is very dangerous, but to argue the case that they want to do us harm because we're free and prosperous I think is a very, very dangerous notion because it's not true,” Paul said.

He continued, “You're supposed to be able to criticize your own government without saying you're un-American.”


Filed under: 2012 • Ron Paul • Terrorism
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. John Muller

    I'm going to join the parade. I'm not a big Ron Paul fan, but on this point he's exactly right. American policies motivated the 9/11 bombers. They didn't pick us out at random. They attacked us because they disagreed with our foreign policy. Now you may think the policy was correct or you may think it was wrong. You may think it is worth the cost or not. But it's clear that they targeted us because of our foreign policy. This notion that they targeted us because we are free is just our propaganda. It's always dangerous to believe your own propaganda.

    Why does the headline describe this as a controversial view? That's the real question.

    November 21, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. Jim

    The US has now been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union. I guess everyone has forgotten why we boycotted the 1980 Olympics. What hypocrites we are.

    November 21, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. Jeremy

    I like this guy. Screw partisan politics, I'm voting for a republican for the first time in my life.. Ron Paul makes more sense and causes less drama than all of the other candidates. He seems to really care about the issues facing us as Americans instead of pretending to care just so he can get elected.

    Vote Ron Paul 2012!

    November 21, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Joebob

    It's amazing how most Americans simply lack the fortitude to place themselves in the shoes of the people in the countries we've meddled with for the past 60-110 years.

    November 21, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. DR T

    I have read the Koran twice. It is all in there. Congressman Paul is absolutely correct.

    November 21, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. cog in the wheel

    Of course he's correct. Some US policies contributed to some groups feeling hatred for the US. Only idiots would believe the US never makes mistakes, never abuses it's power, and is somehow divinely ordained and is always "correct." That said, on balance US foreign policy has helped far more people and cultures than it's hurt. There was no justification for the 9/11 attacks.

    November 21, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. Tom

    Why is Paul being attacked for his statements? Didn't Osama bin Laden say the exact same thing?

    I'll tell you why he's being attacked. Because it's a lot easier for a politician to say "they hate our way of life", vs. "our policies made people angry enough to do something like this." Whether you agree with our policies or not, let's not pretend that bin Laden woke up one day and said "America, that country halfway across the world, I don't like how they live, let's attack them."

    November 21, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. Mack

    Speak to the truth Ron. Burst their phony jingoistic bubble.

    November 21, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. petemg

    Remember who was in office when our troops were decreased. Remember how this person taunted countries by saying if you do this we will do that. This person did not carry through with his threats instead walked away. Were you in Congress Paul when these policies were carried out. If you were you are part of the problem.

    November 21, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Mark

    From the article:
    “You're supposed to be able to criticize your own government without saying you're un-American.”

    Didn't Bush and Cheney say that first?

    November 21, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Jeff

    There's a difference between isolationism and non-intervention. We shouldn't be involved militarily; we should be involved economically. Let's trade. Let's open businesses there. Our cultures will mesh, and the difference between them and us will no longer exist. Make us dependent on the health of one another. Sure, it won't be a completely smooth transition, but dropping bombs on someone is definitely not a smooth transition.

    Ron Paul 2012

    November 21, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Anonymous

    I'm a liberal Democrat, but I can't help but like the congressman

    November 21, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. mark

    why is it controversial? didnt the terrorists say what bugged them? just because something is a contributing factor doesnt mean its wrong (though it might be wrong too). if the terrorist said they hated the colors of our flag and attacked us to make us change it then one could say our flag design was a contributing factor to the attack. they might be crazy but i dont see whats wrong with the statement... politics seems to have no real respect for rational thought everything is some kind of knee jerk reaction when it should be exploration of reality.. :)

    November 21, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Eric

    Just something to think about with everyone bringing up Al Queda. If we were so disgusted with them and terrorism, and if we saw them as enemies, why did we fund them and support their fight in Libya to out Gaddaffi? NATO supplied them with air support, weapons and expensive NVGs. Google it if you don't believe me. Because of the destabilization of the country, Al Qaeda now has pillaged all of Gaddaffi's weapons caches and are running around with high value weapons that will end up being used on us. There is definately more to the story then OMG Terrorists! It is a proven fact that we are in many countries doing some bad stuff in the shadows and interfearing with other countries for the benefit of big corporations.

    November 21, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Greg

    Of course Ron Paul has it right and it IS very dangerous when the vast majority of Americans simply cannot face the question "why" 9/11 happened. American foreign policy fault was shield by orchestrated claims that the terrorists hate and want to destroy so-called the American "way of life". Maybe they just didn't want the American "way of life" shoved down their throats. Can Americans ever understand that there are other equally valid cultures on this planet?

    November 21, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. v_mag

    Ron Paul doesn't fit in the Republican or Democratic party, really. Some of his thinking I can agree with completely, like the obvious role American involvment in Muslim countries plays in promoting terrorism. Other parts of his philosophy, like letting corporations run wild, are anathema to me.

    Along these same lines, I'd like to hear 1 single person in the federal government suggest ending our "special relationship" with Israel, which is the other main reason that people in the Middle East hate us. We have Repugnants sabre-rattling for a new war with Iran over nukes while we ignore the nukes that we know Israel has. We let Israel get away with literal murder and oppression of Palestinians while we send them military aid. It's wrong.

    November 21, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. larry

    I agree with Ron Paul. Why is everyone so scared of his foreign policy?? I don't think the terrorist are going to attack us because we decide not to interfere in their countries or decided not to kill people by drone attacks or decide to bring home our troops. Pretty logical to me.

    November 21, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. Jaclyn

    Anyone that refuses to believe this is just flat out ignorant. Ron Paul isn't saying that we were behind the attacks. He simply states that our piss poor foreign policy led to radicalism again the US. If Russia or China came into our country and did half of what we do to other countries, we would start WWIII. I don't believe in war or violence, but the US is the biggest contributor of both, abroad.

    November 21, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  19. Robert - Atlanta

    Of course he is right this time – but he should put the blame on the corrupt corporations that have made trillions of dollars off these phony bush wars, especially the first bush war! The government is controlled by these ultra rich corporations – Wake up to the fact that The 1% controls everything and everyone in this country!

    November 21, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. matt

    He's right except for the timing of the removal of the base in Saudi Arabia. That closing was announced about a week after the fall of Baghdad. Bin Laden felt that the American base was defiling his Holy Land. The base was there to protect Saudia Arabia from Saddam Hussein. Once Hussein was gone the base could be removed. George Bush gave bin Laden exactly what he wanted. About 6 months after 9/11 Bush said he had no interest in finding bin Laden. We'll never really know what went on behind the scenes. I wouldn't even be surprised if there was some communication between Bush and bin Laden with a truce worked out. not saying there was. nothing would surprise me though.

    November 21, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. leesan1945

    You don't have to read classified papers to see this is true about our Middle east interventionism; Just reading the papers for the past 20-30 years will show you how meddlesome and stupid we've been. We don't mind jumping into other people's disputes, but when they come to us after all we've done, we become indignant and want to declare war and everyone. We didn't learn from the Beirut bombings or the USS Cole attack and we haven't learned from The World trade Center attacks. We must maintain our image as the world's policeman, which is nonsense and killing us financially and emotionally.

    November 21, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Wes

    This is the ONE story CNN finally decides to cover? Not the fact that he is rising int he polls in both Iowa and NH?

    Well done...

    November 21, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Chris R

    I don't agree with Paul on most anything but I do agree with him on this. The myth of 9/11 is that the United States was just minding it's own business and suddenly bin Laden jumped up and slapped us silly for no reason at all. That bin Laden hated our 'freedom' and other mostly meaning free ways of expressing the same thing. Bin Laden focused on the US for a couple of reasons – first and foremost was the basing of American troops in Saudi Arabia. Then, as our policies became even more entangled in the Middle East after the first gulf war, for a range of policies and actions. He may find our way of life disgusting but he attacked us because of what we did in the Middle East. Pretending that there is 'no reason' for he attack on 9/11 is simplistic at best, dangerously idiotic at worst.

    November 21, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. bartonfunk

    This is not news. America is not a bad country. It is a great country, but it is not perfect. We are taught that the US and it's leaders have never done anything wrong. It is hard for many people that have been educated in public school to get past the blind socialized cheerleading about the US. But, we need to know about the good and the bad the US has done. If we are taught the bad we can be ever better. I do not agree with Ron Paul's platform, but he does seem to be consistent and honest in his thoughts. He is not just telling the Tea Party GOP what it wants to hear.

    November 21, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Enzo

    He's right. The US needs to bring our troops home from Europe, Japan, South Korea and the rest of the bases around the world and stop playing world policeman. We just keep on invading and bombing people, of course they are pissed off. We would be too if some country was bombing and invading us. Freedoms? What freedoms? Our own protesters are getting maced, clubbed and arrested for protesting the corruption on Wall St. Meanwhile Wall St. has destroyed the world economy, taking illegal bailouts and then paid themselves bonuses. Complete corruption by Congress & Wall St. This isn't capitalish.

    November 21, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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