Ron Paul reissues claims on American policy and 9/11
November 20th, 2011
12:26 PM ET
6 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. Nat Turner

    Why stop there? Why not tell who you think is really responsible for the attack?

    November 21, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Bill Kilpatrick

    Ron Paul's comments are irresponsible. 9/11 didn't happen because of American foreign policy. It happened because America was a target and the federal agencies who were supposed to protect us were cut back and mismanaged. The idea that you can appease every group who finds fault with American policy is logically bankrupt. Timothy McVeigh attacked a government he saw too far to the left. Bin Laden attacked a government he saw as too far to the right. Their motivations are less important than their capabilities – and our inability to protect ourselves, an inability that usually comes down to dollars and cents. Would 19 hijackers have seized four planes if security had been tighter? Would they have been able to take control, in flight, if there had been air marshalls? Would they have reached their targets if there had been quicker detection and a coordinated response from the FAA and the Air Force? Mea culpas will not make America safer. 9/11 was a defense failure, not a failure of policy.

    November 21, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Noah

    It's a sad day in America when telling the truth becomes Controversial

    November 21, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. RP4Prez

    Bob Schieffer's initials also stand for something else that is far more apt. He should be ashamed of himself for that interrogation. Of course in the end, he realized he couldn't tangle with the good doctor, and B.S. cut the interview short. If the MSM was worth anything, B.S. would be fired immediately for that stunt. Unfortunately, he was only following orders. Ron Paul 2012!!!!

    November 21, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. nicnic

    I just found more reason to admire Ron Paul. Not necessarily vote for him, but you never know. If he goes the distance I might.

    November 21, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Bessy

    This guy makes sense on some issues but he really is a Republican all the way. Remember, he said at one time to " let the man without insurance die " rather than try to compromise with President Obama's heath care plan. What kind of a doctor makes a statement like that? He is scary and for a doctor is too radical in most of his thinking. Check out his thoughts on SS and Medicare.

    November 21, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "If Ron Paul would just claim what he independent, right leaning, Centrist. He would be a definite contender for the first Independent POTUS."

    Many in Minnesota tried this route with Jesse Ventura. Undoubtedly, a Ron Paul presidency would be as disastrous for America as Jesse was for Minnesota. Ron Paul has repeatedly stated he is not interested in running as an Independent. With good reason. He is just as conceited and self fulfilling as those others from the Republican party he is noe running against and he knows he'll never become President - either as a GOPer or an Independent - it makes no matter to him, so long as he can amuse himself by continuing to spew his Libertarian nonsense on prime time.

    November 21, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Grace Of The Witch

    So the terrorists dont like America's foreign policy,
    we should just drop all of our allies.
    Then the terrorist wins.
    Remember Spain ?
    They had been told to get thier troops out of Afganistan
    or get attacked.
    After the attacks, the Spanish elected a new government to appease the terrorists.

    NEVER back down from your friends and allies.
    We went into Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudi's
    its not like the "infidels" invaded.

    November 21, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm an Independent-Democrat and I agree with Ron on this point.

    November 21, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Lizard

    Isn't this a "like, duh"? The terrorists didn't roll a D20 on the Random Country To Attack table; of course the attacks where the result of US policies. This has no bearing on if the policies were justified or not, if we should continue them or not, if we can consider the terrorist's actions justifiable or not. Those are the real issues; saying the attacks were "the result of US policies" is both obvious and of no particular usefulness in any kind of debate.

    November 21, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |

    Yawn. This guy is the embodiment of the reason we should have term limits, people. I appreciate Mr. Paul's assertions but I disagree with many of his positions, especially eliminating the Dept. of Education, and others. Related to the article, he's essentially espousing isolationism in a global community. That my work in planet Zog but not on Earth.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    November 21, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. TruthWhisperer

    What's so controversial about this? Just because some people don't like us doesn't mean that they are irrational. We'd be a lot better off if we spent time trying to understand our enemies rather than trying to make devils out of them.

    November 21, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Purnell Meagre

    Of course he's right. It used to drive me crazy when anyone who suggested .S. policy might have provoked the 9/11 attackers was branded a traitor. I bet you could find an old Rush Limbaugh tape where he blasts a Democrat for suggesting this very thing.

    November 21, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Joe

    Ron Paul won't divide the Republican party, as some on here have suggested. He will divide the democratic party. Many liberals are liberals because they think its the opposite of social conservatism. Ron Paul is anti-war, pro gay marriage and wants the federal government out of the abortion issue. There are of course some socialists in the democratic party who think the government should just keep handing free stuff out until we implode, but I don't think that's majority. I think, in a vaccuum, personal liberty, ending the wars and fiscal responsibility is an attractive platform for true conservatives, independents and democrats.

    Ron Paul 2012!!

    November 21, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. michael love

    199% correct. America has turned in one big special ed class and Ron Paul is our new teacher ! From comments most readers actually seem to get it.

    November 21, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Clif Henrichsen

    NICE HIT PIECE; CBS and Schieffer should be working in the Cairo DA's office. This was a lousy interview presented more as an attempt to discredit the next POTUS. I hope Ron Paul wins so we can see dumb ass jurror-noulists like Schieffer and Stephanopoulus eat crow and have to cover a great American on the order of MLKjr who is the only one in the arena that actually articulates the mess this country is in and assigns accurate and proper credit (blame) to the correct parties and individuals. I will vote Ron Paul or NOT AT ALL hear me GOP ?

    November 21, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Rich

    At least he isn't afraid to speak the truth.....Our unconditional support of Isreal is a real problem in the Arab world.

    November 21, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. TheMiddleClass

    Up until very recently, I thought Ron Paul was crazy. But honestly after I stopped simply reading headlines and looked into his ideas I realized that he is the only sane one out there! And his record speaks for itself. He voted against Iraq, and he predicted this crisis. I realized there is also so much misinformation about him and I'm now convinced that it's contrived to discredit him. Do yourself a favor – don't listen to others, do the research yourself. I am now a devotee. Voting for anyone else will be a vote for the same track that led us to where we are now. He is the only one seriously addressed our debt crisis. Yes cutting spending is hard, but our alternative is to end up like Greece. We are quickly on our way.

    November 21, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. GaryB

    He is, to a certain extent, right. Whether or not we consider it to be a rational grips, Osama Bin Laden's main reason for targeting the U.S. was our military base on the Saudi Peninsula post the first Persian Gulf War. He considered it to be an afront to Islam. Indeed, 9/11 had nothing to do with OBL hating our way of life or any other such nonsense. Paul, being a Republican, does get a certain amount of cover when he speaks the truth about such things. Can you imagine how the right would cricify President Obama if he made the same observation?

    November 21, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. brian in denver

    Mr. Paul, by voicing a simple truth, just put another nail in his coffin w/ the Republican party. He & Huntsman seem to be viable, sensible, intelligent candidates who have the best interests of the country @ heart. And because they are, they don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination. The Tea Party folks don't want this kind of "anti-Americanism" representing them.

    November 21, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Joe

    America was never meant to be an empire. That's why the revolution happened – to separate us from the ruling empire of the day. Check out the American flag. The 7 red stripes represent the British Crown. The six white ones represent separation.

    As far as 9/11. For years the United States has been launching cruise missiles (essentially small airplanes with an explosive warhead flown by a computer) into their buildings and killing their people. So when they do the same thing back to us we're surprised?

    November 21, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. The Xxx

    He's right. We need him. Ron Paul 2012!

    November 21, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. ThinkAgain

    @ Hubbs: "- "I beg to differ. For example, he says he's pro-life, but would allow states to permit abortion. How do you explain that?"

    Wow. You really don't understand what Ron Paul is about do you? Your comment pretty much sums up what his platform is. Just because he's not pro-choice personally, he believes that making that decision is up to the states and by the people that live in them."

    That's just it: Paul doesn't believe in the "United" States of America; he wants to balkanize our country. He doesn't have a sense of community; he's every person for themselves.

    And if you think our federal government is so intrusive in your personal life simply because you can't do whatever the heck you want regardless of consequence to others, then I suggest you go live on Peter Thiel's island.

    November 21, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Zeci

    How I wish we had politicians like him in UK. It would be an honour to vote for him.
    It is funny, how he also completely ignored by the British press, whether right wing or left wing. They go through all the candidates and usually have ZERO words on him. Don't get me started about the news is getting ridiculous.

    You have been presented a gift have a chance to elect an honest man, a man of integrity, who can't be bought. He really cares for his country and he has got a 30 year voting record to prove it to you.

    Imagine, if any of these candidates had been correct about economic crisis, like Ron Paul was… They would have been bragging about it, and each news network would have called them saviours. And yet, here is the man who has been right all along on so many issues, is purposely ignored, undermined and bashed by special interest infested MSM.

    Don't waste this chance…and make America great again.

    November 21, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Tom

    I don't understand how this is the least bit controversial. It's kind of like when Americans were wonder why our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing such fierce resistance. Apparently, everybody is supposed to welcome demagogic superpowers that destroy their homes and exploit their resources.

    November 21, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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