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

    We love our third world country Dictators,then we paper them as boogie man. WE bomb the crap out of their countries then we wonder why they hate us for generations.

    November 20, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. I AM A PATRIOT

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

    November 20, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Joe Peeler

    Schieffer didn't handle himself well in this interview. I think CBS News hates Ron Paul's foreign policy. In the CBS News foreign policy debate a week ago he got 90 seconds in the televised portion.

    Schieffer said he questions the "import" of the CIA, the Pentagon, the 9/11 Commission, various terrorist experts on its conclusions regarding blowback. What other sources do you have Mr. Schieffer? I bet if those sources absolved the U.S. govt., he would find great "import" with them. CBS News is a shill for the warfare state.

    Someone claims that Paul is an isolationist. That is a smear. He wants to talk with other countries, trade with them, travel, etc. What he doesn't want the U.S. govt. to do is prop up autocrats who abuse their own people, engage in pre-emptive war, nation-build, "make the world safe for multi-national corporations, err, democracy," and deliver foreign-aid that seems to always go to the rich people in poor countries and prop up despots.

    I think CBS News and the govt. are the same on foreign policy. Both parties do the same thing and the mainline news media acts as cover for them.

    Let's end the insanity and elect the good Dr. Paul.

    November 20, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Ann

    Now c'mon – let's be realistic here...
    if we did not go to war with other countries, then burgeoning Republicans would all be out of work. We all know that they rely on the tax-payer dole covered-up under the guise of fighting for God and Country!

    November 20, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Zach

    Most Americans somehow have this idea that no one can possibly have any legitimate grievances against the United States. A thinking mind and a basic course on history can fix this. Or even better, listen to Ron Paul. And not debates where he gets 3 blocks of 30 seconds each to talk. Read his books or watch his interviews. You'll learn a lot.

    November 20, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. PaulC

    I can agree to the extend that the U.S. unconditional support of Israel doesn't help. Our inability to say no to Israel has encouraged them to do things they should not have done and unnecessarily aggravate the animosity in the region.

    November 20, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. MMA

    Ron Paul is absolutely right and honest. He is being intentionally marginalized by the press. People outside US love the values of freedom, democracy and prosperity because those are basis human values.

    November 20, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. DeeCee2011

    I agree with Ron Paul. It is one of the most intelligent statements I have heard from any republican in a dozen years. He also was a critic of GWB. So, that means, he has NO chance of ever getting his party's nomination. Instead, they will select a theocratic, spam-eating, hayseed, with little understanding of the world. or economics.

    November 20, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Jack

    Ron Paul is partly right on this. Not entirely. The terrorists/jihadists also justify war against us on historical grounds. It is not so much what we are dong now as what we had done in the past. So, the only solution is to pull back our forces. The problem is that this may not appease those who see us as a cancer on the world. Some of these nations are Theocracies. Yes, we should begin to moderate our policies in the Middle East. We must also develop green technology so we are less dependent on foreign oil. Once the world frees itself from oil these terrorist nations/groups will lose their funding. We also, of course, need to help Israel protect itself. They also must be a bit more moderate and less strident in their thinking.

    November 20, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Stephen

    Dr. Paul is absolutely correct. I just did a speech at my college on the causes of suicide terrorism. One source I researched is Robert Pape's database that was vetted by the CIA, endorsed by the DoD, and endorsed by the 9/11 Commission. I also looked into CIA analyst & former Head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer. Both of these sources state emphatically that our foreign policy is the motivation for suicide terrorism against our troops & as well as was the motivation for 9/11. Our base on Saudi Arabia was a HUGE factor in the motivation of 9/11.

    Dr. Paul is correct and this is only controversial because the remedy involves changing our foreign policy that has been championed from Bush Sr to Obama.

    November 20, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Fletch

    He's absolutely right with regards to Saudi Arabia. After the Khobar Towers attacks in 1996, OBL even stated that one of Al Qaeda's demands was the withdrawal of American troops from the Arabian peninsula. Nothing very controversial in Paul's comments in my opinion.

    November 20, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Just Say No to Flipper

    He's right. Ron Paul has way more honesty and consistency than the Flipper that Rove is trying to ram down our throats.

    November 20, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. ajm777

    Ron Paul should be our President. He would bring this country back to where it should be. I was very disappointed when he pulled out of the last election. I hope that he continues to run this time. He can and will be elected. He is a good man. Look at his congressional record. It speaks for itself. He is right on about this issue. Thank you Ron.....

    November 20, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Glen

    Ron Paul is the opposite of isolationist. This has been clarified and corrected so many times by now that the media's influence on the public is becoming clear. Paul believes in full engagement with all the nations of the world, and solving problems via diplomacy. Appeasement is not in his vocabulary.

    Paul sponsored the October 2001 bill to eradicate Bin Laden and Al Qaeda by the end of 2003 but we ignored it because it wasn't profitable enough. Ron Paul has pledged to obey a Congressional Declaration of War, just as he has pledged never to get involved in any wars without a Congressional declaration.

    Ron Paul's policy is obey the Constitution, and should Congress declare war we go in with everything we have, win it as quickly as possible, and then come home and leave the enemy to rebuild their own bridges.

    People, I am pleading with you to stop drinking the media koolaid. All of the media in America is today owned by 6 megagiant corporations, all of which profit directly from perpetual war. They are spinning a narrative that is distorting and destroying constructive debate to their own ends and profit. It's time to reject the narrative and restore truth in America.

    November 20, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @Greg: "The difference between Paul's anti-war beliefs and Obama's seems to be that only one is genuine."

    President Obama campaigned on getting out of Iraq and increasing troops in Afghanistan – and he's done that. He voted for the $300 billion in funding after reviewing intelligence reports he was given as a Senator, so that our troops had what they needed.

    If you're looking for inconsistencies, Ron Paul has plenty, including that claims to be a right-to-life candidate, but allows abortion on the state level. He says he's for free trade, but has opposed every free trade agreement. He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but has voted for his share of pork barrel projects and was against the Constitutional Amendment for a line item veto.

    Do a little research before you move to make Paul into a saint.

    November 20, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. goddog

    What he said is common knowledge. What he failed to do is provide his view on the policies themselves. Isn't that the important question?

    November 20, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. ZZkid

    How can we expect our country which just realized bullying is bad to understand that missiles, bombs, guns and knives can hurt people's feelings... My God... Remember Columbine? Or that kid in Virginia? Something happens to people who are or feel they are being targeted... Occupy Wall street? Tea Party? Revolutions? Cause and Effect? Newton's third law of motion? Unless of course it is Un-American to think America's actions must abide by physical laws created by some liberal Isaac Newton.. pffff

    November 20, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Ronald

    I if he is elected there will be a horse in every garage and plenty of wood for your fireplace. You will have to get used to hunting and killing your food but hey its a Ron Paul kind of world.

    November 20, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Steve

    This is the ONLY thing he's right about.

    November 20, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "Consistency is key for Paul."

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

    Bottom line for me, what disqualifies Paul from being POTUS is he wants to live in a dog-eat-dog world, his god is a self-centered, atheist who hated the poor, his isolationist views are naive, and he puts the pursuit of money ahead of everything else. Like most Libertarians, the only person who matters to him is the one he sees in the mirror. He's also too old.

    And for the record, I was against invading Iraq and I think the military-industrial complex has taken over too much of our economy.

    November 20, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Luis Wu

    Well. Maybe Ron Paul isn't such a nut job after all. He hit that nail squarely on the head. If we'd quit sticking our nose in the Middle East and stop supporting Israel, we wouldn't have to worry about terrorists.

    November 20, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Sovereign

    Ron Paul's foreign policy is what this country needs. University of Chicago professor Robert Pape's studies have shown that over 95% of ALL suicide terrorist attacks are because of FOREIGN OCCUPATION!!

    November 20, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Sovereign

    Ron Paul's Foreign Policy is mislabeled as isolationist because he has so little media coverage. He doesn't have enough time to explain it fully, thus people infer things incorrectly.

    Here's part of his plan I'm sure few know; Within days of the outbreak of the war that erupted on 9/11.There was a bill that was the first bid in generations to unleash one of the most important of the constitutional war powers, the letter of marque and reprisal, which is an instrument for bringing private parties into the war. The thinking that went into Dr. Paul’s bill deserves a hearing in any debate in which the GOP contenders are going to be grilled on foreign policy. He would not limit our engagement to letters of mark; he voted to give President George W. Bush authority to take this war to our enemies. Dr. Paul’s position is that he was and is reluctant to commit to a vast expedition involving trillions of taxpayer dollars in a war that now engages us in several theaters, erodes our civil liberties, justifies torture and kills our soldiers

    Hence his idea of granting letters of marque to enable private parties to carry this war to our enemies and funding it out of their takings from the enemies they defeat and possibly a bounty from the US less any fines for the death and property damage done to innocent civilians . We used this war instrument against the Barbary Pirates with great success.

    November 20, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. ZZkid

    There is no perfect candidate. I don't agree with Dr. Paul on several topics, however I like leaving things to the state for one reason. I can leave a state in which I do not agree with the majority policy... like Arizona... and move to another that I like... like Seattle... and still be in America. With a national agenda we leave people with the option of America or somewhere else. THAT'S ISOLATIONISM...

    November 20, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. Josef Bleaux

    Well well well, maybe Ron Paul has some good ideas after all. He certainly pegged that one right. If we stopped sticking our nose in the Middle East and stopped supporting Israel, we wouldn't have to worry about terrorists at all.

    November 20, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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