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Ron Paul: The Continuing Al-Qaeda Threat

Appearing last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that he could not say the threat from al-Qaeda is any less today than it was ten years ago. It was a shocking admission. Does he mean that the trillions of dollars spent fighting the…

Appearing last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that he could not say the threat from al-Qaeda is any less today than it was ten years ago. It was a shocking admission. Does he mean that the trillions of dollars spent fighting the war on terrorism have resulted in no gains? That those who urged us to give up some of our liberties to gain security have, as Benjamin Franklin warned, lost both?

There may be reasons Director Clapper would want us to believe that the threat from al-Qaeda is as strong as ever. An entire industry has arisen from the government’s war on terror, and for both the government sector and the security-industrial complex the terrorist threat is big business. Economic pressure has thus far not affected the military or intelligence sectors – despite false claims that the sequestration cut military spending. However, emphasizing continued high threat levels without being able to openly explain them due to secrecy requirements is one way to keep the security budget untouched.

Also, emphasizing the continued high threat level from terrorists overseas is a good way to frighten citizens away from their increasing outrage over reports of massive domestic spying by the NSA. Unfortunately Americans may still be more willing to give up their liberties if they are told that the threats to their security remain as high as ever.

What if Clapper is telling us the truth, however? What would this revelation mean if that is the case?

For one, it means that we have gotten very little for the tremendous amount of spending on the war on terrorism and the lives lost. We are told that the military and intelligence community can protect us if they are given the tools they need, but it appears they have not done a very good job by their own admission.

More likely, it may mean that the U.S. government’s policies are causing more al-Qaeda groups to arise and take the place of those who have been defeated by U.S. drone and military attacks. Clapper does mention that there are so many different al-Qaeda franchises popping up it is difficult to keep track of them all, much less defeat them. But why is that? A former State Department official stated last year that every new drone strike in Yemen that kills innocent people results in the creation of 40-60 new enemies. Likewise, the young girl from Pakistan who had been brutally shot by the Taliban for her desire to go to school told President Obama during a White House meeting that “drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people.”

Are there more al-Qaeda groups out there because our policies keep creating new ones?

On that point, Clapper said to the Senate that in Syria the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front “does have aspirations for attacks on the homeland.” It is all the more disturbing, then, to have also read last week that Congress voted in secret to resume sending weapons to the Syrian rebels, who are dominated by al-Qaeda-affiliated groups. We have read about U.S.-supplied weapons meant for “moderates” in Syria being seized by radicals on several occasions, and the Voice of America reported last year that our Saudi “allies” are arming the same al-Nusra Front that Clapper identifies as a threat to the US. Is the US Congress arming the very people who will commit the next attack on U.S. soil?

Why is al-Qaeda as much a threat as it was ten years ago? Perhaps it is that we continue to fight the wrong war in the wrong manner. Perhaps because we refuse to consider that many overseas are angry because of our government’s policies and actions. After ten years of no progress, is it not time to try something new? Is it not time to try non-intervention and a strong defense rather than drone strikes and pre-emptive attacks?

ron paul

Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.

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62 comments

MashPotato February 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm

The Man Who Should Be President

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CNSYD February 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

He was so embraced by the US public!

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SCBlueWoman February 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Yes, as crazy Uncle Ron.

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Votecounter February 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

How high can you count? Most elections tend to be settled by those who garner the most votes. First in primaries and subsqently, in General Elections.

Which did he win?

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MashPotato February 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

The Republican party threatened and disenfranchised Ron Paul voters across the country. There was a covert campaign, a conspiracy of silence if you will, to ensure this man did not become the party’s nominee. If you recall, nobody liked Mitt Romney, but he was willing to continue wars and expand government, so he was pre-ordained by the establishment to be the nominee. If we had a real and fair democratic process in this country, Ron Paul would have had a serious chance at winning the nomination, thus giving him a serious chance at winning the presidency.

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Votecounter February 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

So it was a conspiracy? Got it. Makes perfect sense now.

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MashPotato February 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Go ahead, cherry pick your response. Don’t ever, ever challenge yourself intellectually. If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out!

Smirks February 3, 2014 at 8:37 am

I will say, Ron Paul is certainly blackballed by the media at large, especially pro-Republican outlets like Fox News. He represents a lot of what the establishment Republicans hate, though they can’t fully backstab him or it would alienate a lot of his supporters.

A couple points I’d like to make:

1) Ron Paul is not the only one that gets this treatment, and the Republican party isn’t the only one that gives it. There’s a reason the same failed hopefuls run again and again, and are often the highest contenders; they are already known to bend however moneyed interests want them to. McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Cain, Bachmann, and a slew of others are easy to control, as is Hillary, Edwards, and in many regards, Obama.

2) I really do believe Ron Paul is not capable of winning even if he was left to his own devices. Most Americans do not agree with Libertarianism. Many embrace some aspects of it, even I support a number of positions that Paul takes, but I doubt Paul could get a majority of votes running off his whole platform.

3) Paul being president would definitely mean huge changes to some things, especially foreign policy, but Congress would band together in a heartbeat and override him at every turn in other regards. No one stops the gravy train. At least, not for those who buy Congress anyways.

Apollo February 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

4) Ron Paul is myopic and fails to see the bigger picture with regards to foreign policy and its effects on the present state of international relations as well the future.

adplatt126 February 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

No. Conspiracies are private, stealth affairs. The vote-flipping and just openly uncounted votes in Maine for example, do not amount to a conspiracy. It was plain treason. But nobody is willing to do anything about it. How really do you challenge a tyrannical government with near infinite power?

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

How high can you count? Most elections tend to be settled by those who garner the most votes. First in primaries and subsqently, in General Elections.

Which did he win?

Aspie much?

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mnolan13 February 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Nobody liked Romney. The RNC changed the nomination rules after the convention began to prevent a vote between Paul and Romney. Gee, I wonder why.

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GrandTango February 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

So now, all of the sudden, we’re supposed to believe Ron Paul cares about National Security????….ours anyway…

This guy thinks the American Soldier is a terrorist imposing his will…and Al Qaeda are Freedom Fighters…

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Dayne Herr Jr February 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

spoken like somebody who has no clue what Ron Paul’s position actually is

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GrandTango February 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

He does not seem to know his position from one day to the next (it changes according to the audience) ..so why should I?

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TontoBubbaGoldstein February 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Death.

Taxes.

Clemson getting beat in basketball by UNC in Chapel Hill.

Big Time’s idiocy.

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john February 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm

He does not seem to know his position.from one moment to the next? The man has had basically the same position on things for over 30+ years and he is the ONLY one in congress who truly stands by his ideals no matter the tide of popular opinion. Really the only truly honest politician to get as close as he did to the presidency in decades.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein February 2, 2014 at 10:33 pm

PRO TIP:
TBG’s Internet Rule #3:
“Never argue with an idiot.”

GrandTango February 3, 2014 at 8:01 am

You people Don’t argue…you’re too stupid to posit anything of substance. You mostly regurgitate the lies and PR-Speak given to you by the DNC…

You usually just hurl tired and clichéd insults (see TBG below) with a vigor like you thought of the insult yourself, and are the first to use it.

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

“You [people] usually just hurl tired and clichéd insults (see TBG below) with a vigor like you thought of the insult yourself, and are the first to use it.”

Listen, DUMB@$$, everyone here knows of the certainty of death, taxes, and your idiocy…but to, his knowledge, TBG was the first to add UNC’s Chapel Hill win streak to the previous three. Hence the vigor.

….and you better cease and desist with that “You people” $h!t or you’ll wind up with the Anti-Defamation League and the ghost of Russel Means all over your @$$!!!

GrandTango February 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm

On queue: LMAO…

The least you can do, when I reveal to you what you are…is CHANGE…don’t double down on the Dumb@$$edness…Hahahaha…

euwe max February 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

On queue: LMAO…

——
man… this *has* to be the General!

GrandTango February 3, 2014 at 7:58 am

Your MY Way (Ron’s Way) is the ONLY Way, pious and arrogant attitude is why he gets about 3% of the vote when he runs. A Clue: You’re NOT the only smart one in the world…

You remind me of these kooky religious cults who claim they are the only ones going to heaven….and D@*n er’body else who does not see it their way, no matter how mis-guided you are…

EJB February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Ron Paul no longer serves in congress.

PostSurgeOperative February 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Ron Paul has flip-flopped and waffled on many issues. For example, in his first several campaigns, he argued for statutory ‘term limits’ for congressmen. After serving 35 years in Congress, he now says that statutory term limits are a bad idea.

When he ran for president as the Libertarian Party’s nominee, Ron Paul was for open borders and no limits on immigration. Since then, he has run several campaign ads claiming he’s for strictly-enforced closed borders and restricted immigration.

He used to be for the federal death penalty, but now he thinks that only the states should be allowed to kill convicts, because, apparently, it’s unfair when the feds do it, but somehow it’s magically fair and reasonable when Texas or Alabama do it.

He repeatedly admitting to authoring racist articles and even defended the content in those newsletters, yet years later he claims that he was ‘pressured’ into lying about it by his advisors. Now, he claims he never knew anything about it until ’20 years later’. The fact is that Ron Paul founded ‘Ron Paul and Associates, LLC’ which was the corporate shield under which the newsletters were produced and sold. He appointed himself as President of the board of Directors; he appointed his wife, Carol, to be the Secretary of the Board; he appointed his daughter-in-law to be the Treasurer; in all, Ron Paul and at least 7 other Paul family relatives were paid corporate officers or members of the board of Directors of ‘Ron Paul and Associates, LLC’. It’s one thing to claim that ‘he was too busy to oversee the newsletter operations’, but it’s entirely ridiculous to claim that not even one of the 7 Paul family corporate directors had no clue to what they were publishing, particularly when you consider the fact that in 1993 alone, the newsletter business generated more than $900,000 for the family.

These are just a few examples. There are many others. Not that it really matters, because no one but crackpots, lunatics, and right-wing nut-jobs take Ron Paul seriously.

FudgePackerAtChocolateMonkey February 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

Tango, I know what your position is. On your knees. Whether slobbing on my knob or sucking the santorum out of Lindsey’s ass when he comes over to party with us, most often you are on your knees. even when I’m packing your fudge.

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venomachine February 3, 2014 at 8:41 am

No he doesn’t.

He does believe that we don’t belong overseas. I don’t buy isolationism, but that isn’t really what he’s preaching either.

We do need to get out of Europe and the ME.

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Smirks February 3, 2014 at 8:48 am

It is hard to take pity on the NSA workers engaging in the eradication of any semblance of privacy we have, but I do feel bad for whoever has the responsibility of keeping tabs on GrandTango. Constant exposure to weapons-grade stupidity? Don’t think I’d wish that on anyone.

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euwe max February 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

koo koo..

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Zach Martin February 3, 2014 at 12:28 am

So, what was incorrect about the article?

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euwe max February 3, 2014 at 1:03 am

It’s probably too subtle to convey in words, since it doesn’t seem to be apparent on its face, but I’ll try.

Ron doesn’t know whether Clapper is lying or not, and doesn’t come to a conclusion on that in the article. He doesn’t have an opinion on how strong al Qaeda actually is, himself, either. He doesn’t know anything at all, except that there are bad people out there. Some bad people are al Qaeda, and some people are predatory capitalists. He’s not even certain if these bad people who want to keep the stream of war money coming, are influencing the CIA itself.

One thing he’s certain NOT to say is that there’s anything wrong with making money any way you can as an individual – no matter who is saddled with the bill… unless, of course, you call it a “tax.”

He’s not averse to speculating in a way that allows him to skirt calling for the arrest of Dubya and Cheney for putting those wheels in motion, though, is he?

He’s a libertarian with an agenda.

That’s what’s wrong with the article. I’m using the word “wrong” instead of “incorrect” because there aren’t any facts presented that could be considered “incorrect.” It’s all opinion.

koo koo…

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The Enquirer February 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

…and I’m still searching for the “wrong” in Paul’s answer as you suggest.

He says at the end “Is it not time to try non-intervention and a strong defense rather than drone strikes and pre-emptive attacks?”

So is this what you are finding “wrong”?

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euwe max February 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Its too subtle for words.

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm

TBG thinks Dr Paul is just being polite. For a native Pennsylvanian…he’s got a lot of “Southern” in him–which is a good thing.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

TBG goes all Socratic…ala Phillip Branton…..

Assuming that Dr Paul is a libertarian (in favor of much less government and more personal freedom)…

Assuming that Rand has a similar philosophy and that the good doctor and all the Citadel grads working at SPAWAR would like to see Rand elected POTUS and the cause of liberty advanced….

Wouldn’t calling for Dubya and Cheney to be indicted as war criminals be counterproductive from a public relations standpoint?

euwe max February 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

yeah…

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

…and who’s Phillip Branton?

“Non-sequiter bro” that always posts on this site. Like BigTime does with
Obama, PB relates everything to Foriegn oil, SPAWAR, Citadel Cadets, Lindsey Graham etc. Has the “Hurricane in the Gulf” avatar.

euwe max February 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

oh…

yeah…

I think I started to read one of his messages…

reminds me of one of Perp’s pot-smoking British lawyer friends.. he would regale the Damned Tangos of the net, while stoned, with inane conversation intended only for entertainment. His targets seemed to think they were engaged in a worthwhile conversation.

Reading it releases endorphins and eventually induces a sleep-like stupor.

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

“But then that would also argue that he should run as a Republican to get elected, and then spring his “true” (which you can never know if he’s trying not to be counterproductive from a public relations standpoint) colors on everyone… since that’s what he’s arguably doing anyway.”

*Lowers eyes*

*Scuffs shoe soles in dirt*

*Sighs*

Yeah, TBG knows.

euwe max February 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm

You and TBG seem to have a wonderful friendship…Bob Dole seemed to have a similar friend in his.. well, I must confess I’m a little jealous because I once had such a friend, but he turned on me over instant gratification – the fucker! He took all the good shit, and left me here to pay the bills.

Uh huh February 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

“Assuming that Rand has a similar philosophy”

In the land of unicorns and fairy’s we’ll all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya too.

Rand is simply no where near his father philosophically.

He is a straight up interventionist & also pro Iranian sanctions, per wiki:

“Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or “non-interventionist”, father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.”

Rand Paul has everyone bamboozled. He’s Mr. “Crunchy Conservative”, whatever the hell that means.

Him and the Southern Avenger are attempting to build the old Reagan coalition again…announcing “government is the problem” and just like Reagan, but if Rand is elected(fat chance) he’ll quickly show that he simply paid libertarians lip service, just like Reagan-once again making libertarians chumps.

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm

“Mr. “Crunchy Conservative”, whatever the hell that means.”

Rod Dreher coined the term “Crunchy Con” and, in fact wrote a book about them.

He blogs at The American Consevative and is a pretty interesting writer.

adplatt126 February 4, 2014 at 4:13 pm

LOL. His analysis demonstrates that the government is either dishonest with us or perfectly incompetent. You obviously don’t get it. His logic is sound. There are no other choices. They wasted trillions of dollars or are lying to squander more. You just don’t like the man. The only empty screed here is yours. Your psychobabble is all over the place. Your mind seems to jump erratically from one silly idea to the next. Ron Paul gave a hefty portion of his salary back to the taxpayer each year he was in congress. Go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under. He doesn’t need facts to expose the fundamental inconsistencies in stories contrived by liars.

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euwe max February 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

LOL. His analysis demonstrates that the government is either dishonest with us or perfectly incompetent.

——–
LOL. Genius! Too bad in all his time in the Senate he *still* can’t decide which side of the fence he’s on!

Col. Klink February 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I actually agree…killing by drones isn’t making us any friends.

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Thomas Paine February 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

On the surface, you’d think this most common sense fact would be enough to at least dissuade the public from cheering our masters on in doing so in countries that we haven’t declared war on.

I know why pols want to do it(it enriches them), but that they can convince so many sheeple that it is in their best interest as well is simply amazing.

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venomachine February 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

We should kill by drone and shut up about it. Start a disinformation campaign that the incompetent buffoons blew themselves up.

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euwe max February 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

just come home. Simple and to the point.

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venomachine February 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm

We can do both, really.

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euwe max February 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm

apparently not.

SCBlueWoman February 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

“They” don’t know what to do with those unemployment numbers when the military gets home. The NG that were deployed became active military and their jobs are gone. It all sucks eggs.

idcydm February 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act

Smirks February 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

I don’t think anything we are doing in the Middle East is being done to “make friends.” But hey, people still believe we put people in power of other countries because freedom and liberty, and certainly not to protect our own interests with zero regards to the cost of the citizens of those countries.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein February 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

we put people in power of other countries because freedom and liberty, and certainly not to protect our own interests with zero regards to the cost of the citizens of those countries.

Sarcasm noted…but still…
“We,” who, Paleface?

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Democracy is a sham February 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

This is one of the greatest scam’s perpetrated by government in general…get eveyone to think the cockroaches represent “we” and then people actually start to blame themselves for the pols bad behavior….as if 1 vote cast for someone once every 2, 4, or 6 years means an implicit endorsement of all the bad behavior.

Even further though, the pols love it because people will never get around to an actual revolt because of the weird Stockholm syndrome produced as a result.

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Thomas February 3, 2014 at 12:11 am

The Bloods in Richland County are a bigger threat than any musloid 12000 miles away.

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BrigidBernadette February 3, 2014 at 8:13 am

Actually, a teenager in an internet cafe in China or Bangladesh stealing our entire tax rolls from DoR and 20 million people’s card numbers from Target are a bigger threat than the Bloods, and I totally agree with you that the Bloods are nonetheless a huge threat to Columbia.

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PostSurgeOperative February 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Ron Paul voted the 2001 AUMF, the law which empowered President Bush to launch his ‘War on Terror’. If you’ve never read the text of the 2001 AUMF, you should. It’s only a few paragraphs long, and gives virtually unlimited war-making authority to the executive, with no sunset provision. Why did Ron Paul vote for this law? He later claimed that his advisors pressured him into it, LOL!

Btw: in the 2012 elections, Ron Paul endorsed exactly 2 candidates, both of whom are extreme right-wing, anti gay, conservative ideologues, and both of whom were in races in which a strong, Libertarian Party-backed candidate was also competing. Is Randy Weber an ‘anti-war’ candidate? Not hardly, but his Libertarian opponent was. Randy Weber (the man Ron Paul endorsed for his TX congressional district) is also a huge supporter of federal spending on NASA. Why? Because NASA dollars are important to the economy of southern TX.

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Spoonman44 February 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

The continuing CIA threat

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cyberblunt February 5, 2014 at 1:01 am

That man is a champion and a hero. Damn you Bush & Obama!

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