Why I Voted for Ron Paul

Even though I disagree with his economics for the most part (my views are more in line with another candidate– whom I will do a favor and not name– who has a long record of supporting Keynesian economics), I just got back from voting for Ron Paul in the GOP presidential primary.

The reason I did is simply because Ron Paul is the only candidate who rejects the idea that the President of the United States has the legal authority to assassinate any or all of the People of the United States, something Attorney General Eric Holder had the balls to defend publicly.
“Some have called such operations “assassinations.” They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings. Here, for the reasons I have given, the U.S. government’s use of lethal force in self defense against a leader of al Qaeda or an associated force who presents an imminent threat of violent attack would not be unlawful.”

In other words, its not unlawful because “for the reasons I have given” I say that that its not unlawful. Why that’s practically as solid as the Magna Carta (well not really, “NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned… or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land“).
Weighing in on the other side from Eric Holder is Sir William Blackstone (still quoted by judges three centuries after his passing):
“Bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom”.

Yeah, you’d think. But there’s only one presidential candidate conveying the alarm of tyranny.
“Ron Paul: I strongly object to the President institutionalizing a policy that explicitly says that he has the authority to target American citizens because he believes they’re bad people. You don’t protect bad people because they deserve it, you protect bad people and go through the process because you think a lot about innocent American people never being treated in this manner.”

Brav to the O. Remember the old days when even Democrats talked like that? This is what Eric Holder had to say during the Bush Administration.
“To those in the Executive branch who say “just trust us” when it comes to secret and warrantless surveillance of domestic communications I say remember your history.”

If by the GOP Convention this summer, no candidate has achieved a majority of the delegates, Romney and/or Santorum will have to scramble to pick up votes where they can. I trust the Paul supporters (I guess I mean, my fellow Paul supporters) are considering what Dr. Paul should trade his delegates for if he isn’t in a position to win the nomination. My own druthers would be the eventual GOP nominee:
(1) Promises to end to Fed, which doesn’t require congressional action if the President files a lawsuit against an independent agency– any one will do– and petitions the Supreme Court to overrule Humphrey’s Executor on unitary executive grounds (After which the elected President, subject to Acts of Congress, would set monetary policy. I trust he and they won’t set up a gold-based currency board but there’s no telling);
(2) Renounces presidential authority to assassinate US citizens and promises to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any rumors or allegations– someone should’ve read Holder his Miranda Rights before he gave his most recent speech– that the Foreign Murder of US Nationals statute has been violated by government officials;
(3) OK OK, this one’s for the kids; Pledges to reschedule cannabis by Executive Order so the decision whether a sick person benefits from use of medical marijuana is left in the hands of their doctor and not their congressman.

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Dan M.
4 years 1 month ago

I agree with skepticism in this area, but I guess I’m just not seeing the difference between “black ops” against foreigners in a foreign country and “black ops” against American Citizens in a foreign country both having done the same thing.

For instance, if Osama were an American citizen, would we have had different rules of engagement in Pakistan when we found him?

I guess I just don’t know what the threshhold should be, or why.

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Dan M.
4 years 1 month ago

So what does the law say about killing non-Americans during black ops? Is that an act of war? Should it then take an act of congress?

Maybe I’m just too jaded on things military, but if we have evidence XYZ that someone commited a terrorist act as part of a broader war-like declaration launched from a foreign country, the LAW may say things about how a non-citizen should be treated vs a non-citizen, and I’m all for abiding the law, but I guess I just don’t see much difference on a more basic moral level.

I do debate these things regarding how to treat the “war on terror” all the time, but never have I really thought that a dividing line was whether one of the terrorists, if operating from a foreign base, was an American citizen or not.

Does this mean we can’t strike terror camps if we think Anwar Al-Awlaki was there? What if one of our citizens had defected to the Germans during WWII… do we owe him seperate treatment?

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beowulf
4 years 1 month ago

“So what does the law say about killing non-Americans during black ops? Is that an act of war? Should it then take an act of congress?”.

The issue isn’t killing per se, after all American POWs died in the A-bombing of Nagaski, collateral damage is one of the unavoidable horrors of war. Similarly if an American serves in an enemy army, American forces wouldn’t know he was a countryman until after he’d been killed or captured (after which, like John Walker Lindh he’d be a POW subject to civilian prosecution for treason and related crimes). The crux of the matter is targeted killings, its unclear if the Geneva Convention forbids targeted killing of civilians (I’m seen conflicting claims on this point and I’m no expert in international law), to the extent it does or does not would apply equally to Americans and non-Americans.

However, the US Constitution applies to everyone on US soil and every US National anywhere in the world (where it otherwise, the IRS couldn’t assert tax jurisdiction on citizens’ worldwide income). Now you can make the argument that the US Government and US citizens don’t owe each other any sort of duty of loyalty higher and above what they owe other government and citizens… and you’d be wrong. There’s no question that the govt killing its citizens without due process of law violates the 5th Amendment, Sects 1983 & 1985 of the Civil Rights Act and the Foreign Murder statute.Think of it as an economic agency problem, permitting corporate managers to launch drone strikes against shareholders is no way to run a railroad (it would make for interesting annual meetings).

Admin
4 years 1 month ago

Not directly related, but Paul’s stance on war in general is equally admirable. I am not sure it comes from a general hatred of war (which is right) so much as it comes from a hatred of govt (which is wrong), but it’s the right stance to have.

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JK
4 years 1 month ago

I generally agree with Paul on foreign policy, but sometimes I think he’s just a little bit too naive. Meaning, I agree with him that we shouldn’t be fighting all these wars and being the “policeman” of the world. But… a lot of countries around the world have more or less disarmed based on the understanding that we are there to be the military force “for peace”. Therefore, a broad U.S. military disengagement might be accompanied by a worldwide reengagement in military spending.

thoughts?

Admin
4 years 1 month ago

I think that’s probably accurate. I’m no foreign policy expert, but I tend to lean towards the thinking that some presence is necessary, but that we’re overextended in many parts of the world right now for no particular rational purpose other than the fact that history has put us there and kept us there. Then again, I also disagree with the Paul position that we should be more isolationist. We can be more diplomatic without being isolationist or the world’s policeman. Probably easier said than done, but many in Congress won’t even consider diplomacy due to being purely stubborn.

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beowulf
4 years 1 month ago

“For instance, if Osama were an American citizen, would we have had different rules of engagement in Pakistan when we found him?”

Oh yes definitely, it make an enormous difference. Were Osama a US citizen, he’d have the same due process rights as, say, Timothy McVeigh. And like with McVeigh, I trust a jury would have given him the death penalty. What’s more there, the Foreign Murder statute (18 USC 1119) specifically forbids Americans from killing other Americans abroad. Killing a foreign citizen doesn’t trip over that law.
“A person who, being a national of the United States, kills or attempts to kill a national of the United States while such national is outside the United States but within the jurisdiction of another country shall be punished as provided under sections 1111 [Murder], 1112 [Manslaughter], 1113 [Attempt to Commit M or M].”
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Thanks for the kind word Joe.

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