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Congressman Ron Paul Blog: August 2007 BannerFans.com

Friday, August 31, 2007

Leaked Red Cross Report Sets Up Bush Team For International War Crimes Trial by Nat Hentoff

If and when there's the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA's secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament—as well as such deeply footnoted books as Stephen Grey's Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (St. Martin's Press) and Charlie Savage's just-published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (Little, Brown).
While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn't let them in.

But The New Yorker's Jane Mayer has sources who have seen accounts of the Red Cross interviews with inmates formerly held in CIA secret prisons. In "The Black Sites" (August 13, The New Yorker), Mayer also reveals the effect on our torturers of what they do—on the orders of the president—to "protect American values."

She quotes a former CIA officer: "When you cross over that line of darkness, it's hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can't go back to that dark a place without it changing you."

Few average Americans have been changed, however, by what the CIA does in our name. Blame that on the tight official secrecy that continues over how the CIA extracts information. On July 20, the Bush administration issued a new executive order authorizing the CIA to continue using these techniques—without disclosing anything about them.

If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors.

We, however, have the right and the power to insist that Congress discover and reveal the details of the torture and other brutalities that the CIA has been inflicting in our name on terrorism suspects.

Only one congressman, Oregon's Democratic senator Ron Wyden, has insisted on probing the legality of the CIA's techniques—so much so that Wyden has blocked the appointment of Bush's nominee, John Rizzo, from becoming the CIA's top lawyer. Rizzo, a CIA official since 2002, has said publicly that he didn't object to the Justice Department's 2002 "torture" memos, which allowed the infliction of pain unless it caused such injuries as "organ failure . . . or even death." (Any infliction of pain up to that point was deemed not un-American.) Mr. Rizzo would make a key witness in any future Nuremberg trial.

As Jane Mayer told National Public Radio on August 6, what she found in the leaked Red Cross report, and through her own extensive research on our interrogators (who are cheered on by the commander in chief), is "a top-down-controlled, mechanistic, regimented program of abuse that was signed off on—at the White House, really—and then implemented at the CIA from the top levels all the way down. . . . They would put people naked for up to 40 days in cells where they were deprived of any kind of light. They would cut them off from any sense of what time it was or . . . anything that would give them a sense of where they were."

She also told of the CIA interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, who was not only waterboarded (a technique in which he was made to feel that he was about to be drowned) but also "kept in . . . a small cage, about one meter [39.7 inches] by one meter, in which he couldn't stand up for a long period of time. [The CIA] called it the dog box."

Whether or not there is another Nuremberg trial—and Congress continues to stay asleep—future historians of the Bush administration will surely also refer to Leave No Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality, the July report by Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The report emphasizes that the president's July executive order on CIA interrogations—which, though it is classified, was widely hailed as banning "torture and cruel and inhuman treatment"—"fails explicitly to rule out the use of the 'enhanced' techniques that the CIA authorized in March, 2002, "with the president's approval (emphasis added).

In 2002, then–Secretary of State Colin Powell denounced the "torture" memos and other interrogation techniques in internal reports that reached the White House. It's a pity he didn't also tell us. But Powell's objections should keep him out of the defendants' dock in any future international trial.

From the Leave No Marks report, here are some of the American statutes that the CIA, the Defense Department, and the Justice Department have utterly violated:

In the 1994 Torture Convention Implementation Act, we put into U.S. law what we had signed in Article 5 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which is defined as "an act 'committed by an [officially authorized] person' . . . specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering . . . upon another person within his custody or physical control."

The 1997 U.S. War Crimes Act "criminalizes . . . specifically enumerated war crimes that the legislation refers to as 'grave breaches' of Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions], including the war crimes of torture and 'cruel or inhuman treatment.'"

The Leave No Marks report very valuably brings the Supreme Court— before Chief Justice John Roberts took over—into the war-crimes record of this administration. I strongly suggest that Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility send their report—with the following section underlined—to every current member of the Supreme Court and Congress:

"The Supreme Court has long considered prisoner treatment to violate substantive due process if the treatment 'shocks the conscience,' is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities, or offends 'a principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.'"

Among those fundamental rights cited by past Supreme Courts, the report continues, are "the rights to bodily integrity [and] the right to have [one's] basic needs met; and the right to basic human dignity" (emphasis added).

If the conscience of a majority on the Roberts Court isn't shocked by what we've done to our prisoners, then it will be up to the next president and the next Congress—and, therefore, up to us—to alter, in some respects, how history will judge us. But do you see any considerable signs, among average Americans, of the conscience being shocked? How about the presidential candidates of both parties?

Aging Infrastructure - Speech by Ron Paul

Aging Infrastructure by Ron Paul

The recent and tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota raises many questions in Americans' minds about our aging infrastructure, and what is being done to maintain it. Questions such as: "Was I-35 an isolated accident or are we approaching days when crumbling bridges and bursting pipes will be regular features on the evening news?"

The poor ratings on the inspection report of that bridge, and similar deficiency findings on as many as 25% of our bridges suggests the latter. Estimates on what it will cost to bring deficiencies in our infrastructure back up to par range from massive to astronomical.

Billions of tax dollars at all levels of government are devoted to infrastructure, but one problem is that politicians love to cut ribbons. Political capital is gained not from maintaining or repairing our systems, but from building new bridges, new stadiums, and new roads, often of questionable real utility. Seldom is there a ceremony or photo opportunity for repairing or maintaining something already in place.

As the so-called Highway Trust Fund is set to go bankrupt as early as 2009, private investment firms are gearing up for partnerships, which could be a positive step, if handled sensibly. What we need to avoid are items such as the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC), which is phase 1 of the NAFTA Super Highway. The Spanish firm Cintra is set to take over toll collections after the TTC’s completion; however it is unclear that they’ll have any obligations for maintenance. The cost is being socialized, while the profit is privatized, effectively making the American people pay for it twice.

Infrastructure, in a capitalist model, is an asset worthy of maintaining to ensure continuity of revenue. In a government-controlled model infrastructure is nothing but a cumbersome liability. This should be taken into consideration when developing plans to keep our current infrastructure safe. Privatization should be used to encourage maintenance and safety, and where private companies truly invest and bear the upfront costs in return for ability to collect tolls or usage fees in some form. But public/private partnerships that look more like corporate welfare must be avoided.

We should re-examine how we handle the taxes we collect for infrastructure and how we allocate that money. At the very least reins need to be put on the Highway Trust Fund. Funds collected from the gas tax should go into the Trust Fund – period.

Even the most ardent liberal and passionate conservative can agree that when they pay gasoline taxes, the least they expect is a road and bridge system that won't crumble beneath their feet. Before any subsidies or welfare payments are paid out, before social security is handed out to illegal immigrants, or health care is given to everyone, before bridges to nowhere are built at home, or entire countries bombed and rebuilt abroad, before any other myriad of exotic government projects are even considered, infrastructure should be attended to and taken seriously.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ron Paul Wins Five Straw Polls, Media Silent

Ron Paul Wins Five Straw Polls, Mainstream Media Remains Silent
Whether it's Washington, Alabama, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, the message is the same. We want our freedom, our rights, our money, and our country back, and we're willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Thousands are driving from all over their states to show support resulting in straw poll victories for Ron Paul with percentages as high as 81%. Dr. Paul has placed in a total of 16 straw polls now, tying him with Romney and thrusting him far beyond Giuliani in terms of visible support, and not a word about the trend can be heard from the mainstream media. To put this into perspective, there were over 4,800 articles in the mainstream media about the Iowa straw poll in which Mitt Romney spent over $200,000 ensuring his win, while there are a whopping 162 mainstream articles combined from all five straw polls in which Ron Paul was victorious. Most of these mentions are no more than a one-senence blurb incorporated into an article about a more general topic. But, this is the Internet, and we have access to the truth:

Straw Poll Victories

New Hampshire Taxpayers, July 7 ~ 1st 65.3%
North Carolina, Gaston GOP, August 13, ~ 1st 36.6%
New Hampshire, Stafford, NH, August 18 ~ 1st 72.7%
Alabama, August 18 ~ 1st 81.2%
Washington State, August 21 ~ 1st 28.1%

Utah GOP, June 12, 2nd 5.4%
LibertyPapers.org conference, June 16 ~ 2nd 16.7%
Georgia, Cobb Co. GOP, July 4 ~ 2nd 17%
South Carolina, Georgetown Co., July 28 ~ 2nd 18%
West Lafayette, Indiana, August 18 ~ 2nd 11.7%

Number of Times Placing In Top Three

Candidate First Second Third Total
Ron Paul 5 5 6 16
Mitt Romney 4 6 6 16
Fred Thompson 10 4 0 14
Rudy Giuliani 0 3 2 5
Mike Huckabee 0 2 3 5
Duncan Hunter 0 1 3 4
Sam Brownback 1 0 1 2
John McCain 1 0 1 2
Tommy Thompson 0 1 0 1
John Cox 0 0 0 0
Jim Gilmore 0 0 0 0
Tom Tancredo 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0

Source: Oklahomans for Ron Paul
Clearly, it's up to us to get the word out. Join your local meetup, talk to family, friends, and co-workers. This is our one chance to save our country. Let's make it happen!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ron Paul Blog Article

More Republicans quit as party faces election disasterTim Reid in Washington
A rash of resignations on Capitol Hill and among President Bush’s senior staff has increased the impression that Republicans are fleeing for the exits before electoral disaster next year.

In the past week three of the party’s four leaders in the House announced that they would not seek re-election, and yesterday Tony Snow, Mr Bush’s spokesman, became the latest senior White House aide to quit. This came after the announcement by Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s chief strategist, that he will leave on August 31.

The growing exodus has intensified Republican fears that as the Bush presidency ends mired in Iraq, the party faces further losses in the House and Senate next year, a Democrat victory in the presidential race and an era of internecine bloodletting.

Although a Democrat White House victory is far from assured, by every measure the Republican Party is in trouble. Recent polls show that compared with 2002, when America was split evenly over party identification, now only 35 per cent call themselves Republican - whereas 50 per cent say that they are Democrat.

At the end of the Reagan presidency 37 per cent of young people - those aged 18 to 25 - were Republican. That is down to 25 per cent today.

For the first time in a decade Democrats are raising vastly more money than Republicans. Before next year’s congressional elections the Senate Democratic campaign committee has more than $20 million (£10 million) in cash - compared with less than $6 million for its Republican counterpart.

In the House the Democratic campaign committee has $20 million in the bank; the Republicans only $2 million. A comparison between the top three presidential candidates for each party reveals a wide disparity. The leading Democrats had cumulatively $95 million cash on hand at the end of June; their Republican rivals only $33 million between them.

On Capitol Hill the core of the Republicans’ House leadership is leaving. Last week Dennis Hastert, who lost his job as House Speaker when Democrats regained control of the chamber last November, announced that he would not stand for re-election. So did Deborah Pryce, another member of the House leadership. She leaves vacant her Ohio seat, a bellwether and one of the most vulnerable.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ron Paul Wins By Landslide in Alabama, New Hampshire Straw Polls

« Ron Paul Wins By Landslide in Alabama Straw Poll | Main | LRC Home | Re: Reich Winger Erased »
August 18, 2007
Ron Paul Wins NH Straw Poll
Posted by Lew Rockwell at August 18, 2007 04:08 PM

Ron takes the Strafford County, NH, GOP straw poll today by another landslide:

Out of 286 votes cast:

Ron - 208 (73%)
Romney - 26
Huckabee - 20
Tancredo - 8
McCain - 7
Cox - 5
Hunter - 5
Fred Thompson - 3
Giuliani - 3
Brownback - 1

Now remind me: who is "2nd tier"?

UPDATE: Writes Pieter Friedrich, "It's interesting to note that Huckleberry Hound and Congressman Tancredo were the only other candidates besides Ron Paul in attendance, yet their 3rd and 4th place are so anemic they're barely worth mentioning. It's amusing to see them, particularly the Arkansas socialist, waste their campaign time for such abysmal returns."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lying War Propaganda Against Iran by Ron Paul

Lying War Propaganda Against Iran
by Ron Paul

Statement on H Con Res 21

Before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 22, 2007

Madam Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. This resolution is an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran. Citing various controversial statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this legislation demands that the United Nations Security Council charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing UN resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déjà vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for UN resolutions? That is where this resolution, and the many others we have passed over the last several years on Iran, is leading us. I hope my colleagues understand that a vote for this bill is a vote to move us closer to war with Iran.

Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world “do as we say, not as we do.”

I strongly urge my colleagues to consider a different approach to Iran, and to foreign policy in general. General William Odom, President Reagan’s director of the National Security Agency, outlined a much more sensible approach in a recent article titled “Exit From Iraq Should Be Through Iran.” General Odom wrote: “Increasingly bogged down in the sands of Iraq, the US thrashes about looking for an honorable exit. Restoring cooperation between Washington and Tehran is the single most important step that could be taken to rescue the US from its predicament in Iraq.” General Odom makes good sense. We need to engage the rest of the world, including Iran and Syria, through diplomacy, trade, and travel rather than pass threatening legislation like this that paves the way to war. We have seen the limitations of force as a tool of US foreign policy. It is time to try a more traditional and conservative approach. I urge a “no” vote on this resolution.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Evidence Suggests Ron Paul Was Cheated In Iowa Straw Poll by Steve Watson

Ron Paul's fifth place in the Iowa Straw Poll questioned due to voting machine failure, fuzzy figures and conflicts of interest
Infowars.net | August 14 , 2007
Steve Watson

A host of curious events at the Iowa Straw Poll at the weekend has raised questions as to whether there was some kind of tampering with the final vote count, with evidence to suggest Ron Paul may have been wrongly placed in fifth position behind Mitt Romney and three second tier candidates.

It was reported by local TV news stations before the event that upwards of 45,000 Republicans would arrive to meet candidates and cast their votes, however this number was dwindled down to between 30,000 and 33,000 according to the Iowa GOP's projected figures.

The number of voters then decreased by another sizable margin to around 26,000 the next day, only for the final figure to drop EVEN FURTHER to 14,302 actual votes cast.

Even if the immediate figures of 45,000 and 33,000 were wrong and the Iowa GOP grossly overestimated the figures, with only 26,000 tickets being sold, this still does not account for the other 12, 000 tickets that suddenly disappeared. One has to ask the question why did 12,000 people buy tickets at $35 each and not vote?

In 1999 the Straw Poll, which was won by George W Bush, attracted 23,685 voters , an incredibly similar figure to the 26,000 tickets sold this year.

As we reported yesterday , it has come to light that the voting procedure was overseen the Story County Auditor's Office, the head of whom happens to also be a member of Mitt Romney's " Leadership Team ".

When the electronic voting machines inevitably malfunctioned, many immediately became wary.

According to some reports 4500 ballots had to be re-run and the announcement of the poll results was delayed by over an hour.

Earlier in the week a group of Ron Paul supporters had attempted to block the vote based on concerns over insecurities in the Diebold machines , yet the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to join an injunction against the vote.

It hasn't helped Romney's case that swirling around the blogosphere are rumours that previous to the straw poll he was "joking" out loud that his team were going to " stuff the ballot box ".

The plot thickens with further analysis of the figures. A reader to popular website Whatreallyhappened.com writes:

So we know from the state Auditor that one ‘problem' machine contained 500 votes. Assuming most machines contained a similar pattern of use, then they should also contain about the same number of votes. 60 (machines) x 500 = 30,000 votes. That is more than TWICE as many as the official count. Based on a total vote count of 14,301, if all machines were used about equally, then the average number of votes per machine SHOULD have been 238 {14,301 (total votes) / 60 (machines) = 238 votes per machine}. What are the odds that one of the machines that ‘malfunctioned' and actually gave up an audited vote tally would contain TWICE as many votes as the ‘average' machine? But it gets worse…

State Auditor David Vaudt (who unofficially certified the vote count) said that there were only 2 machines out of the 60 that were inconsistent (paper printout vs. electronic tabulation) and needed to be recounted. Mary Tiffany of the Iowa GOP said that a total of approximately 1500 votes were re-fed into the Diebold machines. Since we know that there were only two machines that were a problem and one of them contained 500 votes, then the second machine must have contained about 1000 ballots, which is more than FOUR TIMES what the ‘average' machine should contain based on a total vote of 14,301. It seems more likely that there were actually 3 problem machines, and the true average per machine was about 500 votes, which would have resulted in a total vote of about 30,000 which is twice the official total vote count.
Though it was reported that "there were nothing but Ron Paul signs in the crowd" and that his campaign signs lined the highways and streets leading into Ames, Iowa, Paul came in fifth place behind Romney, Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo.

Some exit polls also suggested that Ron Paul had actually WON the poll outright, before the final result was announced.

The Ames Straw Poll's results are non-binding and have no official effect on the presidential primaries. However, the straw poll is frequently seen as a first test of organizational strength in Iowa by the news media and party insiders. At the very least an investigation should be conducted to determine how significant an effect on the vote the Diebold machine malfunctions had and also why 12,000 tickets were not translated into votes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ron Paul May be Only Hope of Avoiding Draft

Gambling 911 | August 13, 2007
Jennifer Reynolds

Special contributor Jennifer Reynolds suggests that 2008 US Presidential candidate Ron Paul may be the only hope of avoiding a draft. The subject of a draft came into play this week.

A top U.S. military officer in charge of co-ordinating the U.S. war effort in Iraq said yesterday that it makes sense to consider a return of the draft to meet the U.S. military's needs.

Lieutenant-General Douglas Lute, said the all-volunteer military is serving "exceedingly well" and the administration has not decided a draft is needed.

But in an interview with National Public Radio, he said, "I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table."

Does that sound scary? Do you think it is an over reaction?

General Lute, the new War Czar, announced today, August 10, 2007:

"Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday."I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

Ron Paul warned us all of this possibility back in November but it never made the headlines. In fact, I am sure most of you never even knew he said it. Once again, Ron Paul has proved to be the most prescient candidate running for President. More importantly, he wants to protect your children and if you are under thirty: he wants to protect your LIFE. Here is what Dr. Paul wrote on November 27, 2006:

"Once again the possibility of reinstating a military draft is being discussed in Washington, and while the idea seems remote it is not unthinkable.
Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, soon to be a powerful committee chair, has openly called for reinstating the Selective Service System. Retired Army General Barry McCaffrey claims that our ground forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq are stretched far too thin, and desperately need reinforcements. Meanwhile, other political and military leaders suggest that several hundred thousand additional troops might be needed simply to restore some semblance of order in Iraq. We are nearing the point where a choice will have to be made: either decrease our troop commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan significantly, or produce thousands of new military recruits quickly. So a discussion of military conscription is not purely academic.

Yet the Department of Defense remains steadfastly opposed to a draft. A Pentagon report stated that draft registration could be eliminated "with no effect on military mobilization and no measurable effect on military recruitment." Most military experts believe a draft would actually impair military readiness, despite the increase in raw manpower, because of training and morale problems.

So why is the idea of a draft even considered? One answer is that our military forces are spread far too thin, engaged in conflicts around the globe that are none of our business. With hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in literally hundreds of foreign nations, we simply don't have enough soldiers to invade and occupy every country labeled a threat or deemed ripe for regime change. Given the choice, many in Congress would rather draft more young bodies than rethink our role as world policeman and bring some of our troops home.

Military needs aside, some politicians simply love the thought of mandatory service to the federal government. The political right favors sending young people to fight in aggressive wars like Iraq. The political left longs to send young people into harm's way to save the world in places like Darfur. But both sides share the same belief that citizens should serve the needs of the state-- a belief our founders clearly rejected in the Declaration of Independence.

To many politicians, the American government is America. This is why, on a crude level, the draft appeals to patriotic fervor. Compulsory national service, whether in the form of military conscription or make-work programs like AmeriCorps, still sells on Capitol Hill. Conscription is wrongly associated with patriotism, when really it represents collectivism and involuntary servitude.

I believe wholeheartedly that an all-volunteer military is not only sufficient for national defense, but also preferable. It is time to abolish the Selective Service System and resign military conscription to the dustbin of American history. Five hundred million dollars have been wasted on Selective Service since 1979, money that could have been returned to taxpayers or spent to improve the lives of our nation's veterans.

Ronald Reagan said it best: "The most fundamental objection to draft registration is moral." The notion of involuntary servitude, in whatever form, is simply incompatible with a free society."

To the students reading this out there: If you are old enough to vote, vote for Ron Paul. To the parents of children under 30, beat your kids to the polls!!! To the rest of the country: WAKE UP!!!!!! Politics may be boring but it is VITAL that you know what is going on. I just barely caught this message from Douglas Lute on a ten second mention on a major news network. Your very lives are now at stake.

This is no longer a time in history that you can stay asleep and let others dictate who will be your choice for President. You must pay attention now. Learn about Ron Paul. He has been warning all of you about this for almost a year. Ron Paul is and has always been AGAINST THE DRAFT. Please go to that link. Read the articles.

Ron Paul will protect your children and if you are of draft age, he will protect you too. It is just too bad that 16 year olds cannot vote, because this is the most important Presidential election in their lives as well. Keep in mind, women serve in the military too. It is very possible a draft would include women as well as men. Or should I say girls as well as boys. At 18, you should be worrying about what to wear to the prom, not whether you will be taken against your will and put in a country where people are shooting at you.

Ok, so the draft is bad, but why should I support Ron Paul? Because he has written article upon article against the draft and wrote that we need to abolish the Selective Service Service. You can trust that people will behave in the future the way they have behaved in the past.

On a positive note, Ron Paul strongly exceeded expectations this weekend in the non-binding Iowa Straw Poll. Mitt Romney was the expected winner due to the fact that he literally bussed Iowans to Ames from all over the state and paid the purchase price for every single supporter. Tickets cost $35 each. Romney had also spent nearly a month canvassing the state and so it was no surprise that he won. But Ron Paul proved to his critics that he could turn Internet support into real votes. The mainstream media had him polling around one or two percent, so imagine everyone's surprise when Ron Paul tripled that figure and took 9% of the votes. Dr. Paul had only been campaigning in Iowa for the past week due to his heavy schedule in Congress.

In a surprising twist of events, Ron Paul supporters proved to be a little prescient too. The day before the Straw Poll they sought an injunction to stop the event over the use of Diebold Election Systems machines that the group claimed to have fundamental weaknesses and insisted that paper backup ballots be used as well. The injunction was not granted, but it is a good thing they had the back-up ballots because a few of the machines did fail and the paper ballots had to counted by hand delaying the results for hours. It proves, it is always prudent to stay vigilant over the democratic process.

Back to the real issue at hand. It is great that Ron Paul did so well in the Straw Poll, but our very lives are on the line. This weekend I could find five newscasters who talked about a story about a baby pig who fell out of truck onto the highway, but the fact that the draft is being reconsidered deserved only a ten second mention. Has the world gone insane? Now, more than ever, Ron Paul's supporters are needed not just to get their man elected, but to protect us all from conscription. The good news is they just may be able to do it. I checked a month or two ago and Ron Paul had around 16,000 members in Meetup.com a site that gets people together of like interests to promote or discuss a cause. As of right now he has 32,632 members in 698 groups. I am sure that number will change by the time you click on it.

If we continue this war we will need more troops and they will need to be drafted. Ron Paul is the only Republican who has promised to end this war now. And unlike many leading Democrats, Ron Paul will end it now and not leave a soldier behind.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jon Soltz: Stay the Course in Iraq = the Draft

As detailed in Paul Krugman's column this morning, when challenged whether his kids would sign up for military service, Mitt Romney said that his kids were serving the nation... by working for his campaign. Frankly, I haven't heard something so funny since Al Bundy on Married with Children said, "I served my nation... I played High School football!"

Here's the thing, though. Romney's kids better sign up, along with all the chickenhawks under age 42 (I'm lookin' at you, Michelle Malkin), because the Republican candidates' Johnny-come-lately notion that we need to increase the size of our active duty component is inconsistent with staying the course in the war in Iraq. In fact, the only way to do both is to reinstate the draft. Maybe the President's war czar heard Romney's comments when he said the draft was on the table.

Like I said, the idea that we need to increase the size of the force isn't new. John Kerry proposed it during his 2004 campaign. Frankly, it's something we need to do, in preparation for the long war against terrorists we have ahead, and maybe some unforeseen global conflicts.

It's interesting that when the size of the military is brought up, many of those on the right do -- what else -- blame Bill Clinton. However, a downsizing of the active duty component started long beforehand, with President George H.W. Bush dismantling divisions as they came home from Kuwait, just like he promised to do just before the Gulf War. And, it was the Republican Congresses that pushed forth a downsizing of the military during the 1990s, by favoring expensive missile defense over military pay raises. And so, as started with Bush-41 and continued with the help of the Republican Congress throughout the 90s, the military was downsized.

George W. Bush could have reversed course upon taking office. Yet, he and his administration fought pretty hard to have the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review shrink the size of the Army from ten divisions to eight. In the end, September 11 made it all but impossible for the president to propose such a thing. Yet he still decided the size of the military was fine from the Clinton years, and used funds to pass tax cuts and fund missile defense, instead of growing the size of the active duty component. Donald Rumsfeld, of course, was completely on key with this, being hailed by the DC-elite for pushing the idea of a smaller, leaner, quicker force.

That brings us back to the war on terrorists, Iraq, and the draft. It's clear, now, that Rumsfeld's idea of a smaller strike force for "new" wars was a complete disaster. We went into Iraq with far too few troops (despite the protests of Generals like Eric Shinseki) and we're still paying the price. Our early mistakes have led us to a point where this war is no longer sustainable from a personnel point of view, and even the 100,000 additional troops that Mitt Romney and others on the right want to bring in won't change that.

In fact, they'll find it pretty impossible to sign up 100,000 new troops the longer the war goes on. As it is, the Pentagon has needed to lower recruiting goals just to say they met them, and have lowered recruiting standards so that our military now allows in ex-cons and Skinheads. When young Americans know that they'll be sent off to a protracted war, 15 months at a time, they just don't want to enlist. Surprise, surprise.

But, if Mitt Romney and others are going to be so bullheaded as to say they'll keep the war in Iraq going and add more active duty troops, they have to admit it will mean a draft.

If Romney wants that, we can start with 5 fresh recruits: Romney, Romney, Romney, Romney, and Romney. That would be leadership by example.

Note: Just to follow up on the last couple of Pat Tillman posts I wrote, today at VoteVets.org, we released a letter to the NFL and NFL Players Association, as well as a Letter-to-the-Editor tool, so you can write your local paper on the President's refusal to come clean on the death of Corporal Tillman. Check all of that out at VoteVets.org.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Red Cross confirms Bush administration, CIA used torture in interrogations

Red Cross confirms Bush administration, CIA used torture in interrogations
By Patrick Martin

A confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that Bush administration officials may have committed war crimes in the operation of CIA “secret prisons” overseas, according to a lengthy analysis published on the web site of the New Yorker magazine Sunday.

The Red Cross report concluded that the methods used in the CIA interrogation of alleged 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Al Qaeda prisoners were “tantamount to torture” and that Bush administration officials had likely committed “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions.

The article by Jane Mayer, entitled “The Black Sites,” is the product of a series of interviews with former CIA officers involved in operating the agency’s secret prisons overseas, agents who directly participated in torture sessions and apparently concluded that the methods they were employing were either immoral or counterproductive, or both.

The New Yorker has become one of the principal conduits for dissent within the military/intelligence apparatus directed against the policies of the Bush White House. Mayer’s colleague, Seymour Hersh, wrote the first extensive report on the abuse of prisoners at the US military prison at Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad, as well as a series of exposés about US preparations for a military strike against Iran.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured by Pakistani authorities in early 2003, just before the US invasion of Iraq, and held at secret CIA locations for nearly four years before his transfer to Guantánamo Bay. Last March, the Pentagon made public his “confession” to carrying out or planning no less than 31 separate terrorist atrocities, a statement widely hailed in official circles as proof that torture—or, in Washington-speak, “enhanced interrogation techniques”—was an effective and legitimate practice in the “war on terror.”

At the time, the World Socialist Web Site noted the dubious character of Mohammed’s self-incriminating statements, in which he claimed responsibility for an improbable number of spectacular plots, including purported plans to destroy the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building and London’s Big Ben, and to assassinate former US President Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II. (See: “Washington exploits Guantánamo ‘confession’ to justify its crimes”)

No politically literate observer doubted that Mohammed had been severely tortured, and many said so, among them journalist Nat Hentoff (“Was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tortured?”) and Professor Anthony D’Amato of Northwestern University School of Law (“True Confessions: The Amazing Tale of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed”), who compared the 26-page “confession” to the self-indictments by prisoners in the Stalinist purge trials of the 1930s. Mayer’s article confirms, in fact, that the CIA actually employed torture techniques first developed by the Soviet KGB and copied by US intelligence agencies during the Cold War.

The International Committee of the Red Cross was given access to Mohammed late last year, after his transfer to Guantánamo Bay. The policy of the ICRC is to discuss its findings only with the government holding prisoners in custody, not with the press, in order to insure its continued access to prisoners. But, according to Mayer, the ICRC report on the 15 detainees held in the CIA’s secret prisons was circulated through the very highest levels of the White House, State Department and National Security Council, and to some congressmen on the House and Senate committees that oversee the intelligence agencies.

Mayer cited “congressional and other Washington sources familiar with the report,” writing that “one of the sources said that the Red Cross described the agency’s detention and interrogation methods as tantamount to torture, and declared that American officials responsible for the abusive treatment could have committed serious crimes. The source said the report warned that these officials may have committed ‘grave breaches’ of the Geneva Conventions, and may have violated the US Torture Act.” Mayer adds, “The conclusions of the Red Cross, which is known for its credibility and caution, could have potentially devastating legal ramifications.”

In other words, those US government officials who authorized and carried out the torture of CIA prisoners could face war crimes charges before either an American or international tribunal, as could those who subsequently became aware of what was taking place in the secret prisons and covered it up.

According to Mayer’s article, the CIA use of torture was not a “rogue” operation, but a massive bureaucratic enterprise involving systematic research and development to find the “best” methods for breaking down prisoners. CIA officials reviewed the techniques employed by the Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War as a model for the “war on terror.” The Phoenix Program involved the systematic assassination of an estimated 20,000 cadres, supporters and sympathizers of the National Liberation Front, as well as the widespread torture of prisoners.

The agency also sought interrogation advice from the secret police of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, all of which practice barbaric methods of torture against political prisoners. And one former military interrogator described the techniques of exerting total control over a prisoner’s environment as “the KGB model,” developed during the purges against political dissidents in the former Soviet Union, and subsequently mimicked by the CIA.

Among the techniques used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were prolonged sensory deprivation, continuous shackling while naked, use of a dog leash and female interrogators, forcible slamming into the walls of his cell, suspension from the ceiling of the interrogation room by his arms, and the now-notorious practice of waterboarding, the simulated drowning technique employed as torture since medieval times (when it became known as the “Chinese water torture.”)

One interrogation expert told Mayer, referring to the victims of the torture sessions: “People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling.”

The torture was so severe and systematic that it had a profound psychological effect on some of the torturers themselves, according to Mayer, who interviewed one of those who interrogated Mohammed. This interrogator described a fellow torturer who now “has horrible nightmares ... It really haunts him. You are inflicting something really evil and horrible on somebody.”

CIA officials repeatedly voiced concerns that the orders they were receiving from the White House, and particularly from Vice President Dick Cheney, might leave them vulnerable to criminal prosecution, particularly since they were instructed to keep prisoners like Mohammed alive and thereby preserve them as witnesses to their own abuse. As one official told Mayer, in a particularly chilling passage, “It would have been better if we had executed them.”

A former CIA official told Mayer that many agents had taken out liability insurance to help cover the anticipated legal bills when they face prosecution for prisoner abuse. There is a “high level of anxiety about political retribution,” he said, and “several guys expect to be thrown under the bus,” serving as fall guys for the decision-makers at the highest levels, including Bush, Cheney, former CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who, as White House counsel, supervised the process of giving a legal stamp of approval to torture.

Several leading congressional Democrats are well aware of the ICRC report, which was circulated to leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence committees, chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Congressman Sylvestre Reyes of Texas. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were likely “in the loop” as well.

This fact underscores the complicity of the congressional Democratic leadership, who only two days ago pushed through legislation that greatly expanded the domestic spying powers of an administration which they knew had been branded by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a serial perpetrator of war crimes.

Despite the sensational character of Mayer’s revelations, there has been relatively little comment on the subject in the American media. The Washington Post, in an article Sunday previewing the New Yorker account, confirmed the existence of the Red Cross report and its circulation at the highest levels in the US capital.

It cited “sources familiar with the document” as confirming that the detainees interviewed by the ICRC gave similar accounts of their torture even though they were held in isolation from each other and could not coordinate their stories. This reinforces the credibility of their testimony—as does the exporting of these methods from the CIA secret prisons and the Guantánamo Bay concentration camp to the US military prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, where digital photographs made public in 2004 caused worldwide revulsion at US torture methods.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ron Paul Blog Article by John Fout

Ron Paul Quietly Converting GOP Believers

The Street.com | August 9, 2007
John Fout

Why haven't conservatives leaders embraced their own ideals and come out to support Ron Paul in public?

I pondered this issue in an article in June. I saw Paul as the one second-tier candidate who might have a chance of a breakout from the pack. It turns out I might have got it right. He has remained the most popular GOP candidate on the Internet. This genuine outpouring of support is rivaled only by that for Barack Obama.

Paul remains low in the polls, but his fund-raising suggests he has moved into a separate tier not shared by other small candidates. His campaign has $2.4 million on hand -- more than that of Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). I spoke with Jesse Benton, Paul's communications director, and he says funding continues to be positive for this quarter.

The other second-tier GOP candidates need to do well in the Iowa Ames Straw Poll to stay in the race. Paul does not. His money and popularity over the Internet have separated him from the others.

Paul's campaign recently scheduled several last-minute events in South Carolina with a few days notice. They drew 450 people at one and over 1,000 at another. Front-runner Rudy Giuliani would love to draw those kinds of crowds.

So Paul has gotten support. Sometimes, his supporters don't always agree. A recent New York Times Magazine piece excerpted the following from a supporter's letter to Paul headquarters:
We're in a difficult position of working on a campaign that draws supporters from laterally opposing points of view, and we have the added bonus of attracting every wacko fringe group in the country. And in a Ron Paul Meetup many people will consider each other "wackos" for their beliefs whether that is simply because they're liberal, conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, evangelical Christian, etc. ... We absolutely must focus on Ron's message only and put aside all other agendas, which anyone can save for the next "Star Trek" convention or whatever.

The New York Times piece, nevertheless, demonstrates that Paul's support is genuine.

Then, the National Review Online jumped into the Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) debate last week. It seems that NRO feels conflicted about supporting Paul for president, as do many conservatives.

First, John Derbyshire wrote glowingly about all of the conservative credentials of Paul. Derbyshire's final conclusion, however, was that he could not embrace his own dreams and ideals:
Ain't gonna happen. It was, after all, a conservative who said that politics is the art of the possible. Ron Paul is not possible. His candidacy belongs to the realm of dreams, not practical politics. But, oh, what sweet dreams!

Then Todd Seavey came to Paul's defense a day later. He sees Paul as the perfect fusion candidate to bring together the fiscal and social conservatives:
Presto! The much-lamented divide between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, which has seemed to be widening lately, is eliminated. As has oft been said, Republicans tend to fare best when they pursue the program (pioneered by National Review and praised last year by Ryan Sager in his book Elephant in the Room) called "fusionism," yoking together social conservatism and the libertarian desire to shrink government.

Paul's positions are also genuine. He has a very consistent voting record, so much so that it occasionally puts him in hot water in his own district. But his ability to stay on message will get him support from an important corner of the Republican Party -- the evangelicals.

The evangelicals in the GOP have experienced fatigue over the last few years. They have heard quite a few promises from Washington but have had precious few real victories to celebrate. How long can they put up with the pandering from the top tier candidates like Giuliani (pro-choice), Mitt Romney (a flip-flopper), and Fred Thompson (a lobbyist).

Paul has always been pro-life. He was also an original supporter of Ronald Reagan in 1976 against Gerald Ford. But you won't hear him discussing his views on religion in public. He's a firm believer in the Constitution and the separation between church and state.

So what is stopping conservatives from coming out and supporting Ron Paul in public? I return to Derbyshire's piece:
If Washington, D.C. were the drowsy southern town that Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge rode into, Ron Paul would have a chance. Washington's not like that nowadays, though. It is a vast megalopolis, every nook and cranny stuffed with lobbyists, lawyers, and a hundred thousand species of tax-eater.

Derbyshire basically admits to all of the foibles that have damaged the Republicans over the last seven years -- the lobbyists and scandals. Conservatives have gone from a party of ideals to a party of money, power brokering and winning at all costs.

Unfortunately for the GOP, it has caught up with them. They lost soundly in 2006 and may well repeat it in 2008. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) didn't help their cause last week with another ethics scandal. He's also the senator responsible for an earmark for the "bridge to nowhere."

So why not take a chance on Ron Paul? Even if you can't win, at least conservatives would feel good that they did the right thing by cleaning house. Besides, the last time a conservative got drubbed in a presidential election was Barry Goldwater in 1964. His loss did lead conservatives to their greatest win -- Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Even Rudy Giuliani's DAUGHTER Doesn't Support Him For President by The Guardian

Rudy Giuliani's daughter comes out for Obama

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Wednesday August 8, 2007
The Guardian

The leading Republican for next year's presidential contest, Rudy Giuliani, is having to contend with the embarrassment of discovering his teenage daughter signed up as a supporter of Barack Obama, one of the Democratic frontrunners.
Mr Giuliani, whose family relationships are fraught after a messy divorce, is well ahead of his Republican rivals in spite of reports about his personal life.

His children have already signalled they do not intend to campaign for him. But the Slate political website discovered that his daughter, Caroline, 17, had gone further and signed up to social networking group Facebook's "Barack Obama (1 Million Strong for Barack)" site.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ron Paul Blog Article by Dana Gabriel

Ron Paul Saga-The Best is Yet to Come

by Dana Gabriel


With fund raising efforts exceeding expectations and seemingly unstoppable momentum, Ron Paul continues to be a candidate on the rise. While other presidential campaigns have sputtered, peaked, and are on the decline, he has positioned himself to become a serious contender. He still has a lot of room for growth, but in this process he is being elevated from second tier status to one of the top five Republican presidential candidates.

The success of his campaign has caught many by surprise, including himself. Some of his rivals are now trying to duplicate his formula, but true spontaneous grassroots movements cannot be generated or manufactured. His support is diverse, and what is becoming increasingly clear is that before all is said and done, Ron Paul will have made a huge impact, win or lose.

If we are going to defeat big government corruption and tyranny, and rid ourselves of huge deficits that are spiraling out of control, there will have to be a coming together of the people. Unfortunately, the global elite have many of us trapped in the whole fake left/right paradigm which does nothing, but divide and conquer, and is designed to keep us down. Many are blind to Republican corruption, but have no problem exposing the Democrats and vice versa. What we have is both parties double teaming us with fake squabbles and theater politics, when essentially their goals are the same. Only their methods, propaganda, and rhetoric differ a little.

The good news is that many are waking up, and the illusion is being shattered, which is evident by the increasing mistrust of both parties by the people, coupled with low congressional and presidential approval ratings.

Ron Paul running as a Republican and not as an independent has resulted in more exposure, and has placed him on more of an even playing field, with a better chance of becoming president. He is the dream candidate we have all been waiting for. We must rally around him, do what is right, and vote according to our conscience, not party affiliation or tradition. This is a historic opportunity, and everything in our power must be done to ensure a Ron Paul victory.

On the campaign trail, Ron Paul has consistently demonstrated his ability to overcome adversity -- a trait that will serve him well if he becomes president.

A good example of overcoming adversity is the huge success of his Iowa rally, which was in response to being excluded from a candidates forum. Even when he is in enemy territory and is being attacked from all sides, he remains calm, focused, and isn't distracted from the real issues and getting his message across.

Paul has accepted an invitation to participate in the CNN/You Tube debates, a format that will showcase his willingness to answer even the toughest questions. It will give him an opportunity to interact with ordinary Americans on a national level, a role that unlike other candidates he excels in and relishes. This will define his candidacy and further distinguish him from the others.

Perhaps not wanting to face Dr. Paul in such a capacity and sensing more harm than good coming out of these debates, both Guliani and Romney have not committed and are leaning towards non-participation. If Ron Paul has another strong performance, they can later claim that the debates weren't legitimate since two of the supposed top candidates did not attend. It's all about downplaying and trying to minimize Ron Paul's accomplishments.

The Iraq war is unpopular with the majority of the American people, and it is also becoming increasingly unpopular with the soldiers fighting in this conflict. This discontent has translated into considerable contributions to Ron Paul's campaign from our military personnel more so than any other candidate. Ron Paul was against the Iraq war from the beginning, even when opposing it was seen as unpatriotic. Many of the troops recognize that if he is elected president, they will come back home to their families sooner.

In an effort to hopefully speed up this process, Ron Paul has teamed up with Dennis Kucinich along with other Democrats to introduce a bill that would repeal President Bush's authority to use force in Iraq. He stated,

“I think if you approach this from a constitutional viewpoint, we can join hands with the left as well as the right and come up with solutions and get our troops home.”

This shows his leadership capabilities and demonstrates his willingness to reach across the aisle to get things accomplished.

We the People have an opportunity to use Ron Paul as a vehicle to fix and save a broken America.

The question on many people's minds is if his huge internet support can manifest itself and translate into stronger polling numbers. He is starting to register at 3% in some national polls, and as more hear his message, these numbers will steadily increase. The stage is being set for this Republican dark horse candidate to be elevated to main event status. He will be able to build upon his success if he finishes strong in the first few primaries. At that point it may already be too late to stop the Ron Paul juggernaut, and many will be shocked when he steps out of the shadows to become a legitimate top contender.

There are some who view the Constitution as something obsolete and an obstacle to their agenda. Time after time both the congress and the president ignore it. One man stands head and shoulders above all as its defender. If believing in freedom and following the constitution is radical, then Ron Paul is as radical as they come.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ron Paul Blog Article by Jennifer Haman

Congressman Ron Paul's Secret Revealed
by Jennifer Haman

While speaking to a woman the other day that had never heard of Ron Paul, she stated "My goodness, he is amazing. He is the best kept secret of this presidential campaign." She could not believe there was a contender who represented everything she wanted in a presidential candidate and more. (For those of you who have not yet heard, Ron Paul is running for President.) She talked about wanting to end the war in Iraq. Ron Paul has promised to do that immediately and not leave a soldier behind. She talked about wanting a more secure border. Ron Paul has stated that he wants very strong borders and he was appalled that our government had taken border guards off of our borders to send them to Iraq. She mentioned she is treading water financially and never seems to get ahead. Ron Paul has a solution for that too: end the fiat money system so Congress cannot create monetary inflation. Well, what about privacy she asked? She felt we have moved into an age of Big Brother. Ron Paul wants to protect our privacy by sticking to a strict Constitutionalist policy. He wants to end the Patriot Act that allows the government to enter your home without a warrant and without notifying you so you know they were there. Dr. Paul wants to end the destruction of habeas corpus, the only doctrine we have that lets you see a lawyer if you land in jail. Without it, all other rights are meaningless. Dr. Paul has voted against every attempt to regulate and control the Internet. He believes that the Constitution does not give Congress a right to decide who may or may not marry, or what drugs a physician may or may not prescribe. Ron Paul believes in limited Federal government and limited taxes: he even wants to end the Income tax. (Can you imagine taking home your whole paycheck?)

The conversation continued. She wanted to know why she should vote for a person who has no chance. The obvious answer was because Ron Paul offered her everything she wanted. The second not so obvious answer was that he is actually doing much better than anyone knows because the press hides all of his successes. What most people do not know, because the mainstream press is doing its best to manipulate support away from Dr. Paul, is that he won the first debate, he came in second in the second debate, and he came in first in the third debate. In the most recent straw polls Dr. Paul placed second in the Georgetown SC straw poll, he placed second in the Cob County straw poll and he won the Coalition for New Hampshire Taxpayers straw poll at their annual picnic. As of this writing Ron Paul has placed number one in the PajamasMedia straw poll with 70.8% of the votes! Yet, over and over we are subjected to articles that say he has no chance. (This is an oft-used tactic to sway voters away from a candidate because people do not like to "waste" a vote. As if voting for what you want is a waste.)

The mainstream media call his supporters "spammers," attempting to claim that all his Internet support is really just a few folks pressing a lot of buttons. Nonetheless, his "non-existent" support is growing by leaps and bounds. Oh, the big guys may have the big money, but Ron Paul has the people. In one month alone, his Meetup supporters have grown from 16,184 to 25,101 with 4,192 more waiting to join in the fun. He has 643 separate groups. (These figures tend to rise daily; they were accurate at the time this article was written.) These are undeniable signs that the snowball is rolling. When people get through the gauntlet of media attempts to control their thoughts and votes and actually HEAR Ron Paul speak (see videos on YouTube like this one) or read what he has written they become ardent supporters. I dare you to click on that last link of articles he has written and start reading. I double dare you.

Ron Paul brings a sense of decency back into the political arena. He is not out to win the nomination so that he can run your life, he just wants to return this country to the basics of liberty and freedom we once enjoyed and used to fight for. The rest of the candidates, on both sides, with the exception of Dennis Kucinich, are willing to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes against other countries. Has it been so long that people have forgotten the horrors of nuclear war? Tens of thousands of innocent civilians die. They get radiation sickness and die horrible deaths. Babies die screaming with burning flesh. Thousands are blinded and left helpless. It is a horrible inhumane thought, let alone action. Incredibly, when asked if they would take the option of a pre-emptive nuclear strike off the table, nearly all the other candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike said no. When Dr. Paul was asked during the last GOP debate on Fox, what he thought was the most pressing moral issue facing our country he stated that it was the idea that all those other candidates were willing to entertain even the thought of pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

Even the most optimistic predictions about the effects of a major nuclear exchange predict the death of millions of civilians within a very short amount of time; more pessimistic predictions argue that a full-scale nuclear war could bring about the extinction of the human race or its near extinction with a handful of survivors (mainly in remote areas) reduced to a pre-medieval quality of life and life expectancy for centuries after and cause permanent damage to most complex life on the planet, Earth's ecosystems, and the global climate.
Let's be clear here. Pre-emptive warfare means that one country will strike another before they have been attacked. Translated that means that if one of those other candidates becomes President they would consider dropping a nuclear weapon on another country on the thought that perhaps that country could be a threat to us. Where are the headlines? Where is the outrage? Where is the humanity? Well, I can answer that last one, it is with Dr. Paul.

It is difficult to get through the morass of disingenuous reporting that insists on calling Dr. Paul names rather than address his policies. But, if you can do it, and if you can find out information about him yourself, you will understand why those of us who support him are so emphatic in our love of this man. He represents all that is good, or was good, about this country. He lives a principled life and will not accept his own Congressional pension even though he has spent ten terms in Congress because he does not want to take one dime away from any American. He sent his children to college but would not let them take out student loans because the government has limited resources and he wanted to make sure that loan money went to small businesses that needed it more than his children. He has been married for 50 years. If that doesn't show commitment I don't know what does.

Dr. Paul is the most moral, upstanding, best hope this country has. Those who have read his writings and seen him speak have learned this. I invite all to do the same. Please click on this link to see his writings and things people have written about him. Find out WHY his campaign is growing so fast, so exponentially, and with so many individual supporters. Find out WHY most of his money comes from donations of less than $250 dollars each and almost none from the big players who want government favors. Find out WHY people become so passionate about a silly politician. Have you ever seen such a thing before?

Dr. Paul offers us all hope. Hope that things can actually change in this country and we will not get another 4 years of the same. Disenfranchised Democrats, who voted expecting their party to end the war only to see the money handed over to continue it, are supporting Dr. Paul. Why? Because Ron Paul voted against the war the first time it was brought up, he voted against it the second time it was brought up and he wants to end it completely now. You can always trust people: you can trust them to act the way they have in the past.

Dr. Paul offers businesses hope out of the morass of paperwork and costs they have had to endure since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. An Act so heinous, it threatens to destroy the very fabric of our capital markets in this country. He offers hope to the small business owner who just wants to try to make it on his own and not get buried in the costs of complying with section 404.

Ron Paul offers hope to the elderly who need to have their Social Security checks. Ron Paul wants to have a separate fund to make sure that Congress cannot raid the money and take it from those who need it most. He also introduced an act to repeal all taxes on Social Security benefits. He offers all hope that their savings will still have value in 20 years by taking us off a fiat money system and eliminating the possibility that Congress and the Fed can create monetary inflation. He offers hope to the young people by devising a plan whereby they will have the option to opt out of the Social Security system completely. He offers those same young people hope by promising to vote against a draft while the rest of Congress contemplates the idea.

Ron Paul offers hope to all. Hope that things will change. He is not the "usual" politician. He is known as Dr. No in Washington because he will not take money from one group of people just to give it to another. The lobbyists don't even bother knocking on his door. They know better. We need someone unusual. The usual has brought us, well, the usual.

Where else can you find supporters who give up their weekends to make phone calls, spend their Saturdays standing on street corners with signs just so people will hear about their candidate? Where else do find people willing to meet others and work for hours stuffing envelopes, making DVDs and doing it all on their own dime and their own time? All the other candidates keep asking how Ron Paul has garnered this much support on the Internet. He has done nothing. Dr. Paul is more surprised than anyone. The people are doing this all on their own. It is his message of freedom and liberty that is doing the selling. After all, that is the very foundation of our country: A thing the new breed of politician seems to have forgotten. Freedom has been replaced with cameras on every corner and expected groping at the airport. Liberty has been replaced by sneak-and-peek warrants, an end to habeas corpus, expectations to "show me your papers" and Executive decrees that place the President above the law. By the way, Ron Paul also voted against the National ID card.

Ron Paul stands for limited government. For many they think that means he is uncaring. To those who understand, nothing could be further from the truth. Our government does not make anything, create anything or have any means of creating wealth. It has what it has by taking from others by force. When Ron Paul seeks limited government, what he is really asking for is limited coercion over our lives. That is why so many support him. We don’t like being coerced. We like liberty and freedom. And we like Dr. Paul.
So, is Dr. Paul the best kept secret in this campaign? Perhaps he is. One can only hope that it will not be for long. The people need him and need to know he is out there. They need to know he is a choice. With any luck, and continued exponential growth, Ron Paul supporters will soon be strong enough to overtake the media manipulation machine that has done all it can to silence him. As so many have said, what this country needs is a doctor to fix it, not another politician. If his campaign continues to grow you can expect the negative, fact-voided, name-calling articles to continue and get nastier. They will attack him on his most positive stances. They will call him a nut for trying to stop the counterfeiting Federal Reserve so that Americans will have money that holds its value. They will call him insane for trying to end the war in Iraq when 70% of the people have that wish as well. So fight back. Don’t sit there and take it. Don’t let the mainstream steal the one hope of getting out of the mess we are in. Think for yourself and do the research. Don’t let Ron Paul stay secret any longer.

Please read the links in this article. Many of them are to Ron Paul’s articles and Acts he submitted to Congress. These should help give you a better understanding of Dr. Ron Paul, Presidential candidate for 2008.

"The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."
~ James Madison

August 4, 2007

Jennifer Haman [send her mail] is a 44-year-old attorney. She grew up in NYC, dropped out of high school, and then moved to Las Vegas to become a croupier in craps working at the Desert Inn for seven years. She obtained a GED and later attended Arizona State University receiving numerous awards and graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1996. She then went on to attend and graduate from Harvard Law in 1999. She is licensed in both CA and AZ. She practiced complex civil litigation and appellate work for 6 years. She is currently on sabbatical, living with her husband Adam in Mesa, Arizona.

Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ron Paul Blog Article by Steven LaTulippe

Ron Paul and the Empire

Lew Rockwell.com | July 31, 2007
Steven LaTulippe

"If we have to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future."

~ Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Can Ron Paul really win? Does he have a snowball's chance of becoming the next president, or are we all kidding ourselves?

At the moment, Rep. Paul's quixotic campaign seems to be picking up steam. His recent fundraising statistics reveal a blossoming, internet-based movement that is uniting libertarians and other concerned citizens from across the political spectrum. His performance in the media has been sharp, and his organization seems to be honing its message.

While there are plenty of reasons for optimism, I think we need to be clear-eyed about the road ahead. If Rep. Paul somehow manages to remain a viable candidate and to seriously challenge his mainstream opponents, things will get extremely interesting. He faces a set of obstacles unlike any other candidate in my lifetime.

When evaluating his chances, it's important to accept one fact about contemporary America: This is not a democracy, and certainly not a constitutional republic. America is actually a carefully concealed oligarchy. A few thousand people, mostly in government, finance, and the military-industrial complex, run this country for their own purposes. By manipulating the two-party system, influencing the mainstream media, and controlling the flow of campaign finance money, this oligarchy works to secure the nomination of its preferred candidates (Democratic and Republican alike), thus giving voters a "choice" between Puppet A and Marionette B.

Unlike the establishment's candidates, Ron Paul is a freelancer running on three specific ideas:

1. The federal government must function within the strict guidelines of the Constitution.

2. America should deconstruct its empire, withdraw our troops from around the world and reestablish a foreign policy based on noninterventionism.

3. America should abolish the Federal Reserve Bank, eliminate fiat currency and return to hard money.

This is not a political agenda. This is not a party platform. It is a revolution. The entire ruling oligarchy would be swept away if these ideas were ever implemented. Every sentence, every word, every jot and tittle of this agenda is unacceptable, repellent and hateful to America's ruling elite.

The reasons for this are fairly obvious.

Through its control of the Federal Reserve, the banking elites make billions of dollars in unearned profits and exert enormous influence over the American economy. Countless industries and special interest groups (both foreign and domestic) have sprung up around our defense and national security budgets. The bureaucratic elites who dominate the federal government despise the Constitution's limitations on their power and view the document as just an archaic "piece of paper."

Anyone who believes these folks will simply "walk away" if Ron Paul is elected president obviously doesn't understand with whom they are dealing.

When its authority over the Southern states was challenged in the 19th Century, the oligarchy suspended the Constitution and launched a bloody war that killed three quarters of a million people. They arrested newspaper editors, deported antiwar congressmen, and burned down several American cities.

A century later, the oligarchy nuked two Japanese cities, killing thousands of civilians in the twinkle of an eye.

When its marginal interests were threatened in Southeast Asia, the oligarchy launched a devastating war that killed over a million people and left the region marinating in toxic defoliating chemicals.

To further its interests in the Middle East, the oligarchy slapped horrific sanctions on Iraq that killed 250,000 children (and then trotted out Madeleine Albright – one of Clinton's blood-stained trolls – to smugly declare that the deaths were "worth it").

Keeping these facts in mind, we must ask ourselves a simple question: If the oligarchy was willing to behave this way to protect its often marginal interests, what would it do to stop a devastating assault on its very existence?

The attack on Ron Paul's candidacy will begin in earnest when it appears he has an even remote possibility of winning. It will follow a fairly predictable path:

The first step is already in play. The establishment will start by simply ignoring him, by using its power in the mainstream media and their influence over campaign donors. If possible, they will find ways of excluding him from the debates.

This strategy is already failing. The internet and talk radio are outside the elite's direct control and are being used effectively by Rep. Paul to "get the message out." (And mark my words, sooner or later the oligarchy will come for the internet. This medium has been a royal pain in their derriere from day one).

If this strategy fizzles, the establishment will move on to ridicule and fear mongering. Ron's ideas will be grotesquely distorted in establishment media "hit pieces." They'll say he wants to permit heroine use in public schools, or that he wants old people to die in the streets without their social security checks, or that he wants to allow greedy industrialists to dump toxic waste into our drinking water.

The next arrow in the oligarchy's quiver will be scandal – real or fabricated. Usually, this takes the form of pictures, billing records, etc. involving financial or sexual hi-jinks. For folks with the right motivation and abilities, it would be child's play to implicate him in some sort of phony ethical, moral, or financial skullduggery (e.g., doctored pictures, sordid media accounts from "eye witnesses," etc.).

If Ron somehow survives this assault, the oligarchy will move on to the criminal justice system. On some fine day, a stretch limo will pull up to the Capitol Building and one of the establishment's consiglieres (Jim Baker...or maybe Vernon Jordan) will ooze into Ron's office for a "chat."

Maybe Rep. Paul forgot to fill out Form X109/23W on his 1997 income tax return?

Or maybe he drained a mud puddle when he built his new house...and maybe that puddle could theoretically be classified as a "wetland?"

Or, even better, maybe a close relative is in hot water with OSHA/FDA/IRS/you-name-it (federal prosecutors love to go after relatives in order to gain "leverage").

Rep. Paul's sentence could be lessened, of course...provided he agreed to drop his candidacy as part of a "plea bargain."

Ayn Rand once stated that the hallmark of authoritarian systems is the creation of innumerable, indecipherable laws. Such systems make everyone an un-indicted felon and allow for the exercise of arbitrary government power via selective prosecution.

If this tactic somehow failed and it appeared that Rep. Paul was still a credible threat to win the presidency, then things could get dicey.

The establishment may decide to let him take office and then use their considerable influence to ensure his presidency ended in failure – mostly through their control of congress, the federal bureaucracy, and the mainstream media.

The problem with this strategy (from the oligarchy's perspective) is that it entails considerable risk. As president, Rep. Paul could use the substantial powers of the office to inflict untold damage to the imperial structure (especially if he chose to withdraw American troops stationed overseas). Worse, he could appoint anti-government “ideologues” to a variety of positions in the federal government.

The damage could take decades to undo.

If these options fail, the oligarchy could resort to various “extra-legal” strategies – anything from vote-rigging to trumped-up impeachment charges.

Either way, one thing is certain: The American establishment controls a world-wide empire, has the power to print the world's reserve currency at will, and can enact virtually any law without constitutional constraint. Such power is rarely surrendered without a long, bitter struggle.

Amazing - Ron Paul Now Has 20,000 Volunteers

Ron Paul Now Has 20K Volunteers08-02-2007National Expositor
In a radio interview today on the Dale Williams Show, Jeff Greenspan, Western Regional Campaign Coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign made an astounding announcement that the Paul camp now has more than 20,000 registered volunteers. Mr. Greenspan stated "I don't know any campaign in history that has had that many volunteers." Against the will of the mainstream media, this unbelievable amount of support is showing that Ron Paul's campaign is transparently evolving into a social movement. Later in the show, a caller asked why the main stream media is ignoring Ron Paul. Mr. Greenspan stated that there is a clear bias against the Paul campaign by mainstream pundits. He gave the example of the last Republican debate where Fox News did a CELL PHONE POLL. Before and during the poll, Sean Hannity explained at length how this poll would be scientific. Alluding to previous internet polls where Ron Paul had dominated, Sean Hannity quickly recanted his claims that Fox's cell phone poll was scientific when all of a sudden Dr. Paul again began to receive more votes than any other candidate. Mr. Greenspan also stated that Ron Paul is now third in terms of campaign dollars among his Republican counterparts and the contributions are growing at an enormous rate.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bring Our Troops Home Now by Ron Paul

Before the U.S. House of Representatives on July 12, 2007
I rise in opposition to HR 2956 which, while a well-intended attempt to reduce our nation’s seemingly unlimited military commitment in Iraq, is in so many respects deeply flawed.
I have been one of the strongest opponents of military action against Iraq. I voted against the initial authorization in 2002 and I have voted against every supplemental appropriations bill to fund the war. I even voted against the initial “Iraq regime change” legislation back in 1998. I believe our troops should be brought back to the United States without delay. Unfortunately, one of the reasons I oppose this legislation is that it masquerades as a troop withdrawal measure but in reality may well end up increasing US commitments in the Middle East.
Mr. Speaker, this is precisely the debate we should have had four years ago, before Congress voted to abrogate its Constitutional obligation to declare war and transfer that authority to the president. Some in this body were rather glib in declaring the constitution antiquated while voting to cede the ability to initiate hostilities to the President. Now we see the result of ignoring the Constitution, and we are bringing even more mayhem to the process with this legislation.
To those who believe this act would some how end the war, I simply point to the title for Section 3 of the bill, which states, “REQUIREMENT TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ARMED FORCES IN IRAQ AND TRANSITION TO A LIMITED PRESENCE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN IRAQ.” However the number of troops are limited, this legislation nevertheless will permit an ongoing American military presence in Iraq with our soldiers continuing to be engaged in hostilities.
I also wish to draw attention to Section 4(b)(1), which mandates the President to submit a “Strategy for Iraq” by the beginning of next year. This “strategy” is to include:
“A discussion of United States national security interests in Iraq and the broader Middle East region and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military components of a comprehensive strategy to maintain and advance such interests as the Armed Forces are redeployed from Iraq pursuant to section 3 of this Act.”
In other words, far from extricating ourselves from the debacle in Iraq, this bill would set in motion a policy that could lead to a wider regional commitment, both financially and militarily. Such a policy would be disastrous for both our overextended national security forces and beleaguered taxpayers. This could, in fact, amount to an authorization for a region-wide “surge.”
Congress’ job is to change the policy on Iraq, not to tell the military leaders how many troops they should have. I have attempted to do this with HR 2605, a bill to sunset after a six month period the authorization for military activity in Iraq. During this period a new plan for Iraq could be discussed and agreed. Plan first, authorization next, execution afterward. That is what we should be doing in Iraq.
In summary, Mr. Speaker, this legislation brings us no closer to ending the war in Iraq. It brings us no closer to bringing our troops home. It says nothing about withdrawal, only about redeployment. It says nothing about reducing US presence in the Middle East, and may actually lead to an expanded US presence in the region. We have no guarantee the new strategy demanded by this legislation would not actually expand our military activities to Iran and Syria and beyond. I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation and put forth an effective strategy to end the war in Iraq and to bring our troops home.