Tag Archives: Ron Paul

WAR IN YEMEN: U.S. NAVY IS SOLICITING 12 MORE DRONES FOR POSSIBLE YEMEN STRIKES

According to FedBizOpps.gov, the U.S. Navy is soliciting “12 Light Observation Aircraft to Yemen for use by the Yemeni Air Force (YAF) equipped with EO/IR sensor.”

You can find, here, the request.

Ron Paul states in his weekly column that over the past two weeks the U.S. has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed.

“It is the largest U.S. escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade,” said Paul.

Paul cites that there have been previous reports of civilian deaths due to drone attacks, but the U.S. denies that there were any civilian deaths.

Drone attacks

“The US government is clearly at war in Yemen,” Paul said. “It is claimed they are fighting al-Qaeda, but the drone strikes are creating as many or more al-Qaeda members as they are eliminating.”

The U.S. foreign policy is in crisis.

Recently Senators John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham went to Egypt with the White House’s “blessing” to help the ousted Muslim Brotherhood talk with the new Egyptian government.

“We told [the Muslim Brother leaders] that in our view, the best way to resolve this issue was to renounce and condemn violence, that they should be willing to negotiate if some of the brotherhood were released from prison,” McCain said. “We were not negotiating, we were just saying what we thought had to be done to get back to the negotiating table.”

McCain’s suggestion of releasing Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, calling them “political prisoners,” infuriated Egyptians who suffered under Muhammad Morsi reign.

According to PJMedia, “A top advisor to Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour formally accused McCain of distorting facts to the benefit of the Brotherhood,” the article said. “He dismissed McCain’s recent remarks as ‘irrational’ and ‘moronic.’”

Secular political commentator Ahmed Musa asserted:

These two men have made more shameless demands than the Brotherhood themselves would dare.

[McCain] is not a man elected by the American people to speak on their behalf; today, he speaks on behalf of an armed terrorist organization — the Muslim Brotherhood. …  We had expected [better] from these two men who came to speak with the tongue of the Brotherhood’s leadership, as if they had been recruited as two new leaders of the Brotherhood, which killed, destroyed, and burned in al-Muqattam, and now in Rab‘a al-Adawiya [the main Brotherhood militant camp]. The only thing missing is to see them in Rab‘a, surrounded by armed groups, and in their midst Muhammad Badie [supreme leader of the Brotherhood] and [U.S. Ambassador] Anne Patterson. That’s all that’s missing! Here comes Brother McCain today saying that we must “release the [Brotherhood] prisoners”.

Are you not aware that these people are accused of murder? Are you not aware that hundreds of Egyptians have been killed at the hands of the Brotherhood, Morsi, Shatter, Qatatni, Badie, Baltagi — have you forgotten? Did you not read the report on what happened? Or did you just blindly accept your ambassador’s words that it was a coup, that 33 million people did not go out?

 

Did The Ron Paul Campaign Betray Liberty Voters In Iowa With a Backroom Deal?

The Liberty Movement in Iowa is one of the most politically active and well-constructed Liberty movements in the nation.  I was proud to speak at a Liberty Iowa event in April of this year and was deeply impressed by the grassroots work being done by this group.

Ben Swann Liberty Iowa Event

One of the most difficult challenges the Liberty Movement has faced throughout the country is convincing voters that this group rises above the political games and corruption so deeply entrenched in both the Democrat and Republican establishment.

That challenge for Liberty Iowa just got a lot tougher.

The Iowa Republican has released a series of emails and secretly recorded phone conversations over the past couple of days.  Those emails and conversations were provided to the Iowa Republican by Dennis Fusaro – the former Executive Director of the Iowans for Right to Work Committee.  In those emails, an alleged backdoor deal was made between Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson and the Paul campaign.  The deal included an agreement in which Sorenson would leave his position as the Iowa Chairman of Michelle Bachmann’s 2012 campaign just before the Iowa caucus to endorse Dr. Paul.

Since last spring, the Bachmann campaign has claimed that Sen. Sorenson defected to the Paul campaign because he was paid to do so.  The claims haven’t gone away.  The Iowa Supreme Court is looking into evidence that Sorenson committed two ethics violations.  As the Iowa Republican points out, this is the first time in 15 years that an ethics complaint has been forwarded to the state’s Supreme Court.  Bachmann has her own problems in Iowa with investigations by the  Federal Elections Commission on allegations of campaign finance violations.

Back to Sorenson: emails have now been released that indicate a deal was in fact made between Sorenson and the Paul campaign.  The claims also indicate that a number of the highest ranking members of the campaign knew about the deal including Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton and Deputy Campaign Manager Demitri Kasari. Benton is now the 2014 Campaign Manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

To be clear, the Paul campaign, Dr. Ron Paul himself and Kent Sorenson have insisted that no payment was ever made.  Here is Kent Sorenson discussing the issue with Fox’s Megyn Kelly.

So what was the alleged deal?  Was there a payoff?  According to a series of emails released by the Iowa Republican, Kent Sorenson requested payment of $8,000 dollars a month for himself which would have to be paid out until the fall of 2012.  There were other alleged demands for payment as well to the tune of $208,000:

“KS needs to match his current salary of $8,000 a month. This has been promised to him, even after MB drops out of the race, for the majority of 2012.  As a result, KS would need to be on payroll into the Fall of 2012.
CD [Chris Dorr] works for and with KS and would leave the MB with him. He would have to have his salary matched ($5,000 monthly) through April of 2012, when he was currently scheduled to quit the MB campaign.
We have established the Iowa Conservatives Fund PAC as an entity that KS will be using to recruit and elected [sic] good candidates to the Iowa General Assembly. (C4 will follow after next legislative session.) It’s KS’s leadership PAC. He would need a donation of $100,000 into this PAC prior to this action.”

Separately, in a secretly recorded conversation, Kent Sorenson admitted that he was given a check by Dimitri Kasari, the Paul Campaign’s 2012 Deputy Campaign Manager.  Actually, that the check was given to his wife by Kasari.  Sorenson does not say how much the check was for and despite the inferences being made, continually says he did not cash the check and that he was holding on to it.  In addition, Sorenson states that he knows that Jesse Benton is aware of the check saying:

“Sorenson: Do you think the whole Ron Paul, like all of them know?  I mean the inside group?
Fusaro: Sure, I’m sure Jesse Benton knows, he’s a scum…
Sorenson: Oh, I know that Jesse knows. I know Jesse knows.
Fusaro: He’s a scumbag.”

To be clear, throughout these conversations and emails, there is no indication that Dr. Paul himself was aware of any check or financial deal made with Sorenson in exchange for his endorsement.
So what is the fallout that can come from all of this?  For Kent Sorenson, Dimitri Kasari and even Jesse Benton, the fallout could be severe.  Consider the fact that a review of Opensecrets.org does not indicate any donations to the political action committee identified in the email.
As I mentioned there is no indication that Dr. Paul himself knew anything about this alleged deal.

But the biggest fallout may be for the men and women in Iowa who have been engaged for years in a very tough fight to restore liberty.  The idea of a backroom deal and under the table agreements for endorsements in exchange for payments and salaries is exactly what those who stood with the Paul campaign were standing against.

Is Kent Sorenson guilty of taking that payment?  Did Jesse Benton and Demitri Kasari offer him money in order to secure an endorsement and first place finish in the Iowa Caucus?  (A caucus that ultimately Dr. Paul won but media didn’t bother to report the true outcome of for months).

If these things did in fact happen, the true fallout will be felt by Liberty Iowa for years to come.  That is the most difficult thing about this story.  The men and women in Iowa who have fought for Liberty will have to carry the weight of a short-sighted decision that undermines everything Liberty Iowa has fought against.

The calls for Kent Sorenson to step down have already begun.  Sources In Iowa tell me that Iowa’s Secretary of State Matt Schultz has now asked that Sorenson step down.

Is Rep. Justin Amash the Next Ron Paul?

For decades, Congressman Ron Paul was the nation’s most vocal advocate of libertarian ideologies of less government and more individual liberties.  From his position in the U.S. House of Representatives, he argued for smaller government and less intervention in all aspects of life.  He developed a small, but intense, following.  His followers have shown both the power of grassroots involvement and rocked the Republican Party establishment from their dogmatic slumber.  Congressman Ron Paul became the benchmark for ideological conviction in the U.S. Legislature, and the question since his retirement has been, “Who will be the next Ron Paul?”  There are very few contenders. One is the stand-out Rep. Justin Amash.

Justin Amash

 

At the Western Conservative Summit last week, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, complained that there are too many libertarian-types in Washington “in both parties.”  Really?  Who?  Anybody with truly constitutional conservative and libertarian-leaning ideas knows you could count principled small-government types in D.C. on one hand.  Democrats reliably toe party line on the vast majority of government-expanding, freedom-limiting issues from Obamacare to amnesty, while most Republicans race to the sell-out line, embracing “moderate” views which are little more than “Democrat-Lite.”

The liberty movement is young and growing. It encompasses the new energy in the GOP and establishment-types feel increasingly threatened as true conservatives continue to gain more political power and influence.

Recently on The Laura Ingraham Show, Newt Gingrich responded to Christie’s comment and said, “I consistently have been on the side of having the courage that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have, and I think it’s sad to watch the establishment grow hysterical, but frankly they’re hysterical because they have no answers.”

So when Christie complains that there are too many libertarian-types, the accusation falls flat.  How did he come to that conclusion?  The answer, of course, is that like so many people, he defined the term “libertarian” according to one issue, NSA spying.

There is a distinct split between those who prioritize liberty and those who prioritize security.  Hawks like Chris Christie wish to preserve American lives at any cost, while others see freedom as important for both practical and ideological reasons.  As Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither.”

The prioritization of privacy is certainly a popular issue right now. Most Americans do not want their government to spy on their phone conversations, text messages, and emails (unless you are Sen. Lindsey Graham, of course).  But elected officials feel a bit more pressure to increase security, because if anything happens, calls for change and increased security (as we saw in the wake of the Boston bombing) will be loud and inevitable, and lead to far less levelheaded “solutions” to perceived problems.  Regardless, at this point representatives willing to draft legislation against spying programs will immediately turn heads in a positive way.

Last week, Rep. Justin Amash , libertarian-Republican for Michigan’s 3rd District teamed up with Rep. John Conyers, liberal-Democrat to offer a bi-partisan amendment to force government domestic spies  to first identify their targets and produce evidence of their terror-related activities before they could get warrants to spy on Americans.

Washington politicos were shocked that it almost passed.

Who is Rep. Justin Amash?

In 2010, Rep. Justin Amash stepped up to replace retiring Republican Vern Ehlers and won his primary campaign with endorsements from FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, iCaucus and Ron Paul.  He was one of three Republican Representatives – along with Ron Paul – to refuse to endorse Mitt Romney in 2012, and instead endorsed Paul, while saying he would “support” the Republican nominee against Obama.

Amash supports a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, saying “the parties should negotiate a just and mutually acceptable agreement that is not imposed by the U.S. or any other outside power.”

On abortion, Amash states that life begins at conception. He has earned favorable rankings for pro-life votes by various organizations like the National Right to Life Committee and Campaign for Working Families.  Regarding gay marriage, he opposed DOMA and argues that “marriage is a private, religious institution that should not be defined or redefined by the federal government.”  He consistently gets high-overall scores from groups like the American Conservative Union and Americans for Prosperity.

In contrast to Ted Cruz, who is seen standing for principle and refusing to retreat regardless of what the establishment thinks, much more of Amash’s popularity has come from a direct opposition to the Party.  This image was only enhanced when John Boehner kicked him and three other representatives off of their committees in December 2012.

In short, yes, Amash has a legitimate claim to the title of “the new Ron Paul.”  His ideas align with Paul’s, as do his political actions, and he has connections with the former Congressman who also notes the similarity.  Ron Paul spent 30 years promoting libertarian ideology, but never had any true “political” success (as traditionally defined) by his own admission.

Paul’s most important success, however, was to attract young people to the liberty movement; he replaced Ayn Rand as its central voice.  Libertarian ideas have begun to take root in society and now it’s time to work toward tangible political gains.

Ron Paul’s own son has taken a distinctly different path from his father while holding the same ideals, and Rand, like Ted Cruz, has had tremendous success which will likely increase.  Meanwhile, Amash’s following and influence has become more intense as the war on libertarian-leaning Republicans continues to increase to new levels in the GOP.

The question is will libertarian-leaning Republicans win new seats in the mid-term elections, gaining key positions of power? That is the true test. It’s one thing to make headlines with provocative rhetoric and captivating quotes. It’s another to actually gain political clout and power. Only time will tell if this movement will achieve its goal of less government and more freedom.