Anti-War GOP Silent About Bin Laden Death

May 2nd, 2011 at 5:00 pm | 23 Comments |

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No comment yet from Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican and likely 2012 presidential contender, on the killing of Osama bin Laden. But one can imagine that he would likely disapprove of the method in which bin Laden was brought to justice.

“What have we allowed ourselves to become? Are we no longer a nation of laws?” said Rep. Ron Paul in a speech on the House floor last year he titled ‘Now It’s Assassinations’. “Now we’re told that assassination of foreigners… is legitimate and necessary to provide security for our people. It is my firm opinion that nothing could be further from the truth.”

“The latest outrage is the current administration’s acknowledgement that we now have a policy that permits assassination, not only of foreign suspects, but of American citizens as well,” Paul said at the time.

Other anti-war Republicans are also staying silent in the wake of this historic event. Freshman Rep. Justin Amash (MI-3), who like Ron Paul has developed a reputation of being a ‘Mr. No’ and is for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, has yet to release a statement, unlike most of his freshmen colleagues.

Of the ten Republicans who voted against a spending increase for the war in Afghanistan back in July 2010 and are still in office, five have yet to release statements on the bin Laden killing.

The other five Republicans, however, have joined in the celebrations and commendations.

“I am elated to learn that Osama bin Laden, an enemy with so much blood on his hands, has finally been brought to justice,” said Congressman Paul Broun (GA-10).

“Tonight, America is celebrating while Osama bin Laden burns in hell,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46).

Update: It’s been pointed out that although Rep. Justin Amash did not issue a press release on Osama bin Laden, he did comment on Facebook: “Justice has been done. Let’s remember those who lost their lives. And let’s pray for a more peaceful future.”

FrumForum checked for a press release, but did not find one on Amash’s page. To be fair, Amash is known for his use of Facebook as a method for speaking to constituents.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Patriot Podium

    Well, just a simple google search of “How Ron Paul would handle Bin Laden” brings up the likely answer to your question—and from 2007.

    “I opposed giving the president power to wage unlimited and unchecked aggression. However, I did vote to support the use of force in Afghanistan. I also authored H.R. 3076, the September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001. A letter of Marque and Reprisal is a constitutional tool specifically designed to give the president the authority to respond with appropriate force to those non-state actors who wage aggression against the United States while limiting his authority to only those responsible for the atrocities of that day. Such a limited authorization is consistent with the doctrine of just war and the practical aim of keeping Americans safe while minimizing the costs in blood and treasure of waging such an operation.” – Ron Paul 2007

    So, agree or not with him, he can easily argue that he was arguing for a surgical strike on Osama from the beginning.

  • hisgirlfriday

    It’s a missed opportunity for anti-war folks like Ron Paul not to comment here just so they can keep up pretending like a foreign policy/military/intelligence success didn’t happen.

    If anything, isn’t their case for bringing the troops home even stronger now that we nabbed and killed the biggest bogeyman we’d built up as the cause of 9/11? I wish they were making that case because this is the biggest chance we’ll get to talking about bringing troops home from Afghanistan and if the anti-war folks don’t make this case RIGHT NOW then we’ll never get our troops home.

  • Nanotek

    “So, agree or not with him, he can easily argue that he was arguing for a surgical strike on Osama from the beginning.”

    I agree … Ron Paul has always impressed me as principled, direct and kind … he actually listens to a question and responds directly

  • The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Freshmen and Credit Where It's Due

    [...] Mak is also surveying statements issued by antiwar Republicans, it's worth noting that Sen. Rand Paul's statement mostly [...]

  • ottovbvs

    There was NEVER any connection between the Iraq war and Bin Laden’s 9/11 attack.

    • ram6968

      your right because al-quaida wants a islamic govt and saddam had a secular govt and as he so aptly demonstrated, he would not tolerate any threat to his govt…..he would have al-quaida operatives hanging fron the lampposts all the way down the avenue

  • Diomedes

    While I don’t necessarily agree with everything Ron Paul says, he never actually stated that he was against surgical strikes against individuals or military targets that have taken actions against the USA.

    What Ron Paul and other anti-war politicians have stated is that we need to adjust our policy to be one of less-aggression. That means not inciting the type of hatred that exists and not taking unilateral actions against countries that have never taken direct action against us. The Afghan war was a retaliation against an act of aggression. The first and second Iraq wars were wars of choice. Furthermore, Paul and others have stated that we also spend far too much time enabling crackpots and puppet dictators abroad that we often end up shooting ourselves in the foot. Let’s all remember that Bin Laden fought against the Soviets in the 80s and we supplied him with arms. Ditto for Saddam during his aggression against Iraq. And for all our ‘talk’ of wanting to spread democracy, we are often in bed with despot dictators or helping to put them in power. The Shah of Iran, the Saudi Royal Family, and so forth.

    I should state on an aside, it’s not like the USA is unique in that technique. Countries have been manipulating other countries for their own interests for centuries. But if we are to move forward in the modern age, I think we should start looking at the world as more of a global village than hard lines on a map.

  • tpaine

    I think that he’s trying to win the election or at least give himself a shot to campaign. All his points are valid, the death of Bin Laden hasn’t changed the failure of our foreign policy, the fact that we dont have an exit plan, and that the wars will continue to lead our nation into moral and fiscal bankruptcy. The fact that the government uses these wars as a justification to take away our freedoms.

    But he’s going to have to wait for another 4-6 months till the whole facade of success fades and we’re stuck right back where we were. There is no doubt that our country is going to be dealing with some real tough times in the future – Ron Paul is the only person who has a philosophy and a message to get us out of this situation. Although ultimately, it will be up to the people to make the change – and that may prove the hardest part because quite frankly – Americans aren’t well informed about history, politics, or rationality. You can be assured of that when the country celebrates 1 guys death like we won the war. It doesn’t take much to change peoples opinions…and maybe that’s the biggest problem of all. Our media and culture make it so we have the attention span of 13 year olds with ADHD. How else can you explain how we make the same mistakes over and over and over again without changing a damn thing?

  • nhthinker

    The FF shots at Ron Paul continue to miss wildly.

  • nwahs

    So let me get this straight, Tim. You look to the few oddballs on the right for that anti-war crowd?

    You really couldn’t find an anti-war crowd on the left? Really? Are you kidding me or do you think your readers are overwhelmingly left or overwhelmingly stupid?


    “No comment yet from Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican and likely 2012 presidential contender, on the killing of Osama bin Laden. But one can imagine that he would likely disapprove of the method in which bin Laden was brought to justice.”

    That’s because he’s one of the few people in Washington who has principles and stands by them. “Ends justifies the means” thinking has become so prevalent in politics these days that anyone who doesn’t ascribe to this copout modus operandi sticks out like a sore thumb.

  • Deep South Populist

    Let’s not pretend this wasn’t an assassination. I hope no believes they ever had any intention of trying to take OBL alive.

    Ron Paul should use this opportunity to do what he does best: calling for bringing the troops home now.

    • anniemargret

      This is one time I will agree with you DSP. Support the troops, bring them home. They have sacrificed enough.

      And if we are to face the possibility of retaliatory attacks, we will need all our resources here and not ‘over there.’

      And on this issue, I agree with Ron Paul. One thing I will say about Ron Paul and it is that he is a gentleman, he never has a need to screech and howl and be insulting. I disagree with his policies on most issues, except for waging unnecessary wars…on that he is correct.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    I usually like Tim Mak’s reporting, but this piece is simply childish– cad journalism at it’s tackiest. He exploits the foreign policy success of a President that he and his editors (and, admittedly, I) generally oppose as a brickbat against libertarians– you know, people who oppose the failed foreign adventurism advocated by most of the contributors to this blog.

    How refreshing to see this article come off as the epic fail it deserves to be: when a polemicist unites TRS, NHthinker, myself, HGF, Otto, DSP and Nwhas in opposition, he’s clearly on shakey ground.

  • advocatusdiaboli

    “Tonight, America is celebrating while Osama bin Laden burns in hell,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46).

    Hey Rohrabacher, we could do without the one-sided un-CHristian biblical polemics that just underscores just how religion is a tool for violence on both sides and is pure selfish pandering . He was a criminal mastermind and we put him down surgically.

    The bigger question is what do we do about Pakistan now that we know they hid him all these years while pretending to fight terrorism. Al Qaeda is like a Hydra—we lopped off a big head but many more will sprout especially with Pakistan’s complicity.

  • anniemargret

    I don’t think God, as I understood him to be, would be supportive of any war. Unfortunately mankind reaps what it sows…. endless tribal hate, endless wars.

  • nwahs

    Let me say this in sincere unity. And I am sincere, never, on political blogs. All of us remember 9-11. Some of you were in grade school. But we all remember it and the horror of seeing the second plane on live television explode in to the second tower. I remember seeing it and it not registering at first. I remember thinking it was some type of horrible rescue accident. I thought it was a cargo plane trying to drop flame retardant on the burning building. Then the sickening realization of what was happening came over me. I sat on the side of my bed in complete disbelief and horror.

    I really don’t think anyone should make the death of bin Laden partisan or divisive. I think its sacrilegious bordering on sociopathic. That goes for Rush minimizing Obama’s work to this conclusion, Frum spending his time trying to rub adversaries noses in it, and “journalists” taking a partisan spin on it.

    Politics is a vile, perverted, disgusting sport. While it is intellectually satisfying, it is divorced of morality- any semblance of morality. I think any and all putting political spin on such a solemn day should be called out.

  • Sadpragmatist

    Osama Bin Laden was not a head of state. This is not an assassination. This whole argument is erroneous at it’s face.

    • Arms Merchant

      Anyone can be assassinated–you don’t have to be a head of state. Assassination is rarely, if ever, legal. Unfortunately it has become less rare, the U.S. government using the excuse of the “war on terror” (a stupid term) to justify assassination of American citizens like al-Awlaki without trial or judicial or legislative check on the Executive.

      Osama bin Laden was not assassinated. He was the commander of al Qaeda and as such, a combatant. While OBL’s status was undisputed, it’s not clear how an American citizen winds up on an assassination list. The Obama administration implicitly approved the “war” model of going after terrorists after they found that the law enforcement model had a lot of disadvantages and few advantages for the President.

      The main disadvantage of the war model is, in my opinion, that it seems gives the Executive way too much power–as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. At least, no one yet in the government has challenged the President’s ability to target American citizens worldwide without even a nod to basic evidence of treason.

  • fatlibertarianinokc

    I don’t want to ruin your emotional high after Bin Laden’s capture, but this post is incredibly wrong in what it implies.

    Ron Paul supported the very attack that lead to Bin Laden’s Death. Congressman Paul, after 9-11 thought we should use a “letter of marque and reprisal” as a means to go after terrorists. This would essentially be a group of hit-men or bounty hunters, which is the exact way we got Bin Laden – not by means of your stupid and inflationary wars.

    In fact, that was Congressman Paul’s point: Why go to war against a nation when it’s a group of individuals we must subdue? He probably did an actual cost-benefit analysis, knowing him. Heh.

    Another problem is, with all your overly emotional chest pounding, you fail to realize that we’ve not won anything.

    It has taken us 10 years, maybe a million lives lost and trillions spent in order to get him using your big-government methods. Not to mention the freedoms we’ve lost along the way.

    Ever been sexually assaulted by the TSA? What is it you military interventionists claim? They come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free? Well, because we’ve been following your policies we’re no longer rich, and YOU are DESTROYING OUR freedoms. We’re losing freedoms not because of terrorists like Bin Laden, but because of policies like the Patriot Act and other tyranical, big-government moves since 9-11.

    Terrorism cannot destroy our freedoms, rather our emotional over-reactions to them, can.

    Ron Paul’s rather simple method of Marque And Reprisal may or may not have succeeded in killing or arresting Bin Laden, but it certainly would not have cost us so much, in both lives and treasure. Oh, I’m sorry, we have no treasure anymore – I mean in inflation.

    Every time you fill up your gas tank, or go to the store to buy food, remind yourself – THIS IS THE PRICE OF OUR FOREIGN POLICY AND WELFARE STATE. Do you believe it’s worth it? I don’t and neither does Congressman Paul. Osama Bin Laden wanted to destroy us by baiting us into a long and protracted war because he knew that’s how all great empires end. So while you’re dancing in the streets, drunk with victory – I fear, especially if we continue your asinine policies, Bin Laden and those who want to punish America may win the war.

    - Fat Libertarian.

  • mit26chell

    Lies Lies Lies. You people are shameless! Hah.

    Back to the point though, liars, Ron Paul was the ONLY man to SUPPORT the very way that Usama was killed on Sunday, back in 2001. Ron Paul attempted to issue a letter of marque and reprisal so that a small special ops force could target and kill Usama Bin laden. This is what Ron Paul argued instead of the wars.

    Actually, you neoconservatives were the ones that slapped this idea down, and promoted illegal, preemptive invasions and occupations of countries, some of which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, or even Al-Qaeda. YOU all who tout this twisted, uneducated worldview of the Neo-Jacobins are the ones who rejected Paul’s call for issuing letters of marque and reprisal, and YOU all and your worldview are single-handedly responsible for the deep shit this country is in.

    Ron Paul was right, and YOU were wrong. You are the ones who should keep your mouths shut.