Election 2012

Ron Paul's Record on Terrorism

If anyone you know is under the delusion that Ron Paul is some kind of non-interventionist civil liberties hero, you might want to tell them the truth.

Ron Paul is no saint.

Primarily, Paul voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). This law granted unprecedented power to the president including, as some have argued, the right to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects, the right to torture terrorism suspects and the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on American citizens.

Secondly, Paul introduced a bill which would have allowed the president to issue letters of marque and reprisal -- hire bounty hunters to apprehend "dead or alive" members of al-Qaeda. As I wrote yesterday, we can only presume this would have included al-Qaeda member and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki.

I've seen quite a few writers suggest that Ron Paul is to the left of the president on terrorism and foreign policy. His record doesn't quite match this claim. And I'm being kind with that assessment.