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U.S. Rep. Ron Paul

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Wasting Money On War On Drugs
5 May 1998    1998 Ron Paul 46:5
For instance, we have had this war on drugs, and there is no evidence even that we have been able to keep drugs out of our prisons. So maybe there is something we are doing wrong. Maybe we are treating a symptom rather than the cause of the problem. Maybe the cause is not legislatively correctable. That is a possibility. Obviously there is a problem there, but we need to think about it. We need to take a consideration, and not ever to write off those of us who might say we do not endorse the current approach as being one that might not be concerned about the issue.

H.R. 1691 And Religious Freedom
15 July 1999    1999 Ron Paul 74:5
Admittedly, instances of State government infringement of religious exercise can be found in various forms and in various States, most of which, however, occur in government-operated schools, prisons and so-called government enterprises and as a consequence of Federal Government programs. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to believe that religious liberty will be somehow better protected by enacting national terms of infringement, a national infringement standard which is ill-defined by a Federal legislature and further defined by Federal courts, both of which are remote from those whose rights are likely to be infringed.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It – Part 2
2 February 2000    2000 Ron Paul 5:44
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent and not only is there no evidence of reduced drug usage, we have instead seen a tremendous increase. Many deaths have occurred from overdoses of street drugs since there is no quality control or labeling. Crime as a consequence of drug prohibition has skyrocketed and our prisons are overflowing. Many prisoners are nonviolent and should be treated as patients with addictions, not as criminals. Irrational mandatory minimum sentences have caused a great deal of harm. We have nonviolent drug offenders doing life sentences, and there is no room to incarcerate the rapists and murderers.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It – Part 2
2 February 2000    2000 Ron Paul 5:79
This has not happened, but has filled our prisons. This year it will cost more than $40 billion to run our prison system. The prison population, nearing 2 million, is up 70 percent in the last decade, and two-thirds of the inmates did not commit an act of violence. Mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws have been instrumental in this trend.

February 07, 2001    2001 Ron Paul 7:120
Anthony Lewis of the New York Times reported last year: “The 480,00 men and women now in US prisons on drug charges are 100,000 more than all prisoners in the European Union, where the population is 100 million more than ours.”

February 08, 2001    2001 Ron Paul 10:56
Anthony Lewis of The New York Times reported last year, “The 480,000 men and women now in U.S. prisons on

October 25, 2001    2001 Ron Paul 90:34
well known that with the profit incentives so high, we are not even able to keep drugs out of our armed prisons. Making our whole society a prison would not bring success to this floundering war on drugs. Sinister motives of the profiteers and gangsters, along with prevailing public ignorance, keeps this futile war going.

Treatment Of Mr. Martin Mawyer By U.N. Officers Must Be Investigated
16 October 2002    2002 Ron Paul 100:19
“What is most outrageous about this incident is that the U.N. has consistently criticized the United States, our law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and has even asked to inspect our prisons and jails to make sure we are treating prisoners fairly,” said Mawyer. “Yet they brutally assaulted me on the steps of their headquarters, then I was tossed in jail, my First Amendment rights were violated — all the while they sit on U.S. soil, enjoying the blessings of our nation and the fruits of our industry. They won’t even accept the valid petitions from the very citizens whose own tax dollars support them.”

Borrowing Billions to Fund a Failed Policy in Iraq
October 17, 2003    2003 Ron Paul 110:6
This request - which was not the first and will not be the last - demonstrates in the most concrete terms that there is a real and concrete cost of our policy of interventionism. The American taxpayer paid to bomb Baghdad and now will pay to rebuild Iraq – its schools, hospitals, prisons, roads, and more. Many Americans cannot afford to send their own children to college, but with the money in this bill they will be sending Iraqi kids to college. Is this really what the American people want?

A Wise Consistency
February 11, 2004    2004 Ron Paul 2:14
Alcohol Prohibition—For Our Own Protection : Alcohol prohibition was a foolish consistency engaged in for over a decade, but we finally woke up to the harm done. In spite of prohibition, drinking continued. The alcohol being produced in the underground was much more deadly, and related crime ran rampant. The facts stared us in the face, and with time, we had the intelligence to repeal the whole experiment. No matter how logical this reversal of policy was, it did not prevent us from moving into the area of drug prohibition, now in the more radical stages, for the past 30 years. No matter the amount of harm and cost involved, very few in public life are willing to advise a new approach to drug addiction. Alcoholism is viewed as a medical problem, but illicit drug addiction is seen as a heinous crime. Our prisons overflow, with the cost of enforcement now into the hundreds of billions of dollars, yet drug use is not reduced. Nevertheless, the politicians are consistent. They are convinced that a tough stand against usage with very strict laws and mandatory sentences — sometimes life sentences for non-violent offenses — is a popular political stand. Facts don’t count, and we can’t bend on consistently throwing the book at any drug offenders. Our prisons are flooded with non-violent drug users — 84% of all federals prisoners — but no serious reassessment is considered. Sadly, the current war on drugs has done tremendous harm to many patients’ need for legitimate prescribed pain control. Doctors are very often compromised in their ability to care for the seriously and terminally ill by overzealous law enforcement. Throughout most of our history, drugs were legal and at times were abused. But during that time, there was no history of the social and legal chaos associated with drug use that we suffer today. A hundred years ago, a pharmacist openly advertised, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.” Obviously this is overstated as a medical panacea, but it describes what it was like not to have hysterical busybodies undermine our Constitution and waste billions of dollars on a drug war serving no useful purpose. This country needs to wake up! We should have more confidence in citizens making their own decisions, and decide once again to repeal federal prohibition, while permitting regulation by the states alone.

H. Res. 412 Honoring Men And Women Of The Drug Enforcement Administration — Part 3
3 March 2004    2004 Ron Paul 12:2
Mr. Speaker, let me just close with a comment about the prison system and what has happened. As I mentioned before, 84 percent of Federal prisoners are nonviolent drug offenders. Many go into prison, and they come out hardened criminals, and the problem is made much worse. Because of overcrowding, we have the release of violent prisoners because the prisons are too full. Also, the rules on mandatory sentencing of non-violent offenders have not been a good idea and have contributed to the problems that we face.

Statement on the Abuse of Prisoners in Iraq
May 6, 2004    2004 Ron Paul 31:3
Some of the soldiers in the photographs claim that their superior officers and the civilian contractors in charge of the interrogations forced them to pose this way. We cannot say with certainty what took place in Iraq’s prisons based on a few photographs. We have heard that some of those soldiers put in charge of prisons in Iraq were woefully unprepared for the task at hand. We have heard that they were thrown into a terribly confusing, stressful, and dangerous situation with little training and little understanding of the rules and responsibilities. What additional stresses and psychological pressures were applied by those in charge of interrogations? We don’t know. Does this excuse what appears to be reprehensible behavior? Not in the slightest, but it does suggest that we need to get all the facts before we draw conclusions. It is more than a little disturbing that this resolution does not even mention the scores of civilian contractors operating in these prisons at whom numerous fingers are being pointed as instigators of these activities. While these individuals seem to operate with impunity, this legislation before us all but convicts without trial those lowest in the chain of command.

Congress Erodes Privacy
November 16, 2005    2005 Ron Paul 121:8
Congress is not much better when it comes to protecting against the erosion of the centuries-old habeas corpus doctrine. By declaring anyone an “enemy combatant”—a totally arbitrary designation by the President— the government can deny an individual his right to petition a judge or even speak with an attorney. Though there has been a good debate on the insanity of our policy of torturing prisoners, holding foreigners and Americans without charges seems acceptable to many. Did it never occur to those who condemn torture that unlimited detention of individuals without a writ of habeas corpus is itself torture—especially for those who are totally innocent? Add this to the controversial worldwide network of secret CIA prisons now known of for 2 years, and we should be asking ourselves what we have become as a people. Recent evidence that we’re using white phosphorus chemical weapons in Iraq does nothing to improve our image.

The Blame Game
December 7, 2005    2005 Ron Paul 124:36
Values have changed, with more Americans supporting torture and secret prisons;

Foreign Policy
17 December 2005    2005 Ron Paul 128:26
Values have changed, with more Americans supporting torture and secret prisons. Domestic strife, as recently reflected in arguments over the war on the House floor, is on the upswing. Preemptive war has been codified and accepted as legitimate and necessary, a bleak policy for our future.

Noninterventionist Policy — Part 4
19 July 2006    2006 Ron Paul 65:2
I just want to make a couple of comments before yielding. It has been well advertised about the three prisoners that have been taken, the three Israeli prisoners. Everybody in the country knows about it. What I find a bit interesting is that some people estimate between 8,000 and 10,000 Palestinians and Lebanese are in prisons and under the authority of the Israeli police and government.

In The Name Of Patriotism (Who Are The Patriots?)
22 May 2007    2007 Ron Paul 55:42
Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world have been widely engaged in, though obviously extralegal.

Resolution On Situation In Burma
2 October 2007    2007 Ron Paul 97:2
More importantly, perhaps, I am concerned that while going around the world criticizing admittedly abhorrent governmental actions abroad we are ignoring the very dangerous erosions of our own civil liberties and way of life at home. Certainly it is objectionable that the Burmese government holds its own citizens in jails without trial. But what about the secret prisons that our own CIA operates around the globe that hold thousands of individuals indefinitely and without trial? Certainly it is objectionable that the government of Burma can declare Aung San Suu Kyi a political prisoner to be held in confinement. But what about the power that Congress has given the president to declare anyone around the world, including American citizens, “enemy combatants” subject to indefinite detention without trial? What about the “military commissions act” that may well subject Americans to military trial with secret evidence permitted and habeas corpus suspended?

The Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008
11 March 2008    2008 Ron Paul 13:2
Mr. Speaker, we have all read the disturbing reports of individuals apprehended and taken to secret prisons maintained by the United States Government across the globe, tortured for months or even years, and later released without charge. Khaled al-Masri, for example, a German citizen, has recounted the story of his incarceration and torture by U.S. intelligence in a secret facility in Afghanistan. His horror was said to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We do not know how many more similar cases there may be, but clearly it is not in the interest of the United States to act in a manner so contrary to the values upon which we pride ourselves.

Living by the Sword
13 March 2008    2008 Ron Paul 14:15
No more secret prisons and extraordinary rendition!

June 2, 2009    2009 Ron Paul 61:4
The resolution “calls on the legal authorities of People’s Republic of China to review immediately the cases of those still imprisoned for participating in the 1989 protests for compliance with internationally recognized standards of fairness and due process in judicial proceedings.” In light of U.S. government’s extraordinary renditions of possibly hundreds of individuals into numerous secret prisons abroad where they are held indefinitely without charge or trial, one wonders what the rest of the world makes of such U.S. demands. It is hard to exercise credible moral authority in the world when our motto toward foreign governments seems to be “do as we say, not as we do.”

June 2, 2009    2009 Ron Paul 61:5
While we certainly do not condone government suppression of individual rights and liberties wherever they may occur, why are we not investigating these abuses closer to home and within our jurisdiction? It seems the House is not interested in investigating allegations that U.S. government officials and employees approved and practiced torture against detainees. Where is the Congressional investigation of the U.S.-operated “secret prisons” overseas? What about the administration’s assertion of the right to detain individuals indefinitely without trial? It may be easier to point out the abuses and shortcomings of governments overseas than to address government abuses here at home, but we have the constitutional obligation to exercise our oversight authority in such matters. I strongly believe that addressing these current issues would be a better use of our time than once again condemning China for an event that took place some 20 years ago.

June 3, 2009    2009 Ron Paul 63:14
There’s no end in sight for secret prisons, special courts, ignoring the right of habeas corpus, no penalties for carrying out illegal torture and a new system of preventive detention. We continue to protect the concepts of state secrets and Presidential signing statements. We are enlarging Bagram prison in Afghanistan, and there’s no cessation of the senseless war on drugs.

Texas Straight Talk

Federalization of crime contrary to Constitution
18 May 1998    Texas Straight Talk 18 May 1998 verse 7 ... Cached
The second legislative fiasco was the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998. This bill expands federal criminal law by imposing more sanctions on those who fail to meet child support obligations imposed by individual states. Further, the bills shifts some burden of proof from the federal government to the accused, a radical departure from the American notion of "innocent until proven guilty." Even worse, this legislation seems to reintroduce the notion of federal "debtor prisons," a vestige of the past best left in the past.

International Criminal Court is the Latest U.N. Outrage
08 January 2001    Texas Straight Talk 08 January 2001 verse 3 ... Cached
The Clinton administration, working overtime during the eleventh hour to consolidate its pitiful "legacy," has taken another step toward imposing global government on U.S. citizens. On New Year's Eve, only hours before a United Nations midnight deadline, the President ordered a U.S. ambassador to sign the 1998 U.N. Rome treaty. This treaty purports to establish a worldwide U.N. criminal court, demonstrating the brazen willingness of global-government proponents to move forward with their plans. Once created, the international court will give the U.N. the mechanism it needs to enforce its global "laws" against American citizens. The legal apparatus represents the logical next step for ever-expanding U.N. power: first the phony "international laws" were created, and now a court system is needed to give teeth to the laws. International prisons in Geneva or Brussels cannot be far behind. All Americans concerned with our sovereignty as a nation should be very alarmed by this latest development. In fact, U.N. expert Henry Lamb recently stated that Clinton's endorsement of this treaty "may be the most egregious act of his entire tenure."

Your Money in Iraq
29 September 2003    Texas Straight Talk 29 September 2003 verse 14 ... Cached
-$400 million for two prisons, at a cost of nearly $50,000 per bed!

Passing the Buck in Iraq
10 May 2004    Texas Straight Talk 10 May 2004 verse 2 ... Cached
The allegations of prisoner torture by our troops in Iraq are disturbing, and clearly drastic action must be taken to ensure such conduct stops immediately. But why are we condemning a small group of low-level reservists when we do not yet know the full story? As revolting as the pictures are, we cannot know with certainty what took place in Iraq’s prisons based on a few photographs. We do not and cannot know the full story at this point, yet we jump to condemn those who have not even had the benefit of a trial. We appear to be operating on the principle of guilty until proven innocent. It seems convenient and perhaps politically expedient to blame a small group of “bad apples” for what may well turn out to be something completely different – as the continuously widening investigation suggests.

Passing the Buck in Iraq
10 May 2004    Texas Straight Talk 10 May 2004 verse 3 ... Cached
Some of the soldiers in the photographs claim their superior officers and civilian contractors in charge of the interrogations forced them to pose for photos. We have heard that some soldiers put in charge of prisons in Iraq were woefully unprepared for the task at hand. We have heard they were thrown into a terribly confusing, stressful, and dangerous situation with little training and little understanding of the rules and responsibilities. What additional stresses and psychological pressures were applied by those in charge of interrogations? We don’t know. Does this excuse reprehensible behavior? Not in the slightest, but it does suggest we need to get all the facts before drawing conclusions. It is disturbing that little mention is made of the scores of civilian contractors operating in these prisons who may have been the instigators of abuse.

If We Subsidize Them...
17 February 2008    Texas Straight Talk 17 February 2008 verse 3 ... Cached
Costs of social services for the estimated 21 million illegal immigrants in this country are approaching $400 billion. We educate 4.2 million children of illegals at a cost of $13.8 billion. There have been almost 2 million anchor babies born in this country since 2002, with labor and delivery costs of between $3 and 6 billion. There are currently 360,000 illegals in our prisons and we have spent $1.4 billion to incarcerate them since 2001. In Prince William County near DC, ICE can't deport criminal illegals fast enough and has actually asked its local jails to slow down on referring them. Jurisdiction over illegal immigration lies at the federal level, yet many municipalities are struggling with the compounding problems of mandated costs and tied hands. My office has heard from at least one sheriff in my district considering seeking compensation from the Federal government for the cost of so many illegal immigrant inmates that wouldn't be here if the Federal government was doing its job and protecting our borders. The problems are widespread.

Texas Straight Talk from 20 December 1996 to 23 June 2008 (573 editions) are included in this Concordance. Texas Straight Talk after 23 June 2008 is in blog form on Rep. Paul’s Congressional website and is not included in this Concordance.

Remember, not everything in the concordance is Ron Paul’s words. Some things he quoted, and he added some newspaper and magazine articles to the Congressional Record. Check the original speech to see.

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