The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 67

Intelligence Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 1998

9 July 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H4965)   Cached

The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose does the gentleman from Texas rise?

1997 Ron Paul 67:1
Mr. PAUL. I move to strike the requisite number of words.

1997 Ron Paul 67:2
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

1997 Ron Paul 67:3
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I rise in support of this amendment. I understand this amendment originally suggested that we cut 10 percent of this budget. This amendment says we cut 5 percent. This is a very reasonable amount in this time when we’re supposed to be working in tight budgets. Of course we can make the argument that rather than spending money on international spying activities that could be better spent here at home, and I think there is a lot to that argument.

1997 Ron Paul 67:4
But I’m pleased with the amendment, and I am very happy that the amendment is brought to the floor because, if nothing else, the 5 percent of savings that we might get if we pass the amendment, we don’t know the exact figures so we cannot even make that calculation, it’s not going to make or break the budget, even though it could be helpful. But the amendment allows us to come to the floor and at least express a concern, and we’ve heard many of these concerns already. It’s just a chance to get on the floor and say to the Congress and to our colleagues, Whoa, let’s slow up a minute, let’s think for a minute what we’re doing and what have we been doing.

1997 Ron Paul 67:5
It’s now accepted that the activities of the CIA is they are proper and something that we have had for a long time, but the CIA is a rather new invention. It’s part of the 20th century. It came up after World War II. But it was pointed out earlier that this is not exactly true because we’ve been dealing with intelligence for a long time, and that is true. But it has always been dealt with in national defense, it was strictly limited, and it was handled by the military. But since World War II, since the time that we have built and tried to run the American empire, we have to have our spy agents out there. Now we have a civilian international spy agency.

1997 Ron Paul 67:6
I might ask my colleagues really if you would even be inclined to read the Constitution in a strict manner, where would you get this authority that we have to go out, have an organization like this that is very poorly followed by the Congress? We know very little in general about what happens when it comes to our Government being involved in overthrow of certain leaders around the world. I would suggest that when the history of the 20th century is written that many of us will not be very proud of the history of the CIA and the involvement that they have been involved in over these many years. I think the activity of the CIA has gone a long way to give America a bad reputation.

1997 Ron Paul 67:7
This does not mean that we shouldn’t have intelligence and we shouldn’t be concerned about national defense, but if it were done in a proper manner it would be done without an organization such as the CIA. This very secret clandestine activities of the CIA really is very unbecoming of a free society. It is not generally found in a society which is considered free and open and that the people know what’s going on.

1997 Ron Paul 67:8
It surprised me a little bit to hear it even admitted earlier that some of the activity of the CIA is involved with, business activity that we have to be thinking about business espionage. Many of us have made this accusation challenge that, yes, we have the CIA that represents big business in many parts of the world. And I think this is the case. And not only do we have our business interests reaching out to many areas of the world and we have a very internationalistic interventionist foreign policy, we have troops in so many countries, over a hundred countries.

1997 Ron Paul 67:9
I would really like somebody to get up here today that’s knowledgeable; tell me how many countries we have CIA agents in. If we have troops in 100 countries, we may have CIA agents in 200 countries. But I don’t know that, and possibly it will be buried someplace, but I’m not allowed to come down here and explain it to the American people.

1997 Ron Paul 67:10
The American people are responsible. They pay the bills. They’re the ones who have to fight the wars if we go and do something nonsensical. And was the CIA involved in Vietnam? It certainly was. There was a killing of a leader in Vietnam that escalated that affair which led to war and killing and the death of many young Americans.

1997 Ron Paul 67:11
So we in the Congress should be more responsible so that we can tell the people exactly what is going on, exactly what it’s going to cost and exactly what the ramifications are when these agents are dealing in other countries.

1997 Ron Paul 67:12
I would say that the CIA does not have a very good reputation among many Members of the Congress nor among many citizens of this country. And they are concerned about it and would like to know a lot more about it.

1997 Ron Paul 67:13
Is there any chance the CIA could have funding outside of the so-called normal appropriations process? I think there is a very good chance that that’s possible and that they may well have been involved in drug dealing.


1997 Ron Paul 67:13

Here, Ron Paul gestures with his hands to make quotation marks as he says normal. Listen to the C-Span clip at 16:29:44 local time.

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