Ron Paul
2004 Ron Paul Chapter 66

Ron Paul Opposes Commemorating 9/11

9 September 2004

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Opposes Commemorating 9/11
9 September 2004

2004 Ron Paul 66:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am forced to rise in opposition to this legislation, I do so despite my desire to commemorate the horrific attacks on September 11, 2001 and again express my sympathy to the families of the victims. But don’t be fooled by the label. This legislation is no mere commemoration of the events of September 11, 2001. Rather, it is page after page of Congressional self-congratulation. It is page after page of praise for policies that have made us no safer from terrorist attack, but that have certainly made us much less free at home. Does it not strike anyone else as a bit unseemly for Congress to be congratulating itself on this solemn occasion?

2004 Ron Paul 66:2
This legislation is an endorsement of the policy of restricting freedoms at home that I have consistently opposed, including praise for the creation of the bloated and impotent Department of Homeland Security, the liberty-killing PATRIOT Act, and many other futile measures. It praises the notoriously ineffective air marshal program while avoiding altogether one of the most important lessons of the September 11, 2001 tragedy; The entire disaster could have been avoided with just one gun in the hands of each of the pilots. Four guns could have prevented September 11, 2001, but we are no closer to arming pilots than we were on September 10, 2001. Shortly after the attacks, I introduced a bill to allow pilots to be armed. Eventually, a version of that bill was passed, but pilots are still not armed. I also introduced several other bills to deal with the attacks of 9/11, protect us against future attacks, and do so without sacrificing our liberty.

2004 Ron Paul 66:3
What this legislation does not do is address some of the real causes of the hatred that lead others to wish to harm us. Why should we bother to understand the motivations of madmen and murderers? It is not to sympathize with them or their cause. It is to ensure our self-preservation. Those who oppose us and who have attacked us have made it very clear: They oppose our foreign policy of interventionism and meddling, and they oppose our one-sided approach to the Middle East. Therefore, mitigating the anger against us could be as simple as returning to the foreign policy recommended by our forefathers. We should not be stationing hundreds of thousands of our troops in more than 100 foreign countries, guarding their borders while our own remain open to terrorist infiltration. We should not be meddling in the internal affairs of foreign countries, nor should we be involving ourselves in foreign conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We should not be sending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars overseas to “build nations” and “export democracy” at the barrel of a gun.

2004 Ron Paul 66:4
Many of my colleagues like to repeat the mantra that “freedom is under attack” in the United States. Well, they are right. Freedom is under attack in the United States, but not only from foreign terrorists. Freedom is under attack from a government that rushes to pass legislation like the PATRIOT Act, that guts civil liberties in the United States. Freedom is under attack from those who are rushing to create a national biometric identification card and internal check-points, which will force innocent Americans to prove to government authorities that they are not terrorists. Freedom is under attack from a government that is spending itself into bankruptcy at an unprecedented pace. Freedom is under attack from a foreign policy that generates millions of enemies across the globe.

2004 Ron Paul 66:5
This legislation praises the number of Coast Guard boardings as one example of success, but we should not take a false sense of security from boardings. Rather, we should claim victories only if we have stopped another planned attack. Both shippers and recreational users of the gulf ports I represent have expressed concern about our new Federal policies and practices.

2004 Ron Paul 66:6
If we fail to heed the real lessons of September 11, 2001, we may well be condemned to see such tragedies repeated again in our land. It unfortunately seems that this is exactly what we are doing.

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