Powell Gammill

More About: Politics: Republican Campaigns

Rand Paul, I don't think Rights mean what you think they mean

Many people who read Freedom's Phoenix are now aware of the press release sent out by Dr. Rand Paul's campaign. 

"Foreign terrorists do not deserve [emphasis mine] the protections of our Constitution,"  says Kentucky Senatorial candidate Dr. Rand Paul, son of Dr. Ron Paul.  Right out of the King George handbook of "do as I wish and say."  Precisely what the Constitution is ostensibly there to prevent --- unlimited, unrestrained government trespassing on individual Rights.  These Rights are not conferred upon individuals via government benevolence and assurance, they exist before government and are our Rights as human beings to exist, and the manner in which we choose to exist.  "Deserve" has got nothing to do with it.

They are the Rights that the Declaration of Independence and many of the State's Constitutions spell out as the SOLE justification for why governments are created:  To protect individual Rights.  Deserve means government gets to choose when and where not to protect individual Rights.  And when is that?  When it is convenient to government?  When it is not embarrassing to government?  When the cost is not too great?  When they feel like it?

These Rights are universal of any human being on the planet.  And the United States government was created to protect those Rights of anyone whom resided within it's borders and by necessity whomever comes under their control.

"Terrorists" deserve protection of the same Rights they possess as we do.  And if the United States' government fails in its stated reason for existence for the terrorist's Rights how much more are we to expect this government will protect our Rights? 

"Foreign" makes no difference.  The Constitution makes no distinguishment between citizens and non-citizens in protecting Rights and for good reason.  The government did not confer Rights upon us, it was created ostensibly to protect those Rights.  If Rights only existed for citizens and not being a universal property then they must have been conferred by government --- and as easily discarded when they become inconvenient to governing.

If the Constitution does not protect "foreign terrorists" who come under the umbrella of the U.S. government, then the Constitution protects nobody.

Dr. Paul is further quoted: “These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off of [sic] American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”

Pat Buchanan recently wrote an excellent column enunciating the grave mistake of trying the "terrorists" in a federal courthouse.  He makes some great points without using the cartoonish sophistry of reducing the motivations of "foreign terrorists" to "thugs."  Where we part is his fundamental question, "Are we at War or not?"  If not, then try them civilly.  But if so, then try them in a military setting. 

My problem is historical with the Bush Administration -- who started this mess -- going to great lengths to keep from designating captured enemy as soldiers, instead calling them "enemy combatants" and/ or terrorists so as to deliberately skirt our government's obligations under the Geneva Conventions of captured P.O.W.'s.  Which is why we focus on the hundreds held at Guantanamo while many thousands of P.O.W.'s and innocent men and boys (women and girls too apparently) languish at overcrowded Bagram Air Base detention camps in Afghanistan. 

The problem is terrorism is not a military crime, it is a criminal one.  By its definition, terrorists specifically target civilian populations to effect changes in those population's (and their own) government, while guerrillas target government facilities, personnel and collaborators of their "own" government.  Big difference.  While military's, including our own, can and do frequently act as terrorists in targeting civilian populations with aims of bringing about changes in those whom govern them, they also target those governments for destruction.  It is the captured or losing side of those military's that are brought to trial in front of a military court.

It is important to emphasize that terrorists do not attack outside of their own borders without perceived cause.  They are enemies of those who try to govern them, and are trying to repel or defeat them.  The only reason for a terrorist to look to attack outside of their governing body would be if those they attack are perceived to be attacking the terrorist's interests.  Otherwise they wouldn't take their time and efforts to bother. 

It is for this reason why the U.S. government and its supporters want to make sure either trial setting is contained behind closed doors so the motivations behind the terrorists actions are not broadcast.  Their list of grievances will not be made public if at all possible.  But the U.S. government will supply the list containing the reasons the government wants you to believe are the motivations to its propaganda outlets.  Because no government wants a terrorist's complaints to be understood by that government's population whereby they might start asking if the claims of the terrorist are true.  Did we really bomb that village?  Did we really interfere in that commerce?  Did we really have a hand in installing that dictator or murdering their mayor?  Did we really steal that land?  Oh, hell no!  The truth might set you free.

This whole 'eight years we have been at perpetual war' problem is derived not in part, but completely because of the execution of ill thought plans of conquest and empire ostensibly for our benefit to subdue and bring to justice these "foreign terrorist thugs."  How did our oil and natural gas get under their sand?  Anything that threatened the pricing structure of the global energy cartel must be removed.  So it was removed using the blood of your children and the confiscation of your labor.  All it cost was the deaths of a few thousand building occupants, airliner passengers, and some military personnel to get you to beg to surrender your kid's futures, your earnings, treasure and your liberties.  Not a bad return on their investment. 
The people whom govern you even got to blame their failures all on the unsophisticated occupants of that sand over there without you even raising a doubt as to whom the real culprits were.  Now that is a sweet black flag operation.

Dr. Paul's statements are followed up in the press release by this ditty:  Dr. Paul believes in strong national defense and thinks military spending should be our country’s top budget priority. He has also called for a Constitutional declaration of war with Afghanistan.

If Dr. Paul has a rational reason to believe Canada, Mexico or Russia represents an eminent armed invasion of our borders he should share.  Otherwise he is simply intensifying the myths and fears generated by the military industrial complex used to justify robbing the earnings of those who are compelled to pay taxes in this nation.

And the last time I looked we not only were at peace with the Afghan government, we installed our government's puppet there.  I believe Dr. Paul meant to say a declaration of war on the previous recognized Afghan government, the Taliban.  As to what context the declaration would take it is a pity Dr. Rand left it completely open to interpretation.  And most -- but not all -- of the interpretations I can come up with are not good for peace, prosperity or the good of the people of either nation.

His press release taken in any part or as a whole it is now hard to imagine Rand Paul represents anything but more of the same.  I imagine more than a few disappointed activists around the nation are wondering where they can go to get their money and their time back.  Whether Dr. Paul is elected or not clearly he is not the next Ron Paul.  Not even close.  He is just the next politician.  Pity.

18 Comments in Response to

Comment by Mark Gailey
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I'm not quite ready to give up on a teachable candidate. This is the outcome to be expected of the compromise type required with hanging with the Repuglicrats.

 Great job Powell!

Comment by Tom Westbrook
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Powell- Ditto!

 The constitution was not written for 'we the people' it was written for 'we the government'. Part of the powers that have been granted to them is not the power to hold people without trial, period, end of story.

The question is which politicians are going to violate their oath of office and attempt to grab power they don't have?

Comment by unsheepled michael
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 How  could have  Dr  Ron Paul  spawned  a  neocon ?

Please  tell me  some   stunt  double  said   this...not a  Dr.  Paul?


bye bye  Rand.......


Comment by J Wilson
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still it is the idea that these rights are only there if the government exists. As well as rights, nothing is mentioned on duties, nor even if the constitution is really that great of a thing and why we need it if we have rights which are 'inalienable' in the first place. The paid and robed government agents aka judges can take any of those rights away from you at any given point in time, so regardless of what the constitution says they are the deciders. It's folks like Rand Paul and GW Bush that believe that rights are from Govts, not from God.


No thanks.. 

 Here are some links from those that get this:





Comment by Charles Hallam
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So it's ok to try these morons as US citizens because it is a "Consitutional right" The Consitution starts as "We, th epoeple, of these United States of America, NOT we, the people of the world. When one of our citizens commits a felony, they lose their rights? Yet when these morons commit super felonies, they still have rights? Come on.

The "war on terror" isn't even a war. A war is DECLARED. This crapola going on in the Middle East was never declared. It's all a scam to make money and take control of other countries. The US has NO BUSINESS policing other countries and forcing our beliefs on them (they can't even police their own goverment and they think they can police other countries?????. If they don't like the American way of life, so be it. And on the same sheet of music, if ":foreignors" step foot on American soil and try to press their beliefs on us and we could care less about their beliefs, so be it. The "war on drugs" is a failure (and a scam) as is the "war on terror" America don't need no Muslims here. Muslims have never been about PEACE.  There is no more "stand up and fight in America" It's sit down,shut up and do what the goverment tells ya to do.

Tell Rand Paul to move to teh Mid East and STAY THERE. And for that matter, if any American has something bad to say about the rest of the US citizens and promote another country, pack yer freakin' bags and go over there and stay. You won't stand up now and ya sure won't stand up when it comes time in the very near future.

Comment by TL Winslow
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Sorry, but while the rights of all people come from God, there's nothing in the U.S. Constitution requiring the U.S. govt. to protect the rights of pirates and violators of the laws of nations, read Sect. 1 Article 8. Or maybe you prefer the Father of Our Country George Washington, who was commenting on the Muslim Barbary pirates that were demanding jizya protection money: "Would to Heaven we have a navy to reform those enemies to mankind or crush them into nonexistence." The Miranda Warning doesn't have to be given to Osama bin Laden or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, sorry, and if it is, GW should be rolling over in his grave, or Thomas Jefferson, who sent the Marines to invade the shores of Tripoli and take care of them sans all that B.S. From day one Islam has been at war with all mankind, and the U.S. is no exception, study Islam's hairy 1400-year history and check back with me. http://go.to/islamhistory

Comment by Powell Gammill
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Re Hatchcar:

Yes, I find it interesting that after dueling prosecutors vied for the publicity of holding the criminal trials in their districts the winner was located a few miles from where the World Trade Center buildings were brought down.  The Criminal Justice System in America.  And Illinois is being considered for where to hold them during the trial.  I didn't know Illinois was a suburb of New York.

Comment by Monroe Maxhimer
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You have out done yourself on this one.  Great article!!  When I first read the comments by Dr. Rand Paul I could not believe what my eyes were seeing.


Comment by Jean Carbonneau
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 Great piece Powell!!  At first when I saw the release, I was thinking maybe it was a typo, but I was sadly mistaken.  You know, I remember a while back, when he was asked if he shared most of his father's views on the issues.  He said, yes, but not all.  I guess this is one of those.

What angers me is if we treat these "terrorists" the way he wants to, will this not make every American subject to the same treatment if Canada, or Russia, or any other sovereign nation declares a "war on terror" on the US?  Geez, come on people think for a minute will you!!

I for one am so happy to be part of the team here on Freedoms (Freedoms with an s) Phoenix.com.  Great group of individuals who just want to be left alone. 

Also, I was thinking if these trials were to take place soon after 9/11, it would have been hard to find a jury that wasn't filled with hate and revenge.  However, after all these years, and with all the lies that have been discoverd, that risk has been greatly reduced.

Comment by Ernest Hancock
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Powell,... you 'da man!

I've sent a request for a radio interview to Rand via his website (Press category).

I have a lot of thoughts on this and some history that demonstrates a progression towards a 'government's granted rights' mentality that I have been very sensitive to since my early days as an activist in the early 90's.

If governments (or even just a US President) can declare you an "Enemy Combatant" so they can do what they want with you... then they eventually will.

A recent guest on my radio show (morning I think) pointed out that Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution doesn't say what most freedom advocates think it does about Habeas Corpus - "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

The US Government claims that being afforded a hearing, a trial or the opportunity to even be 'judged by The Man' in a timely (if ever) manner is a privilege granted by government and that when it is determined by the US Government that it is in _their_ best interest, this 'Privilege' is revoked,... PER THE UNITED STATES CONstitution.

If you read the US Constitution without the Bill of Rights you'll understand just how collectivized the philosophy was behind it. Many other freedom advocates of the day knew it was a scam to get a central bank installed (we are on our 4th one) and insisted on 10 "thou shalt nots" of government before ratification. But these are ignored anyway. So, 'the deal' is off, the Contract is 'null & void' when one side insists on the compliance of the other side of 'the deal' while refusing to uphold their end of the bargain.

Strange days indeed.


Comment by Jet Lacey
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I emailed a copy of this post to "contact" at Rand Paul's website.

Comment by Ken Demyen
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Very well said!

Too bad most people today seem to think you have to be an American citizen to have any rights.
Comment by Powell Gammill
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Well, one would hope that Ron Paul's beliefs were instilled in his children.

When Ernie first broached doing the Ron Paul R3VOLution to me, my first comment was "Ron Paul was not a very good libertarian."  But subsequently I have familiarized myself with his writings and more importantly his record.  I now believe he deserves to be placed in the libertarian crowd, and I was unfairly uninformed of his stances.  He is not perfect, but he is much, much better than I initially thought.

It would have been nice to have had a younger Paul in the limelight to continue pressing for our liberties.  Rand Paul isn't it.  Pity.

Comment by Barry Hess
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Thanks for an excellent description my own thoughts.  You did a really great job of leaving nothing to question.


As always,


Comment by Jet Lacey
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Here is RJ Harris' response to Rand Paul's press release:

The Way Forward in the "War on Terror." RJ's response to Rand's recent comments.

Comment by Jet Lacey
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Great article Powell. 

Personally, I've never been on the Rand Paul bandwagon.  For me, nepotism just doesn't make the nut.  I've got a beyond-shitty father and I certainly don't want to be judged on his dubious "merits," so I didn't judge Rand Paul on the merits of his father for the opposite reason.  Before today, I couldn't point out any particular reason why I didn’t like him per se, but this press release certainly seals the deal.

I mean really, what the f*ck is going on

Are there ZERO Natural rights-minded politicians other than Dr. Paul?  As you and Ernie have taught me, winning shouldn't even be the main objective; to have some semblance of a fighting chance, we need to free the minds of large segments of the general populace.

And another thing; what the f*ck is going on with this Trevor Lyman guy?  Have you looked at the list of "candidates" on his website This November 5th?  I like Peter Schiff and what I see of RJ Harris, but my jury is still out on RJ Harris and Adam Kokesh.  They seem so focused on collecting money and nothing else.  I emailed Trevor twice about the caliber of candidates and there was no reply whatsoever.

I guess the bottom line is: F*ck hope and f*ck all these assholes….Trust in yourself, your family, and your closest associates and that’s it.       

Comment by Brock Lorber
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Here, here!  Excellent work, Powell!

Comment by Steve Freedom
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