Ron Paul on the Glenn Beck Program with Guest Host Judge Andrew Napolitano

Show: Glenn Beck Program
Channel: Fox News
Date: 5/20/2009
Topics: Guantanamo, the credit card bill, and the elitist attitude of government officials


Judge Andrew Napolitano: The Senate voted to block the millions of dollars needed to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba today. The House of Representatives voted down a similar measure last week. Lawmakers say the President has not presented a solid plan for what to do with the prisoners.

Congressman Ron Paul, Republican from Texas joins me now. Congressman Paul, welcome to the show. Should Guantanamo Bay be closed as a prison camp for detainees?

Ron Paul: Yes.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Why?

Ron Paul: Sure, it should be closed because we don’t need it. It was unnecessary, the way these prisoners were captured was very questionable. They haven’t had really due process. The real thugs that need to be tried ought to be tried. But they deleted the funding mainly because the Republicans have really won the argument because they turned this into saying, “You know, if you don’t support the continuation of these military tribunals and you don’t support Guantanamo, it means you support sending these people into your district, and they’ll be your neighbors”.

And the Democrats were convinced that [Republicans] won the PR fight and so therefore they all became squeamish and even the President backed down. So that’s why there is no funding for closing down Guantanamo. And I guess it will be open for an indefinite future.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Now, I visited Guantanamo about three years ago. As a physical plant it is extraordinary and it’s better than many prisons. There I am in a photo in one of the jail cells. It’s better than many prisons in the United States of America. But the issue is not the physical plant. The issue is not the 3 square meals a day. The issue is, why are these people there and how can we keep them without proving that they have done something wrong in some legitimate recognized court of law?

Ron Paul: I think that’s the key to it, and so far they don’t have an answer because they’re not allowing them to be tried in a legitimate court of law. I think a good example was set with the individuals that were involved with the bombing of the towers in 1993. I mean, we even went into Pakistan and arrested them and brought them over here and tried them in our court system.

And they’re not our neighbors, they’re in a federal prison and nobody feels threatened by them. So I’m not so sure why they’re so determined not to pursue the law. Anyway, it’s been politicized enough and it looks like the politicians are going to win this argument and the rule of law will not win.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Should the government be regulating credit card companies and tell them what kind of interest they can charge and when they can penalize people, or should the free market do this?

Ron Paul: You know, there is a provision in the constitution that allows us to be involved some of this activity and that to is protect contracts. So, what we’re doing here is violating that mandate by the constitution to protect contracts. We’re violating contracts.

So, now I think they shouldn’t be doing it at all. I voted against that bill and I talked to one Democrat on the House floor. He asked, “Why are you against this bill?” and I said, “Well, I think the states or the people ought to determine that”. He says, “Yeah, but the people, the individuals aren’t smart enough”. I said, ‘Oh, you make the assumption that everybody is dumb’. And he more or less acknowledged that they’re not smart enough to take care of their own business. And you know, we’ve encouraged people to borrow, we’ve created this credit, they went way over board on this. It’s a real mess. We should not be regulating interest.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: What is it about people and government that they think they can make decisions for us because they know more than we do about what we need and what we want and they can take our freedom of choice away from us? The Congress does this every day. You’re one of the few people who consistently argues against it and dissents.

Ron Paul: And this is so key, because once they believe that they have to make the assumption that the people are idiots and they’re going to take care for us, but great harm is done by that. But how do they know what we want? How do they know how we want to spend our money and our lives and our entertainment? So, it really is a total rejection of the principle of liberty to assume a bureaucrat or a politician knows what’s best for us. And it’s left and right, some on personal liberties and some on economic liberties, but they’re always telling us what is best for us and it just undermines the constitution, because the constitution doesn’t give them that authority to do so.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Congressman Paul, thanks very much.