Wolf Blitzer: Osama Bin Laden: did President Obama do the right thing in ordering his death?
Ron Paul: Oh, you know, I actually endorsed that when I voted for this authority in 2001 to go over and deal with the people that orchestrated 9/11. So I actually am on record for that. And you know, it’s not wrong, nobody can defend and say that it’s terrible that he’s dead. But I think the process is what I’m so annoyed about. The fact that we didn’t do the job in 2001, I really think we had the opportunity, we got distracted, we did not keep our eye on the ball. We went into Iraq and fought a useless, unnecessary war, compounding our problem. Then we went into nation building and finally we’re getting caught up with. And I think the process could have been much improved. And I keep thinking about that in the past we have dealt with sovereign nations a little bit differently. When we caught Sheik Mohamed, it was done with the corporation of the Pakistanis. That’s what they resent. So we’ve stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest there, and yet in the past they have delivered to us many of these criminals and we’ve brought them here, convicted them, executed some of them. And I just think that we should make an effort. But you know, to be a strong…
Wolf Blitzer: Let me interrupt you for a second, Congressman. The White House and the Pentagon make the point that Bin Laden, even though he was unarmed, was resisting when those Navy Seals killed him.
Ron Paul: Yea, you know, and that’s where the problem comes from, because at the beginning there was the great resistance and a firefight and you could say little. But yes, that is the case. But I keep thinking about how we got hold of the real ring leader, and that was Sheik Mohamed. And I think he was the real ring leader, and we have him in prison and we’ve gotten some information from him. But, you know, why should it be automatic that we shouldn’t even talk to people. Think about what happened after World War II. I remember that, I remember the Nuremberg trials. We got the really bad guys that brought on the holocaust and put them on trial and they were executed, and we know they’re dead. But I think they’ve set the stage for the conspiracy people to go forever. When was he killed and what happened and the story keeps changing. I don’t think there’s anything extremely wrong with suggesting that there could have been another way of doing this, and maybe that would have settled a little bit better. But my big beef is really the wasted 10 years, 5000 American lives, a trillion dollars, 10s of thousands American casualties, 100s of thousands of civilian deaths. And we have created a lot of enemies because that’s what the Taliban is all about. They’re organized and they’re motivated by the fact that we’re occupying their land. So if we don’t understand that, and we just keep … like in Pakistan, we both, want to be their allies and we want to help them. We send them money and at the same time we’re bombing them, even today a bomb went off from a drone and killed civilians over there. It doesn’t always just kill somebody that we determine…
Wolf Blitzer: Well, let me ask you this, Congressman. If you’re president of the United States, your military or your intelligence leadership come to you and say, “Mr. President, we know where Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born cleric in Yemen is located, the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader, or we know where Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No.2 Al-Qaida leader is. And they say we can get these guys, kill him. What would you say?
Ron Paul: I would say, “Where and when and how?” If he’s in Yemen, I don’t think we should violate the sovereignty of Yemen. We should deal with it and we come up with it. I mean, to talk about an American citizen and establish a precedent where you just say, “Well, he’s an American citizen, so we’ll assassinate him”. That is so dangerous as far as I’m concerned. And there are three Americans on the list. And now that is policy now. But we need to wake up to this so you don’t casually drift towards that, because we know there is a very, very bad guy out there. But if you work with the rule of law, an American citizen is supposed to at least have a little bit of his day in court. I realize that they’re bad, and I don’t care about protecting the bad people. I care about protecting American citizens so that they’re never treated this way in court. And we are drifting in that way. When you think about the enforcement of some of our drug laws, our police barging in houses and shooting people that are totally innocent. So I don’t like that idea. I think we should protect the rule of law because we want to protect all Americans, not because we have sympathy for these very bad people.
Wolf Blitzer: If you were president what would you do about Muammar Gaddafi and Libya?
Ron Paul: I’d let them fight it out themselves and stay out of there. Why should we go there and protect the oil interests. We’re not in Syria, we’re in Iraq because there’s oil and there’s interest there. So yea, we’re over in Libya. That’s an internal fight, it’s a civil strife going on. And now it looks like we’ll be helping the rebels and there may be Al-Qaida there. There have been pretty good hints that Al-Qaida’s involved. I just think the principle of non-intervention, minding our own business, no entangling alliance, don’t get involved in these civil wars, that’s what George Bush won on in the year 2000. How quickly we forget. The American people like that message. Of course, when they’re rattled up and they can have a target, they get careless on how things are done because we can build up so much emotions. But no, we shouldn’t be over there. And this is one of the reasons why this country is bankrupt. We spend over a trillion dollars a year maintaining our empire. We’re in too many places and I just think … and you know Obama was elected with the idea that he would end some of these wars, and he’s expanding these wars. And I really dread the fact of what’s going to come out of Pakistan now. We’re going to wake up to the day when there’s going to be a justification for us to invade and occupy Pakistan because they’re going to say, “Oh, today there has been some breakdown and more people have been killed and we’ll have to go in.” And they’ll say, “Well, it’s in our best interest, it’s in national security interest. We have to go in”. And I don’t like that, we don’t need to be occupying another country. We’re flat out broke and we ought to start taking care of our own business.