Tom Sullivan: We continue our conversation with Congressman Ron Paul. We all know the concerns about our liberties, but how does that tie in with national security? You know the Ben Franklin quote which roughly says “if you give up liberty for security, you deserve neither.” So what is our nation’s role, whether it is in Afghanistan, or the TSA body searches at your local airport? Let’s dive into these issues. TSA and national security, with Congressman Ron Paul.
You’ve spoken out on this many times, is the business about security at our airports and travel, the TSA. I do this on my radio show all the time, Congressman, and people say, “But I want to know that everybody on the plane with me is a good person”. And at the same time, they don’t want to be groped by the TSA. So are we not thinking right? Is the TSA not using the proper approach? I know you’re not happy about it.
Ron Paul: No, but the philosophy of who’s supposed to assure us the people next to us are safe, that’s wrong. Depend on the bureaucrats to do it? I mean, these aren’t the most reputable people. Sometimes they themselves get into trouble. And for TSA agents to do things to us at airports that you and I can’t do; we would be arrested if we did this. And people overlook this, I mean, it is astounding. But the basic principle is who’s responsible for safety on private property? The federal government was very much involved before 9/11 and they did nothing to help us. Matter of fact, all the rules encouraged it. They weren’t allowed to be guns on the airplane, and you weren’t allowed to oppose hijackers, and it was a mess. So we set the stage for 9/11. But today we have a bunch of bureaucrats pretending that they can replace sound judgment by owners. So the responsibility should be on the airlines, just as they are at the chemical plants and they drive these armored trucks hauling around money. It’s the ownership that should do this, and the responsibility should be on the airlines and they would do a much better job because I don’t believe for a minute that the TSA makes us safer and they consume a lot of money. And it’s a false illusion that if you give up your freedoms, you’re going to be safer. We give up our freedoms and we aren’t safer.
Tom Sullivan: But if I have a choice of airline A or airline B, and they’re going to provide the security, you’re saying that I’m their customer, I’m not a criminal, so they’re going to treat me like a customer, but at the same time they’re going to do a good job of making sure that I’m not carrying something wrong?
Ron Paul: It’s the government that I don’t want to yield to and have them take a picture of my eyeball and take care of my fingerprints and everything else. But with modern technology, the airlines can identify the passenger. Frequently fliers, anyway, could be treated differently. Pilots should be treated differently, they shouldn’t go through the same lines. It isn’t that difficult, it’s just an effort to assume that the government is to be there and that you’re to be submissive. And that’s the way everything you look at, whether it’s in economic policy or social policy, be submissive. You know, medical care: be submissive. Everybody’s there, nobody’s allowed to opt out. So submissiveness is what they’re after. But there is a good argument private sources can protect us better than the government, because so far the government hasn’t done a very good job of protecting us at all.
Tom Sullivan: And last question about just national security, I know that you’ve been outspoken about the Iraq war, the Afghanistan War. How do you propose keeping us safe without being isolationist if you don’t want our troops in all these different hotbeds around the world?
Ron Paul: Well, I never used the word “isolation”, I used “non-interventionist”; that means bring the troops home and don’t incite those individuals who would like to be left alone, and they join the Taliban or the Al-Qaida because they resent us bombing them and killing civilians and occupying their lands and building military bases on their land. That’s what incites people to want to do us harm. So I would say everything we do over there is nothing more than endangering us even more.
This was very clear after 9/11. With the 9/11 commission, one of the major things that really bugged Bin Laden was that military base in Saudi Arabia. And our government recognized it, said it was true, and they took it down. But we built many, many more since then. So not being there doesn’t mean you’re an isolationist. I believe in free trade and maximum amount of travel and dealing with people. I’m much happier with the way we work with China than when I was in high school when we were fighting and killing each other. I like it much better with Vietnam when we work with them and trade, and they’ve become capitalistic, than when I was in the air force for 5 years in the 1960s. And we walked away, we lost that war.
We win a lot more with peaceful negotiations than we do with these wars that are undeclared and nobody knows who is the real enemy and when the war is over. And now we’re involved in about 5 of them right now, and we’re flat out broke. So actually I’m winning this argument. They’re agreeing with my philosophy of foreign policy, but everybody knows we’re flat out broke and we ought to change our ways.
Tom Sullivan: Alright. For supporters, they want to reach you, they want to contact you, they want to read your positions, what’s your website?
Ron Paul: RonPaul2012.com
Tom Sullivan: RonPaul2012.com. Congressman Ron Paul, always good to see you, thanks so much for being on the show.
Ron Paul: Thanks a lot.