Interviewer, Erik Forman -- Congressman Paul, thank you for providing time for this interview. With your permission I would like to skip the formalities, as my readers are fully aware of your Libertarian ideology and your platform. I would specifically like to talk about certain powers in our government that, to the thinking of a growing band of Constitutionalists, seem to have taken control of the political system itself. First question: do you believe there are secret forces at work that are attempting to dismantle the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
Congressman Ron Paul -- I don't know what the best word is, but secret is pretty good. They're certainly not known to a lot of people; it's actually what they're doing. But then again, it's not absolute secrecy. If you look around you can usually get the information. There was a time when nobody even knew who was a member of the CFR or the Trilateral Commission. I think it's a bad sign that they're not as secret as they used to be. They're bolder now. They get on television and they give interviews. But there is an agenda. They're behind the scenes in many way -- very secretive. And, that was certainly the case on those individuals who planned and pushed us into the Iraqi War.
EF -- I've read in The New American that you are aware of the Round Table Groups, Skull & Bones, and other "secret societies" that have actively participated in the dismantling. In your essay "Neoconned," you went so far as to align the Bush Administration with Trotskyites. However, it seems that the Bush/Skull & Bones guys are perpetually fighting the United Nations, the CFR, the Bildebergs. Are the Bohemian Grove Republicans on the same team as the Rockefeller Round Table members, or are they at war?
RP -- You know, their rhetoric suggests they might not like the United Nations, and you hear that often. They'll be complaining about the United Nations, and this and that. But, we have to remember, when it came time to get authority and a reason to go to war, they mentioned the United Nations twenty-one times in the authority, when we voted for the authority for the President to go to war when he felt like it.
I think what's going on, they're not anti-U.N., they're anti-U.N. if they don't do exactly what they want. Because there is a fascist-type faction that wants to keep the military/industrial complex going, and the oil control. Then there's the Kofi Annan-type guys. They are Socialists. They like world government.
Richard Perle, not too long ago, made a statement that he thought we should get out of the United Nations. Well, I think that's, sort of, to pacify some of our supporters. They figure, "Oh, this is great. We've never had a President so sharply critical of the United Nations." But in his mind, they may well be believing they are saving the United Nations or transforming the United Nations, rather than being opposed to world government.
EF -- You have also written (and I have quoted you) that the U.N. is actively working to criminalize the 2nd Amendment. Who do you think the men at the top are, and what is their ultimate plan?
RP -- Anybody in Washington that likes big government, authoritarian government, which is most of them; deep down, the 2nd Amendment is their greatest obstacle, in the physical sense. Their other greatest obstacle is the right of free speech.
I think that they haven't been able to be as aggressive with guns because it's a healthy sign of this country. I think our people defend the 2nd Amendment better than they defend the 1st Amendment. Which is sort of a twist, I think. Twenty years ago that probably wasn't the case.
Once again, what they say and what they really want are two different things. They criticize the U.N, yet they want to build it up. They can say they support the 2nd Amendment. At the same time, they wouldn't mind curtailing that freedom. Because that is the ultimate freedom.
I kid a lot at my speeches and say, you know, I believe in gun control. I want to take the guns away from those 100,000 federal bureaucrats who own them. The Al Gores of the world, Schumer, these people... they want a monopoly of the guns. They never talk about getting rid of the guns from the bureaucrats. But, they want to get rid of the guns from the people who can't defend themselves.
EF -- Going off that, Americans are still reeling from the '95 [sic] Clinton ban? How many Congressmen and Senators would you estimate are actually directly involved with these plans of destruction? Or can most claim ignorance?
RP -- You know, it's weird. From outside and observing it objectively it looks like that's what they are dedicated to. Many are sort of dupes.
It's sort of like us on our side, who believe in pure liberty. We have a lot of support and a lot of help. But, a lot of people aren't as dedicated. They go along with our logic, and they agree with us on many issues. On the left, there's probably just a few who really believe in totalitarian government completely and totally. So, it's the propaganda that you have to watch out for.
Just look at how the propaganda machine gets busy when they decide the country must go to war. It's really a powerful force.
EF -- You have sponsored legislation that would get America out of the United Nations. Some Americans believe that if we must go to war, that the United Nations would be the people to fight. You have claimed that the U.N. is actively working to destroy American sovereignty. Can you list the main bullet points that support that theory?
RP -- Well, just everything they've done. Everything the U.N. does from day one, you give up a certain amount of your sovereignty. And, the worst giving up is this notion of going to war under U.N. resolutions, which we did very quickly after we got in the United Nations. There was a U.N. resolution and we sent off all those men to get killed in Korea.
Whether it's that, or the WTO that manages trade, or the IMF that we subsidize with our taxpayers' money and then they go off and play games with their special interests. They rarely ever help poor countries. The World Bank isn't any better. That's an international welfare scheme. It's sold as a scheme that's going to help poor people in poor countries. But, all these programs end up helping the very wealthy, connected corporations and banks.
EF -- You talk about the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank. With these groups, the American Government has been complicit in many atrocities. We've used our troops to overthrow democratically elected leaders, massacred tribes and dissenters. I am against the United Nations. But, if they don't stop our government from committing these acts, who does it fall to?
RP -- The American people have to be responsible. And yet, they don't have much clout, and they're not as well informed, and they respond to the propaganda. But then the most important branch is the U.S. Congress, because we're there, we're sworn to uphold the Constitution. If they -- if the executive branch or the United Nations -- oversteps their bounds, our moral and Constitutional responsibility is to restrain them.
But, Congress never seems to and the people don't seem to hold it against too many. We're going through this right now with Iraq and Afghanistan, spending these hundreds of billions of dollars, not doing any good at all. At the same time, we're going broke.
EF -- About the police state and the seemingly endless assault on civil liberties: Can you recall a time in American history when the common, blue-blooded American was more in danger of losing the powerful right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness than he or she is today? Or have we always been clandestinely oppressed, and every generation thinks their loss of liberty is the worst?
RP -- It has been going on a long time. In fact, we shouldn't be totally pessimistic. I think the Internet and radio shows have awakened a lot of people. The fact that we stirred up opposition to the Patriot Act is pretty good, because nobody of significance as yet has been pulled out of their bedrooms in the middle of the night and hauled off. Though, we have the Guantanamo-type arrests. That's a little different than what we are afraid of.
The Civil War probably did more to undermine the principle of the Republic than any other one particular war. But, if you look at the violation of civil liberties in World War I, I mean, they were atrocious. And that war was unnecessary as well.
So, it seems like all those things are bad now, and there's more internationalism. There's probably more awareness, too. It's just that those who have become aware and would like to stop it -- we're still in the minority. We don't have control.
EF -- Many Libertarians agree that our right to bear arms is the only thing that assures a defense against martial law, and the insurance for the other nine Amendments. Do you believe that the Clinton-sponsored assault rifle ban (currently supported by President Bush) is unconstitutional? If so, what do you say to the millions of Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment, yet support the ban?
RP -- Ha... Well, you mean go along with the ban. That's a personal choice on what you do. It is unconstitutional, and that's why I have a bill that would repeal it. I think what you're leaning to is they go along with it and the question is whether or not you should practice civil disobedience and just ignore it. People do that at their own risk.
Sort of like, I don't think much of what the IRS does as being legal or constitutional. I mean, it's pretty abusive. Especially if you compound it on the way they collect taxes, and then what they do with the money. They then take your money and they enforce bans on automatic rifles. It's all pretty bad.
But, when it comes to what somebody would do, we shouldn't be complacent to go along and say well it's not so bad and we'll just play this game. But, I take the position that I should do whatever I can to change it, so that's why I get involved in politics. Others, who have chosen another route -- whether it's taxes, or guns, or whatever -- they do it at risk because they practice civil disobedience.
You can be absolutely right on the Constitution, but the Constitution is no longer a defense in court. So, the federal laws and the judicial system is very biased against us. I could conceive of a time where if they came and curtailed, they took everyone off the radio that they didn't like. They are now monitoring the Internet, since the Patriot Act was passed.
EF -- Will our government eventually made handguns illegal?
RP -- If they do it and they get away with it, it means we didn't do a very good job. Because, you know, the Saturday Night Special is a wonderful weapon. Because they should be legalized in every household, especially the inner city. Because, that's where the greatest amount of crime is. People who are poor and minority, live in the city, have the least amount of protection. And, they're getting robbed and killed. They could afford a cheap handgun, and they should be allowed to do it.
EF -- There [have] been some rumors surrounding the National Rifle Association lately. Do you believe that the NRA is still an entity that defends our right to bear arms; or have they become a victim of their own success? Alex Jones recently reported that the NRA was willing to make some back door concessions pertaining to gun registration. When does it become more beneficial to a club that makes its money fighting gun laws to make sure there are gun laws on the books to fight?
RP -- That depends on their membership. They have to be awake. I don't think everything they do is bad, but I'd agree that they're weak. I agree that that's the case with my old medical association, the AMA. Went up there, working hard to pass socialized medicine, and they're a lobby now to get their fees raised. They're not a lobby up there to protect the patients through the free market, which is how I believe they would get better care. So the AMA is not very good at that, and the NRA isn't either. They get too big, too bureaucratic, but the members should say something about it.
You know, when we passed that Medicare Bill, a lot of people objected. It didn't bring the AARP down, but I think they lost, what, 60,000 members or something. So, a lot of members just flat-out quit. So, that's why, as long as there's competition in these types of organizations, then you have Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America, and the other group out of Washington [State](?). So that's what we have to do. We have to sort it out, make sure people know the differences.
I don't think the NRA will be our saving grace. Although I wouldn't argue the case they're there purposely to... I just think they're compromisers.
EF -- Changing lanes, here. Congressman Paul, anyone who has followed your career knows that you are a strong proponent of the Gold Standard. The Federal Reserve seems to have been the main vehicle for driving America from a nation of savers to a nation of borrowers. Everywhere in America, especially with the economic downturn of 2000 and 3 million jobs lost, American citizens are having to turn to bankruptcy as the answer to their inability to kick the habit of credit. Now, with our national deficit estimated at half a trillion dollars....
RP -- It's seven trillion. Oh, you mean the deficit. It's at $600 billion.
EF -- Do you believe that America will one day have to file a global Chapter 13? What would that mean for us?
RP -- In our case, if the world lost confidence in the dollar, you would have interest rates soaring, a lot of price inflation. You would have upheaval in the financial markets. And, I think that's what's coming. It's slowly starting now. But, I think it will accelerate, because we've been given a free ride.
Since World War II, we've been the beneficiaries of having, to be able to issue the reserve currency. So, it's almost like us being able to issue gold. Because we've been so rich and powerful, there's been a lot of trust in the money. But, you can't do it forever. So, when we can't pay our debt, and when we can't reverse this annual deficit... how governments pay that debt off is, let's say we owe 7 trillion dollars, and over the years we have to pay it off. If you inflate so much in the next five years that the dollar's only worth fifty cents, you only have, you only owe, in real terms, 3.5 trillion. So, that's what we're doing continuously.
But, what finally happens, it becomes so rapid, everyone starts dumping the dollar. That can be very dangerous, very chaotic, and I think it would be a political mess, and an economic mess. But, they don't really file any papers. Because, I think that they will always pay the paper. They wouldn't pay when they owed it in gold. They reneged on that. They will always pay the bond holder, and they're always going to pay the Social Security recipients. It's just with money that's worth a lot less.
EF -- I'd like to turn your attention to propaganda, and state-sanctioned mind control. It is common knowledge that the CIA and military have conducted mind control experimentation on American citizens. The most notorious case was Project MK Ultra in which Goldwater sat in on the Senate Hearings against the accused. Each time these agencies have been caught performing experiments, they shrug it off and say the activity was done a few decades ago, and that they have subsisted. Yet, more evidence surfaces, and we become aware that the mind control projects went on at least until the eighties. Now, when we hear rumors that the government has abducted children or sponsored sex slavery, we don't want to believe it, but we must not discard it because of the government's past history. Do you believe that members of our government are still actively involved in individual mind control experimentation?
RP -- Probably, but the tragedy is I don't know. The tragedy is that I'm in the Congress, and even when those bills come up you can't get much information. I would assume to some degree they are. You know, what is official and what is not official? Some of the CIA gets caught trading drugs and financing some corrupt regime, which they have been caught. That individual, "We don't even know who you are, buddy." They disown you. And, that's why the CIA in particular is a very, very dangerous organization.
Although, we made a major step in the wrong direction when this administration made it clear that we would fight preemptive wars, even though we hadn't been attacked. We have been doing that for a long time. But, this time it's bolder, because they're announcing it, and saying this is policy.
The CIA's been involved in coups for years. The CIA put the Shah of Iran in power, and that led to the radicalization of Iran. We're suffering from that since. So, that's the heinous stuff.
They're capable of it. There's certainly been a record of it in the past, and then they deny it. There's no easy way to solve that problem. Because, like I say, even I, who is right there, can't get the information we should have. That makes it an easy no vote for me, to vote against all that funding.
EF -- What about mass mind manipulation. Do you think that Clear Channel and other media outlets are intentionally trying to manipulate us?
RP -- I think they're propagandists, you know, and they're propagandists for the administration. That's pretty significant. But, uh, hopefully, we have to be careful exactly how you define it, because what if they want to make the same accusation against everybody on our side that resorts to radio and Internet. "Oh, see that Internet stuff. These are bad people, and they're lying, and they're passing this horrible propaganda." And, that's why we all have to try as hard as we can to stick to the facts and the things that we know.
But, throughout the whole 20th Century, even before Clear Channel, the media is owned by big business who owns the corporations who make a lot of money. They always support the war: WWI, WWII. And they do. They control public opinion.
EF -- Congressman Paul, I want to thank you for your time. I have just a couple of more questions. These are of a more personal nature, but your fans want to know, so I have to ask. Is there any possibility that you would run for President again under the Libertarian or Constitution Party mantle?
RP -- Probably not. It just doesn't look like that. I think what I'm doing now, you know I've worked hard to try and prove that you can believe in something, you can stick to it, and vote that way, and you won't be penalized by the voters. And, I think, at the moment that seems to be a pretty good goal. And, it's not, it doesn't go unnoticed.
Most people in Washington think, "How did he ever get here? How does he stay?" Yet, each time I've gotten a higher percentage, and this time, of course, I ended up without an opponent. So, I would like to think that what I've done on this very local level has popularized the views that we hold. And, I haven't been penalized. And, other members of Congress notice that.
Because there are a lot of members of Congress who are more sympathetic than the way they vote. They'd like to do better, but they don't think they can buck the system. They know I'll buck the system, but they keep thinking that they'll get hit. But, I think freedom is a popular idea. If you work at it you convince them. Maybe we'll have the last laugh.
Find more info about Congressman Ron Paul at http://www.house.gov/paul/.