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The 9-11 Commission Charade
By by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Special thanks from Scams-n-Scandals to Dr. Paul for these observations

The 9-11 Commission report, released late last month, has disrupted the
normally quiet Washington August. Various congressional committees are
holding hearings on the report this week, even though Congress is not in
session, in an attempt to show the government is "doing something" about
terrorism in an election year. The Commission recommendations themselves
have been accepted reverently and without question, as if handed down from
on high.

But what exactly is going on here? These hearings amount to nothing more
than current government officials meeting with former government officials,
many of whom now lobby government officials, and agreeing that we need more
government! The current and past architects of the very bureaucracy that
failed Americans so badly on September 11th three years ago are now meeting
to recommend more bureaucracy. Why on earth do we assume that former
government officials, some of whom are self-interested government
lobbyists, suddenly become wise, benevolent, and politically neutral when
they retire? Why do we look to former bureaucrats to address a bureaucratic
failure?

The 9-11 Commission report is several hundred pages worth of
recommendations to make government larger and more intrusive. Does this
surprise anyone? It was written by people who cannot imagine any solution
not coming from government. One thing you definitely will not see in the
Commission report is a single critique of our interventionist foreign
policy, which is the real source of most anti-American feelings around the
globe.

The Commissioners recommend the government spend billions of dollars
spreading pro-US propaganda overseas, as if that will convince the world to
love us. What we have forgotten in the years since the end of the Cold War
is that actions speak louder than words. The US didn't need propaganda in
the captive nations of Eastern Europe during the Cold War because people
knew us by our deeds. They could see the difference between the United
States and their Soviet overlords. That is why, given the first chance,
they chose freedom. Yet everything we have done in response to the 9-11
attacks, from the Patriot Act to the war in Iraq, has reduced freedom in
America. Spending more money abroad or restricting liberties at home will
do nothing to deter terrorists, yet this is exactly what the 9-11
Commission recommends.

Our nation will be safer only when government does less, not more. Rather
than asking ourselves what Congress or the president should be doing about
terrorism, we ought to ask what government should stop doing. It should
stop spending trillions of dollars on unconstitutional programs that
detract from basic government functions like national defense and border
security. It should stop meddling in the internal affairs of foreign
nations, but instead demonstrate by example the superiority of freedom,
capitalism, and an open society. It should stop engaging in
nation-building, and stop trying to create democratic societies through
military force. It should stop militarizing future enemies, as we did by
supplying money and weapons to characters like Bin Laden and Saddam
Hussein. It should stop entangling the American people in unholy alliances
like the UN and NATO, and pledge that our armed forces will never serve
under foreign command. It should stop committing American troops to
useless, expensive, and troublesome assignments overseas, and instead
commit the Department of Defense to actually defending America. It should
stop interfering with the 2nd amendment rights of private citizens and
businesses seeking to defend themselves.

More than anything, our federal government should stop deluding us that
more government is the answer. We have far more to fear from an
unaccountable government at home than from any foreign terrorist.

August 24, 2004

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.