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Rand Paul: Deport terrorists to Afghanistan

Forget the Civil Rights Act. What about Rand Paul's views on foreign policy?

Just as his criticism of parts of the Civil Rights Act had been out there for weeks before exploding onto the national media scene, Paul has expressed foreign policy views that have yet to attract serious attention but also raise questions about his true core beliefs.

For instance: Paul has suggested deporting terrorists to Afghanistan and has said that it's not a threat if Iran has a nuke -- both views that smack of his father's staunch isolationism.

Paul's vanquished GOP primary opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, tried to make issues of these views but they attracted virtually no national notice.

For instance, the Grayson campaign pointed out that Paul said this in May of 2009 in a discussion of Guantanamo:

"If you're not going to convict them and you can't convict them and you're unclear, drop them back off in Afghanistan; it'll take them a while to get back over here."

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Grayson made an issue of this comment, but Paul denied he favors closing Guantanamo, insisting Grayson took the comment out of context.

Grayson also pointed out that Paul also said in 2008 that the United States is "not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon."

During the GOP primary Paul also distanced himself from that comment, clarifying that "it's not desirable for Iran to have nuclear weapons."

Yesterday, Frank Rich noted that even on foreign policy he's a staunch isolationist: "when he says he is antigovernment, he means it."

Indeed, the above are two examples where Paul previously expressed views that he rushed to clarify once he became a major candidate for U.S. Senate. The point is that the national press has yet to explore Paul's foreign policy positions -- and who knows what bounty that will yield!

By Greg Sargent  |  May 24, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Yes, all that is fine, but Inquiring Minds Want To Know:

If Rand Paul is afraid to face David Gregory now, how does he feel about Mr. Gregory obtaining his very own Nuke?

Posted by: Liam-still | May 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

According to Dr. Paul, the North American Union, the NAFTA Superhighway and the Amero currency are imminent (and there is video to prove he said it).

According to Dr. Paul, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF threaten our sovereignty. This is "one world order" tin foil helmet stuff. This is also a neo-Nazi meme.

Paul didn't slip up on Maddow. This is not about in-artfully answering questions. This isn't about being unseasoned. This IS about having crackpot views.

Posted by: CriticalThinker4 | May 24, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"This IS about having crackpot views."

While I agree with your view CT I've made a promise to myself to exhibit a kinder gentler self...lol..and so I might change crackpot to extreme or not in the mainstream.

I was saddened by Paul's flipflop "clarification" on his views about the right or the lack thereof for Government to insist that private business offering service to the public not discriminate.

Paul walks a very thin tightrope right now.
One of the most refreshing things about him as been his honesty. In less than 48 hours he has already began morphing into a a typical politician. His "crackpot" views will soon be "clarified" and it was always the fault of the looney bin on the left that he was "misinterpreted".

Right now the biggest cowards in our nation are on the right. Perhaps that's why they are so full of bluster and fury.
But the fact that Sister Sarah, Rand Paul and other heroes can't even face questions from the media says volumes about their lack of brains and their total lack of courage.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 24, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The comment on the Civil Rights act continues a nonsensical media feeding frenzy. Rand Paul made it clear later that he would have voted for the Civil Rights act (a question Maddow never asked him) despite any philosophical questions about government intrusion, because in the south government had acted to create such a pervasive segregation, there was really no alternative. This isn’t even an issue.

Regarding deporting people who are innocent and can't be tried to Afghanistan, please let's do have a detailed discussion of that one. Because you do realize that Obama has decided indefinite preventative detention without trial is a better idea for these people, right? PLEASE do let us explain to the country how much of a higher road Rand Paul wants us to take than that currently the policy of the Obama administration.

Posted by: sailingaway1 | May 24, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"This IS about having crackpot views."

Exactly. Pauls' simplistic ideology would be an interesting exercise if he wants to go start a tiny little unimportant community (or cult) somewhere.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 24, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As far as I am concerned; anyone who is afraid to take questions from the likes of David Gregory, should not even be running for a position as a local dog catcher, let alone for the position of US Senator.

Right Wing Republicans have spent more than a year claiming that President Obama is too soft on suspected terrorist detainees, and here we have this Rand clown, that the Republican leadership is embracing, wanting to just release all those detainees, in a place where they will find it very easy to join up with The Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Greg,

I hope you are spending lots of time seeking comments from all those, Tough On Terrorists, Republican Leaders, as to how they feel about Rand, Country Club, Paul's "release all those terrorists, now" position.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell has to be screaming "I told you so" in those caucus meetings right about now. I sure hope that Rand Paul continues to be the face of the GOP until the fall.

While it's still a major uphill climb...it's not out of the realm of possibility that we could see a Democratic Senator from Kentucky.

Haha.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 24, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

sailingaway you are simply WRONG about the misinterpretation of Pauls views on the Civil Right's Act. Did you see the RM interview? I did and Paul did say he would have voted for it. The Civil Rights Act is NOT REALLY THE ISSUE!!! He was clear in his statement that he felt the Government had no right to tell a private business they could not discriminate. He was equally clear in saying he PERSONALLY abhorred discrimination and would personally boycott any business that discriminated. It's CLEAR to anyone but a pathetic apologist WHAT he said and WHAT he believes. He is a libertarian...these views are not novel!!! He thinks the free market can take care of things like discrimination. He has said as much about the ADA where he showed his complete ignorance as well. He suggested it's not fair for the government to tell the owner of a small business they have to build an elevator for their two story building to help the disabled...actually there are plenty of exemptions in the ADA and in fact as an owner of a two story building we have given one of our upstairs tenants, a realtor, the right to use our waiting room downstairs should he need to meet without someone unable to climb the stairs.

Listen sailingaway at least be freaking honest. NOBODY is distorting Ron Paul's views. He has a RECORD!

If you wish to be truthful we can accept that Ron Paul flipped 180 degrees on his views about the Government being able to direct private business not to discriminate, NOW THAT HE REALIZES the situation in the South was extreme and needed redress. Of course you'll have to forgive us if we view this as simple political expediency since this "clarification" came after years of stating otherwise and only after a 48 hour firestorm that saw conservatives as radical as Jim Demented questioning Dr. Paul's views. OK so he's changed his mind! That is not the same as a clarification! The media did not do this to Ron Paul.

You can have you opinion sailingaway but not your facts. If you feel that Ron Paul is such a terrific candidate that we should overlook his views on exactly what the Government can legislate re private business fine....but stop trying to BS us that he NEVER SAID...NEVER THOUGHT..or was SIMPLY GOADED BY A MEMBER OF THE LEFT WING LOONEY BIN TO SAY THINGS HE DIDN'T MEAN.
He is on the FREAKING RECORD over a long time span. Nobody has misinterpreted anything they are simply reporting what he has repeatedly said. And in fact Rachel Maddow tried to give Dr. Paul many..many..many opportunities to "clarify" or change his mind...HE DIDN'T!
THAT IS A SIMPLE FACT GET OVER IT.

You insult our intelligence or are revealing your own lack of critical thinking and observation skills.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul wasn't just speaking of releasing the innocent to Afghanastan. Why would the innocent want to eventually come back to the U.S., as suggested by Paul: "It'll take them awhile to get back over here."

Posted by: Beeliever | May 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous that the Republicans think that journalists are not allowed to examine a candidate's stated/written opinions.

Nobody railroaded Rand Paul. He did it to himself over several years when he voiced these crackpot opinions.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

To Paul's credit he has told a Kentucky TV station that Maddow's interview was fair but what followed in the press was not.

He sees it as the MSM grabbing one facet of a very complicated issue and then running with it. I agree with him but he is simply lacking in compassion or is naive to not realize that a United States Senate candidate in 2010 does not believe the Government has the right to tell private business serving the public they can't discriminate is BIG NEWS!

Again let's not obfuscate the issue here.
He clearly told Rachel Maddow he would have voted for the Civil Right's Act but he simply had trouble with one aspect. He clearly told her he was against discrimination and would have a personal boycott of any business that did discriminate. Nobody is suggesting he is a racist or not entitled to his opinion or beliefs.

We are just as entitled to ascertain what he believes the role of government might be since he is a candidate for one of the most important offices in that government.

BTW on a side note...Rand Paul could also be sinking any hopes his father has as a 2012 Presidential candidate. His father is equally honest and will have to eat a lot of TEA PARTY PERSONAL opinion if he hopes to be a legitimate candidate.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"I was saddened by Paul's flipflop "clarification" on his views about the right or the lack thereof for Government to insist that private business offering service to the public not discriminate."

Just to be clear, is it your position that private businesses should be disallowed by law from discriminating? On any basis whatsoever?

Posted by: ScottC3 | May 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Bill Halter challenges Blanche Lincoln to debate before runoff, but Lincoln camp won't say whether they're interested:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/bill_halter_to_blanche_lincoln.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 24, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul wasn't just speaking of releasing the innocent to Afghanastan. Why would the innocent want to eventually come back to the U.S., as suggested by Paul: "It'll take them awhile to get back over here."

Posted by: Beeliever | May 24, 2010 11:57 AM

....................

So now you are saying that Rand Paul is claiming that The Republicans, under Bush/Cheney detained people for years, that they knew to be innocent.


Keep digging.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually,

Rand, Country Club, Paul said that he wanted to release terrorists. He said that it would take theme a while to get back over here.

"For instance, the Grayson campaign pointed out that Paul said this in May of 2009 in a discussion of Guantanamo:

"If you're not going to convict them and you can't convict them and you're unclear, drop them back off in Afghanistan; it'll take them a while to get back over here.""

Posted by: Liam-still | May 24, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@Scott C.

"Just to be clear, is it your position that private businesses should be disallowed by law from discriminating? On any basis whatsoever?"

No that is not my position. Certainly businesses can discriminate on the basis of behavior, dress codes etc. I think the Gov't got it right about race,creed,color etc.

In addition remember private business that serve private interests...clubs etc...are still permitted to discriminate. While this is reprehensible to many when it's basis is something like race or gender..it does permit organizations like the VFW or American Legion to limit their patronage to MEMBERS. As has been pointed out, Dr. Paul who ranted against the "advantaged in their penthouses" dictating to we rabble managed to hold his election celebration in a "private" club. While not determinant as to whether he is the best candidate for office it is a bit ironic given the "populist" tone of his campaign.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"No that is not my position. Certainly businesses can discriminate on the basis of behavior, dress codes etc. I think the Gov't got it right about race,creed,color etc."

Is there a principle the application of which will allow us to know what kind of discrimination you think can be justifiably outlawed and which cannot?

Posted by: ScottC3 | May 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3
'Is there a principle the application of which will allow us to know what kind of discrimination you think can be justifiably outlawed and which cannot?'

There is a very simple one. Discrimination based on behavior at a business is permissible- ie, smoking, carrying weapons, inappropriate attire, etc.

Discrimination based on how one looks or other intrinsic characteristics is not- being black, disabled, etc.

For bonus points, discrimination based on behavior when NOT at a business is also NOT allowed - one cannot discriminate based on whether a patron goes to rodeos, likes skydiving, has homosexual sex, etc.
Easy enough?

Posted by: zed09 | May 24, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The real issue here is that Republicans were not able to deliver the voters. Instead of Republicans, they got Tea Partiers, Oath Keepers, and their fellow travelers, who nominated a naive fool for national office. Paul may be well meaning, but his political philosophy could never produce a responsible government. It's a utopian vision of a place where selfishness is provides the greatest good for everyone. He's Gordon Gekko, running for the Senate.

The losing candidate in the Democratic primary got more votes than Paul did in winning the Republican nomination. Tea Partiers, Oath Keepers, etc. are a substantial minority. If anything like a representative sample turns out to vote this November, Paul will be crushed.

Look at Rubio in FL: he's got a great chance at losing that election, and the Republicans couldn't nominate the guy who eventually win it. Even Harry Reid has got a good shot at winning because Lowden and Angle are idiots.

What's going on -- and what has McConnell and the Republican middle terrified -- is that the inmates are in charge of the Republican asylum. They're producing nominees that can't win elections, because they're too reactionary.

McConnell, Steele and Boehner chose to feed this beast, hoping they could co-opt it. It worked in the past, gay marriage, for example. But they screwed up: rather than fearmonger a social issue, they tried an economic one. Big mistake. They forgot Dick Armey and Roger Ailes really controlled the issue, and their megaphone Fox News.

I'm not quite sure what Ailes' motivation is here: what he's doing with Fox News and its programming seems designed to destroy the Republican Party. Unless he believes so strongly in the power of advertising: that he'll eventually be able to get us all to vote Republican simply by an unremitting repetition of what is in essence ads. Ones without any restriction for veracity.

As for Armey: he's raking in the big corporate bucks right now. Once this all comes crashing down, he'll have plenty of money, and won't have to take those "Dancing With The Stars" gigs to make ends meet.

Maybe that's what Ailes is doing too: just cashing in.

Posted by: dpc2003 | May 24, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Scott C.

zed09 did an admirable job of responding for me and I'm comfortable with that post.

But I'll leave the discussion with what George Will said yesterday...from a thinking conservative's perspective. We traded away one right, that of private business to discriminate, for another that of everyone to be treated fairly and equally. It was a good trade and the right thing to do and Rand Paul is simply being frivolous to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 24, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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