Politico stands by their blog post on Rep. Ron Paul (R., Tex.). Bad choice, I think. The original blog post, without offering a clear quote from Paul, had stated that the libertarian-leaning Republican had warned in a radio interview of the ” U.S. government staging a terrorist attack.” According to the original post, Paul “clearly insinuated that the administration would not be above staging an incident to revive flagging support.” This gives the impression that Paul is a nut-job who thinks Bush plans to put bombs in a shopping mall. And that’s the way Politico.com’s readers understood it, if take a few minutes to read their comments.
It’s not what Paul said, either. If you listen to the interview, Paul makes no mention of a fake or staged terror attack, nor any accusation of Bush doing such a thing “to revive flagging support.” The only mention of a “staged terrorist attack” came from a Cindy Sheehan quote given somewhere near the beginning of a long, rambling multi-part question from a madman with an online radio show. To take Ron Paul’s answer after that set-up and shape it into a conspiracy theory is both pejorative and unfair.
As for the “new Gulf of Tonkin provovacation” suggested by Jones at the end of his question, and assented to by Paul, it is true that several paleoconservatives — including Pat Buchanan today — are starting to use similar language, referring to the minor military confrontation that was massively embellished to justify our official escalation of the Vietnam War. But the Gulf of Tonkin incident was not a “staged terrorist attack” either.
Paul is guilty only of stupidly appearing on air with Alex Jones, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who claims to have predicted 9/11 and believes in a global conspiracy to spread cancer viruses through vaccines in order to kill up to 90 pecent of he world population (hat tip there to Redstate).