More on Paul and the Newsletters
How much should Paul's newletter and his questionable associations matter?
The literal money graf:
a subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars.
The piece contains some additional examples of the outlandish contents of the newsletter, including:
No conspiracy theory was too outlandish for Paul’s endorsement. One newsletter reported on the heretofore unknown phenomenon of “Needlin’,” in which “gangs of black girls between the ages of 12 and 14” roamed the streets of New York and injected white women with possibly HIV-infected syringes. Another newsletter warned that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” a strange claim for a physician to make.
Paul gave credence to the theory, later shown to have been the product of a Soviet disinformation effort, that AIDS had been created in a U.S. government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Three months before far-right extremists killed 168 Americans in Oklahoma City, Paul’s newsletter praised the “1,500 local militias now training to defend liberty” as “one of the most encouraging developments in America.” And he offered specific advice to antigovernment militia members, such as, “Keep the group size down,” “Keep quiet and you’re harder to find,” “Leave no clues,” “Avoid the phone as much as possible,” and “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
on the subject of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, concluded, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.” In 1990, the newsletter cast aspersions on the “tens of thousands of well-placed friends of Israel in all countries who are willing to wok [sic] for the Mossad in their area of expertise.”
There is also the ongoing association between Paul and radio host/conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones:
In the four years since my article appeared, Paul has gone right on appearing regularly on the radio program of Alex Jones, the most popular conspiracy theorist in America (unless that distinction belongs to Paul himself). To understand Jones’s paranoid worldview, it helps to watch a recent documentary he produced, Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement, which reveals the secret plot of George Pataki, David Rockefeller, and Queen Beatrix, among other luminaries, to exterminate humanity and transform themselves into “superhuman” computer hybrids able to “travel throughout the cosmos.” There is nothing Jones believes the American government isn’t capable of, from “[encouraging] homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children” to blowing up the Space Shuttle Columbia, a “textbook psychological warfare operation.”
Indeed, one need not take Kirchick’s word for Jones (dare I say) zaniness,* just surf over to Jone’s web site.
I must confess, I find some appeal in the notion that Paul represents a straight-talking, non-interventionist, principled alternative to the current GOP field (the problem, of course, is what the precise nature of those principles are). And there is an argument that he could be, therefore, a reasonable protest vote (a case that E. D. Kain made this week: Why I Will Be Voting for Ron Paul in 2012 and earlier by Andrew Sullivan: Ron Paul For The GOP Nomination). However, as sympathetic as I am to both Kain’s and Sullivan’s arguments, the more about Paul’s associates that I read (and I don’t know what else to call those who wrote for his newsletter—it was either him, or people he associated with), the more disturbing I find the situation and thus I find the idea of voting for Paul in the primaries to be less and less palatable.
*Actually, zaniness doesn’t even scratch the surface.