The PJ Tatler

Ron Paul Says 9/11 Wouldn't Have Happened if He Were President

Reminds me of this incredible, jaw dropping post that appeared on Firedoglake in 2007 that posited a world with Al Gore as president. Needless to say, in this fantasy, Gore prevented 9/11 because…well. he’s Al Gore:

July 10, 2001: Kenneth Williams, an 11-year veteran of the counter-terrorism squad of the FBI in Phoenix, notifies FBI Headquarters that several Saudi, Algerian, United Arab Emirates and Pakistani flight school students in his area could be followers of Osama bin Laden, and that they might be terrorists learning how to fly so that they could hijack a passenger plane. After interrogating several of them and noting their hostility to the United States, he recognized that these students were suspiciously well informed about security measures at American airports. He suggested that the FBI conduct a nationwide survey of Arab students who were attending American flight schools; Director Nunn, after consulting with Sandy Berger, agrees.

It’s good for a laugh, albeit through grit teeth. But Ron Paul, basking in the worship of 6,000 screaming paulbots, was being absolutely serious about claiming an alternate history:

At a speech today in the Sun Dome at the University of South Florida ahead of the Republican convention, the Libertarian former Republican presidential candidate said if he had been in charge 9/11 wouldn’t have occurred. “Somebody — rather nationally —- said the other day on the Internet ‘if those Paul people had been in charge Osama Bin Laden would still be alive.’ But you know what I think the answer is? So would the 3000 people killed on 9/11 still be alive!”

The 9/11 Commission determined that one of the major reasons 9/11 happened was the dysfunction of our intelligence agencies and roadblocks put in place that prevented the sharing of information that might have headed off the hijackers.

Are we to believe that Ron Paul — a man paranoid about his own government — would have alleviated that situation? Are we to believe that Mr. Paul would have taken down the “Gorelick Wall” that prevented the CIA and FBI from sharing intel? Are we to believe that Ron Paul would have somehow been able to reach down to the Phoenix office of the FBI and force higher ups to look into their allegation that Arab students were taking flight training?

The problem with believing that Ron Paul — or Al Gore, or anyone who had been president on September 11,2001 — could have prevented that attack presupposes a gift of second sight to a different chief executive that President Bush was not given. It is possible, given Paul’s stated animus toward the CIA, that the agency would have been gutted and there wouldn’t have even been a PDB warning of an attack by al-Qaeda.

Ron Paul is many things, but perhaps more than anything, he is a blowhard.