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Monday, January 2, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Former Staffer Eric Dondero Responds To Ron Paul's "I Don't Believe in 9/11 Conspiracies" Claim

Note: Yesterday I had an email exchange with former Ron Paul senior campaign aide Eric Dondero (who blogs at the site Libertarian Republican) about a totally different issue regarding the Ron Paul campaign. Eric mentioned he had something he wanted to say about the truthfulness of his ex-bosses statements to Jake Tapper. Tapper's question was based on an article that Dondero wrote for Right Wing News.  I asked Eric if he wished to up his response and post it on "The Lid," he agreed and his guest post follows below. (Note: If you cannot see video below please click here)

From Mediaite:
Ron Paul strongly rebuffed ABC News’s Jake Tapper on Sunday’s This Week, when he had brought up a quote by former senior campaign aide Eric Dondero, that claimed the Republican presidential candidate had engaged in 9/11 conspiracy theories. “Now, wait, wait, wait! Don’t go any further on that. That’s complete nonsense!” Paul exclaimed.

“It’s nonsense? It’s not true?” Tapper asked.

“No, I never bought into that stuff, never talked about it. About the conspiracy of Bush — of Bush knowing about this?” Paul responded incredulously. “No, no, come on! Come on! Let’s be reasonable! That’s just off-the-wall!
While it's good to see the mainstream media taking these questions to Ron Paul directly, Tapper and others have not fully pressed him on the matter.

What Tapper should have followed up with, was simply asking Paul if he ever posited the theory that Bush "may" have known about the attacks ahead of time. Notice how Paul adds the caveat "About the conspiracy - of Bush [definitively] knowing about this." That's not how it went down in Ron's offices in the 9/11 immediate aftermath. It was Ron often couching his terms with "might have known," or playing devil's advocate as in the case of "what if." This of course, gave him just enough wiggle room to claim that he never said that's exactly what happened back then, or as he is doing presently.

I maintain, as I have from the beginning of this, that it was Ron Paul's immediate reaction after 9/11 that is the largest of the scandals. The media has yet to press him on this. What I said a week ago, and I say here today, is that practically our whole district staff strongly objected to his threatening to vote against the resolution to go into Afghanistan. Up until the very last minute.

If Jake Tapper, or other media wanted to confirm this, they could simply contact a whole host of Ron Paul staffers from back then: Including, Chief of Staff Tom Lizardo, District Dir. Jackie Gloor, District Sec. Leigh Ann Labeth, and even those who were siding with Ron like Legislative Dir. Joe Becker, and Norm Singleton. It was Becker who tried to keep Ron voting No on the resolution. Singleton agreed.

Moreover at the time, Ron saw it as a courageous sort of stance. He would often tell me about the lone Congresswoman, I believe she was from Nebraska or Kansas, who voted against the resolution to engage in WWII in 1941 after the attacks of Pearl Harbor.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was the lone No vote on the Afghan resolution. [Note: it was actually Sheila Jackson Lee] And Ron said to me specifically how he thought it would send a powerful signal to the "warmongers," to have one No vote on the Democrat side, and one on the Republican.

I applaud Tapper and other media for pushing the issue. But by ignoring the specifics, they've allowed him just enough wiggle room to get out of answering the fundamental question: Did he or did he not originally support the resolution to go into Afghanistan. (And additionally, does he or does he not support American intervention in WWII to save the Jews from the Holocaust, not simply because Hitler made a declaration of War giving us no choice but to respond.)

LID NOTE: Make sure to follow Eric on his site, Libertarian Republican
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