Rep. Ron Paul, a soon-to-be presidential candidate known for opposing U.S. military intervention overseas, said if he were president, he would not have duplicated President Obama’s plan for taking out the man responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Paul plans to announce his candidacy Friday in New Hampshire, two sources told Fox News. Ahead of that announcement, he suggested in a radio interview Tuesday that the U.S. government could have worked with Pakistan to secure Usama bin Laden’s capture instead of unilaterally entering the country and killing him — despite concerns that the Pakistanis could have tipped him off.
“It was absolutely not necessary,” Paul said of the May 1 CIA-led Navy SEALs raid.
The Texas congressman questioned whether Obama could have gotten away with the operation if Usama bin Laden had been in a country other than Pakistan.
“What if he had been in a hotel in London?” Paul said on Newsradio 1040 WHO. “So would we have sent the … helicopters into London because they were afraid the information would get out? No, you don’t want to do that.”
Paul said the United States should have gone after bin Laden the same way it went after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, architect of the Sept. 11 attacks, by working with the Pakistan government.
“They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us,” Paul said, suggesting the same formula should have applied to bin Laden.
Though Paul is credited by some with inspiring the Tea Party movement, one faction of that movement was not happy with the comment.
“If there is any doubt that Ron Paul should not even get near the Oval Office, even on a tour of the White House, he has just revealed it,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said on his website. “For a Congressman to say the raid to kill the man who is one of the greatest mass murderers of Americans in history was, ‘not necessary,’ is simply nuts.”
Read more here.