Ron Paul is Just Asking Questions. Of Course.

Last week, one of Ron Paul’s websites published a column by 9/11 truther and unhinged wingnut Paul Craig Roberts claiming that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was a false flag operation carried out by the American government to punish France for not agreeing with much of our foreign policy. Ron Paul says it’s okay because they’re “just asking questions” and searching for truth.

Two days after the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity republished a column suggesting that last week’s terror attack on the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was a “false flag operation,” the former congressman himself weighed in on the conspiracy theory Friday, saying his group ran the column simply to pose some questions about the official version of events.

In the column, paleoconservative crank and Reagan administration Treasury Department official Paul Craig Roberts cast doubt on the notion that the Paris attack truly stemmed from Muslim anger over Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons lampooning Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Roberts, a notorious 9/11 truther, speculated that the U.S. government executed the attack to punish France for its independent foreign policy, citing its vote at the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a state and French President Francois Hollande’s recent call to ease sanctions on Russia.

“Clearly, France was showing too much foreign policy independence. The attack on Charlie Hebdo serves to cow France and place France back under Washington’s thumb,” Roberts wrote…

Though Paul maintained that the column wasn’t a declaration that the U.S. government carried out the attacks — it was merely an effort “to try to get the truth out,” he said — he also implied that he finds Roberts’ theory plausible.

Isn’t that always the excuse for such nonsense? They’re just asking questions!

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  • birgerjohansson

    Soo, those two guys were brain-washed, like Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate? Yes, absolutely feasible. Sure thing.

  • Johnny Vector

    I’m starting to wonder if there are any true-flag operations any more.

    Won’t someone think of the flags?

  • Raging Bee

    Has Ron Paul always been this bad at sounding plausible? Or is he now making an effort to rub everyone’s noses in how totally bogus he always was, now that he’s safely retired?

    Anyone who ever took him seriously should feel horrifically stupid and ashamed by now.

  • democommie

    “I’m starting to wonder if there are any true-flag operations any more.”

    Bundy Ranch; where the feds swooped in and kilt everybody and then hunted down their families and their church ministers (they was all KKKristians!!) and such lik–oh, wait, sorry.

    Ron Paul, living proof that it’s not entirely Rand’s fault that he’s a soulless prick.

  • eric

    Isn’t that always the excuse for such nonsense? They’re just asking questions!

    Since this is Rand Paul rather than some TV pundit, I think an accurate description of it would be “I’m just slumming for votes.”

  • ArtK


    It’s Ron, not Rand. Not that it makes a whole lot of difference: They’re both out of touch and dangerous.

  • abb3w

    So, should we start asking questions about whether Ron Paul helped Glenn Beck cover up having raped and murdered a girl in 1990? I mean, it’s just asking questions.

    @6, ArtK — both seem out of touch, dangerous, and likely slumming, but there’s a significant difference. Rand Paul is still slumming for votes; Ron Paul is presently retired from elected politics, and thus only slums for the cash money to be scammed from the yokels.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Ron Paul (in the linked Salon article) raises the same question a conspiracy-mongering friend of mine brought up, to which I had/have no answer:

    …‘what about this chief investigator of this event committed suicide right in the middle of it?’

    Anybody here heard anything about this from more reliable sources?

  • eric

    I stand corrected as per @6-@8. He’s not slumming for votes, only cash. We’ll have to wait and see if any of the GOP primary contenders use (some right-wing conspiracy about) the CH massacre to slum for votes.

  • lorn

    There is asking question, exploring the edges of an issue seeking a better understanding of reality, and then there is ‘asking questions’, asserting an entirely unsupported version of reality in an attempt advance a political cause, smear an elected official, and confuse people’s basic understanding of reality.

    The legitimate form of exploring this issue along those lines would be:

    Question – Is it possible that Obama is importing millions of people into the US and hiding them in the National Forests in an attempt to shift the US toward Sharia?

    Answer – No.

  • alanb

    @ Pierce Butler:

    About 40,000 people kill themselves in this country each year — more than die in auto accidents. So, suicide is a fairly common cause of death and law enforcement statistics are higher than average because they have an effective means right at hand. The instigator, Helric Fredou, was reported as being depressed and burnt out. In every major event involving numerous people there is at least one improbable coincidence, and, in this case it is not terribly improbable.

  • Who Cares

    @Pierce R. Butler(#8): I read it in the The Telegraph, note that there is a better explanation then the ‘guy found the wrong evidence and had to be silenced’ one.


    They start of by claiming that the attackers are not the ones later shot (and any claim stating they are, are being countered by how do you know seeing they were masked). Then they claim that real Muslim terrorists wouldn’t have tried to get away and instead would have committed suicide by cop. And the final claim is that the attackers at Hebdo were behaving in a very professional manner while the people the French cops chased were bumbling fools.

    Those claims can easily be negated.

    1) Other evidence (like the car being used) pointing to the suspects.

    2) Not every terrorist is a suicide bomber

    3) Difference between careful preparation & knowing that your targets won’t have time to fight back. And being chased by people armed better then you and so determined to get you that they even had armored vehicles on standby to make sure that the only one who’d suffer would be you.

    Note: The next is what I’ve found on the net here in Europe and aren’t my views.

    Then there is the antisemitism. Anything from Hebdo didn’t attack the Jews to the point that people got fired when they tried (not sure what that has to do with the attack but it is used as a data point suggesting that it was the Israeli who did it) to the only ones who’ll benefit from this are the Israeli so they have done it.

    Again a proof of identity just happens to be on the scene of the crime (probably a reference to the finding of the passport in the aftermath of 9/11).

    Oh and then there is the truly bizarre like it has to be a false flag since a news reporter (from Sky) said blood had been placed there. And the video showing the ‘mock’ execution keeps getting pulled down while video X can stay up. And it is indeed a fake execution since even on the censored videos the head doesn’t explode like a ripe melon hit by a bullet used to shoot elephants (instead of the 7,62×39 that a Kalashnikov uses).

    I’m keeping the best one for last: It is impossible to get that many world leaders to Paris in the short time between the shooting and the photo op during the protest march if it wasn’t arranged for in advance.

  • bmiller

    Have to admit I didn’t realize Roberts had wandererd into The Moon Landing Was Fake territory. I used to enjoy some of his writings on economics (including his argument that you can’t run an economy on everyone doing everyone else’s laudry while importing all of the manufactured goods).

  • colnago80

    Re Pierce Butler @ #8

    The nutcases are still claiming that Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons and that Kennedy was assassinated by (J. Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, Castro, the KGB, the CIA, etc. take your pick).

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Thanks to alanb @ # 11, Who Cares @ # 12, & colnago80 @ # 14 for helping me out with my query @ # 8 – especially Who Cares for the link which clarifies that the suicide was not that of the “chief investigator” of this case but a relatively minor player, interviewing a victim’s family members, in a distant town.

  • erichoug

    The attack on Charlie Hebdo serves to cow France and place France back under Washington’s thumb

    Really? you think that a nuclear armed country can be put under the US thumb? Really, has France ever fallen in line with what Washington wanted?

    But then, they are pretty wimpy, I mean they couldn’t even beat the North Vietnamese! What a bunch of losers.