ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: Presidential candidate and Libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul will enlist the help of Mr. Anonymous –Michael Scheuer, an author critical of Presidents in both parties and the former head of the CIA’s Osama Bin Laden unit — to argue that America’s Mayor needs to bone up on his recent history.
It’s been a week since the Fox News presidential debate and Ron Paul is still playing up his tiff with Rudy Giuliani that night over whether US Foreign Policy, specifically the first Gulf war, led in some way to 9/11. Paul said it’s common sense. Giuliani said the notion that US Foreign policy with regard to the Middle East generally, and Iraq specifically, led to 9/11 is poppycock.
Paul and Scheuer are going to have a Thursday event at the National Press Club Thursday to, facetiously, "educate former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Foreign Policy."
"They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East [for years]. I think (Ronald) Reagan was right," Paul said. "We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. Right now, we’re building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We’re building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting?"
Giuliani said Paul was being absurd.
"That’s really an extraordinary statement," Giuliani said. "That’s really an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I have ever heard that before and I have heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11. I would ask the congressman withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that."
Paul, however, dug up a passage from the 9/11 Commission Report the next day that backed his claim and shot off a press release the next day wondering if Giuliani had even read the report.
So goes the report: "His (Bin Laden) rhetoric selectively draws from multiple sources-Islam, history, and the region’s political and economic malaise. He also stresses grievances against the United States widely shared in the Muslim world. He inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam’s holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War…."
Giuliani has not backed down. He told Sean Hannity on Sunday that Paul’s "statement that really shocked me."
"I never thought I’d hear something like that at a Republican debate. I actually didn’t expect it at a Democratic debate. It was sort of the kind of thing that I remember like the Saudi prince saying, you know, the one who gave us $10 million, said American foreign policy had something to do with it, that had to be changed."
"I mean, it seemed like it was so off the wall," Giuliani added. "And there are so many of these conspiracy theories about September 11, to hear one coming from a Republican was very, very disappointing. So I thought I just had to step in, nobody else seemed to be doing it. And I seemed to — I had to step in, somebody had to correct this."