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Rand Paul, The DC Establishment And A Web Of Lies About “Moderate” Syrian Rebels

McCain and Paul

The Washington national security and foreign policy establishment will try to destroy anyone who asks sensible questions about whether or not their policies actually work and have made the United States and our people more, or less, secure.

Senator Rand Paul has made himself the chief target of the DC establishment’s war wing by asking uncomfortable questions about the strategies the United States has pursued in dealing with the war radical Islam in its various forms has declared on us, and whether what we’ve been doing has worked or not worked.

Questions like that and a debate to answer them is something the DC establishment and the war hawks on both sides of the aisle, such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, can’t abide.

Paul has taken an especially vicious beating for questioning who exactly Senator John McCain met with when he made a much-ballyhooed trip to Syria to meet with “rebel” leaders back in May of 2013.

Soon after McCain made the trip rumors began to swirl that some of those he met with were ISIS supporters, terrorists or kidnappers. At the time McCain’s spokesman rebutted these claims with the ridiculous answer that, beyond a couple of well-known rebel leaders, McCain didn’t know who he met with.

Last year, our friend Matt Boyle of Breitbart reminds us, McCain’s office said they had no clue who the senator met. When allegations surfaced that the senator may have met with terrorists who kidnapped someone, Brian Rogers—McCain's communications director—went on the record to multiple media outlets to say he didn’t know who he was meeting with, and if he did meet with kidnapper terrorists, that would be regrettable. (link to Matt’s full article at the end of this piece)

"None of the individuals the senator planned to meet with was named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim," Boyle reports Rogers told CNN in late May 2013, right after the trip. "A number of other Syrian commanders joined the meeting, but none of them identified himself as Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim.”

Rogers added later in his statement to CNN that he and the senator did not know who he was meeting with.

“A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and, as always, the senator complied,” Rogers said. “If the individual photographed with Senator McCain is in fact Mohamed Nour, that is regrettable. But it would be ludicrous to suggest that the Senator in any way condones the kidnapping of Lebanese Shia pilgrims or has any communication with those responsible. Senator McCain condemns such heinous actions in the strongest possible terms." 

Of course said Boyle (and we agree), it’s ludicrous to suggest that McCain would condone the act of kidnapping, and nobody serious is suggesting that. 

The point many critics of McCain’s policies—including Senator Paul—are making is that Americans have no way of knowing which team any one of these figures is on.

Politicians take pictures with potential supporters without doing a full FBI background check (we are reminded of First Lady Roslyn Carter’s infamous photo with serial killer John Wayne Gacy here) so McCain’s initial “I don’t know who these guys are” denial might be forgiven, except that the GOP establishment’s leading interventionist has now doubled down and is using his Syria meeting as a club with which to beat opponents of the rush to send arms to anyone who promises to point them in the general direction of ISIS.

“Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria? Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people?” McCain rhetorically asked Sean Hannity during a Tuesday, September 15 appearance.

“I’m not trying to start a fight, Senator,” Hannity said.

“No, no, no, were going to have a fight because it’s patently false. This is the same Rand Paul that said we didn’t want to have anything to do with… anything to do in the Middle East, by the way. I don’t want to get in a fight with him at all, but it’s not true. I know these people, I’m in contact with them all the time. And he is not, he is not.” (emphasis ours)

The Washington Post, ever ready to support Barack Obama and its favorite Republican, Senator John McCain, gave Senator Paul “four Pinocchios” for suggesting that McCain did in fact meet with terrorists during his trip to Syria.

However, Senator Paul’s comments that Americans have no way of knowing which team any one of these figures is on are given substance by McCain’s spokesman’s claim from a year ago that the senator did not know who he was meeting with.

Senator Paul’s real transgression in the eyes of the DC foreign policy and national security establishment wasn’t questioning who Senator McCain met with, it was calling out the policies they have foisted on the American people as a failure.

“A reasonable degree of foresight should be a prerequisite for holding high office. So should basic hindsight. This administration has neither… But the same is true of hawkish members of my own party,” says Rand Paul.

We agree with where Senator Paul is coming from; he’s for what works.

Clearly what the DC war hawks have advocated for the past ten years hasn’t worked, and it is long past time we had the kind of open debate and truth-telling that Senator Paul’s “reasonable degree of foresight” and “basic hindsight” would require, including deconstructing the web of lies that has been built to justify arming the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Here’s a link to Matt Boyle’s great article on Senator McCain’s evolving story on whom he met with in Syria

Here’s a link to Senator John McCain’s appearance on Hannity where he attacks Senator Paul

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