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Maybe Ron Paul Should Have Been Nicer to the Trilateral Commission

Some of the die-hard Ron Paul supporters have come up with a few imaginative ideas about the origins of the ongoing “anti-Paul smear campaign” (their term for the totally legitimate investigation into Paul’s racist newsletters). Take, for example, this comically delusional “oppo” file on Jamie Kirchick, the journalist who broke the newsletter story in 2008, that’s apparently being emailed to reporters. I won’t give it all away, but the thesis is that Kirchick and Newt Gingrich orchestrated the scandal at the behest of the military industrial complex (there are charts).

But Paul himself may have come up with an even more convoluted theory about why some presidential candidates get bad press. On Feb. 18, 2001, Paul reportedly appeared on the now-defunct Radio Free America, a talk show created by prolific Holocaust denier Willis Carto. Here’s part of the transcript of the show, which was published in Carto’s anti-Semitic newsletter in March of 2001:

Radio Free America host Tom Valentine: Here’s Mack calling from Georgia.

Mack (Caller): The Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations have a lot of power in choosing the American president. Do you think our elections are just a fraud on the people?

Ron Paul: Almost no one gets elected who isn’t friendly with the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. If you are not in tune with them, the national media would crucify you. So you wouldn’t win. I think the people allow themselves to be deceived.

I asked Paul’s campaign press secretary whether the congressman currently believes that presidential candidates need support from the Trilateral Commission and CFR in order to get elected, but haven’t received a response yet.

Conspiracy theories aside, it’s hard to imagine why Paul would ever agree to go on Radio Free America in the first place. The show was a division of Carto’s Liberty Lobby, a group that often came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee (Carto, by the way, also founded the Institute for Historical Review, an infamous Holocaust denial organization). The ADL wrote that Radio Free America’s “skin-deep populism covered vintage Carto-ite anti-Semitism, paranoid-style politics, Holocaust denial and anti-Israel conspiracy theories.” Probably not the best crowd to associate with if you have presidential aspirations.


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