Republican presidential contender Ron Paul has been fielding questions about his controversial newsletters for years. While their troubling contents first came to light during the 2008 presidential campaign, the embarrassing newsletters have gained increasing attention over the past two months. As you'll recall, many of the issues, published in the 1980s and 1990s, contained troubling comments about Israel, African Americans, homosexuals and AIDS, among other subjects.
It seems the controversy over the newsletters, though, is nowhere near over, as The New Republic has just released a new batch of questionable newsletters that are sure to nab attention. Like the former passages that were uncovered, new-found editions show themselves, according to Talking Points Memo, to be "embarrassing," racist and homophobic. Additionally, they embrace various conspiracy theories and "junk science," reports TPM.
Race was, once again, a theme in the newsletters, as one edition apparently read, (as per TPM):
“Today, gangs of young blacks bust into a bank lobby firing rounds at the ceiling. We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.”
That's only the beginning.
According to the New Republic, in the June 1991 edition of the "Ron Paul Political Report," a defense of the Church of Scientology was offered. Having been a target of the IRS over tax fraud concerns, the church apparently spied on the agency. This particular issue of the report defended the church, saying, "Any organization hated by the IRS and the Trilaterialist Time magazine has got to have something going for it!”
In this same issue, Paul's fellow 2012 contender Newt Gingrich -- who has called for Paul to better explain his connections to the newsletters -- is targeted in a section titled, "More Nonsense From Newt Gingrich." Paul's newsletter lambastes the former Speaker of the House's support for a government housing program (see the last section of the PDF).
When it comes to Israel, Paul's newsletters, once again, ignite concern. In a February 1988 issue of the "Political Report," some odd allegations about a female terrorist who bombed a Berlin disco that was often visited by American serviceman were published. The newsletter said that she “was in cahoots with Syria, or Israel’s Mossad, which always seeks to stir up anti-Arab feeling here.”
Additionally, a November 1989 issue sought to add fuel to the conspiracy theory that Israel purposely attacked the U.S.S. Liberty -- an American warship -- in the Mediterranean. Both Israel and the United States ruled, based on investigations, that the attack was an error. And yet another issue in June 1990 called for the creation of “a German Anti-Defamation League.”
But perhaps the most concerning element when it comes to Paul's view on Israel will be a letter that was apparently written from Paul to a Mr. Amos W. Bruce. In his note, the congressman thanked Bruce for an article in The American Mercury that he sent him. The New Republic has more:
The American Mercury was an anti-Semitic magazine owned by Willis Carto, one of America's most notorious holocaust deniers and the founder of The Liberty Lobby. The issue of The American Mercury Paul praised included essays entitled, “You Can't Escape the Kosher Food Tax,” “Are You Ready for the White Man's Doomsday,” and “Racism - Black African Style.”
On the AIDS front, the writings pushed forward some bizarre theories (although, considering how new the disease was, this subject, while not able to be dismissed entirely, could potentially be explained more properly). A 1987 newsletter claimed that “AIDS can be transmitted through means other than sexual intercourse and blood transfusion, specifically saliva, tears, sweat, feces and urine.” And a 1990 issue quoted a doctor who allegedly claimed that AIDS could be transmitted “through sneezes, breath, etc. through the air.”
These, of course, are only highlights from the newsletters. There's plenty more about militias, conspiracy theories and other related themes. You can read all of the recaps -- as well as the newsletters themselves -- here.
What do you think -- should Paul be held accountable for the contents of these newsletters?
(H/T: Talking Points Memo)