U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul fired back at Newsweek for an article labeling the NAFTA Superhighway a baseless conspiracy theory.
“It’s the same old story,” Paul said in an exclusive interview with WND. “If Newsweek can’t discredit the message, they have to discredit the messenger.”
The Newsweek article, by Gretel C. Kovach, keyed off an answer the Texas congressman gave during the Nov. 28 CNN presidential debate. A YouTube.com question asked him about a “conspiracy theory regarding the Council [on] Foreign Relations and some plan to merge the United States with Canada and Mexico.”
Paul told WND the problem Newsweek and CNN have is that “it’s not just me” talking about it.
“We have some 14 states passing resolutions to oppose the North American Union and NAFTA Superhighways, amendments passed in Congress have taken away funds for North American integration projects and Virgil Goode has some 50 sponsors for his bill in the House,” Paul explained. “There are millions of Americans who oppose this globalist agenda.”
WND has reported the House and Senate are in the final stages of sending to President Bush a Department of Transportation funding bill with amendments removing the funds needed to continue the Mexican truck demonstration project.
Rep. Goode’s office confirmed to WND that House Concurrent Resolution 40, sponsored by the Virginia Republican to oppose the North American Union and NAFTA Superhighways, now has more than 40 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
“Millions of Americans know about these issues and are concerned about them,” Paul told WND. “What I was trying to say in the CNN debate is that this is not so much secret debates behind closed doors but real philosophical differences between those who believe in globalism, including many at the top of the Democratic and Republican parties, and those of us who believe in national sovereignty and securing our borders.”
Paul emphasized he wants to “deal with the world in a voluntary fashion, through trade, travel and friendship, rather than through higher levels of government.”
“I’ve always been opposed to more government to achieve integration throughout the world,” he said.
“I reject the U.N., NAFTA-CAFTA, North American Union approach,” he continued, “because to me that’s just more international government and less emphasis on the U.S. Constitution.”
‘Ron Paul wants you to be scared’
The Newsweek article began with, “Ron Paul wants you to be scared.”
After quoting Paul’s CNN debate comments, the article asserted nothing Paul said was true, including the prospects of a NAFTA superhighway, a North American Union or a regional currency.
The article focused on arguing there was no plan in existence to extend the Trans-Texas Corridor north.
As documented in a video clip currently posted on YouTube.com, Paul answered the debate question by saying there was “a conspiracy of ideas” involved in the question.
“This is an ideological battle,” Paul told the CNN audience. “Some of us believe in globalism, others of us believe in national sovereignty.
“There is a move on toward a North American Union,” Paul insisted, “just like early on there was a move on toward a European Union.”
NAFTA is moving toward a NAFTA highway, he contended.
“These are real things. It’s not like somebody made these things up. It’s not a conspiracy,” he said. “They don’t talk about it, and they might not admit it, but there’s been money spent on it.”
Texas, for example, unanimously passed legislation to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor, he said.
“They are planning on millions of acres taken by eminent domain for an international highway from Mexico to Canada,” said Paul.
Oklahoma State Republican Sen. Randy Brogdon, a strong opponent of the NAFTA superhighway, agreed with Paul.
“Senate Joint Resolution 22 was submitted to the Oklahoma legislature in 1995 calling for the support and creation of a NAFTA superhighway, which was spelled out in exactly those words,” Brodgon told WND. “What more evidence does Newsweek need?”
WND worked with Newsweek for a week to provide sources and information, but most were ignored.
‘Confused by the facts’
Oklahoma state senator Randy Brogdon and Amanda Teegarden, founding member and research chair of OK-SAFE, are both strong opponents of well-documented moves to extend north into Oklahoma the four-football-fields-wide Trans-Texas Corridor planned in Texas to be built parallel to Interstate 35, known as TTC-35.
As WND reported, Brogdon told a Sept. 29, OK-SAFE audience in Tulsa, “The NAFTA Superhighway stops here, at the border with Oklahoma.”
Brogdon explained to the 300 people in the Tulsa audience his efforts in the Oklahoma legislature to block proposed legislation which would have altered Oklahoma laws to provide the public-private legal infrastructure needed to expand the TTC-35 toll road into the state.
In a Dec. 2 e-mail to WND, Kovach explained her failure to contact Brogdon or OK-SAFE, writing, “Thank you for trying to help me find more information for the story about the fears of a NAFTA Superhighway.”
“I had already spoken with the Oklahoma director of transportation, however, and the editors felt that we had enough information for the story,” she continued.
Brogdon and Teegarden both affirmed to WND that Kovach never interviewed them for the Newsweek article.
Kovach’s explanation did not satisfy Brogdon.
“Newsweek evidently doesn’t like to be confused by the facts,” he told WND. “The article is obviously misguided or the author is just uninformed on the issue.
“Unfortunately, the magazine decided to resort to name-calling,” Brogdon continued. “Newsweek evidently decided to rely only on sources that told them what they want to hear.”
Teegarden agreed with Brogdon.
“The article was an attack piece,” Teegarden said. “The piece was an attempt to marginalize any attempt at discussing activities that threaten U.S. sovereignty by name-calling and pooh-poohing the topic.
“I didn’t realize Ms. Kovach had a degree in psychiatry,” Teegarden wrote, “yet she pronounced a diagnosis of paranoia. Is she licensed?”
Teegarden said Oklahoma will be directly impacted by the construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor transportation systems.
“Oklahomans don’t want to make it easier for Chinese goods to come through our state,” she said. ‘We value the U.S. sovereignty, the free enterprise system and private property rights. We want a transportation system that promotes ‘Made in Oklahoma,” not Chinese goods coming inbound!”
One of the few outside sources Newsweek pursued for quotation was Texas Transportation Commissioner Ric Williamson for a denial.
Williamson told Newsweek he was “startled by superhighway fears,” claiming he never heard of a North American Union “until people started badgering him about it.”
Williamson continued, “They say, ‘Is this [the TTC-35] part of the NAU and the amero?’ And I say, ‘What the hell are you talking about?'”
Readers weigh in
Dozens of reader comments posted under the article on the Newsweek website were sharply critical of the magazine’s attempt to dismiss the NAFTA Superhighway as a conspiracy theory.
Readers were particularly critical of Newsweek’s reliance on government sources who sought to debunk concerns about the Trans-Texas Corridor and the possibility the Security and Prosperity Partnership – the trilateral agreement between the U.S, Canada and Mexico – might lead to further North American integration.
“Kovach should do her homework,” wrote one reader.
“Had Ms. Kovach done the bare minimum of research, rather than calling the Highway Dept. in Oklahoma, she would have found out there really is a NA Superhighway planned,” another reader wrote. “There have been two votes in Texas to retard the process and several Oklahoma congressmen are also trying to thwart it.”
As WND reported in June, Texas Gov. Rick Perry vetoed several bills overwhelmingly passed by the Texas legislature designed to place a two-year moratorium on the TTC-35 and reform eminent domain rules in Texas to make the construction of a superhighway economically infeasible.
Perry’s vetoes came toward the end of the most recent Texas legislative session or after the legislature had already adjourned, to avoid a veto override vote. The Texas legislature is not scheduled to hold its next session until January.
Other Newsweek readers pointed to multiple websites the article had not examined, including a government site in Alberta, Canada, that lists multiple planned north-south NAFTA trade corridors.
Readers also pointed to a North American Forum on Integration website that similarly lists multiple north-south “North American trade corridors.”
Another reader referenced a recent Larry King television interview, writing, “I would have agreed with your article if I hadn’t heard President Vicente Fox himself talk about the plans he and President Bush were laying out for the future.”
As WND reported, Fox in a televised Oct. 8 interview with Larry King on CNN confirmed the existence of a plan conceived with President Bush to create a new regional currency in the Americas, expanding on the North American integration vision begun with NAFTA.
Other readers pointed to a 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report entitled “Building a North American Community,” with one writing, “It is inescapable that certain individuals and groups with an internationalist ideology want to create some kind of North American Union.”
“Now I remember why I gave up my Newsweek subscription over 10 years ago,” another reader commented.
Several Paul supporters were sharply critical of Newsweek’s suggestion that the congressman was promoting a baseless conspiracy theory to play the politics of fear.
“In reference to Ron Paul, the corporate-owned media has an agenda that cannot be accomplished with a Constitutionalist like Mr. Paul leading the country,” a reader identified as “An American Patriot” wrote. “Unless we united and kick these globalist politicians and their corporate backers to the curb, American freedom, liberty and sovereignty will soon be part of history.”
Another Paul supporter challenged the magazine, writing, “Congressman Ron Paul is the ONLY presidential candidate telling the truth, a VERY rare thing in the world of politics!”
WND has noted previous instances in which deniers of the NAU and NAFTA superhighways have resorted to ridiculing proponents as “conspiracy theorists.”
WND reported President Bush at the third summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership Aug. 21 responded to a question from Fox News, claiming it conspiratorial to argue that the SPP could lead to a North American Union or NAFTA superhighways.
WND also reported Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., rebuked DOT Undersecretary of Policy Jeffrey Shane for “gaming semantics” when Shane testified to a House subcommittee that the NAFTA Superhighway was an “urban legend.”
In an exclusive WND interview with Goode, the Virginia congressman told of asking DOT Secretary Mary Peters questions about the NAFTA Superhighway before his subcommittee.
“Of course, she answered, ‘There’s no NAFTA Superhighway.’ But then Mary Peters proceeded to discuss the road system that would come up from Mexico and go through the United States up into Canada.”
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