04:17 GMT13 May 2021
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    Following attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead, former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul accused the United States and France of being responsible for the rise in Islamist extremism.

    In an article posted to his website, Paul said two of the gunmen in the Paris attacks fought alongside rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He also pointed out that the U.S. and France spent years training and equipping foreign fighters to infiltrate Syria and overthrow Assad.

    “In other words, when it comes to Syria, the two Paris killers were on ‘our’ side,” the article states. “They may have even used French or U.S. weapons while fighting in Syria.”

    Paul blamed Western interventionist foreign policy for deliberately radicalizing Muslim fighters, with the hopes they would attack strategically advantageous targets.  According to the former Congressman, Paris learned last week what the U.S. learned on Sept. 11, 2001: Those fighters will sometimes attack those who have trained them.

    “Perhaps one way to make us all more safe is for the U.S. and its allies to stop supporting these extremists.”

    Paul noted that many dubbed the killings in Paris an attack on free speech. But he questioned how so many could come out in avid support of free speech, while also ignoring the U.S. government’s routine violations of the First Amendment in prosecuting whistleblowers.

    “Where are protesters demanding the release of John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the CIA use of waterboarding and other torture? The whistleblower went to prison while the torturers will not be prosecuted. No protests.”

    The Obama administration has brought more charges in leak cases than all previous administrations combined. Another such case is that of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who goes to trial this week on accusations he leaked details of a botched CIA operation to a New York Times reporter.

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