Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote the foreword for a new book from Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano. Napolitano has promoted 9-11 conspiracy theories, attacked President Abraham Lincoln, and defended a former Paul aide with “neo-Confederate” and “pro-secessionist” views.
Napolitano's Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties is described by publisher Thomas Nelson as “a shocking chronicle of America's descent from a free society to a frightening surveillance state.”
In the foreword, Paul writes, “Now President Obama says he just wants to 'balance' liberty and national security. Judge Napolitano succinctly answers President Obama. To Napolitano, it isn't possible to balance rights and security because 'rights and [national security] are essentially and metaphysically so different that they cannot be balanced against each other.”
Paul praises Napolitano for “unravel[ing] the labyrinthine assault on civil liberties that has taken place as a side effect of the War on Terror.”
He concludes, “Judge Napolitano gets it, and I hope his new book will help the American public to get it; to wake up and mount a defense of our most precious liberties before it's too late.”
Napolitano Is A 9-11 Truther
Napolitano and Paul are both closely associated with conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones.
Before his election in 2010, Sen. Paul was a frequent guest on The Alex Jones Show, which also helped him raise money for his campaign. Jones is one of the leaders of the “9-11 truth” movement, which contends that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were an “inside job” orchestrated by the U.S. government.
Jones was also a big supporter of Ron Paul's (Rand's father) political career. Following an interview with Ron Paul in 2013, Jones told viewers that had known Rand Paul for more than fifteen years and predicted that “he'll probably end up being president if we turn this country around.”
Napolitano has made numerous appearances on Jones' show. During a 2010 interview, Napolitano told Jones, “It's hard for me to believe that [World Trade Center building 7] came down by itself,” adding, “I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us.” After his appearance, families of 9-11 victims criticized Napolitano for being “willfully ignorant of the facts surrounding the collapse of WTC 7.”
Prior to Napolitano pushing 9-11 truther nonsense with Jones, the Fox News contributor had previously appeared on his show to promote conspiracies about “one world government” and the Federal Reserve, among other things.
In 2009, Napolitano told Jones, “you, my friend, are doing more than anybody I know -- I'm trying to keep up with you to educate the public in the dangers of too much government. And guess what? The message is getting through, Alex.”
While Paul Courts Black Voters, Napolitano Defends Confederate Apologist, Slams Lincoln
Sen. Paul has engaged in a highly publicized effort to court the black vote for the Republican Party, visiting cities like Ferguson, Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit as well as colleges like Howard University to speak to black audiences. He has also spoken about criminal justice reform and worked with Democrats on the issue.
Yet the pundit he describes as someone who “gets it” has a history of downplaying the racial elements of the Confederacy while attacking President Abraham Lincoln.
In a 2014 appearance on Fox Business' The Independents, Napolitano said he is a “contrarian” on Lincoln's legacy and “bemoan[ed] the fact” that the president has been “mythologized.” He attacked “the public school establishment” who “would have you believe he is the fourth member of the blessed trinity.”
Napolitano accused Lincoln of having “set about on the most murderous war in American history” over slavery rather than “allowing it to die” because it “was dying a natural death.” He also argued that Lincoln possibly could have purchased slaves and then freed them, “which would have cost a lot less money than the Civil War cost.”
Napolitano even claimed that “it's not even altogether clear if slavery was the reason for secession.” (The Daily Show later devoted a segment to dismantling Napolitano's argument.)
Napolitano claimed that Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War - described as “government violence” -- led to the creation of Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan. Napolitano decried the image of Lincoln as having “Godlike stature” because of “the demonizing of the south.”
Napolitano attacks Lincoln in Suicide Pact, writing in the introduction that “Lincoln suspended natural rights, disobeyed lawful orders of the Supreme Court, and arrested newspaper publishers and elected officials who disagreed with him, all while reflecting the profoundly, embarrassingly immoral white supremacist attitudes of his day.” Paul acknowledges Napolitano's criticism of Lincoln in his forward, writing, “Lincoln said any man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man give him power. Even Lincoln sometimes failed that test, as Judge Napolitano recounts in Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus; the test is nonetheless one that challenges liberty lovers everywhere.”
In 2013, Napolitano defended Jack Hunter, a former Rand Paul aide who had a previous position hosting a radio show where he called himself the “Southern Avenger” while wearing a mask decorated with the Confederate battle flag. Hunter pushed “neo-Confederate” and “pro-secessionist” views and expressed admiration for Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.
When Hunter's past came to light, Napolitano defended him. In a blog post, Napolitano said Hunter was “brilliant” and a “gifted aide.” He said his only “sin” was “having spoken favorably of states' rights, and negatively of Lincoln,” adding, “They can't seem to recognize that states' rights--even secession--does not equal racism; it constitutes a brake on the feds' march to totalitarianism.”
Napolitano's Extremist Rhetoric
In addition to his apologia for the Confederacy and 9-11 conspiracies, Napolitano has used his position at Fox to engage in incendiary, over-the-top rhetoric.
- speculated that the government might be lying about the details surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden, wondering if they were “pulling a fast one to save Obama's lousy presidency.”
- repeatedly argued in favor of impeaching President Obama on a wide range of issues.
- argued that Republicans should not sue Obama, but impeach him because “impeachment will focus his attention immediately.”
- pushed the baseless conspiracy that a UN arms treaty may lead to a world government controlling us all.
- said President Obama “personally and directly caused” the immigrant humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
- described education, justice and health as federal programs “we don't really need.”
- completely made up the claim that contraception coverage in Obamacare includes euthanasia.
- accused Obama of honoring slain Navy SEALs “to get the economy off the front page.”
- compared Roe vs. Wade to “the philosophical argument underlying the Holocaust.”