Jill Stein in Iowa: I would not have assassinated Osama bin Laden
Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate for president, said Sunday in Iowa that she would not have assassinated Osama bin Laden but would have brought him to justice for his role in the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I think assassinations … they’re against international law to start with and to that effect, I think I would not have assassinated Osama bin Laden but would have captured him and brought him to trial,” Stein said.
Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaida, was shot and killed by U.S. special forces during a raid at a residence in Pakistan in 2011. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and a failed attack that downed a passenger jet in Pennsylvania, killed nearly 3,000 people. Today, tens of thousands of people have become ill and thousands have died from illnesses attributed to the attacks.
Stein made her comments in an interview before her first Iowa campaign appearance, a rally that attracted more than 150 on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol. The organizer and several of the speakers were former national delegates of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. During the rally, Stein argued for a renewable energy and jobs program that she says would eliminate fossil fuel use in the U.S. by 2030.
She has called for deep cuts in military spending as a way to pay for domestic programs, including having the federal government assume $1.5 trillion in student debt. During her rally remarks, she referred to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as “war mongers.”
She said the 9/11 attacks “provided a pretext for the wrong wars, which have only gotten us into more trouble.” Stein said rather than go to war, she would take a “targeted” approach to tracking down terrorists and bringing them to justice for crimes against humanity.
“I think all evidence certainly points to bin Laden, but the 9/11 attackers had assistance and funding and bin Laden had assistance and funding,” she said. Stein cited a recent article by former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida in the New York Times that noted the still-murky role of Saudi Arabia in assisting terrorists.
“What we should have done is declare this a crime against humanity and pursued it, pursued the attackers and gotten the intelligence about who was behind this,” she said.
She said the United States and Saudi Arabia armed and trained warlords and other rebels as a way to combat the Soviet Union and that led to the creation of today’s jihadist movement. “And boy, did it backfire; I mean, in a horrific and tragic way,” she said.
Stein has been polling at 2 to 3 percent in Iowa. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who has polled as high as 12 percent in Iowa, made his first Iowa campaign appearance last weekend in Des Moines.
Stein, like Johnson, worked to make a case for her inclusion in the upcoming presidential debates. The debate rules admit only candidates who average 15 percent in five national polls — in other words, only Trump and Clinton. Stein, who said she was arrested during her 2012 campaign by entering a presidential debate hall uninvited, called for supporters to protest the Sept. 26 debate at Hofstra University in New York.
Stein has an arrest warrant against her this year for misdemeanor charges related to her participation in a protest of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. She said a court date is pending and she plans to plead guilty and pay a fine. Asked whether she expected to be arrested again at the debate protest, she said she does.
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Green Party candidate Jill Stein speaks in Des Moines
By Joey Aguirre, email@example.com
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein addressed a crowd of 150 people Sunday afternoon outside the Iowa Capitol. Susan Bruce of Des Moines says she supported Bernie Sanders first, then switched her allegiance to Stein.
With Election Day approaching, the Green Party held a rally on the steps of the Iowa state Capitol to introduce their candidate to prospective voters.
Mixing politics and live entertainment, the Green Revolution Rally on Sunday afternoon attracted nearly 150 people to hear from Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president of the United States.
Stein, 66, spoke to the audience on the West Terrace of the Capitol building after a handful of other speakers and activists took their turns announcing why Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are the right choice this November.
Stein said a younger generation is needed to help lead the country forward, and by bailing students out from their student loan debt, that could be made possible.
“There are 43 million young people locked into debt,” Stein said. “Just by mobilizing people locked into debt and getting them to come out, they can actually take over this election, and win it. Not only to cancel student debt, but make public higher education free, as it should be.”
Stein said the country needs to create a “welcoming path” for immigrants to citizenship.
“Immigrants have made this country the exceptional country that it is,” Stein said.
After the three-hour rally, Mario Perales Jr. said he was impressed with Stein and that he’s not happy with either the Democratic or Republican parties.
“The two-party system is a failure, and the ideas Jill Stein has I agree with,” Perales Jr. said. “I have heard her through YouTube and social media but never live. I like her message and hope dearly that her and (Libertarian presidential candidate) Gary Johnson get serious live coverage at the debate on Sept. 26. I think we need to break this two-party system. I can support her.”
Rally organizer Chris Laursen thought the event went great and said the goal of the event was to show people the Green Party has a presence.
He was a national delegate for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
You have a lot of people who are disgusted and disenfranchised with the two-party system and it shows,” Laursen said. “Jill’s message is the same message Bernie had and I was sadly disappointed in how that all ended.”
Laursen said he will continue to organize up through Election Day and in future elections, the party will look to identify races where candidates are running unopposed and will try to get a Green Party candidate on the ballot.
“And ultimately try and get some representation here at the Capitol,” Laursen said.
Laursen was not the only former Sanders supporter to attend the Green Party rally Sunday.
After being a member of the Democratic Party for 40 years, Mike Florhaug traveled from St. Paul, Minn., to support Stein and is now a member of the Green Party.
“I went to Philadelphia, not as a delegate, but I went in support of Bernie Sanders,” Florhaug, 59, explained. “And the Democratic Party is just not for people anymore. It’s pretty obvious. And with Jill, she’s very down to earth and unlike most politicians, she actually thinks about what she says like most real people do.”
Chicagoland native Jason Carsello is a second-year student at Drake University who called himself a “huge Bernie supporter.”
“After the fallout I just felt disillusioned and don’t think I could bring myself to vote for Hilary,” Carsello, 19, said. “Jill Stein aligns most with what Bernie believes in and I don’t think I will have a problem supporting her.”
Wendy Barth of Cedar Rapids was the Green Party candidate for the governor of Iowa in 2006 and said it feels good to vote for what you believe in, instead of voting against what you don’t believe in.
“The two major candidates, I don’t feel compelled to support them,” Barth said. “Everything Stein says I agree with. For instance, there should be a moratorium on confined animal feeding operations. These hog farms in Iowa have all this manure, then a dam breaks, there’s a fish kill and water is polluted. Des Moines Water Works is already having a hard enough time keeping the water clean.”
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