ROCKWELL: Well, good morning. This is the Lew Rockwell Show, and what an honor to have as our guest today, Mr. Jesse Ventura. Jesse is, of course, the former Independent governor of Minnesota. He’s a former U.S. Navy SEAL, former professional wrestler. He’s a movie actor, visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government – where I’m sure he shook them up, as they should have been shaken up – of course, a New York Times best-seller, and the host and the executive producer of the wonderful TruTV series, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. And Jesse’s last book, which I loved – and we’ll link to, of course, all his books and his web sites and so forth – was 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read.
But, Jesse, I want to talk to you today about your newest book – very exciting; I have it right here on the desk in front of me – DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans: No More Gangs in Government.Now tell us about the two political gangs in government.
VENTURA: Well, they’re just that. They are like gangs. They parallel gangs completely. I am a bit of a voice of experience. Many people didn’t realize but I write in this book that I was a member of the Mongol’s outlaw motorcycle club earlier in my life and I spent a few years doing that, so I do know what they are, and I’ve also been in government, and they’re gangs. Laughingly, they actually do even steal their colors, because the Crips’ color is blue. Well, what’s a blue state? That’s a Democratic state. The Red color, naturally for the Bloods. What’s a red state? That’s a Republican state.
And they go beyond that. In a gang like that, your first loyalty is to the gang. Well, in their case, the first loyalty – if you want to use the word “party,” but I show Webster’s Dictionary definition of “party” and that’s a festive occasion. It has nothing to do with political. They just use it that way to portray what they want. But loyalty has to be to the gang or the party first.
And then, second loyalty is how they make money. Well, that’s exactly what you have with these two political parties. Their second loyalty is to their donors, to the people that bribe them. And it’s interesting because these two parties have created an entire system in the United States today based upon the concept of bribery. Now, if we do bribery in the private sector, we go to jail. Yet, it’s alive and well in our political arena and the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for it.
ROCKWELL: And, you know, when somebody descents from a party, they’re pretty brutal to them, as we’ve seen recently with the campaign of Ron Paul.
VENTURA: Oh, yes. They’re just like street gangs. If any other unit or any other entity comes into their turf or territory, they destroy them. Or, in the case of Ron Paul, he was about as welcome in the Republicans as the red-headed step child that shows up on the day you read the will.
ROCKWELL: And, of course, they even – you know, I think they actually finagle some of the votes. They certainly have engaged in some pretty nasty practices involving delegates and done everything possible to suppress his candidacy. And, of course, they succeeded.
VENTURA: Yes. And they go beyond that. They control, the two gangs control the presidential debates. I’ll give you a little history on that. Back in ’92 was the last time we save third-entity debate, and that was Ross Perot. Well, Perot scared the hell out of them. Perot got one out of five votes, close, like 19.7 percent, near 20 percent, you could call it. Well, up until that point, all presidential debates fell under the League of Women Voters. They determined who would debate. Well, then the two gangs, the two parties took it over. They took it away from the League of Women Voters and they formed the Federal Debate Commission. Well, ironically, the two heads of the Federal Debate Commission was two former partier gang leaders. And so they now determine who you get to hear. And we have not had a third voice in a debate since ’92.
In fact, I’ll tell you what happened in ’96. Bob Dole didn’t want Perot debating because he felt it would erode from his conservative base. Bill Clinton didn’t want debates at all because he was so far ahead, debates could only bring him down. So they conspired; they reached an agreement to eliminate Perot and, in turn, Clinton got to say how many debates there would be and when they would be. Well, up until that, you always had three presidential debates and one V.P. debate. That year in ’96, there were only two presidential debates because Clinton didn’t want any, and he got to determine when they would be. And by design, the two presidential debates were held the same night as the World Series.
ROCKWELL: And so, Jesse, those who tell us that if only we elect Romney, things are going be better off –
– or if only we reelect Obama, things will be better than Romney. Really, to us, the taxpayers, to the average American living in this police state, it doesn’t really make any difference, does it?
VENTURA: It does not. You’re correct. You’re completely correct on that. It makes no difference. And the reason why, the major reason? Because the corporations have already paid off both sides. If you go to the Democratic or Republican conventions, you’ll see the same corporate power there with their bags full of money, paying off both sides. I mean, I find it astounding, the hypocrisy. Barack Obama rails on Wall Street to get his major contributors, Goldman Sachs, you know? That’s the essence of the whole thing. And, you know, so they always – they tried this to me in Minnesota.
And mainstream media collaborates with it. Because let’s remember now, mainstream media is now controlled. 20 years ago, there were 40 independent media outlets. Today, we’re down to four because of corporate takeover. They own everything. So they not only control our politicians, they now control the media and what we hear and what knowledge we get.
ROCKWELL: Jesse, we have these two visible political parties and we have the visible media, but you’ve talked for a long time about just how dangerous the CIA and similar entities are. Do they play a role in American politics?
VENTURA: I don’t know. If they do, probably behind the scenes, because, you know, the CIA is very secretive and they don’t usually do anything above board. Whether they do or not, I’m not privy to it. You know, I was just a governor and so I didn’t even get – I was kind of offended I never got invited to the Bilderbergs after I became governor.
I never figured out why.
I thought, gee, I’m a governor now. Shouldn’t I be able to go and see what happens when the Bilderbergs – when they meet?
ROCKWELL: Well, I do know, for example, in the case of the Ron Paul campaign, there were, let’s say, people involved in the – close to the intelligence community who were very, very concerned about his foreign policy. They love the Fed, of course, but they really weren’t really concerned about his strictures against the central banking.
ROCKWELL: But when it came to the empire or the constant wars, constant interventionism, they were worried. They didn’t like somebody talking about these kinds of things.
VENTURA: Oh, absolutely not. And, you know, I find it very interesting, just as an example, OK, we now fly not only these unmanned drones for surveillance over our own country, but when we flew the one over Iran and it crashed and we wanted it back and all that, well, how would we feel if, say, Hugo Chavez, of Venezuela, was concerned about his country and the United States intervention there, which we love to, of course, because Hugo nationalized the oil and booted out Exxon, you know, because he felt that the people of Venezuela should benefit from their own natural resource, which seems fair to me. Well, how would we feel if Hugo Chavez bought one of these unmanned drones and flew it over the United States for surveillance and it crashed here? We would declare war. See the hypocrisy of it? We can go throughout the world and put other countries under our surveillance, but if they did that to us, we would declare war on them. And it’s ridiculous.
And going back to Ron Paul, I stand with him 100 percent. Close all these bases throughout the world. We have the technology today, we could be anywhere. Why do we have six bases in Japan and four or five bases in Germany? Weren’t those wars over 60 years ago?
ROCKWELL: Well, of course, it’s for purposes of control, isn’t it? I mean, I always think that –
ROCKWELL: – when Germany and Japan salute and buy vast numbers of U.S. treasury bonds, which maybe are not in their own interests, if can’t hurt when the treasury salesman comes to call that he’s got atomic weapons all over their countries.
VENTURA: Yes. And, well, you also notice – I’ll give you another little thing. You know, we’re all so worried about Iran getting nuclear, right? Well, we forced them into it. And I’ll explain why. You notice that we don’t bother anyone that has nuclear capabilities. So all these third-world countries and countries throughout the world are going to attempt to get it because that way they get off the hit list, you know? We only go after people that don’t have the nuclear capability. So naturally, Iran probably desires to get it.
ROCKWELL: Well, certainly, every country in the world, every head of state realizes that Moammar Gadhafi gave up his nuclear capacity in a treaty with the U.S. and then the U.S., of course, kills him.
VENTURA: Well, you know – (laughing). You know, again, I’m not privy to everything on U.S. foreign policy, but I got banned from FOX News because I made the statement on there one time that I couldn’t understand why we’re so shocked that terrorists would attack us when we’ve been practicing terrorism for 50 years. And the guy – I forget who it was – got all indignant with me and says, well, give me an example. I said, I’ll give you an example. How about Cuba? Cuba has never done anything to us. They simply have a different form of government than we have. And yet, we’ve burned their cane fields. We’ve blown up ships in their harbor. We’ve attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, their president, on multiple occasions. And the best one – have you ever heard of this guy Orlando Bosch?
ROCKWELL: Yes, the – yes. Tell us about him. The terrorist, yes.
VENTURA: Yes, well, he blew up a Cuban airliner with a bomb with 73 civilians on it, and he was pardoned by George Bush, I. Now, is that not an act of terrorism? Blowing up an airplane with a bomb?
ROCKWELL: Of course, George Bush, I, was head of the CIA.
ROCKWELL: A lot of people think he was actually in the CIA much longer than that and –
VENTURA: Oh, he was.
ROCKWELL: – very much in –
VENTURA: I believe it.
VENTURA: If you go back in history and look at the Bay of Pigs invasion where Kennedy wouldn’t support the invasion with our military, well, there were two ships there supporting the invasion. They were both with Zapata Oil, which was what George Bush owned. And, in fact, one of the ships was even named “The Barbara.”
I think that’s pretty telling.
VENTURA: Yes. Now, they were there in support of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was a totally CIA-sponsored invasion and war.
ROCKWELL: No, and, of course, Cuban exiles have always been very close to the CIA. It’s employed them as troops and assassinations and so forth. So this guy Bosch, when he blew up a civilian jetliner, which, of course, we would normally, you’re right, ascribe that to terrorism, but this guy is living happily in Miami.
VENTURA: Yes. He was pardoned.
ROCKWELL: And he won’t – they, of course, will not extradite him.
VENTURA: Yes. He was pardoned for it. You know – yes, you’re right. He’s living – I don’t know if he’s still alive or not; I haven’t checked on that. But he certainly was pardoned for that act of terrorism.
So people need to understand – and if they don’t believe me, there’s a great book – have you ever heard of General Smedley Butler?
ROCKWELL: Oh, I love that book, yes.
VENTURA: Oh, boy. Smedley’s memoirs, he states right there, he said, I – he’s the most decorated Marine in history. He won two Congressional Medals of Honor. And Smedley, in his book said, I didn’t work for the people of the U.S. I worked for the United Fruit Corporation. Whenever they would go into Central and South America, when they couldn’t get cooperaton, they’d send in the U.S. Marines to get it.
ROCKWELL: No, and that’s, of course – that’s U.S. foreign policy in a nut shell.
And, Jesse, you’ve also been a great hero against our domestic police state, the TSA –
ROCKWELL: – and all the rest of this stuff. Give us an update on what’s happening there.
VENTURA: Well, I wish this country would wake up and listen to what Benjamin Franklin said. Benjamin Franklin had a quote. He said, for those that will give up liberty for security they shall have and deserve neither. And that’s the point. Liberty is security. But we seem to want to say to our govnerment, oh, please protect us. Well, the only way a govnerment can protect you is to take your freedom and lock you down. And that’s precisely what we’re allowing them to do. The TSA – I don’t fly anymore. You know, Janet Napolitano, the head of the Gestapo? Well, that’s Homeland Security. I kind of call it the Gestapo.
VENTURA: She stated, if you don’t like it, don’t fly. Well, I’m not flying anymore because I don’t like it.
I have metal in my body, so when I pass through a metal detector, it’s going to go off. If I go through naked, it’s going to go off. Well, I’m then subjected either to the x-ray machine or the sexual-assault pat-down. I refuse to go in the x-ray machine because I don’t think it’s safe, especially if you’re flying four times a week, like I used to. They’re not going to convince me that being microwaved four times a week isn’t going to have any ill effects on me long term. And so I got the pat-down. Well, when I got the sexual assault, it was so bad that I immediately called my attoneys. I said, I want to bring a lawsuit against Homeland Security and the TSA. And at first, we were going to sue them under the American Disabilities Act, because I’m technically disabled because of the metal in my body. Well, two days later, my attorneys call me back and they say, well, we can’t sue under the American Disabilities Act. I said, why not? This is perfect; they’re supposed to accommodate your disability; they’re exploiting mine. And he said, well, it doesn’t apply to the federal govnerment. Can you imagine they pass laws that we in the private sector have to abide by but they don’t have to?
So I then sued under the Fourth Amendment under the Constitution, reasonable search and seizure. I wanted to get in front of a jury. I spent $20,000 in hopes of getting in front of a jury. And it went in front of a federal judge and she threw it out of court, claiming she didn’t have jurisdiction. Now, this was a constitutional Bill of Rights question. If a federal judge doesn’t have jurisdiction, no one does. And that’s the point. Every law suit brought against Homeland Security and the TSA is simply thrown out of court by our judicial system. I believe I could have won had I got in front of a jury. That would have opened up a bag of worms and they don’t want that opened up and they don’t want discovery, for you to have the right to discovery.
And so – and they won’t even allow their own employees of the TSA to wear radiation badges to see if they’re being radiated by these x-rays machines. And you know who is making big money off these x-rays machines? Remember Chertoff, or whatever his name was?
ROCKWELL: Yes, Michael Chertoff.
VENTURA: Yes. He is making millions because he is with the company that provides all these x-ray machines.
ROCKWELL: I noticed when all the fat-cat Romneyites met this last weekend in Utah, Michael Chertoff was one of the most important briefers there. He’s supporting Romney, and he was explaining to them about why there should be more wars in the Middle East.
So I’m sure he’ll make money off those, too.
VENTURA: Well, and what gets me is these chicken hawks that send us to war, like Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney had five deferments from Vietnam. Now, I was asked one time by a guy named Jason Lewis, a right wing talk show host here in the Twin Cities – we were discussing, and he said that going to war is a very difficult decision. And I said, Mr. Lewis, I beg to differ; I think it’s an easy decision. He said, how can you say going to war is an easy decision? I said, simple. I said, a war is justified if you’re willing to send your children.
VENTURA: If you’re not willing to send your children, how do send someone else’s? And I believe that with all my heart that a war is justified if I’m willing to send my kids. Well, I’ve got news for you. There isn’t one war since I’ve been born – and I was born in ’51 – that I would send my children to fight in.
And here’s a little tidbit. Do you realize that, I’m born in ’51 – I’ll be 61 years old next week – we have been at war, the United States, for over half of my life?
ROCKWELL: And that’s openly. Of course, covertly, the U.S. has been at war for all those years.
VENTURA: Probably, yes, the Cold War and everything else in-between, the war on drugs, if you want to include that miserable failure. So we’ve really – yes, you’re probably right. We’ve probably been at war my entire life.
ROCKWELL: Jesse, with all the important work you’re doing on television and your media appearances, of course, your books, you have your finger on the pulse of the American people, if I can use that cliché. How are they reacting? I mean, are they all just sheep? Are more and more people listening to you and waking up, and to Ron Paul and to others?
VENTURA: I hope so, but a lot of them are lemmings, you know? They don’t look left or right; they just get marched right off the cliff. And I’ll tell you, I’m getting tired of pounding my head against the wall. I’ll tell you honestly, I don’t know if I’ll write anymore because this is my book, DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans, that really has my heart and soul into it, and if people aren’t going to listen, well, then, you know, I have nothing really more to say, and I’m not going to repeat myself. And so it’s going to be very difficult for me to write another book, I think, because I’ve said all that there is to say from my end right now. And if people aren’t going to listen to it, well, then I can happily go live down in Mexico in the far reaches of the Baja, like I do every winter. In fact, that’s where Dick and I – my co-writer, Dick Russell, that’s where we team up because he has a home not far from mine, and that’s where we do these books, where we can be – no distractions, totally concentrate on them. And that’s why I think that I’m very proud of every book that I’ve written with Dick.
ROCKWELL: Jesse, are you freer in Baja than you are in Minnesota?
VENTURA: Much more. Much more.
You know, I’ll give you a simple example of freedom. OK, I’ve taken up paddle surfing, right, which Laird Hamilton, the greatest big-wave surfer in the world does it, so, you know, you don’t have to be ashamed. It’s good for us older guys because, if you catch a wave, you don’t have to get up on the board; you’re already up on the board, and it makes it a lot easier. Well, I come back to Minnesota this year and I think, you know, I’m going to buy a paddle surfboard here so I can keep practicing, because it’s one heck of a workout, too, you know, when you paddle around and keep your balance and all that. I go down to buy the surfboard and – get this – I have to license a surfboard in Minnesota.
Have you ever heard of anything –
ROCKWELL: No, never heard –
VENTURA: – more ridiculous in your life?
VENTURA: And it doesn’t end there. Guess what else I’m required to do – wear a life jacket. Now, I’m a former Navy frogman.
I’m a former competitive swimmer. I used to do – not as good – but I used to do what Michael Phelps did – does. Shouldn’t say “did”; he still does. He’ll be in the Olympics again. But I’m a former competitive swimmer, I’m a former Navy frogman, and if I showed up at a beach in Hawaii, California, where I body surf – and done all that both places, or in Mexico – if I showed up at a surfing beach wearing a life jacket, I’d be laughed off the beach. And the point is if Laird Hamilton came here to do a paddle-board demonstration, Minnesota would require him to have a licensed board – which there are no serial numbers on a surfboard, so how do you even know if it’s the correct licensed board – and Laird would have to wear a life jacket. This guy surfs 40-foot waves. The biggest wave you’re going to see in Minnesota on one of our lakes is if a big pontoon boat drives by –
– you might get one a foot and a half.
ROCKWELL: Oh, it’s –
VENTURA: But there’s a simple thing of freedom right there. Why can’t government allow me to be responsible for myself?
ROCKWELL: Well, because govnerment, of course, wants its thumb on your head and its boot on your neck and they want to control every aspect of your life.
VENTURA: Yes. You know what’s funny about that, Lew? I, one time – when I was governor, I asked my staff, I said, go to lunch and come back and tell me one thing that govnerment doesn’t regulate in your life. They couldn’t do it. And some of them came up with great – one said sleeping.
And I said, no. I said, you know that mattress you buy? It’s got that tag on it that says no removal by penalty of law?
You know, there’s those tags on mattresses?
VENTURA: I said, so they’re involved in your sleeping also, the very mattress you sleep on – (laughing).
ROCKWELL: Well, Jesse Ventura, I can’t thank you enough for everybody that cares about liberty in this country or around the word for all the work you continue to do, all the work you’ve done.
I want to highly recommend your new book, DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans. It’s a great read, like everything from Jesse and his co-writer.
Jesse, thanks a million.
VENTURA: Thank you, Lew. Keep up the great work.
And I’ll tell you this, I’m banned from FOX, I’m banned from MSNBC, and I’m even banned from Don Imus, if you can believe that.
ROCKWELL: Wow. But you’re not banned from the Lew Rockwell Show.
VENTURA: So I appreciate it, Lew, for allowing me on.
ROCKWELL: Oh, an honor to have you.
VENTURA: Thank you. Have a good one.
ROCKWELL: You too, sir. Bye-bye.
ROCKWELL: Well, thanks so much for listening to the Lew Rockwell Show today. Take a look at all the podcasts. There have been hundreds of them. There’s a link on the upper right-hand corner of the LRC front page. Thank you.