Note: An edited version of this interview was originally published in Cannabis Times Magazine, July, 2011
Cannabis Times: What were your thoughts on Proposition 19’s defeat?
Jesse Ventura: Well I was saddened by the defeat of Proposition 19, because – how stupid are they? – it would have been a new revenue source for them. The States are in such dire financial straits. Even more so, I live in Mexico and they could alleviate the problem on the border; put the Cartels out of business.
CT: Would it surprise you if you saw troops land in Mexico, as Representative Michael McCaul is indicting he wants to do?
JV: I don’t know about that, but we’d be fighting the Cartels with weapons from the U.S. But that’s pretty normal cause were the biggest weapons dealers in the world.
CT: We might have to go down there and start fighting then with pesticides and guns.
JV: It’s totally ridiculous to do all that. Legalization is the simply way to take care of the problem. It’s no different that the prohibition of alcohol: When you prohibit something, it makes criminals and gangsters rich. And let me add: For those who claim that the rate of usage from children would go up, stats already show that where it’s already legal – in Holland – less kids, percentage wise, use marijuana than do here in the U.S. where it’s illegal.
CT: You know Governor; over in Afghanistan we put Karzai in power even though his brother is an opium baron. If we legalized drugs, we could use that opium for patients over here, while…
JV: (laughs) It’s amazing! 90 percent of the world’s heroin eventually comes out of Afghanistan. The Taliban shut them down. Now, look at the timing of that, to when the big international banks failed.
CT: I don’t follow.
JV: All of that money gets laundered through the big international banks. And now all those cartels are packing up and running because the banks are making a comeback. I don’t know, but it seems awfully coincidental to me.
CT: …having a base for an anti-Taliban economy…
JV: Well I’ve got a better idea: Let’s bring all the troops home and end all three of these wars. We’re in dire financial straits here. What business do we have fighting all these wars and putting it on the national debt?
CT: America has its own addiction. Oil.
JV: That’s true. If we weren’t fighting all these wars, we could take money and put it into national health care. You could put it into alternative energy. If they want to really want to do something, then make every newly constructed home a requirement to have solar, to supplement energy.
CT: I think we prefer the wars.
JV: Oh absolutely. We go to war when international corporations tell us to. They run the country. I made the statement that if you join the military today, you’re not serving the people of America; you’re just the strong arm of the corporate world. Because when people go against the corporations then they send in the marines. It’s been going on for almost a 100 years. Do you know who General Smedley Butler is?
JV: He’s the two time Congressional Medal of Honor winner. In his memoirs he stated that ‘I didn’t really fight for the United States of America, I fought for the United Fruit Company.’ Cause whenever central and South America wouldn’t cooperate with the United Fruit Company, then they’d send in the marines.
CT: Both of my grandfathers fought in World War Two. Back then, if they had an enemy, they’d start a draft, put a tax on it, and declare war. Now it seems like they’re just leading us along to wherever it might be.
JV: What we need in this country is this – and this well help stop the wars – the minute we go to war, there should be a war tax implemented. That way, everyone would feel some pain. See the problem now is, we have a volunteer military, so nobody feels any pain.
CT: You’re a former Navy Seal, and the Wikileaks came out and said some of our soldiers have been involved in some pretty gruesome stuff; like cutting off fingers and whatever else. Does that appall you?
JV: It doesn’t bother me because you train these guys to go to war, and somehow we have a belief that war is not gruesome. And you have to remember, to go over and kill people you don’t have a beef with generally, you have to train people not to have any soul or conscience. So it doesn’t surprise me. There’s always atrocities in war. They act like war is a damn football game. All of a sudden we gasp and say ‘oh my goodness how horrible.’ That’s what war is all about. People should learn that that’s why it’s called war. Civilians die. That’s the nature of it and that’s why we should avoid it at all costs.
CT: Do you think it could be avoided?
JV: War? Sure it could. If I became president you know what the first thing is I would do? I would shut down every one of our 240-some military bases that we have throughout the world, and I would bring us all home. Because who the heck made us the policemen of the world? Having those bases all over the world, that’s the same as colonization. Imagine for a minute that Hugo Chavez down in Venezuela – he’s got a lot of money – imagine if he bought, say, 500 acres of land in the Palm Springs, California, and decided to move the Venezuelan Army in there. What would this country do? We wouldn’t allow it.
CT: Were more considered about what’s going on in the Middle East than what’s going on right across our border.
JV: Do you know what that says to me? It says to me that some people are making big money off the illegality of drugs. Because always follow the money, the money will tell you what’s happening.
CT: What do you think we should be doing in Libya?
JV: Well, Libya is a double-edged sword too: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You certainly don’t want Gadhafi slaughtering these people. Otherwise you get genocide. But you notice we never bothered in Rwanda, did we? And why? Because there was nothing to be gained in Rwanda. The corporations couldn’t make a profit. Libya’s got a lot of oil, so that’s why Libya is more of a concern than Rwanda would ever be. It’s all based upon ‘what can we gain from it?’ What can the multi-national corporations extract from [the country we’re invading]? That shows where or support comes in. [If not] we’ll then turn a blind-eye to it.
CT: Do you think we’ll see an uprising here, like what’s going on in the Middle East.
JV: I don’t know. We can have a simple uprising here, and it would be bloodless. Do you know how simple that would be to do over here? Stop voting for democrats and republicans! Vote for anybody else. Like Ralph Nader called them: The Two-Party Dictatorship. They’ve been in power for all these years, so aren’t they the ones responsible? And who are they blaming now? Unions. But yet not one person got busted on Wall Street. So that tells you who runs the country – the Federal Reserve. These bankers. They have the money, so they run the country. It isn’t our elected officials.
CT: I agree. I think your partner Alex Jones has the right idea. It’s these parasitic central banks that control the money supply. Even the Communist Manifesto says to nationalize banks. That’s not exactly what Ron Paul wants to do, but why would we allow a foreign bank to control our money supply?
JV: Well it’s not a foreign bank, they’re the international banks. They belong to nobody. They’re just a small group of bankers that date back to when they illegally created the Federal Reserve. Because the Constitution said that [only gold and silver could be used as currency]. Then, in 1913, they ramrodded it through. And it was never fully legal because – in order to amend the Constitution – two-thirds of the States were required to vote on it. That never took place.
CT: And we owe a debt on every dollar printed.
JV: Right. That’s why if you look at a dollar bill it says ‘Federal Reserve Note.’ That’s not a U.S. dollar.
CT: Now, I was going to ask you about how your show Conspiracy Theory, the one dealing with FEMA Camps, was pulled from the air.
JV: Well apparently the United States government got so angry over the show that they put extreme pressure on AOL Time Warner, which is the parent company of TruTV. It shows that censorship is alive and well, and that the First Amendment is, you know, in big trouble. Well, read it in my book. Obama is prosecuting whistleblowers harder than Bush did. Last year alone, the U.S. government classified Top Secret 16,000,000 documents. That must be every document they put out. I’m in good company [on this issue]. Patrick Henry, ‘member him? (CT: Yes) Who said “give me liberty or give me death.” (CT: Absolutely) Well he had another great quote. Let me read it. “The liberties of the people, never were, nor ever well be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” So people want to call me a traitor, I’m in good company with Patrick Henry. And I don’t think he was a traitor.
CT: No I don’t think so, and you couldn’t call it democracy when you have these small groups of people concealing all of our documents. I mean, we pay for their salaries.
JV: And that’s the bottom line. We pay for the documents too. I have every right to know what my government does, because it’s paid for by my tax dollars.
CT: You have no idea why your FEMA episode was pulled?
JV: No. It came from way up top in the echelons. We must’ve hit a nerve. Well, we did an episode of JFK, correct? (CT: Yeah) I have a full confession to the murder of JFK, and it did not receive one word of media-play. E. Howard Hunt confessed to it; he names the CIA killed him; it was called “The Big Event”; the main guys were William Harvey, who happened to be head of the CIA’s Assassination Unit, and this David Sanchez Morales – and you know what he’s famous for, don’t ya? (CT: Actually, I don’t) Well a few years later he killed Che Guevara down in Bolivia. Took his gold Rolex watch and wore it as a trophy for the rest of his life.
CT: You know what else happened recently that received hardly any media-play was the parole hearing of Sirhan Sirhan. He still says he doesn’t remember killed Robert Kennedy. He was just up and he got denied.
JV: Yeah, well that always happens. They deny Manson all the time too.
CT: Let’s talk about September 11th. NIST’s report (National Institute for Science and Technology) said that the Towers were built with steel framing. However, I have a source over here who says that the Towers were actually built with a concrete core. Do you know anything about that?
JV: Well, we went into NIST’s report on Building 7 – the third building that fell, which was not hit by an airplane. In NIST’s official report, they admit it was demo’ed. (CT: Really?) Well, not directly; they said it started and then went at free-fall speed. It had to be demo’ed, that’s the admission. Otherwise you’re defying the laws of physics. If it went at free-fall speed that means something had to remove all the resistance.
CT: It’s been ten years since 9/11 and to this day it seems that anyone who questions it is immediately a nutcase, or traitor, or something else.
JV: Well, that’s what the government does. That’s what the mainstream media does – who are in the government’s back pocket. If they can’t assassinate you personally, they’ll attempt your credibility. Right away you’re labeled. You’re a nut. You’re ridiculous. You know how I counter that? I always ask them: How much actual research have you done other than what the government told you, and what the mainstream media told you? I always tell them then that I’ve been reading and studying documents for three years. How can you call me crazy, when you’re ignorant?
CT: And even if you did take what our government told us, fifteen of the hijackers were Saudis! So who would have suggested we go bomb our good friend Saudi Arabia?
JV: Exactly. Well, why did we bomb Iraq? They had nothing to do with it. And like I said, we can stop all this; just stop voting for Democrats & Republicans.
CT: You also got a lawsuit going against the TSA. Tell me about that.
JV: Well it’s simply the fact that I have metal in my body. When I go through a metal detector it goes off. I could go through naked, and it’s still gonna go off. It used to be they would wand you, which was bad enough. Now they’ve gone to this enhanced pat-down, as well as what I call it: the microwave. Now, last summer I few 3-4 times a week. And the government’s going to tell me that going into an X-ray machine 3-4 times a week poses no threat to me? Bullcrap.
CT: Are you still flying?
JV: No. I can’t. I fly private jets. But I can’t necessarily afford that all the time. And why should I? So I am suing them over the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which is reasonable search and seizure. I am saying that it is not reasonable to believe that Jesse Ventura – a governor, a mayor, and 6-year veteran of the United States Navy, honorably discharged – poses any threat. I’ve been flying for 30-years. I’m not asking for money, I’m just telling them to stop. I want a Federal judge to bring an injunction to say “stop that, you’re violating his Fourth Amendment Rights.”
CT: Are you going all the way with it?
JV: I’m sure the government’s first thing will be for a dismissal. And that’s when it’ll go in front of a judge. If he dismisses my lawsuit, then I know absolutely that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are now meaningless documents. Remember, this isn’t a class-action. This is just for me.
CT: Let me go back to the Drug War. In your new book, you quote Oliver North’s own diary, which mentioned drugs many, many times. The fact that we have that information, that we know they were smuggling in narcotics, is it indicative of our countrymen’s desire to turn a blind eye to the crimes of our elected officials and those in government?
JV: Absolutely. And not only that, you know why the CIA does it? Simple. If they get their money from Congress, then they have to report to them. But if they can get an outside income source – like dealing drugs – then they get this pot of cash, and then they can do anything they want, without anyone watching over them.
CT: Why do you think that we continue to elect only the two parties?
JV: Cause we’re a bunch of lemmings. And part of it may be…the water.
CT: You mean the fluoride.
JV: I just learned this. Do you know what fluoride – what they put in the water – is the main ingredient to? (CT: I do. Prozac) So when you drink fluoridated water it’s just like taking Prozac. And you know who came up with that, don’t cha? (CT: I know that also. The Third Reich. Nazi’s) Exactly. So here we are following the Nazi’s again. You’re a pretty good guy. You know you’re history pretty well young man.
CT: Thank you. I didn’t start off with mainstream journalism, but I sort of fell into it through activism. I remember watching you on FOX News asking the anchors why no one was allowed to bring up questions concerning 9/11.
JV: Let me give this one to you. We’re a country that goes by the rule of law. We’re ready to kill Osama bin Laden; capture him, whatever we can do, right? Well, don’t we have to indict him first? We’ve never done that. They’ve had nine years for the government to go in front of the grand jury, present their evidence, bring an indictment, and then they can go get Bin Laden. If he resists, I guess they’ll shoot him…they’d want to kill him. They wouldn’t want a trial. I think the reason we haven’t done that is because I don’t think we have any evidence against him. Bin Laden initially denied doing [9/11]. To me, it all falls under a “False Flag Operation.” Just like Operation Northwoods; just like the Reichstag Fire in Germany; The Gulf of Tonkin Incident. These are all False Flag Operations to put people at war.
CT: Back to your book. Were there any documents you left out?
JV: I can’t recall now. We’re actually doing our next book already. We probably could’ve called it ‘A Hundred and Sixty Three’, but we chose the best ones that really cover the gambit, and chose ‘Sixty-Three’ because that’s the year Kennedy was murdered.
CT: Who do you think is the most persuasive propagandist in the mainstream media?
JV: You mean who’s the worst of them? Fox News. Every one of them. Hannity, ‘O Reilly, Beck.
CT: The United Nations. Real fast. I was at an anti-war protest the day the Libyan conflict started. Again, Obama was down in Brazil, playing golf or something, and I guess he decided to text message John Boehner – his idea of consulting Congress – and just said were going to war. How do you feel about the U.N. deciding when we go to war?
JT: The President has the ability to send the troops in, in an emergency. Then you have to bring it to the Congress.
CT: If they’re an immediate threat. Libya wasn’t.
JT: (Laughs) Neither was Iraq and neither was Afghanistan. They’re not threats to us.
CT: Gotta go to war though. They love war.
JT: Oh, they love war. War makes Halliburton money. Here, I’ll give you something interesting about the Gulf. About four or five weeks prior to the oil leak, all the big-shots at British Petroleum (BP) sold-off half their stocks. That’s good circumstantial evidence, and then here’s the best: three weeks before the oil spill, the biggest company that cleans up oil spills was called Boots & Coots out of Houston, Texas. Three weeks before the Gulf Oil Spill, they were bought by Halliburton. And it’s already said that Halliburton was responsible for “bad cement” on the rig which made it happen. So Halliburton’s now getting paid on the other side to clean it up. You know what that’s called? It’s called Disaster Capitalism. It’s where they create the disaster, and then they go clean it up. And that’s what you had happen down in the Gulf.
CT: And now their spraying some sort of dispersant.
JV: Oh yeah. Corexit. Thanks for reminding me. I was down there, and I said to the guy from BP, I said: ‘How can it be good to put Corexit in there?’ It has four lethal chemicals in it; Cadmium, Arsenic – and I forget the other two off the top of my head – and I said: ‘How can adding that to the water be good?’ His only answer was: ‘Everything we did was set up by the EPA’ (Environmental Protection Agency). Well, get this. The company that owns Corexit is a subsidiary of British Petroleum.
CT: They’re just making money all the way around. One last bit about the Drug War. We can talk about things that are bad for us all day long. I’ve heard you talk about how obesity is the number one killer. Don’t you think we should put some kind of regulation on what the Fast Food Industry is doing?
JV: You obviously saw the movie Super-Size Me. (CT: Parts of it) Watch the whole thing. This guy eats nothing but McDonalds for every meal, and in less than thirty days he’s gonna be dead. His vital organs shut down. And the doctor says if you don’t change your diet, you’re dead. Here’s my argument: We put warnings on cigarettes, right? Well, to my knowledge, cigarettes take 20-30 years of hitting the heaters before you die. McDonalds can kill you in a month? I would think they’d put a warning on McDonalds.
CT: Jesse, you live in Mexico for half the year. Are you thinking about getting a citizenship?
JV: Yes I am. My wife and I are contemplating it this time around.
CT: Do you think Mexican President Calderon might be corrupted by these cartels?
JV: He’s been fighting them pretty hard. If Mexico were to legalize drugs it would put a lot of pressure on us to do the same. Over here, we believe that the Mexican government is corrupt, but we don’t believe ours is. I ask myself nowadays, ‘will marijuana be legalized before the Vikings win a Superbowl.’
CT: There’s this sort of national religion in this country that says were immune from corruption.
JV: It’s Fascism. When I’m in Mexico, I refer to us as the Fascist States of America. It’s corporations teaming up with organized religion to control the government.
CT: Obama had initially said he was open to discuss the possibility of legalization. Now, him, Eric Holder, the rest, come out and say they’ll be persecuting and arresting like every other administration that’s come before. More indication that there’s no difference between the Parties?
JV: Oh absolutely. Both the Democrats and Republicans are totally bought and sold by the multi-national corporations. They don’t want pot legalized because, after all, if it were legalized you wouldn’t have to buy a lot of the pharmaceutical pills for stuff.
CT: Or they’d lose their Prison Industrial Complex.
JV: Exactly. And they’re privatizing all the prisons. And once you do that, it becomes ‘for profit.’ It’s imperative that you have a lot of prisoners. We have the most [prisoners] in the Industrial World. They have to keep marijuana illegal so we can keep the prisons full.
CT: I’m gonna let you get out of here Jesse. Anything else you want to add?
JV: Let me say this: If Ron Paul were to ask me to run for President with him, I would give it serious consideration. We’d have to flip a coin though to see who would be President and who would be Vice-President.
CT: What would you prefer?
JV: Probably Vice. That way I could still go down to the Baja and surf.