Exclusive Interview: Jesse Ventura Talks To Victor Thorn

By Victor Thorn

On Nov. 4, U.S. District Justice Susan Nelson dismissed a landmark lawsuit filed by former Minnesota Gov. JesseVentura that challenged the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of full-body, naked scans and aggressive patdowns. According to Ventura, these procedures violated his Fourth Amendment right of freedom from unreasonable searches.

During an exclusive Nov. 8 interview, Ventura spoke at length with AFP about the matter.

“It’s really sad, in my opinion, that the government won’t allow me to have a day in court,” said Ventura. “Judge Nelson claimed her court didn’t have jurisdiction. But this is a constitutional question—and if she doesn’t have jurisdiction, who does?

“My attorneys aren’t dumb,” he said. “But the feds didn’t want my case heard before a jury in open court. Instead, they’d rather decide these matters behind closed doors by a panel of judges. . . . I think [Judge Nelson] has no courage, no spine,” he said. “I’d tell her: ‘Don’t be a government hack.’ My case clearly shows that the Bill of Rights doesn’t exist anymore. There’s nowhere to go to remedy grievances. It’s phony, a fraud.” Exasperated, Ventura stated that he intends to start picketing in front of federal courthouses, possibly holding a placard that reads: “I could have gotten equal justice in Cuba.”

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To stress the sheer ludicrousness of this situation, Ventura asked: “Does anyone believe that Gov. Jesse Ventura poses a threat at airports? I’ve been a mayor, a governor and a Navy SEAL in the military. I have metal in my body due to surgery. Even if I walked naked through their machines, I’d still set them off.”

Ventura then introduced another troubling element to the story: “I initially wanted to file this case under the Americans With Disabilities Act because the government is supposed to accommodate those with disabilities,” he said. “I have a titanium hip. I’m disabled. But because of this disability, I’m being exploited instead of accommodated.”

Ventura was then thrown another monkey wrench.

“Believe it or not, I couldn’t sue under the Americans With Disabilities Act because it doesn’t apply to the U.S. government, only the private sector,” he said. “Why do we allow government [officials] to pass laws that don’t even apply to themselves? It’s shameful.”

Not one to mince words, Ventura broached another important issue.

“All of this begs a bigger question: Why is it the government’s job to provide security for airlines when they’re a private sector business?” he asked. “With that rationale, shouldn’t the government provide security for the Minnesota Timberwolves [professional basketball team] and the Super Bowl, too?”

Ultimately,Ventura sees a conspiracy.

“The whole ordeal was a set-up because the judge waited 10 months to decide my case. Now I can’t appeal due to the statute of limitations running out,” he said. “Where is the ACLU to defend my civil liberties? Not one organization came forward to support me.They’re all bought off.”

Ventura said he has now applied for Mexican citizenship so that he can have dual residency status. Also, at a Nov. 4 press conference in St. Paul, Ventura vowed to never again stand for the national anthem.

When AFP inquired about the leadership in Washington, D.C. that passes these laws,Ventura responded: “The Democrats and Republicans I do not love. They’ve ruined my country.”