Former Governor Jesse Ventura (Jesse "The Body" Ventura) wearing his trademark gray mullet appeared on "The Bonnie Hunt" Show. The bubbly blonde said "Look at the life you've had. Really, I find you fascinating." Jesse is the host of Conspiracy Theory
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Jesse's response? "Well, I've had a lot of jobs. And it might tell you that I just can't hold a job. And so I have to rotate, every four....that's why serving in politics worked out well for me. Because usually after four years I'm ready to move on. I just don't want to get old Bonnie and say "woulda, coulda, shoulda."
Growing Up In South Minneapolis
Bonnie asked "what was school like for you?" Jesse said "I grew up in South Minneapolis. I went to Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and I was a typical Midwestern kid and I was an athlete. I was the swimming captain and I played on an undefeated football team in high school. Then I enlisted in the United States Navy at age 18."
Bonnie asked "were academics easy for you?" Jesse said "are you kidding? I was the typical kid. I probably did just enough to get by. But I didn't worry about whether I made the honor role or any of that stuff. Just as long as I could stay eligible for sports."
World War II Vets
He continued "my folks, they wanted me to go to college but I kinda disappointed them when I went into the service but it was difficult for me because I was the youngest. And my father is a World War II veteran with six bronze battle stars. And my mother...they're gone now. Was. My mother was a World War II veteran. My brother was a Viet Nam veteran. How do I sit at the dinner table with three veterans and me not be one. So it was a natural thing. Even though my mom and dad did not want me to go into the service. Because it was at the height of the Viet Nam war."
Viet Nam War Was Making Someone Rich
Why did he want to go into the service beside the family heritage? Jesse said "well we were taught in school we were fighting to stop the domino effect of Communism. Which my father completely disagreed with. We fought at home, this World War II veteran. And I remember my father saying 'it's not that. Somebody's making big money. That's why we're in this war' and he said "and I was fortunate to be able to come home and look my dad in the eye and say 'dad you were right and I was wrong.' Jesse said his dad said 'well I'm sorry you had to fight out the hard way.'"
Bonnie said "how do you learn what's going on."
Jesse "you learn when you're faced with it. If you're not dumb. And you'll learn. When I got over there (Viet Nam) I learned that it wasn't about that at all. You know. Because we only fight wars today that you can't win. There's no objective you can achieve. Like World War II where you can say 'Win The War.' And you notice that all the wars have been fought in Third World countries since then. Well, with my book, it's not in there but I since learned it was all by design."
Bonnie "when you talk to Viet Nam and talk about what it does to their emotional texture, to say the least..."
Excellence Of Navy Seals
Jesse "not me. I'm a Navy Seal. It don't affect us that way. We're too well trained. We're too professional."
Bonnie seemed confused "what do you mean?"
Jesse "well Navy Seal training is the most difficult training the US Military has. And it is so long and so stringent and so hard. It's like playing football where you practice, practice, practice, practice. Well by the time you're done with literally a year of practice, of training, you want to get in the game. You know you've done all this training. Well you don't want to be on the sidelines now. It's like you've gone through all this football and what...you're not going to play in the game?"
He said "I have a friend, my CO cat range instructor. I ran into him at a reunion and this guy had like six tours to Viet Nam. And I asked him 'Dave did you stay for 30 years?' and he's a big quiet man and he said 'noooo' and I said 'really, why not?' Well what had happened, the war had ended and Dave looked at me very calmly and said 'I wasn't really a very good peace time sailor."
Bonnie "so he didn't really stay?" Jesse "no, he got out after 20 years and 6 tours to Viet Nam. I think he earned the right to get out ten years early rather than stay in for another 10."
Jesse also discussed his new book "American Conspiracies" and his teaching position at Harvard. Bonnie said "you didn't graduate from college. Did you go to college?"
Jesse "I never even. I only went to high school. And only in America can a high school graduate go on to teach at Harvard. I'm now a Harvard (and he used a Boston accent) professor." Then he laughed.
Harvard's John F. Kennedy School Of Government
Jesse "what I told them. They brought me in the John F. Kennedy School of Government and I was the expert on third party politics. Because I've never been a Democrat, I've never been a Republican and I never will be. They are not the solution. They are the problem. So I told the students there 'look Harvard's going to teach you the theory of government. I said 'they brought me in to teach the reality of government.' Learn both but sometimes theory differs from reality. And that's why I was there."
Visiting With Fidel Castro In Cuba
Jesse told Bonnie "one of the most unique things I did. I sent and visited Fidel Castro (in Cuba). And I did that over the Bush Administration's objections. And I thought 'why?' How am I going to learn about Cuba if I can't go there? And it was interesting. When I met Castro we shook hands and he looked at me and he said 'you're a man of great courage.' And I said 'but you don't know me.' And he said 'you defied your President to come here.' And I looked at him and smiled and said 'well I defy most everything' and he laughed over that."
The JFK Assassination
Bonnie "and you asked him about the JFK assassination?" Jesse "I did. The last twenty minutes...to show you how perceptive Castro was...I can't speak today because he's had health trouble...and this was back in 2002. But forty minutes through the hour I had with him, I just happened to glance at my watch and Castro immediately said 'I'm sorry, do you have to be somewhere?' and I'm a very truthful person. So I said 'no sir, but I was hoping to ask you some personal questions' and he said 'ask me anything you want.'"
Jesse said "so I asked him his perception of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Castro told me 'it was an inside job, Oswald could not make the shots, the Russians didn't want Kennedy dead because at that time he was very close to them and his quote was 'from the Russians, you can talk to them' and he said 'I am not suicidal.'"
Jesse explained the reason Castro said 'I am not suicidal' is because many of the scenarios have an involvement with Castro. He said Castro said "I'm not suicidal, and if I would have killed Kennedy the United States Government would wipe Cuba off the face of the earth' and I believe him."
United States Would Wipe Cuba Off The Face Of The Earth
Why? Jesse said in no uncertain terms "because I think we would (wipe Cuba off the face of the earth)."
Jesse said "it's interesting in doing the book." Bonnie "do you believe in all the conspiracies?"
Jesse "I believe there's the potential. I believe absolutely all could be true (in his book). Because what it's like. It's like throwing a jig saw puzzle on the floor. And you slowly begin to assemble pieces of that puzzle. Now can you finish the puzzle? No. But like a jig saw puzzle you can get enough of it finished to where you've got a pretty good idea what the picture in the puzzle is."
Jack Ruby In JFK Conspiracy Theory
Bonnie "where would Ruby (Jack) fit into the conspiracy theory?" Jesse "because there's never been a trial. All these low level assassins. They've never had a trial because then evidence would come out. Ruby was to kill Oswald so there would never be a trial (of Oswald). It's that simple."
Bonnie "why would Ruby agree to do that?" Jesse "well who knows? He never revealed that. But you look at the death of Martin Luther King, Malcom X and I'll throw John Lennon in. What do they all have in common? They were all under government surveillance at the time they were murdered. Now, shouldn't the government surveillance saved one of their lives? Or was the government surveillance like a Navy Seal where you're gathering intelligence to run your operation and you want to pick the best time in which to eliminate the target? Those are the questions you have to ask. But they were all under government surveillance before they were killed."
Murder of John Lennon Conspiracy?
Bonnie "John Lennon was? Why?" Jesse "absolutely. I found that out. Think back, Lennon had been in a self-imposed exile for about five years. And who just became president? Ronald Reagan and the Right. John Lennon was the voice of The Left. And there could have been a feeling that Lennon could have rallied behind him. I don't know. That's hypothetical."
Mark David Chapman Behavior
Jesse said "well let's talk about Mark David Chapman, the man who killed him. He behaved very peculiarly cause the media tell you he was a Beatle fanatic and obsessed by Lennon. Not true. He didn't care less about The Beatles. In fact his favorite was Todd Rundgren. He hated guns. Yet he dropped into a professional shooting position that killed Lennon with a group of bullets that would make a drill instructor proud."
Jesse noted "but here's the real kicker. He had three modes of escape. He could have run into Central Park and if you've been to New York you know you can get lost there quick. He could have gone half a block down the subway or he could've just blended into Manhatten. What did he do? He stepped back into the shadows, dropped the gun and when the police arrived he was reading "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger. Now that's some bizarre behavior. You've just killed a man and you stand back and read a book?"
Jesse said "he's a classic case of a Manchurian Candidate. Someone who's under hypnosis, isn't in control. And many people feel that the Sallinger book that there were words in there that would set him off. To perform what he turned out to do."
Right To Question Your Government
Jesse said "let me tell you this. We've been told that if you speak against your government in dissension you are unpatriotic. I got news for you. Thomas Jefferson said "dissension is the greatest form of patriotism. Because if you don't hold your Government's feet to the fire you will get bad government. If you hold their feet you'll get better government. So don't ever let someone tell you if you question your government somehow you're unpatriotic."
More About Jesse Ventura
James George Janos (born July 15, 1951), best known as Jesse "The Body" Ventura, is an American politician, previous governor of Minnesota, retired professional wrestler and color commentator, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. As a professional wrestler, he is best known for his tenure in the World Wrestling Federation as a wrestler and color commentator. In 2004, he was inducted into the company's Hall of Fame.
In the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998, running as an Independent and member of the Reform Party, he was elected the 38th Governor of Minnesota and served from January 4, 1999 to January 6, 2003 without seeking a second term.
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