Jesse Ventura: I could make Chickenhawk Cheney confess to the Sharon Tate murders with a waterboard

Jesse Ventura -- former pro-wrestler, Minnesota governor, Navy SEAL -- says that he's ashamed that the US government waterboarded its prisoners, and says that Cheney is a "chickenhawk" who didn't have the guts to fight in Vietnam, but was tough enough to order torture:
It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders...

I don't have a lot of respect for Dick Cheney. Here's a guy who got five deferments from the Vietnam War. Clearly, he's a coward. He wouldn't go when it was his time to go. And now he is a chicken hawk. Now he is this big tough guy who wants this hardcore policy. And he's the guy that sanctioned all this torture by calling it enhanced interrogation.

Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour, and I'll Have Him Confess to the Sharon Tate Murders (via Digg)


  1. I saw the videoshnip of Jessie Ventura and have already sent it to my friends.

    I used to wonder why the American public seems to pick “tough guys” who never fought and bypassed actual veterans, and I think the conclusion is simple:

    Veterans know the horrors of war and want to avoid sending others there.

    “Tough guy” nonveterans have no problems sending someone else to war.

    Red States vote for the “tough guys” because they know the military bases are good for their local economy.

    Simple, isn’t it?

  2. Wow, Ventura wins a lot of respect from me for that one.

    Kepper of the Lantern, also most war veterans don’t do the posturing that fake tough guys do. They know it doesn’t mean anything. But the posturing sells to the non-veterans. (well, to some of them.)

  3. An hour???

    It took a certain chickenhawk journo less than 5 minutes and he was a lot more healthy than Darth Cheney.

  4. Other US military guys are on record, IIRC, as to torture: “Remember, it is the civilians who ordered these actions.”

  5. I love Ventura–he’s crazier then a bloodthursty mongoose on speed, but the kind of crazy that we can use a bit more of in the political realm.

    And yeah, “chicken-hawk” is probably the best way to describe both Cheney and Bush.

  6. Jesse Ventura is bat-shit crazy yet he still gives the most coherent analysis of water-boarding of any public servant past or present. Let’s face it, as Americans, we really need to start electing better people.

  7. Jesus, does Ventura want to get shot!?!! Cheney will turn up with his buddies and bring him “hunting”, and shoot his face right off!

  8. @lightbender

    This I doubt, Mr. Ventura lives in Mexico these days and isn’t directly involved in politics anymore. He also has been consistently calling the Bush administration chickenhawks for years.

    Also, consider how much he ISN’T talking about the book that he came on the show to promote.

  9. @4 What are you referring too? I don’t follow foreign news not to closely these days, enough troubles at the home front.

  10. Jesse Ventura Crazy or not is right.

    Lightbender@7 chickenhawk wannabe

    I think the whole one hour thing is a only partially true, I think with waterboarding and and an hour of time with Cheney and he would Believe he did it.

  11. Sure, it might not take an hour, but we should use the whole hour, just to be sure. For that matter, how about 266 times, just to be completely certain.

  12. It wouldn’t take an hour to get a confession from Cheney. In fact, with his health problems, he probably wouldn’t survive. (I’m a former SERE student, as I believe others that frequent Boing Boing are.)

  13. What’s the big deal about waterboarding all of a sudden? I’ve been going through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland for many years and Carlos, being dunked in that well, has never confessed to anything.

  14. Jesse Ventura is right on the money about this, and many other issues as well. Read his book, “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me”, and you will find that he has viewpoints that, IF HE WERE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, and get elected, (I think he could), this country would be back on the road to where it was when we were the “good guys”. Economics, he has that covered too. We need a guy like this to stand up, act like he has a pair, (he does, big brass ones), and tell it as it is. Then proceed to do it!

  15. There are certain beliefs that, if espoused, will immediately land a person on Inkstain’s “don’t listen to a word they say” list.

    9/11 trthrs nd ppl wh blv wmn’s cllg bsktbll tms cld bt mn’s r th tp f tht lst.

  16. It’s even better if you picture him all WWF style. saying it with a championship belt over his should, yelling and pointing at the camera!

  17. Jesse is certainly a refreshing blast of fresh air, at least when compared to most politicians, which is exact;y why I voted for him for governor when I was living in the Twin Cities.

    I wish he’d run for governor here in Georgia. :-(

  18. @ #19 posted by Jpee

    What we need is for Ventura to dress up Lucha Libre-style. That would scare the pants off our mortal foes.

  19. My respect for Jesse Ventura just went up several notches.

    Other people who’ve been through SERE training have told me similar things. One of them said he could get someone to confess to assasinating Lincoln, committing multiple suicide bombings, and being a spy from Neptune. I have no doubt at all that this is true.

  20. @9, I think #4 is referring to Christopher Hitchens, who said after being voluntarily waterboarded “If waterboarding does not constitute not torture, then there is no such thing as torture.”

  21. @ #22 posted by Xopher

    Fortunately, they don’t waterboard long enough in SERE school for that kind of thing, but I agree with your point. : ) I got maybe five minutes worth, holding out most of the time. They finally stopped when I gave them classified information – my Social Security number. I’m sure I would have confessed to anything if they prompted me.

  22. @23 Thanks. I’ve looked this up. I haven’t looked into his former and current positions, but it’s really comforting to see someone who puts his money where his mouth and and then make no excuses afterwards.

  23. Jesse Ventura is freaking awesome. I’ll take him at my back over Chuck Norris anyday. After all, under Chuck’s beard there may be another fist, but his backing of Mike Huckabee scares the shit out of me more than the threat of a roundhouse kick.

  24. @#1 Keeper: Dude I was with you up until the last statement…

    “Red States vote for the “tough guys” because they know the military bases are good for their local economy.

    Simple, isn’t it?”

    Wow, that’s quite a leap. Maybe people in the area directly around a military base vote in some way, but I am a red-stater who travels in many circles, and I have NEVER heard that as an argument.

  25. As someone who voted for Jesse for Governor of Minnesota back in the day, his willingness to speak directly and challenge sacred cows is a great talent indeed. However, it needs to be said that this didn’t translate all that well to political office, where Jesse lacked the ability to create workable solutions with other politicians who didn’t agree with his position. In other words, his best value is in front of a microphone, speaking truth to power, not running the machine.

    That said, he would make an excellent panelist for the Torture Truth Commission.

  26. You can reasonably assume that the “valuable intelligence” Cheney claims was acquired in this manner were false confessions to whatever Cheney wanted to hear. (“Saddam has/had WMDs,” etc.) IOW, when Cheney says it’s valuable, he means it’s valuable to him.

  27. Mr Ventura gets my respect for this. I didn’t vote for him, and I can’t say he made a great governor. But he won in a 3-way race, with something like 36 percent of the vote. Two-thirds of the state DIDN’T vote for him. And I’ll always remember the look on his face after the election was over — and he realized that he would have to actually be the governor. There was dismay and confusion and WTF all over his face. Priceless.
    But he is absolutely right on this, as he was right on religion (it’s for the weak-minded), mass transit (it’s a good thing — here’s some money), and many other topics. He is also a prickly SOB, with skin too thin to be an effective politico.

  28. Jesse should package his shtick and run for the Republican ticket, let the protectors handle the media. C’mon, don’t you want to see Rush Limbaugh in a choke hold?

  29. “don’t you want to see Rush Limbaugh in a choke hold?”

    Can we see him waterboarded first? Lets see how long he holds out admitting he really is a commie pinko homosexual secret admirer of say… Nancy Pelosi.

  30. @ dbarak #24:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the impression that the point of SERE training isn’t really about teaching you how to withstand torture so much as teaching you that everybody breaks under torture. (Which is not to say they give reliable information.)

  31. You’re right, Brainspore: it’s the SEALS’s version of the “Kobyashi Maru.” “You will learn terror,” etc.

    That said, remember, folks, Ventura is a 9-11 Truther. Good to see him on the right side of this, though!

  32. @ #38 posted by Brainspore

    Correct. They obviously want graduates to withstand torture, but they’re really trying to teach you how to survive the whole POW experience while still exposing a minimum of information. They stressed to only go so far as you can go, and then give as little as possible for a reprieve.

    One thing people forget about with SERE is that most of it is S and E – Survival and Evasion. The Resistance and Escape portions of the school are pretty short, but (25 years ago) the R and E portion got our attention as prospective students the most because of all the (mostly true) rumors circulating about it.

  33. Right on!

    (It’s a win/win situation: you get to prove Cheney wrong, AND you get to torture him.)

  34. The first two times I was water-boarded I suicided and was revived with oxygen. The third time was an all-day affair (sure felt like it, but probably only 2-3 hours), and included the rag over the mouth, which in my experience does make all the difference! Now its true that plain old regular water-boarding is kind of trite and stale, along with most interrogation drama, and by pointing out the psychiatric weaknesses of your enemies, who in my case were the lowest form of junkie losers, one can at least endure the experience and expect to die with a shred of dignity.

    This mental state of balanced prepared readiness is much harder to sustain when being forcibly sodomized into exhaustion especially during the fourth or fifth day of sleep deprivation, but with practice and determination it can be done for long stretches.

    I´d still confess to the Sharon Tate murders for my own convenience, though. Shit, I´d confess to being Sharon Tate.

    Speaking of torture, I once saw an article here on beloved BoingBoing featuring the book title something like: ¨On The Clinical Modification of Human Behavior¨. Whatever happened to that article? Is the book still available? I want to use it to help me confront my PTSD.

  35. Lovely how many here are salivating-masturbating over waterboarding Cheney, Republicans, etc. Irony FAIL.

  36. @ #43 posted by scdevine

    Where did you get waterboarded? In SERE (early 1984) we only got a few minutes’ worth. We had a rag over the mouth to start, then over the mouth and nose. I tried to break my leather straps in a panic, and gave in when I couldn’t.

  37. Tdawwg: Blindly accepting the determination of the 9-11 Commission report is “right”? I’m kinda glad the guy has an open mind to consider things that are beyond the mainstream, conveniently labeled “conspiracy theories” so that you don’t have to think about them. This means he is at least thinking for himself, and unafraid to be labeled a tinfoil hat wearing wingnut for it.

  38. Well, he needn’t fear that label, having so assiduously earned it through his public statements on the issue. If the tinfoil hat you’ve fashioned for yourself fits, then wear it, man, wear it!

    Nice strawman, though: there’s obviously a range of responses between a full acceptance of the 9-11 Commission Report and the far loony reaches of the Truthers. What I’ve read on the subject tends to accord more with the Commission than with the Truthers, but, please: having raised the subject, what can you prove of the Truthers’ claims? If you’ve so bravely pushed past the label of conspiracy theory, what of historical fact have you found there? Kindly answer without using “controlled demolition,” “Mossad foreknowledge,” etc.

  39. One more reason to love Jesse. I need to put Predator on right now. Or maybe Running Man.

    As for the one hour figure – I think he would get the confession in a couple minutes, if not just by the threat of torture but then go for the full hour just out of fun and personal satisfaction.

  40. Tdawwg: I thought we were discussing Mr. Ventura. Making bold claims of “right” and “wrong” on controversial issues is just not useful, unless you are looking to pick a fight with folks who don’t believe as you do. In my experience, anyone who does not buy the 9-11 Commission party line is always labeled a “Truther” so as to be immediately lumped in with the wingnuts, as you appear to be attempting to do to me. If this is not what you intended, then you might have couched it in different verbiage. I am not about to drag this thread off-topic, but I would be happy to discuss this with you sometime in a format, if you are open to a real discussion.

  41. I met Jesse V when he spoke at the Kennedy school maybe 6 years ago.
    Very intelligent, humble yet confident, straight shooter etc….

  42. Um, we ARE discussing Ventura, Phikus. Ventura is a Truther and, as such, he’s “wrong”: there were no controlled demolitions that took down the WTC. This is part of the historical record, and other interpretations of that day are “wrong.” There’s no controversy. To suggest otherwise, especially in face of the established facts and lacking new evidence, is a huge insult to witnesses and survivors of that day, such as myself.

    My original point was simply that Ventura is a kind of stopped-clock guy: he’s erratic a lot of the time, but those same qualities that make him so undependable sometimes make him right-on, as in the King interview.

    It sounds to me like your feelings about the 9-11 Commission are clouding your judgment a bit: I disagree strongly with parts of the report, especially their complete whitewashing of the Bush Administration’s responsibility (culpability?) for the events of that day. So obviously I think it’s possible, as I said, to disagree substantially with the Report while avoiding the crazy territory the Truthers happily inhabit.

    As for the conversation you want to have, whyn’t have it here? I’ll repeat my earlier challenge:

    What I’ve read on the subject tends to accord more with the Commission than with the Truthers, but, please: having raised the subject, what can you prove of the Truthers’ claims? If you’ve so bravely pushed past the label of conspiracy theory, what of historical fact have you found there? Kindly answer without using “controlled demolition,” “Mossad foreknowledge,” etc.

    Ball’s in your court.

  43. Guys like Ventura don’t have their place in the highest echelons of government, but that was some damn fine commentary. Anti-torture interest groups would be foolish not to follow Ventura up on his comments.

  44. Tdawwg@~51: Imho, discussion of Mr. Ventura does not open the door to a debate of the 9-11 Commission or 9-11 as an event, a fight which you seem to be itching to have. By continuing to assert that anything in this realm is not open to debate, or that certain language can or cannot be used, you have already demonstrated that any discussion we would have on this subject would be far from open minded or free from invective.

    So again, I am sidestepping your bait, given such restrictions and my respect for the community and moderators here. Though I strongly disagree with your assertions as espoused, I have no vested interest in changing your entrenched viewpoint. I am simply calling shenanigans on any issue this controversial having such an unquestioningly cut and dry interpretation. When labeling others so dismissively, you might want to ask yourself why you feel the need to marginalize others for having a differing point of view. It does nothing to prove your point.

    Btw, my above comment, last sentence should have read: I would be happy to discuss this with you sometime in another format… But I take it back now. Based on your above comment, I do not believe you are open to having such an enlightened debate, even at another venue. Go bait the “Truthers” somewhere else, friend.

  45. DBarak 46: my reading of SCDevine @ 43 is that s/he was waterboarded by real enemies, not as part of a training exercise:

    …by pointing out the psychiatric weaknesses of your enemies, who in my case were the lowest form of junkie losers, one can at least endure the experience and expect to die with a shred of dignity.

    (emphasis added)

    It also occurs to me that if being forcibly sodomized into exhaustion is a part of the training of any organization on Earth, it had better not be one any of MY Senators or Congresspeople knew about and didn’t try to stop.

  46. Right, but you keep positing doubt, debate, controversy where there are NONE. There was no controlled demolition on 9-11. Get over it. If you can’t, kindly adduce your evidence to the contrary. This isn’t “bait,” it’s debate. I’m displaying the same disregard for rumor, hearsay, shoddy logic, etc., that I would with Holocaust denial, Creationism, or any other ridiculous ideologically-based argument that completely ignored the mainstream of publicly verified historical fact.

    Ventura is a man, take him for all in all: obviously, one statement he makes can be interpreted in terms of other statements he’s made. If you don’t want to rehash the quite-settled Truther arguments, then don’t respond in the first place to my labeling him a Truther.

    Look, I’m not giving you my email, or any other way to contact you offsite. If you can’t argue your points online, why would I want to know you off-? For the last time, if you disagree with the cut-and-dried version (known to most as “historical fact”), then:

    having raised the subject, what can you prove of the Truthers’ claims? If you’ve so bravely pushed past the label of conspiracy theory, what of historical fact have you found there? Kindly answer without using “controlled demolition,” “Mossad foreknowledge,” etc.

    Third time’s the charm!

  47. Tdawwg: The things you posit are not “historical fact” and your attempt to insert them here as such is a pretty underhanded tactic to try to bait me into your game. But respectfully, I decline. Once again, I would be happy to debate the issue, (although I have no certainties, only doubts which are not convincingly soothed by the official investigation) provided it were, imho, not completely off-topic here, did not have your imposed restrictions, and were to be received in the spirit of enlightened and open-minded discussion (which you continue to prove would not be the case by asserting that your positions are undisputed facts before we even begin.) Such controversial issues tend to completely derail a topic at hand, and as such, seem inappropriate to have here. And I was not suggesting that we get into exchanging email addresses; merely that the online forum be appropriate, if such a discussion were to ever occur.

  48. YAWN. Show me some facts that disprove, or even substantially qualify, the official narrative. Otherwise, go play with the Truthers. Quit dishonoring the memories of the survivors with pseudoknowledge and trendy doubting. Tdawwg out.

  49. Xopher sees what DBarak has not.

    I got it in Tallahassee, back in 1982.

    I thought the propanolol doses were a hilarious touch — that way the more my long term memory heals, the more emotionally painful it is. Those crazy guys….

    The traditional bastinado was a sure-fire resistance cracker. Stun guns to the soles of the feet, though, reduces the recipient to hysteria too fast to get any intelligible comments, much less actionable intelligence.

    I love my country, but I sure do despise what has happened to it, and what has been foolishly, selfishly, and unethically done in its name.

  50. Tdawwg: No. You go play with the Truthers since you are so bent on fucking with those you label as such. I am under no obligation to disprove or prove anything to you, since it is now very evident, based on the attitude you have displayed here, that this would be a wasted effort. I dishonor no one. It could be argued that it is YOU that dishonors them, since you believe you have it all figured out and can accept no other possibilities (having restricted any way for other ideas to emerge by trying to shortsightedly limit any such discussion to your own terms, and selfishly trying to insult others into playing your game here and now, instead of meeting anyone half-way.)

    Like a petulant child, you continue to repeat your goading, hoping to wear down those you see as your opponents. Like the echo chamber of the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world, you would repeat your lies as often as possible, saying they are self evident fact without presenting neutral evidence of your own, and like Karl Rove, you would attempt to appeal to emotions in order to bypass the logic circuit. You can just as easily take your apologist bullshit somewhere else yourself, so I suggest you do so.

    See how wonderfully free of controversy this is? (-Albeit more on topic now, since this thread has been denigrated to the realms of a wrestling match.)

  51. All right, no more 9/11 Truth vs. Commission arguments. They are not germane.

    Wish I’d said it sooner. Phikus and Tdawwg, I’m talking to you. Cut it out, right now.

  52. KidSeven 58: I escaped being in the WTC when it went down by one decision (not to go in early that day). Had I chosen differently, I would be dead (no one on my floor got out alive). People I worked with every day, people I liked, died fiery deaths that day.

    I would rather a hundred of those than become the country Cheney and his ilk tried to turn us into. If I die in a terrorist attack and only torture could have prevented it, you can put it on my gravestone (or memorial website, since I’ll be cremated): He Preferred This To Condoning Torture.

    Of course, since torture does NOT obtain valuable intelligence, it’s all pretty moot.

    SCDevine 59: Who were these people, and what did they want out of you? Have they been punished?

  53. Phikus, I have the evidence (Tdawwg’s posts and yours) before me. You’ll forgive me if I refrain from taking sides on this occasion.

  54. @ kidseven #58:

    So our enemy will saw the head off of innocents with a pocket knife and we’re going to debate our own torture tactics?

    Yes, exactly. If there is any reason our side deserves to win, that’s it.

    The problem with the “torture is OK as long as the other side is worse” argument is that you could use it to justify any atrocity as long as your enemy (real or perceived) is bad enough. “Hey, so we raped a few villagers to death. At least we didn’t eat their children first like the ENEMY would have.”

  55. I got to the bottom of the comments and forgot what I was posting about.

    Regardless of who said what at any point, the fact remains that these “enhanced interrogation techniques” are bogus and don’t yield any useful information. As I have not done much research on the subject what is the point of them doing this to their prisoners, aside from the lure of having that much control over another human? What is it that makes them continue to torture if it never yields results for them?

    I am not advocating torture or saying if it yielded any viable information that we should green light it. I am vehemently against torture, just curious as to the reasons it continues.

    Enough of my ramblings for now.

Comments are closed.