Transcript Van Susteren
: Nice to see you, sir. James Traficant, former Ohio Congressman
: I'm glad to be here. Good to see you again. But to tell you the truth, Greta, I'm glad to be anywhere. Van Susteren
: Besides? Besides prison, for one! Traficant
: I come from seven years up at Rochester. I want to say hello to Dray Maddux (ph) and Freddie McKnight (ph) and all those guys up there. A lot of good guys there. They're sort of like family, in a way. It's a different experience. Van Susteren
: So you made friends in prison? Traficant
: Absolutely. You know, Nelson Mandela made a statement. He said, If you really want to know the truth about a nation, you've got to go
through their prisons. And believe me, he's right. And I learned an awful lot about America going through the prisons. Van Susteren
: All right. Before we get to prison and all about America, I have to ask you the headline question. Ready? Traficant
: Don't say it... Van Susteren
: I'm going to ask it! Traficant
: ... because I'm going to get personal. Van Susteren
: I'm going to ask it right now. Traficant
: Get at me. Get at me, Greta. Van Susteren
: All right. Are you going to run for Congress again? Traficant
: I don't know yet. There's a lot of people that want me to run for Congress. You know, I was the number one target of
the American- Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the number one target of the Justice Department since 1983, being the only American to ever defeat them pro se in a RICO trial. And I have big enemies.
But I have some grudges, and I want to go at them. I want to go at them big time, Greta. So I have to see, first of all, if I'm viable, and second of all, if the people would support me. They came in here and they fractured this district. They broke it up certainly to make it tougher. I think they also felt they gave me a life sentence, that I'd never survive in prison. Then they came to me and said if I said I was guilty, I might even get a pardon, and I told them to shove the pardon up their derriere sideways.
So here I am, and if I do run, get your best hold, because I will be running downhill with my tails flapping in the wind, wide open. Van Susteren
: What are the odds you are going to win --
I mean, not are you going to win. What are the odds that you're going to run? Traficant
: The odds, and I saved all comments for your show, because, number one, I think you have a great show, and this is not to patronize you. I know you got some questions, and I am going to embarrass you before it is over.
But I would say at this point is 50-50, and I have a lot of people that are encouraging me to run because there are so many disenfranchised people, so many, especially in this area.
Concerns I have that I come home to is we have Delphi here, the salaried that were completely cut out of also pension benefits. It's going to be almost a $250,000 impact to this general community.
And when you look at it nationally, Dayton, Ohio, is going to be hit real hard. The state of Ohio is going to be hit with about $1.5 billion in lost money, and economic generation, because of this decision.
And I feel, and you know my record, if we can take care of people over the world, dammit, take care of those Delphi salaried workers. And I expect it to be done.
I mean, I am on your show here asking you and asking America to look at this place, because we have here 9,500 workers to lose their pension benefits, they're going to have to pay for hospitalization.
It's an immediate cost pocket of $50 million, with a computing factor of the multiplication of two for the general metropolitan area of billion dollar impact on the economy that lost steel mills years ago and has been left behind. Can't have it. Van Susteren
: Can't have it.
You said you had some grudges. Who are your grudges against? Traficant
: Well, number one -- and my wife constantly reminds me to tone down -- I brought that guy back from Israel, John Demjanjuk.
It was my
Freedom of Information Act which proved not only that he was innocent, but who Ivan really was. The case was so sensitive, members of Congress would say, "Jim, I love you. But please, don't involve me."
I sent my evidence to the 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati. They wouldn't accept it.
I finally send it over to Israel, to the Israeli Supreme Court, and they called me over there, and I went with the family. I did a live interview satellite with Bryant Gumbel, and I said, "When they put this innocent man to death, they're going to lose $15 billion to $20 billion every year they get from the American taxpayers.
And Bryant Gumbel says, "What are you talking about? They only get $3 billion." And I said, "Bryant, that's only the foreign aid bill. Look at all of the other trade compacts, economic assistance, military assistance."
I am saying this to you right now -- Israel gets approximately $15 billion a year from the
That $15 billion is $30,000 for every man, woman and child. And people in my district are losing their pension benefits.
So, I was targeted big-time. Van Susteren
: By the Israelis? Traficant
: The Israeli Supreme Court looked at the evidence, could not refute it. And it came from the Justice Department, Greta. And they said, take him home. I brought him home, and he was bombarded ever since. Van Susteren
: Home to Ohio? Traficant
: Now he's in Germany fighting for his life.
Now, let me say this, Prosecutor Moskovitz of the OSI Office of the United States Justice Department suborned perjury with Otto Horn. The documents clearly state who "Ivan the Terrible" was, a man named Ivan Marchenko, not Demjanjuk. And they had to release him.
they can't live with it. They couldn't live with Jim Traficant having beaten him in 1983. I was a walking symbol of defiance. And now they have this man in Germany. And if someone doesn't look into this, the American people should be ashamed of themselves.
When you allow one American to be violated, you threaten the freedoms of every American. And I can't understand this, why no one in Congress is raising their voice.
And the reason is very simple. And this maybe you don't want to hear, I don't know. And I certainly don't want to hurt you on your show. You have one of the best. You're fair.
But I believe that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government. They control both members of the House, the House and the Senate. They have us involved in wars in which we have little or no interest.
Our children are coming back in body bags. Our nation is bankrupt over these wars. And if you open your mouth,
you get targeted. And if they don't beat you at the poll, they'll put you in prison. Van Susteren
: All right, two quick things.
One is the Israelis have released Demjanjuk back to the United States, right? Traficant
: The Israeli supreme court. And I give them credit. Van Susteren
: Give them credit for that. Traficant
: I give them credit, big time. Van Susteren
: All right. The second thing is, is Israel is a democracy
and is our ally, right? Traficant
: Yes, they are. Van Susteren
: So, you have no... Traficant
: And they should be our ally. They are our friends over in that troubled part of the world.
: OK. So, explain to me what you see as -- you know, why you target or why you have a grudge against the Israelis. Traficant
: The grudge is not necessarily a grudge. It's an objective assessment that no one will have the courage to speak about.
They're controlling much of our foreign policy. They're influencing much of our domestic policy.
Wolfowitz as undersecretary of defense manipulated President Bush number two back into Iraq. They've pushed definitely, definitely to try to get Bush before he left to move into Iran. We're conducting the expansionist policy of Israel and everybody's afraid to say it. They control much of the media, they control much of the commerce of the country, and they control powerfully both bodies of the Congress. They own the Congress. Van Susteren
Are you an anti-Semite? Traficant
: No, I'm not. And that's exactly what they're going to say. And I expect that.
What I am is an American. You see, I think America comes first. And we have a one-sided foreign policy in the Mideast, and we've alienated Arabs who have no way of fighting.
So, what they've done - and I predicted this on the House floor - is they would export violence to America. And they have. They have no other way to fight.
I think President Obama knows this. I think he sees this. I think he wants to do something. I think his hands are tied, and I think he's dancing between the raindrops, trying to figure how I can politically machinate some scenario to mitigate these problems.
Greta, I'm saying this. America is in danger if America doesn't take back their government without foreign influence, interference.