American Free Press | 05Nov2009 | Michael Collins Piper
Traficant Lashes Out at Power
Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant went into prison unbent and unbowed and
-- despite seven years behind bars -- the outspoken Ohio populist
remains unbent and unbowed.
On Sept. 10, 2009 -- just a few days after arriving home from prison
--Traficant appeared on Fox News as a guest of reporter Greta Van
Susteren and demonstrated, once again, that he is the same
no-holds-barred critic of special interest influence over the U.S.
government that he was during the 18 years he served in Congress
Assessing his years of torment and imprisonment by the federal
authorities Traficant summed it up as follows:
I didn’t give a damn what
they did to me. And from this day forward,
talking with you, I don’t give a damn what anybody does to me. I’m
going to say what I think is right, I’m going to do what I think is
right. And if it offends some people, then so be it. But if you’re a
politician and you support me, you’re in trouble. If you’re a
businessman and you give me money on my finance report, you get
audited. I was a target. And you know what I’m most proud of? That I
was that target. I must have been doing something damn right. I was
doing the right things.
During the interview with Fox News, Traficant made a number of comments
about political realities in America that, in the estimation of many
viewers, were some of the most candid reflections ever heard live on
the air from an American political figure.
Following the interview, the elite Jewish Telegraph Agency -- which
itself as “the definitive source for American Jewish community news and
opinion” and as “the global news service of the Jewish people” --
blast at the former congressman, saying, “James Traficant has come out
of prison spewing conspiracy theories about Israel.”
What was it that Traficant said that so exercised the JTA and other
powerful pressure groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which consistently
agitated against Traficant during his years in Congress?
First of all, Traficant dared to say that he was, in his words, “the
number one target of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” He
went on to assert: I believe that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on
the American government. They control the members of both 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 polls, they’ll put you in prison.
As far as Israeli influence on U.S. affairs, he said that his comments
were “an objective assessment that no one will have the courage to
speak about,” adding “they’re controlling much of our foreign policy.
They’re influencing much of our domestic policy.”
He added: 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.
Traficant pointed out that between the direct foreign aid grants to
Israel, along with all of the other benefits including trade compacts,
economic and military assistance, “Israel gets approximately $15
billion a year from the American taxpayers. That $15 billion is $30,000
for every man, woman and child [sic].And people in my district are
losing their pension benefits. So, I was targeted big-time.”
He pointed out that pro-Israel forces -- such as Paul
Wolfowitz -- manipulated then-President Bush into invading Iraq and
they also pushed Bush to invade Iran. When asked by Fox’s reporter if
he was an “anti-Semite,” Traficant said he wasn’t but “that’s exactly
what they’re going to say, and I expect that.” Rather, he said: 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
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. I’m saying this. America is in danger if
Americans doesn’t take back their government without foreign influence,
Traficant also pointed out that another reason he became a target of
influential American Jewish organizations and their allies in the
Justice Department and its “nazi-hunting” Office of Special
Investigations was the fact that he came to the defense of John
Demjanjuk. Certain American Jewish organizations had accused the
Ukraine-born Demjanjuk of having been a concentration camp guard during
World War II. Demjanjuk insisted that he was not the alleged “Ivan the
Terrible” (as the camp guard was supposedly known by the inmates).
However, only Traficant came to Demjanjuk’s defense.
Having come to recognize Demjanjuk had been railroaded, Traficant used
the powers at his disposal to investigate the affair. Ultimately the
Israeli Supreme Court set aside Demjanjuk’s conviction and the death
Traficant flew to Israel to bring Demjanjuk home and, as Traficant
pointed out, as far as the Israeli Supreme Court was concerned, he
“gave them credit -- big time.”
It’s no coincidence that the very week Traficant himself was ultimately
sentenced to jail, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Sunday magazine
Rosenbaum, the staff director of the OSI, who said,
“There’s only one member of Congress who has ever tried to take us on
and interfere with our work, and he will be sentenced in federal court.”
Pulling no punches in his interview with Fox, Traficant charged the
Justice Department and the OSI of having suborned perjury in its
efforts to destroy Demjanjuk. But, as Traficant pointed out, the OSI
continued to pursue Demjanjuk and just a few months ago he was deported
to Germany where he now faces another war crimes trial.
“If someone doesn’t look into this,” Traficant told Fox News, “ the
American people should be ashamed of themselves. When you allow one
American to be violated, you threaten the freedoms of every American.”
Discussing his imprisonment, Traficant reflected on his years behind
bars and the apparent determination of the authorities in D.C.—not the
guards at the prisons where he was jailed—to make his life as hard as
For me, it was tough. The
first place I went was Allenwood, and I think
the reason I [was sent] there is there were a lot of illegal immigrants
there. And they knew I had [advocated] troops on the border [to block
illegal immigration]. I think I was put in a position [by enemies in
the government] to be hurt.
When I was at Allenwood, I had a guy say—he would refute this—but he
said, “My mother’s your biggest fan. Watch yourself.” We can’t even [do
anything] with you: everything is coming out of Washington.
Before long, I was in the hole. They were my captors. I didn’t give a
damn about them. I had nothing to do with them. And the hole didn’t
bother me. It gave me time to think. Most political figures go to some
camps in country clubs. I didn’t. I went through some tough times.
Traficant noted that, while in Congress, he had put forth legislation
to stop putting non-violent offenders, including those suffering from
drug addiction, into prisons.
However, he said, “now what you have is, they want to keep the prisons
open, keep the jobs going [to keep the federal prison bureaucracy and
the private prison industries operating]. They’re putting 20, 30 years
on some of these young people, and it’s out of hand.”
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