James Traficant has come out of prison spewing conspriacy theories about Israel. The former Ohio Democratic congressman — who was released last week after serving seven years for racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion — told Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren that Israel has a "powerful stranglehold on the American government." From a transcript of the interview, where Traficant is charging that he’s being targeted (although it’s not clear by whom) for defending accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk:
TRAFICANT: … 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.
VAN SUSTEREN: 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.
Traficant says a lot of people have been telling him to run for his old congressional seat –although he says he hasn’t decided yet. The full transcript is here.