Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “If he significantly reduces NSA and its intelligence gathering, or let’s just pie in the sky, just shuts it down completely and gives really good reasons for why this is taking place, even though there is no legislation, he does set a precedent that a future president is going to have to override, if you will, and have to give meaningful discussion and have meaningful debate associated with that.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello to an old friend, a dear friend, the 2012 standard bearer for the Libertarian Party for the office of President of the United States, former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, now esteemed citizen Johnson. Governor Johnson, always a pleasure, my friend. How are you?
Gary Johnson: I’m great, Mike. I was going to say, when I was running for president, it was pointed out that I was the number one job creator as Governor of New Mexico, which I pointed out that government doesn’t create a single job. I think I’ll pass on taking credit for that.
Mike: You have grave concerns, as do I, generally speaking, about what we’ve learned about the NSA, correct?
Johnson: I do. When things first broke, when Snowden first disclosed all this, of course, I was concerned about harm that might result to specific individuals because of this being disclosed. There is no evidence that that has happened. For all the trillions, and we are talking potentially trillions of phone conversations that have been documented, nothing has been uncovered to prevent a future terrorist attack, nothing. They haven’t prevented a thing. So why continue a program like this when it’s clearly unconstitutional?
Mike: Governor Gary Johnson, former governor of the great State of New Mexico, the candidate for president for the Libertarian Party in 2012 is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. I have a story here and it mentions you, “Gary Johnson Not Buying Obama’s NSA Reforms.” You bring something up and I wanted to ask you to elaborate on this a bit. You bring up that even if the president purports to go into the magic president desk, where underneath, we know in the movie National Treasure 2 Nicolas Cage discovered the mythical president’s checkbook. He finds the mythical president’s checkbook and right next to it is the mythical president’s magic wand where he can make all of our dreams come true or all of our nightmares come true. He waves it tomorrow and says, [mocking Obama] “All’s gonna be right with the world. We care about your civil liberties.” As you point out, that’s just hearsay because unless Congress does something about the Patriot Act, the NDAA, this is all just meaningless chatter. Am I right?
Johnson: Well, of course, it doesn’t have to be meaningless chatter. If he significantly reduces NSA and its intelligence gathering, or let’s just pie in the sky, just shuts it down completely and gives really good reasons for why this is taking place, even though there is no legislation, he does set a precedent that a future president is going to have to override, if you will, and have to give meaningful discussion and have meaningful debate associated with that. The whole notion of transparency, Obama can be very transparent about this, which is positive for this issue. Edward Snowden’s disclosure, to my reckoning, to this point have just resulted in that disclosure, meaningful debate over the role of spying. I don’t think it should exist at all. Let’s have a debate, and that is what we’re having.
Mike: Let’s pick up where we left off with Gary Johnson. The FISA Court, justices saying: Nothing to see here, citizen. We don’t think we’ve done anything wrong. You should leave us alone. Governor Gary Johnson, presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party 2012 says?
Johnson: Well, it’s shocking. We have a separation of powers, judicial, legislative, executive. The judicial is saying we are all-powerful and we are all-knowing and nobody needs to look over our shoulder. The whole NSA thing is about due process. Who is looking over the judicial shoulder that the judicial branch should grant authority to the NSA to be able to tap 110 million Verizon users? Come on! The fact that this court, the supposed judicial oversight has resulted in trillions of phone conversations that have been stored, come on! Give me a break. Where’s the due process? Obama could recommend steps to actually establish a certain due process that apparently doesn’t exist at all currently.
Mike: A follow-up question, which reporters are not prone to ask these days: Wouldn’t it be prudent to at least reestablish the F part of the FISA and FISC, that would be foreign?
Johnson: I don’t think any of us don’t believe that there is spying going on from a foreign standpoint. Now we’re back to the role of the NSA and what Obama could lay down as their mission and why we’re doing that. I don’t think anyone is living under the belief that this in fact may be valuable and probably has been and blah, blah, blah. Big difference between foreign surveillance and domestic surveillance. Let’s stop the domestic surveillance.
Mike: One final question because I know you have to go. I just wanted to throw this one at you, and no, I’m not going to ask you if you’re running in 2016. I’ll ask you that in a year and a half. My question to you is, and I don’t know if you’ve seen the film Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill, but Scahill has uncovered, as has Glenn Greenwald, two journalists that are actually doing journalism, they have uncovered and the president has now admitted, and we also now know this because Senator Ron Wyden has admitted that there actually exists in the White House this thing called a “kill list.” There are America citizens on the kill list. I haven’t talked to you since all that was revealed. What do you tell the listeners and the audience, what’s your take on the kill list?
Johnson: Well, maybe this is a smoking gun. One of the problems with the NSA disclosures, with all of this, is that there’s really no smoking gun. To me a kill list ought to be a smoking gun but apparently it’s not. Accumulatively, the more and more we learn about this, at some point hopefully everybody wakes up and says: This cannot continue. It’s just another page in what the government is doing. Come on, nothing is constitutional about a kill list of American citizens. This is a country where the Fourth Amendment exists, due process, and we’ve just thrown all of this out the window with the NSA and its policies of the domestic surveillance.
End Mike Church Show Transcript