On September 22, I did an almost 90 minute interview with Dr. Ben Marble,
the 35 year old ER physician, rock musician, father, husband, and the guy who
told Dick Cheney to Go Fuck Himself. This is an edited transcript of the first
50 minutes of the interview.
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a great article
telling you the story of Ben’s “dialogue with Vice President Cheney.
Rob Kall: What went through your head before you spoke to
Rage, I guess rage, somewhat. The sum total of everything, with the inadequate
response on the local scene but also the New Orleans area, with the images I
saw of the people dying in the streets. Plus the things I saw first hand myself,
And the incidentw here I was not allowed to go to my house to try to salvage
things. The MPs forced me to drive a long way around when I was almost out of
gas, when the gas station lines were three hours long. It was the sum total
of those things. So I thought, “I think I should say something.”
I felt like I was speaking for a lot of people other than myself and I know
that a lot of people are unhappy with this administration’s policies in
general and so, I felt like I should say something.
Rob Kall: So, after you said it and you hightailed it out
of there, a little bit while later, some police came back. Who came back and
what did they do to you?
What happened was, I said it at first, the first time—“Go
fuck yourself Mr. Cheney” and there was this appalled, stunned silence
and I decided I wanted to make sure they heard it so I said it again, “Go
fuck yourself Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself,” and then at that point I
started walking away and I said, “Go fuck yourself asshole.”
And the reason I started walking way is because these secret service
guys were looking at me with this wild eyed crazy look on their face and I didn’t
them to perceive me as a threat and give them the excuse to shoot me or something.
So I was walking away from them and I walked past the guy who patted us down
and I waved at him and told him ”have a nice day” and then I walked
Well after that, a few minutes went by I noticed my friend Jay Scully was still
b ack at the press conference. SO I called him and told him “come on back
Jay, we gotta get moving stuff.” A few minutes later he came back. The
first thing we did when he got back was, he said that the tape had run out.
So we took the tape out. It was a Sony mini DVD. They’re only 30 minutes
of video, each DVD. So went ahead and took that one out and hid that one, just
in case they came by and tried to confiscate it and I put a blank on in its
place. Then Jay and I started moving stuff. As we were moving stuff,
two military guys wearing MP armbands and green fatigues came by, saying they
were looking for a guy wearing an orange shirt who had cussed at the vice president.
And at the point point, I said “Well, that’s probably me.”
And they were like, “Oh really, that was you,” and they said, We’re
going to have to detain you for questioning. You are not under arrest. We’re
going to have to put you in handcuffs. Do not run.”
I was like, “Like I’m gonna run. You don’t have to
tell me not to run. You all have the machine guns, not me.”
They put me in the cuffs, at which point they started walking me to
the parked police car, near the train tracks that they wouldn’t let me
go through before. I told Jay, “Jay, turn that video camera back on,”
so he picked the video camera back up and started filming. And he shot some
video of me and the cops and all that. Well then they put me in the car. They
questioned me. They asked me questions like “Why did you do that? Are
you planning on hurting the Vice president.?
Rob Kall: What did you tell them when they asked you why you
I said well, if he can say that on the floor of the United States Senate,
the last time I checked this is the still the United States of America and I
have the right of the freedom of speech, and if he can say that on the floor
of the senate where people are supposed to be civil and courteous, then I think
I have the right to say it in the middle of the worst disaster in the history
of our nation.
Rob Kall: Yeah!
And they didn’t know what I was talking about. I said, “I
follow politics and he said that to a senator in the middle of the senate.”
And they’re going, like, “Oh really? He did that?”
And I said, “He did.” Some of them seemed to kinda of think
it was funny but most of them were pretty angry and upset and had the “hope
we ride him to jail” mentality.
Rob Kall: How many were there?
At one point there were probably eight to ten of them.
Rob Kall: All carrying machine guns?
Probably four of them with guns. The guys with the guns were in the
military, and then t there were some police officers and then some plain clothes
guys who I believe were the secret service guys. They detained me for fifteen
or twenty minutes and they took the camera away from Jay. I was in the back
seat of the police vehicle and I noticed they had my camera in the front seat.
Now I don’t know what that did to the camera, or if they did anything,
or maybe Jay just messed it up, but the video he shot of me in cuffs didn’t
work, it’s corrupt. For Whatever reason that is, it did not work.
Rob Kall: So they held you for fifteen or twenty minutes,
interrogated you and let you go?
Yes. They said, “Well, apparently you haven’t broken any
laws, you’re free to go.” They took my name, my social security
number, my address, my place of employment and they said if they needed to get
in touch with me they would give me a call.
Rob Kall: Have you had any further contact from them or been
in touch with them?
Rob Kall: So, have you been political. I know you were aware
of Cheney cursing out Leahey. Have you been active in politics.
For a long time I was, I think, like a lot of Americans, pretty apathetic towards
politics, because it seems like both sides… I wish there a viable third
party… but it seems that with the two party system you’re getting
two sides of the same coin kinda deal, where they both seem to interested in,
in not doing what’s right for the American people and doing what’s
wrong, for their agenda and their pocketbook.
I did start becoming a little active. You know I’ve been playing guitar
since I was thirteen years old and started writing songs when I was 20 or so.
I had written several songs which kinda had a political edge to them and they
did pretty well on mp3.com and I was in my band dR. O, and we did real well
on mp3.com and just to make a long story short, our claim to fame for dR.O on
mp3.com was we had more number ones than any band in the world. We had 26 genre
number ones on mp3.com, we had listeners in over 100 countries. Yahoo life magazine
labeled us the supergroup of cyberspace.
Rob Kall: Cool. How would you describe your sound.
It’s sort of alternative hard rock.
Getting to the political activism point of it, on Sept. 11, of 2002, 2003 and
2004 I was in New York to play a concert called the September Concert, which
is a free music, city-wide event where musicians come from all over the world
to play music in New York, after 9/11, of course, to basically not let people
forget about it. In 2004 I decided to stage a one man protest in front of the
United Nations. And I played a song I wrote, Four More Wars, that I wrote specifically
for the protest. That was a month before the election. It flabbergasted me that
people still voted for this person, that, to me, anybody with half a brain wouldn’t
vote for this guy. Everyone’s allowed to vote for whoever they want to,
but my personal opinion is that this is the worst administration in the history
of our country.
If you look at the list of “accomplishments” that W. Gump has,
I call him W. Gump because he’s an overachieving simpleton and he’s
the world’s most famous cheerleader, the mess doing the agenda of Cheney
and Rove… anyway I played that song four more wars. Basically, the chorus
of the song is “are you for more wars? Vote for George Bush, for more.”
He’s the war president, if you vote for him, guess what you’re
going to get. You’re going to get more wars, because apparently that’s
all he knows how to do is start war after war without legitimate reason.
Now I must backtrack and say that I was behind the president when he went into
Afghanistan . I thought that was certainly justifiable and needed to be done,
but then somewhere along the line he got off track and was misled, I don’t
know if… Sometimes I like give him the benefit of the doubt, that he’s
being a little naïve and being misled by his handlers spoon feeding him
all this bad information as far as justifying a war in Iraq when anybody should
have known it was a bad idea. I think most people who follow politics at all
thought it was a bad idea. Even his father thought it was a bad idea, if you
look back at the historical writings of Bush senior—about things “turning
into a quagmire,” which is what we have now.
And then you have Donald Rumsfeld—everything that comes out of his mouth
is the opposite of truth—“Oh, it’s not a quagmire. It’s
not like Viet Nam.” Anything he says you can just turn it 180 degress
and that’s the reality of the situation. To me, he’s our version
of Baghdad Bob.
Anyway, I did that protest. I videotaped it and played the September concert
that year and people went out and voted for him anyway. I still can’t
understand or fathom how people re-elected him.
He took the largest surplus in the history of our nation and converted it to
the largest deficit in the history of our nation—in a mere three years.
That’s a pretty astounding accomplishment.
Rob Kall: He’s got three more years. What do you think
he’ll do in those next three? My God!
Well it’s pretty scary to think of what he could do in the next few years.
I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone now that we’re headed on
a downward spiral as a nation—our worldwide credibility, he has utterly
destroyed it. He’s basically given Osama Bin Laden everything he wanted.
He’s gotten our troops out of Saudi Arabia, which is what Osama wanted.
He’s basically bankrupted our nation, which is what Osama wanted. He’s
given Osama more jihadi recruits than he could have ever dreamed of. How many
times does he have to keep giving the enemy the exact thing that they want?
What they want is a holy war and he’s giving them the holy war that they
want. I’ve told people for years that I think World War Three started
on September 11, 2001. And it has just taken a while for the people of the United
States to realize that. I think the rest of the world realizes it, but we don’t.
The majority of Americans still don’t realize it. They don’t want
to admit it
Rob Kall: What are the implications of World War three starting
He’s already said it’s a global war on terror numerous times. Rumsfeld’s
said it. How many nations do you have to have attacked before you call it a
world war? Spains been attacked. London’s getting attacked. We’re
getting attacked. Granted those terrorist attacks are random and all that—but
there are a lot of other attacks—Indonesia, Russia… The thing I
fear most is that eventually if either Russia or China line up against on the
opposite side, we are in serious trouble. Fighting the war against terror alone
is bad enough, but if China or Russia were to line up against us, like, if we
were to attack North Korea or if we were to attack Iran, we cannot beat China
and Russia. We would have a hard time beating one of them alone, but there’s
no way we can beat both of them.
There’s a fallacy that we won the cold war. That whole premise that we
won the cold war totally forgets that China is a very viable nation and is actually
the other superpower. There’s this myth that we’re the only superpower
in the world. Well that’s just BS. China is kicking our butt economically.
They have the largest military in the world. How can people say we’re
the only superpower.
Rob Kall: China is the only ASCENDING Superpower.
Correct. And they have the capability and the structure in place that will
allow them, eventually, to surpass us because their work ethic is so phenomenal,
plus they have five times the population we have. I don’t know. It’s
a scary thing. It’s a good idea to remain friends with as many people
as possible, specifically people like China and Russia. But there’s something
here, historically, that we have that nobody else has ever had in the history
of mankind. And that is the greatest communication tool of all time—the
internet, which allows people from all over the world to become friends with
one another. Lack of communication has been the classic cause of war throughout
time and now we finally have a tool that breaks that down. We’re kind
of losing our excuses to keep fighting these wars when we have the ability to
communicate with the people we may consider our enemy and talk to them and try
to work problems out. But then you get leaders like Bush and either you’re
with us or against us and don’t want any compromise and go around just
attacking nations at his will, starting unprovoked wars. And the rest of the
world looks to us as a leader. He’s setting the precedent that it’s
okay to just attack this country or that country and take it over just because
we feel like it. WE make up some lame reason why we’re going to do it
and then it turns out it wasn’t true. But hey, we’ll make another
reason while we’re there.
What happens when Russia decides they want to take a country and take it over,
or China decides they want to attack Taiwan and take it over. Hey. Taiwan has
WMD. We’re going to invade Taiwan because they have WMDs they’re
going to use on us. What kind of justification can we use to argue against them
doing that? We certainly don’t, with everything going on with the economy
the way it is, hurricane Katrina and now Rita, do we have the wherewithal to
try to stop China from taking over Taiwan if they wanted to. I don’t think
we do really.
Rob Kall: Since you had this Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame
moment, has it changed your attitudes or your politics or beliefs any way? Strengthened,
Well, something kind of odd happened. I’ve received literally thousands
of emails, 95 to 98 percent of which were supportive. A few were not. Some were
I got on a website, democraticunderground.com
just to talk to some of these people that were sending me these emails and ******
the extremists on the left are just as hypocritical as extremists on the right.
I tried to discuss issues with compromise and what I see as real world solutions.
I consider myself a realist. People try to label me a liberal because of what
I said, but I think of myself as a realist and, so I got on that website and
was trying to just discuss some issues and debate a little…. And after
about two days, they banned me from the site. They couldn’t handle any
dissension from their dogma. I was basically pointing out their hypocrisy and
then suddenly my threads were locked (discussion threads on an electronic bulletin
board) and they removed me… To me that just proves that they want to point
the finger at the right wing for being extreme and they’re just as extreme
in their views. For instance, we were discussing the gay marriage issue. I tried
to think of a realistic compromise for that issue, because I tried to see both
points of view on that issue, which, from the right wing perspective, the word
marriage, has historically, for thousands of years, has always been between
a man and and a woman. That’s just history. You can’t negate history
to satisfy a politically correct agenda. And I agree with that. I call the left
wing extremists the PC utopia fascists because they have this politically correct
utopia vision in their minds and that’s nice, utopia’s a nice idea,
but reality is nowhere close to utopia.
Rob Kall: What’s your opinion on gay marriage? Where
do you stand on it?
I have no problem with homosexual couples. I tried to offer a compromise. Why
can’t there be a simple compromise based on the reality of the sexual
preferences of the individuals and have two terms—one, homosexual marriage,
and two, heterosexual marriage? Very simple, based on the sexuality of the people
involved. It seems like a pretty simple, realistic solution where both sides
are getting what they want. Homosexuals would be getting their legal rights
as far as benefits, insurance, etcetera and but no, they couldn’t have
it that way. And the thing is the right wing people wouldn’t want to have
it that way either…. But I think homosexuals should have something.
Now someone else suggested, “Why don’t we have a civil union?”
and I said fine, I would be okay. I would be fine with a civil union and get
government out of church altogether. Just have civil union as the legal term
for all couples regardless of sexuality. And I think that’s a fine compromise
too. But when I pointed out the hypocrisy of what they are saying… they’re
demanding that we change the definition of a word that has been that way for
thousands of years, just to fit their political agenda to me that’s just
wrong. You can’t just suddenly say, OK, we’re gonna call oranges
grapes because it fits our political agenda and if you don’t like calling
oranges grapes, then you’re a bad person and you’re ignorant and
you’re a bigot, because you won’t call oranges grapes. You understand
my point there.
Rob Kall: It doesn’t seem like that’s worth throwing
you off their bulletin board.
They took away my posting privileges and basically said I couldn’t post
Rob Kall: That’s an experience you’ve had, and
my question is, has it changed your attitudes or beliefs since you’ve
been through all this?
I don’t think so. I pretty much feel the same way. I think maybe it has
strengthened them a bit. A lot of people in the local area are not too happy
with what I said, because I live in Bush country. But I have a right to say
what I want to say and if they don’t like it then they should leave to
I ask Dr. Marble about work, and he replies he wants to avoid discussing his
job, but then, when I ask him about how things have changed, he tells me that
before the storm, a typical night in the ER might see 70 patients. Then, when
the storm hit, for a week or two, it was up to 500 patients a shift. What’s
it like now.
Actually, the night shifts are kinda slow because of the curfew and people
don’t want to venture out after curfew because they’ll go to jail.
So basically, at night, only the really sick people tend to come in… During
the day it’s still pretty busy. It’s leveled off. I think we’re
just seeing 80, a hundred or so. That first few weeks after, it was very intense.
Rob Kall: Did you see any patients who died?
There was a man who came in, and the thermometer would only read up to 110
and it said he had a 110 fever and it wouldn’t go any higher. That was
a friend of mine. The real heroes are my co-workers. Dr. Miranda had to work
on that guy, Dr. Seglio, Dr. Patterson, the nurses. These people have really
been working their butts off—the nurses, the staff. This to me is the
saving grace of everything that has happened. We’ve had nurses, doctors,
etc. from all over the country come in. They’re not from FEMA, they’re
not from Red Cross. They just came in their own vehicles and they just got here.
They flew and the drove. I had people who worked “ground zero” they
worked the tsunami who just came—from California, from Michigan, from
Minnesota, from New York from all over the country—any state you could
name pretty much and they just showed up. They had their stuff packed and they
got here. Then I hear stories of people who tried to go through one agency,
the Red Cross or something like that, “well you’re on hold. You’ll
have to take this class for a week and then we’ll send you down there,”
and they’re watching the news and seeing people dying and they’re
saying, “you know what, I’m not waiting. I’m going. And they
left on their own.
Rob Kall: So they bypassed Red Cross and FEMA and they started
getting to work.
They just came. They just came by the droves.
Rob Kall: Would you say that the work that got done there
got done in spite of FEMA?
You hate to knock help because they have helped in a lot of ways—the
Red Cross, FEMA, the Salvation Army, etc. But they dropped the ball in a lot
of ways too. Those first four or five days were really bad.
The national guard was a tremendous help in maintaining law and order because
the first few days there was looting rampant here in Mississippi. You heard
about looting in New Orleans. There was plenty of looting here on the Mississippi
coast. I witnessed it with my own eyes—just driving by and people are
in a Radio Shack or K-mart and people are walking out with arms full of stuff.
And that was before the national guard had a presence.
Watch Video from Looking Glass News
"Go Fuck Yourself, Mr. Cheney!"
Read from Looking Glass News
Physician who told Cheney to go F*ck Himself Lost his Home in Katrina,
Detained, Cuffed by Cheney's M-16-carrying Goons